RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2020

Sales Surge by Over 20% as Homes Sell a Week Faster than a Year Ago

The streak of record-shattering home sales stretched to three months in September, as closings rose 21.1% from a year ago. On average, homes sold in a mere 39 days – a full week faster than in September 2019.

Meanwhile, inventory plummeted 31.9% year over year as the number of homes on the market dropped to an all-time low in the 13-year history of the report.

Delayed by pandemic-related lockdowns, summer’s peak homebuying season pushed into fall. September sales were only 3.3% lower than August’s, while the average seasonal August-to-September drop-off over the previous five years was 15.3%.

September inventory sank below the previous report low set in August 2020. Thus far, six months of 2020 rank among the 10 months with the lowest inventory in the history of the report.

The Median Sale Price of $289,900 was just $100 below the report record set in August 2020, and 12.8% above September 2019. Also increasing in September was the Months Supply of Inventory, which ticked up to 1.8 from the record low of 1.7 set the previous two months. A year ago, Months Supply of Inventory totaled 3.8.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for September 2020

Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers completed 10,175 sales transactions during September – the highest monthly volume since June 2018 when MLS members reported 10,072 closed sales. September’s closings also marked a jump of nearly 28% from the same month a year ago, according to the latest statistical summary from the MLS.

The new report from Northwest MLS showed a sharp year-over-year (YOY) drop in inventory (down 43% from a year ago), a robust increase (23%) in pending sales (mutually accepted offers), and a sizeable surge (19%) in prices for single family homes and condos combined.

Brokers added 11,210 new listings to inventory during September, a healthy increase from a year ago when they added 9,435 for a YOY gain of 18.1%. Compared to August, the volume declined by 733 listings (down about 6%).

At the end of September, the supply totaled 9,099 active listings, well-below the year-ago selection of 15,982 listings (down 43%), and the lowest level since February.

Measured by months of supply, there is less than one month of supply (0.89) system wide. In the Puget Sound region, only King County notched more than a month’s supply, but if condos are excluded there is only 0.85 months of supply. Mason, Thurston and Snohomish counties had the tightest inventory, with only about two weeks of supply.

Statistics compiled by Northwest MLS for these three counties show there were 883 closed sales of single family homes and condos last month in the “luxury” segment based on selling prices of $1 million and above. A year ago, there were 429 sales in this category.

The median price for homes and condos that sold last month across the Northwest MLS market area was $499,950, a hefty 19% jump from the year-ago figure of $420,000. San Juan County had the highest median price at $850,000, followed by King County at $698,230.

For single family homes only (excluding condos), last month’s median price system wide was $519,864. In King County, the median price for single family homes was $753,600. Within King County, where NWMLS tracks 30 sub-areas, six of these areas had median prices over $1 million; five of those areas were on the Eastside.

Source: NWMLS 10/7/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2020

Home Sales Sizzle Amid All-Time Low Inventory, Rising Prices

The blistering hot streak of U.S. home sales continued in August, reaching record levels for the month. August also set new report records for lowest inventory and days on market as well as highest median sales price.

August home sales, continuing a torrid summer, were the highlight of the month. Year over year, home sales rose 4.3% and marked the third-highest total in the report’s 13-year history covering 53 metro markets. July 2020 holds the report record for most home sales, followed by June 2017. Year to date, 2020 home sales trail 2019’s by only 3% after being 9% lower through May.

While sales climbed, the number of homes on the market in August plunged 29.6% year-over-year – to an all-time report low. And in a related metric, the 1.7 Months of Inventory tied July for the lowest in report history.

This high-demand, low-supply dynamic drove the Median Sales Price to $290,000, topping the previous report record of $285,000 set just one month ago in July. Prices rose 11.5% from August 2019, the highest year-over-year increase in more than six years.

On average, homes spent a mere 41 Days on Market – tying July 2018 for the shortest time in report history. Fourteen markets reported 30 days or less from listing to contract signing. Compare that to August 2019, when average Days on Market totaled 45.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for August 2020

The August report from Northwest MLS, which covers 23 counties, shows pending sales surged nearly 25% from a year ago, rising from 10,602 mutually accepted offers to last month’s total of 13,224. Within the four-county Puget Sound region encompassing King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, brokers reported 9,179 pending sales. A review of MLS records dating to January 2002 shows that volume was surpassed only once, in May 2017 when brokers notched 9,188 pending sales.

Brokers added 11,943 new listings to inventory during August, down from July, when they listed 12,514 homes and condominiums, but up from the 10,488 properties they listed during the same month a year ago.

At the end of August, the Northwest MLS database included 9,591 total active listings, down almost 43% from a year ago when the selection totaled 16,697 listings. With pending sales (13,224) outpacing new listings (11,943), the months of inventory continues to shrink. Area-wide there is less than one month of inventory (0.97). Nine counties had under a month’s supply. Four-to-six months is a common indicator of a balanced market, according to industry experts.

With an insufficient supply, prices are appreciating at double-digit rates in most counties in the NWMLS report. System-wide, for last month’s closed sales, prices increased nearly 14% compared with a year ago. Member-brokers reported 9,847 closed sales, up more than 4.8% from a year ago. That volume was the highest since June 2018 when there were 10,072 completed transactions. In the four-county Puget Sound region year-over-year (YOY) prices jumped 17%, from $500,000 to $585,000.

Source: NWMLS 9/4/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for July 2020

July Home Sales Jump 8.7% Despite Low Inventory, Ending Recent Skid

In a significant upward shift, July home sales rose 8.7% over July 2019, halting a streak of year-over-year sales declines triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. July’s market was blistering hot despite the lowest Months Supply of Inventory (1.7 months) in the 12-year history of the report.

July set a report record for most home sales in any month among the report’s 53 metro markets. Seven months into 2020, home sales are just 4.8% below 2019, compared to the end of May when the year-to-date total was 8.9% behind last year’s pace. Surprisingly, 2020 monthly sales have exceeded 2019 in four out of seven months thus far.

Finding a home to buy remains the biggest challenge for many. July inventory dropped 30.1% from July 2019, a report record, and was the ninth consecutive month of double-digit declines year over year. The only three months with lower inventory totals were two winters ago: December 2017 and January and February 2018.

July’s 1.7 Months of Inventory marked only the second month in report history with below 2 months supply. Even with year-over-year declines factored in, housing inventory is typically at its highest during the summer months.

July’s Median Sales Price of $285,000 is up 8.6% year-over-year. This is in line with pre pandemic rises in price after smaller year-over-year price increases of 4.7% and 1.9% in May and June, respectively. Days on Market averaged 44, an increase from 43 the previous July.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for July 2020

The Northwest MLS report for July, which covers 23 counties in Washington state, shows brokers added 12,514 new listings during July, up from the year-ago total of 11,193 for a gain of 11.8%. Pending sales jumped nearly 14%, while inventory remained well below year-ago levels (down about 39%). Measured by months of inventory, the system-wide supply slipped to about a month (1.04 months).

MLS member-brokers reported 9,840 closed sales during July, up slightly more than 3% from a year ago and the highest volume since June 2018 when they notched 10,072 completed transactions. Overall prices on those sales, which include single family homes and condominiums, jumped 12.8% from twelve months ago, rising from $429,900 to $484,995. Prices on single family homes (excluding condos) surged 13.6% (to $499,950), while year-over-year (YOY) condo prices rose about 8.6% (to $380,000).

An unprecedented eight counties in the NWMLS report had less than one month’s supply of homes and condominiums for sale at the end of July. They included Clark, Cowlitz, Island, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston.

Median prices area-wide rose 12.8% from a year ago, with only two counties (Jefferson and Pacific) reporting small declines. Fourteen of the 23 counties in the report had double-digit price increases.

Source: NWMLS 8/6/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for June 2020

Home Sales Post Near-Record Turnaround Despite Inventory Constraints

June home sales posted a near-record 37% gain over a pandemic-impacted May while Months Supply of Inventory dropped below two months for the first time in the report’s 12-year history.

Overall, U.S. home sales returned to near seasonal levels – just 6.9% lower than last June, which was the third-highest sales month of 2019. All of the report’s 53 metro markets posted gains over May and a third of them topped last June. The June results were far different than those of May and April, which both reflected widespread stay-at-home mandates in many states.

The 37% increase in sales from May to June was the third-highest month-over-month turnaround in the report’s history. The 12-year average for May-to-June sales increases is 8.4%.

Going in the opposite direction, inventory dropped 27.9% year over year, pushing the Months Supply of Inventory to 1.9 from the previous report low of 2.7 months set in May. The number of homes for sale is at low levels not seen consistently since early 2018.

June’s Median Sales Price of $275,000 is up 1.9% year over year, the lowest year-over-year price increase of any month since December 2018’s 0.4% price drop.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for June 2020

Brokers in the 23 counties that are part of Northwest MLS point to a shortage of homes as a key factor in bidding wars. At the end of June, there was only 1.16 months of supply system-wide, which is the second lowest level in the past decade.

Not surprisingly, the supply/demand imbalance is causing prices to ratchet up. Median prices for last month’s 8,312 closed sales of single family homes and condos increased nearly 5.7% compared to a year ago, rising from $440,000 to $465,000. A comparison to May shows an increase of more than 3.3%.

In the four-county central Puget Sound area, year-over-year prices rose even more. Of these counties, King County had the smallest increase at nearly 5.9% (rising from $637,675 to $675,000). Pierce County prices jumped nearly 8.2%, from $372,500 to $403,000. Prices were up nearly 6.7% in Snohomish County and more than 7.7% in Kitsap County.

The new report from Northwest MLS shows last month’s volume of pending sales surged 15% from May (increasing from 10,389 to 11,916); closed sales jumped more than 39% (from 5,957 to 8,312), and month-over-month prices rose more than 3.3% (from $449,850 to $465,000).

Year-over-year comparisons show pending sales increased nearly 3%, closed sales dropped about 12.3% and prices increased 5.7%.

Source: NWMLS 7/6/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for May 2020

Home Sales Down 34% Over Previous Year While Price Increases Remain

May, often the second-strongest month for home sales, saw what many believe may be the biggest housing impact from the pandemic as closings dropped 33.7% compared to last year.

All 53 markets in the report sustained double-digit year-over-year sales declines:

• Sales in four markets shrunk by more than half, led by Detroit’s drop of 64.8%

• Eighteen markets saw sales drop by one-fourth to one-third

• Des Moines’s sales decline of 14.3% was the smallest

While the Median Sales Price of $272,000 was up 4.7%, it was softer than the 5.4% average May-to-May price increase in the previous five years.

Inventory dropped 25% year-over-year to one of the lowest levels for May in the report’s 12-year history. Only Indianapolis (12.7%), Wichita (4.3%) and Chicago (1%) posted increases in the number of homes for sale compared to May 2019.

With May being the second full month under stay-at-home mandates in many states, home sales were the lowest for the month since 2012, and on a par with wintertime home-sales activity. Compare that to 2017, 2018 and 2019, when May posted the highest or second-highest home sales of the year. June typically sees the year’s most home sales and highest Median Sales Price.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for May 2020

Despite the economic downturn and disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Northwest MLS member-brokers reported impressive improvement from April to May on some key indicators. The volume of new listings, including single family homes and condominiums, rose 29.2% and pending sales jumped more than 44% system wide.

Not surprisingly, year-over-year comparisons showed sharp declines. The number of new listings fell nearly 33%, total active listings plummeted nearly 36%, pending sales declined 13.5%, and closed sales dropped about 35%. Prices remained in positive territory, rising about 2.3% from a year ago.

Brokers added 9,871 new listings to the MLS database during May, which compares to 14,689 for the same period a year ago. At month-end the selection included 10,357 active listings; that volume was 5,766 fewer than the year ago total of 16,133.

Stated another way, at the end of May there was 1.74 months of supply across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS. Inventory levels ranged from 1.1 months of supply in Thurston County to more than 8 months in San Juan County. Within the four-county Puget Sound region, supply ranged from 1.2 months in Pierce County to 1.74 months in King County.

The NWMLS report shows 10,389 pending sales during May, improving on April’s total of 7,207 (up 44%), but down about 13.5% from the year-ago total of 12,006.

NWMLS members completed 5,957 transactions during May, a slight improvement from April’s total of 5,866. When compared to a year ago, however, the number of closed sales, at 9,153, marked a decline of about 35%.

The median price on last month’s closed sales was $449,950 across the NWMLS coverage area. That compares to the year-ago figure of $440,000 an increase of about 2.3%.

Source: NWMLS 6/5/20