Northwest MLS brokers are encouraged by declining mortgage rates, with some saying pent-up demand is triggering multiple offers.
Pending sales around Washington state reached the highest level since October and surged nearly 44% from December. However, last month’s 5,776 mutually accepted offers were down about 9% from a year ago.
Prices on last month’s closed sales edged up slightly, at 0.41%, compared with twelve months ago.
The selection of properties, based on the number of total active listings in the MLS database, improved significantly from a year ago, rising from 3,092 listings to 8,220 at month end.
Brokers added 4,925 new listings to the MLS database in January, about 1,000 fewer than the same month a year ago.
The January report from Northwest MLS shows Adams, Columbia, Grays Harbor, Okanogan and San Juan counties each had more than six months of inventory. Ten counties had less than three months of supply.
On February 2nd, Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) reported the U.S. weekly average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.09%, down about a full point from November when it peaked at just over 7%. According to its research, this one percentage point rate reduction can allow as many as three million more mortgage-ready consumers to qualify and afford a $400,000 loan, the median home price in the U.S.
George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, said the recent decline in rates means for today’s buyer of a median priced home, the down payment amount is lower than it would have been last summer. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun suggested the “recent low point in home sales activity is likely over.” Commenting on pending sales for December, he stated, “Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market.”
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Source: NWMLS 2/6/2023