RE/MAX National Housing Report for February 2020

Representing the last full month before the coronavirus became a global pandemic, February saw the third consecutive month of year-over-year increases in U.S. home sales – a streak not seen since 2015. At the same time, inventory across the report’s 53 metro markets plunged 15.8%, marking the fourth successive month of double-digit percentage, year-over-year declines.

Before the coronavirus struck the U.S. on a large scale, home sales in February – which enjoyed an extra weekend day for Leap Year – increased 7.5% year over year, following strong increases of 13.5% and 10.5% in December and January. The previous streak of increasing year-over-year sales of three months or longer began in December 2015 and continued seven months into June 2016. That was also a period of large inventory declines, like the current stretch of year-over-year drops in inventory that is now at eight months.

February’s Median Sales Price of $260,000 posted a year-over-year increase of 7.9% – the 14th consecutive month where home prices have shot up.

In the nearly 12-year history of the report, three February records were set last month:

·       Fewest Months Supply of Inventory: 2.8

·       Fewest Days on Market: 60

·       Highest Median Sales Price: $260,000

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for February 2020

Member-brokers added 7,786 new listings to the MLS database during February. That was a jump of nearly 25% from the same month a year ago when record snow hindered activity. Compared to January, last month’s inventory improved by 1,269 listings for a gain of nearly 19.5%.

February’s new listings (7,786) were the highest since October, but they fell short of matching demand. Brokers reported 8,355 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) for a YOY gain of more than 21%.

Inventory remained tight. At month end, there were 7,655 active listings in the 23 counties included in the MLS report. That was a 32% drop from the year ago total of 11,275. All but two counties (San Juan and Douglas) reported declines. Thurston County had the largest year-over-year drop, at 45.7%, followed by Snohomish (down 42%) and King (down 40.7%).

There is only 1.45 months of supply area-wide, according to Northwest MLS data. It is even more sparse in the four-county Puget Sound region where there is barely over a month’s supply (1.1 months). Snohomish and Thurston counties had the distinction of having the sparsest inventory, with both areas reporting less than a month (0.93) of supply.

The Northwest MLS report shows the median price system-wide for the 5,265 homes and condos that sold in February rose 9.34% from a year ago, from $407,000 to $445,000. Thirteen counties reported double-digit increases, while four counties had price drops.

Source: NWMLS 3/5/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2020

Last month’s home sales posted the highest year-over-year gain for January in 11 years, increasing an average of 10.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. Meanwhile, the 15.6% year-over-year drop in inventory was the largest decline since May 2017 and marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year shrinkage in the number of U.S. homes for sale.

Despite very low inventory, January and December (+13.5%) marked the first back-to-back months with double-digit year-over-year growth in home sales since June and July of 2015.

January’s Median Sales Price of $256,000 – though 3.4% below December – was 8.9% higher than January 2019 and extended the string of year-over-year price increases to 13 months.

In the nearly 12-year history of the report, three January records were set or tied last month:

·         Fewest Months Supply of Inventory: 3.1

·         Fewest Days on Market: 59 (tied with January 2019)

·         Highest Median Sales Price: $256,000

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for January 2020

Northwest MLS brokers added 6,517 new listings during January, a year-over-year decline of more than 8%. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) topped new listing activity by 871 units. Brokers reported 7,388 pending sales last month, a 2.3% decline from the same month a year ago.

At the end of January, the MLS database totaled only 7,791 active listings of single family homes and condos, well-below the year-ago figure of 11,687 (down 33.3%). A check of records dating to 2005 shows the selection is at a new low level, shrinking below the previous low of 7,921 reported for February 2018. In fact, for the 15 year span from 2005-2019 (180 months), inventory has dipped below 10,000 listings during only eight of those months.

Measured by months of supply (the ratio of active listings to closed sales), there was 1.54 months of inventory system-wide at the end of January. The selection was even more meager around Puget Sound, ranging from 1.1 months in Pierce County to about 1.3 months in King County.

Northwest MLS members tallied 5,074 closed sales during January for a 4.3% increase from the year-ago total of 4,865. Median prices jumped 10.7% from a year ago. Last month’s sales of single family homes and condominiums area-wide had a median price of $422,750. That compares to a price of $381,900 for the same month a year ago.

King County, where January’s median selling price was $589,950, reported one of the more modest year-over-year gains at 4.4%. Other counties around Puget Sound reported double-digit increases, ranging from 11.8% in Kitsap County to 15.3% in Mason County.

Source: NWMLS 2/6/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2019

December posted a record finish to a year and a decade, with a year-over-year increase in home sales of 13.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. That was the highest increase of any month in 2019, and the highest for the month of December since 2009.

Also posting a record for 2019 was the inventory decline of 14.5% year-over-year, accompanied by corresponding drops in Months Supply of Inventory – 3.3 vs. 4.8 a year earlier – and Days on Market – 54 compared to 55 a year ago.

Year-over-year, sales were up five months in 2019, with the majority occurring in the back half of the year. Inventory, meanwhile, grew year-over-year in each of the first six months, then shrunk in each of the last six months.

The Median Sales Price of $266,000 was 11.1% higher than December 2018 and the highest year-over-year increase for any month of 2019.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for December 2019

Newly-released figures from Northwest MLS show inventory at the end of December was down 31% from the same month a year ago, with only 8,469 active listings compared to the year-ago total of 12,275. The figures include single family homes and condominiums across the 23 counties in the MLS service area.

Inventory for single family homes and condos (combined) was down by more than 30% in seven counties: Thurston (-54%), Pierce (-38.9%), King (-38.8%), Snohomish (-35.6%), Mason (-32%), Kitsap (-30.6%), and Skagit (-30.5%).  System-wide there is only about 1.2 months of supply.

December’s volume of active listings included 3,777 new listings added during the month, but during the same time frame, 5,943 sellers accepted offers on their properties. That number of pending sales was up about 4.7% from twelve months ago.

Northwest MLS member-brokers recorded 7,093 completed transactions during December, a gain of more than 11% from the 6,374 closed sales of the same month a year ago. Prices on last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condos rose 8.75% from a year ago. For the MLS market overall the price was $435,000 versus the year-ago figure of $400,000.

For the four-county Puget Sound region (encompassing King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties), the median sales price for December’s closed sales was $495,000, up 10% from the year-ago figure of $449,950.

Source: NWMLS 1/6/20

RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2019

Tight Inventory Accelerates Sales,
Pushes Up Median Sales Price

A fifth straight month of shrinking inventory year-over-year triggered several November records in the 11-year history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report: fewest Days on Market at 49, fewest Months Supply of Inventory at 3.3, and the highest Median Sales Price at $257,000.

In the 54 metro areas covered by the report, November home sales overall averaged 1.0% below November 2018 following significant year-over-year increases in September and October. Thus far, four months of 2019 posted year-over-year sales increases and seven, including November, have seen declines. Three of the monthly declines, however, were less than 2% below 2018 sales levels.

The November Median Sales Price of $257,000 marked a 7.9% year-over-year increase. It was the third-highest year-over-year increase thus far in 2019.  While prices declined month-to-month from June through September, price appreciation began to accelerate in October and the November Median Sales Price topped October by 0.7%. November prices have topped October’s for nine consecutive years, dating back to 2011.

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