RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2021

NHR 12-21

Strong December Caps 2021 As Busiest Home-Buying Year in Report History

Near-record December home sales cemented 2021 as the busiest year for home buying in the 14-year history of the report, while also setting records for smallest inventory and highest average home prices. On an annual basis, 2021 finished with nearly 10% more home sales than the previous record year of 2020.

Across the 51 metro areas in the report, December 2021 home sales were the second highest for the month in report history, trailing only December 2020. Despite the strength in home sales, December sales defied recent month-over-month moves. December 2021 home sales were actually down 0.8% from November, which had an unusually high total. In contrast, the November-to-December average change for the five-year period from 2015-2019 was an increase of 3.5%.

December home transactions could have been even stronger had it not been for record-low inventory. The year 2021 ended with the smallest number of homes for sale in the 14-year history of the report. December inventory dropped 23.6% from November – the previous record low – and 33.3% year over year. The 10 months with the lowest inventory in report history all occurred in 2021.

December’s 1.2 Months Supply of Inventory was an all-time low and tied the report record set in May 2021. There were two months supply of inventory a year ago. Homes spent an average of 31 days on the market in December – two more than November, but seven less than a year ago.

At the same time, December’s Median Sales Price of $335,000 was up 1.4% over November and 11.5% year over year. The November-to-December increase is slightly higher than the 1.2% average for the five-year period from 2015-2019. While the highest average sale price of the year typically is reached in early or mid-summer, October’s $340,000 was the highest in 2021 and in report history.

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Spokane Association of Realtors® Home Sales Report for December 2021

The Spokane market continues a sales pace similar to last year and to have more demand than supply, however inventory is beginning to see modest growth.

Source: SAR MLS 1/22

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for December 2021

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Northwest MLS brokers end 2021 with depleted inventory, rising prices, weather disruptions

Severe shortages of inventory, record-low temperatures and snow restrained December housing activity around Washington state beyond expected seasonal slowdowns, according to a new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Summary statistics from the MLS show the volume of new listings added area-wide dropped 12.3% during December compared with the same month a year earlier. Year-over-year inventory, pending sales, and closed sales all fell by double digits. Only prices rose – up 17.4% overall for homes and condominiums that sold across the 26 counties in the report.

The median price for last month’s closed sales was $572,900, up from twelve months ago when it was $488,000. Prices for single family homes (excluding condos) surged nearly 17.5%, from $502,247 to $590,000. King County was one of only three counties where the single family price change was under 10%; prices there rose from $740,000 to $810,000. A dozen counties had price jumps of 20% or more.

Northwest MLS brokers reported 8,017 closed sales last month, a drop of nearly 1,000 transactions from the year-ago total of 9,008. Eleven counties had double-digit declines, including King (down 16.3%) and Snohomish (down 17.6%). October was the only other month during 2021 when year-over-year sales fell.

Despite hurdles (including pandemic-related), Northwest MLS brokers tallied 107,354 closed sales during 2021, an increase 12.1% from the previous year when they notched 95,760 closings.

Even though the number of pending sales, at 5,850 overall, declined more than 15% from a year ago, they far outstripped the number of new listings (4,617), contributing to the meager month end inventory. In fact, a search of NWMLS records going back a decade indicates the 3,240 active listings of homes and condos area-wide is the first time the selection has dipped below 4,000 listings. A year ago, buyers could choose from 4,739 active listings while in November there were 4,621 properties in the MLS database.

Stated another way, there was less than two weeks of supply (0.40) at month end. Inventory was even more sparse in seven counties, with Snohomish having the most acute shortage at 0.20 months. Other counties that fell below 0.40 months were Clark (0.26), King (0.27), Island (0.29), Pierce (0.32), Thurston (0.31) and Kitsap (0.38).

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Source: NWMLS 1/6/2022

RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2021

NHR 11-21

Median Price Drops 3% Amid Seasonally Cooling
Home Sales and Record Low Inventory

The historically strong housing market continued to surge forward in November, as buyers gobbled up available homes seemingly as soon as they hit the market. Buyers finally saw some welcome relief on prices, with November’s Median Sales Price dropping 2.9% to $330,000 – the largest monthly decline since the pandemic began. And home sales declined only 4.9% from October, far less than the normal seasonal decrease of 12.0% this time of year. Adding to the complex conditions, the number of homes for sale fell to a new low in the 14-year history of the report, declining 17.7% from October.

Overall, November generally followed seasonal trends while at the same time setting records for the month of November in almost every category, such as the fewest average number of days homes were listed before selling. While November’s average of 29 days was two more than October’s, it was only the sixth month in report history with an average below 30. All six months have occurred consecutively, starting with June 2021.

November’s Median Sales Price across the report’s 51 metro areas dropped $10,000 below October’s $340,000, falling 2.9%. That was the largest month-to-month drop since January 2020, when the median price declined 3.4%. And while price drops are typical in January, they are unusual in November. Based on report averages for the five-year period from 2015-2019 (excluding 2020 because of pandemic impacts), the median November price rose an average of 0.9%.

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Spokane Association of Realtors® Home Sales Report for November 2021

The Spokane market continues a sales pace similar to last year and to have more demand than supply, however inventory is beginning to see modest growth.

Source: SAR MLS 12/21

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for November 2021

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Northwest MLS brokers not seeing much seasonal slowdown, say buyers still need to be bold

Historically soggy weather and the onset of holidays did not deter thousands of buyers and sellers during November, based on the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Numbers for new listings, pending sales, and closed sales were comparable to year-ago totals, while prices rose a little more than 15%.

Northwest MLS figures show 8,571 pending sales across 26 counties last month, nearly matching the year-ago total of 8,584 mutually accepted offers. The 8,976 closed sales marked a slight improvement on twelve months ago when MLS members tallied 8,875 completed transactions (up 1.14%).

Twenty of the 26 counties in the NWMLS report added more new listings during November than a year ago, but with demand outstripping supply, inventory was meager in many areas.

Area-wide, there were 4,621 active listings of single-family homes and condominiums at month end, down nearly 29% from a year ago when there were 6,505 listings. The selection at month end amounted to about two weeks of supply (0.51 months). Five counties had even less supply: Snohomish (0.24 months), Thurston (0.35) King (0.38 months), Clark (0.39) and Pierce (0.44 months).

The Northwest MLS report shows prices within Seattle are essentially the same as a year ago: $765,000 for November’s closed sales, compared to the year ago figure of $760,000. Elsewhere, for example, for the Eastside and Southeast King County map areas, prices jumped more than 26% from a year ago.

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Source: NWMLS 12/6/21

Spokane Association of Realtors® Home Sales Report for October 2021


The Spokane market continues a sales pace similar to last year and to have more demand than supply, however inventory is beginning to see modest growth.

Source: SAR MLS 11/21

RE/MAX National Housing Report for October 2021

NHR 10-21

October Homes Sales See Atypical Drop,
Squeezed by High Median Price,
Record-Low Inventory

Pinched between a steep median sales price of $336,000 and record low inventory, October home sales tumbled 6.4% from September – almost double the typical seasonal decline. September had near-record sales, which also contributed to the steepness of the month-over-month sales decrease.

October’s inventory dropped 12.7% from September to the fifth-lowest level in the report’s 14-year history, and October’s 1.3 Months Supply of Inventory tied for second lowest in report history, alongside July and August of this year.

September-to-October averages for 2015-2019 illustrate what’s typical in the fall. With just two months of home sales remaining, the fall of 2021 is mirroring seasonal norms in many ways, unlike 2020, but the lack of inventory amid strong demand is exacerbating those moves. For example, the drop in home sales of 6.4% from September was nearly twice the 2015-2019 average decline of 3.3%. Year over year, sales were down 10.2%.

Also, reflecting both the number of homes coming on the market and the speed of sales, the 12.7% month-over-month drop in active inventory was more than double the 2015-2019 September-to-October average decline of 5.3%. Inventory was down 28% year-over-year and has declined month over month in all but June and July this year.

One exception is the Median Sales Price, which rose 0.8% from September, in contrast to the average September-to-October drop of 1.3% in 2015-2019. The Median Sales Price is up 11.8% over October 2020. October’s Median Sales Price of $336,000 tied the record set in June 2021. Home prices have now increased year over year for 34 consecutive months.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for October 2021

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Buyer hesitancy sidelines some, while
others compete for scarce housing inventory

Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers are detecting indecisiveness by some buyers who are getting mixed “work from home” messages from their employers. The hesitancy, coupled with cooler, wetter weather and increases in mortgage rates were likely factors in slower listing and sales activity during October.

Northwest MLS brokers reported 10,620 pending sales last month, a drop of 3.8% from a year ago and a decline of 6.2% from September. Pending sales volume fell in 13 of the 26 counties in the MLS report, but tight inventory could be hampering the ability of buyers to find their dream home.

The latest report shows there were 9,983 closed sales during October. That was 823 fewer completed transactions than a year ago (down 7.6%) and 306 fewer than September (down about 3%).

House hunters were able to select from 9,219 new listings MLS added to inventory last month. That was 1,209 fewer than the same month a year ago for a drop of 11.6%. Compared to September, new listing activity shrunk nearly 19%.

At month end, there were 6,588 active listings in inventory, down 23.6% compared to a year ago, and the smallest selection since June, but the selection improved by double digits in eleven counties.

Measured by months of supply, there was less than three weeks of supply area-wide (0.66). Eleven counties, including eight in the Puget Sound region, had less than one a month of supply.

Would-be buyers will find prices for single family homes and condos are 15% higher than a year ago, with most counties reporting double-digit gains. Area-wide, the price for last month’s closed sales was $575,000, which was $75,000 higher than twelve months ago. For single family homes (excluding condos), prices rose 16.3% YOY, rising from $515,000 to $599,000. Condo prices were up about 11.3%, increasing from $395,000 to $439,475.

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Source: NWMLS 11/4/21

RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2021

NHR 09-21

September Home Sales Down Slightly as Inventory Challenges Persist

With three-quarters of the year complete, 2021 is mirroring seasonal norms, unlike 2020, but maintaining strong momentum. September home sales dropped 7.0% from August’s total and the Median Sales Price slipped 1.1% to $329,000 – both far less than the typical drop-offs as summer gives way to fall.

With abnormally high second-half home sales in 2020 skewing year-over-year comparisons, August-to-September averages for 2015-2019 illustrate what’s typical in late summer-early fall:

• The drop in home sales of 7.0% from August was less than half of the 2015-2019 average decline of 15.3%. Year over year, sales were down 4.2%.
• The month-over-month Median Sales Price decline of 1.1% was one-third of the 2015-2019 average August-to-September drop of 3.4%. Year over year, the Median Sales Price is up 12.5%, with September being the fourth highest in report history. Home prices have increased year over year for 33 consecutive months.
• Reflecting both the number of homes coming on the market and the velocity of sales, the 4.9% month-over-month drop in active inventory was more than double the 2015-2019 average August-to-September decline of 2.3%. Inventory was down 23.6% year-over-year. Nine months into 2021, inventory has declined month over month in all but June and July.

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