Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for March 2021

Bidding wars, escalating prices and buyer fatigue are widespread

Brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) added 10,562 new listings to inventory during March — the highest volume since September when they added 11,210 properties to the selection. Even so, demand continued to outstrip supply, keeping inventory depleted.

The latest statistical summary from Northwest MLS shows double-digit price hikes were widespread across the 26 counties included in the report for the month of March.

Brokers logged 10,863 pending sales last month. That volume of mutually accepted offers marked a 22.3% increase from a year ago and a 40.6% surge compared to February.

Median prices system-wide surged 19.5% compared to a year ago. The median price for the 7,803 sales that closed during March was $548,199; a year ago it was $458,900. Prices rose in every county served by NWMLS, with seven counties reporting YOY price hikes of 25% or more.

Area-wide, NWMLS figures show there is only about two weeks of inventory (0.53 months of supply) of single family homes and condominiums. Only six counties have more than one month of supply. The supply of single family homes is even more depleted (0.47 months), Condo buyers fare slightly better with 0.86 months of supply. With demand outstripping supply, prices tend to rise.

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Source: NWMLS 4/7/21

RE/MAX National Housing Report for February 2021

NHR 02-21

Prices Rise, Inventory Falls
but Sales Stay High as Spring Approaches

The median home price reached $291,000 in February – the highest in the 13-year history of the report – while sales set a new high for the month and inventory continued to drop to record lows.

The record February home sales were up 5.7% year over year, but the increase over January was flat at 0.3%. The February-over-January average for the previous five years has been 5.4% in the ramp-up toward the seasonally higher sales of spring.

The Median Sales Price across the report’s 53 metro areas topped the previous high of $290,000 reached in August and tied in October and December during last year’s housing surge. In February of last year, the Median Sales Price was $260,000.

At the same time, February’s Months Supply of Inventory was down 11.9% from January’s and 42% year-over-year, as buyers continued to close on properties in greater numbers than sellers opted to list their homes. Inventory has declined month over month for 20 of the past 21 months.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for February 2021

Housing activity during February remained hot around much of Washington state despite significant accumulation of lowland snow over the Valentine’s Day weekend, according to the latest statistical report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Northwest MLS figures show brokers added a similar number of new listings of single family homes and condos last month (7,418) as a year ago (7,786), for a difference of 368 properties (down 4.7%). For residential units (excluding condos), there was a 6.8% year-over-year (YOY) drop.

Total active listings of single family homes declined nearly 44% from a year ago. The selection of single family homes fell more than 51% while condo inventory rose 7.9%.

There are only about three weeks of supply (0.74 months) of inventory in the MLS database, which covers 26 counties. For residential only (excluding condos), the shortage is more pronounced at only 0.67 months’ supply.

Condominium shoppers will find somewhat more selection, with inventory up 7.93% from a year ago, and more than a month of supply (1.12 months).

Despite rates edging up and inclement weather during much of February, eight counties in the Northwest MLS report showed year-over-year gains in pending sales: Adams, Douglas, Grant, Kitsap, Lewis, Pacific, San Juan, and Walla Walla.

System-wide, there were 7,724 pending sales in February, a YOY drop of 7.5%, but compared to January when brokers reported 7,394 sales, the pending volume increased 4.5%.

Northwest MLS member-brokers reported 5,812 closed sales during February for a 10.4% increase over the year-ago total of 5,265 closings. The median price on last month’s completed sales jumped more than 15% from a year ago, increasing from $445,000 to $512,000. Twenty of the 26 counties in the report showed double-digit YOY price gains.

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Source: NWMLS 3/4/21

 

RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2021

Sales Approach Pre-COVID Rate of Increase While Inventory and Days on Market Dwindle

  • Home Sales increased 13.5% over January 2020
  • Inventory decreased 35.7% to 1.7 months supply (a balanced market is 4-6 months)
  • Average Days on Market was 40, compared to 59 last year
  • Median Sale Price was $285,000, an increase of 11.8% over January 2020

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for January 2021

The NWMLS report covering 26 counties, shows a Year Over Year increase in new listings of single family homes and condos (up about 5.5%) and a jump of more than 16% in closed sales, rising from 5,074 transactions to 5,896. The median price for last month’s sales ($483,250) surged 14.3% from the year-ago figure of $422,750. Pending sales grew slightly from last year (less than 1%) but were up 7.4% from December.

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Source: NWMLS 2/4/21

Housing Experts Expect Post-Pandemic Rebound

Spokane-Spokane Valley is expected to be a “top 10” market during and in a post-COVID environment, according to the National Association of Realtors®, which made the prediction as part of last month’s second annual Real Estate Forecast Summit. It was the only area within Washington state to make the list.

In addition to demonstrated resilience, NAR considered a variety of indicators deemed to be influential for a metro area’s recovery and growth prospects. The factors for the “top 10” list included unemployment rate; net domestic migration, including movers from expensive West Coast areas; share of workers in retail trade, leisure and hospitality industries; mobility to retail and leisure places; and the fraction of the workforce working from home.

“Some markets have been performing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic and they’ll likely carry that momentum well into 2021 and beyond because of strong in-migration of new residents, faster local job market recoveries and environments conducive to work-from-home arrangements and other factors,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist and senior vice president of research.

Housing experts tended to be optimistic about a post-pandemic rebound, citing improving conditions for jobs and stable interest rates as key reasons.

More than 20 leading economic and housing experts participated in the summit, which was held virtually. Among their predictions they expect GDP growth of 3.5% and an annual unemployment rate of 6.2% this year. The forecasters believe the unemployment rate will decline to 5.0% in 2022.

Yun said another 9.8 million more jobs are needed to match the prior peak.

Housing prices are expected to rise 8.0% during 2021 and 5.5% the following year, while 30-year fixed mortgage rates are projected to be 3.0% this year and increase to 3.25% in 2022.

The panels of prognosticators also anticipate:

  • Housing starts will total 1.5 million this year and 1.59 million in 2022.
  • The share of U.S. workforce working from home will shrink from 21% in 2020 to 18% this year; by 2022, it is expected to shrink to 12%.
  • Small declines in office and hotel vacancy rates in 2021, but a slight improvement in retail vacancies.

An overwhelming 90% of the experts surveyed expect the Federal Open Market Committee will make no change in the current federal funds rate of 0% during 2021. For 2022, a rate increase of 0.25% is predicted.

“It is an understatement to say the year 2020 has been filled with challenges and full of surprises,” said Yun. “Yet, one astonishing development has been the hot housing market as consumers eyed record-low mortgage rates and reconsidered what a home should be in a new economy with flexible work-from-home schedules.”

In his presentation, Yun said the months supply of inventory is at an all-time low.

In 2020, home sales will reach 5.52 million, the highest annual mark since 2006, with the median home price setting a record high of $293,000, according to NAR.

“Overall, residential real estate will continue to be an important driver of our nation’s economic recovery and the activity in these markets will help lead the way,” stated NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

The 2020 NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit consensus forecasts are compiled as the median of the responses of 23 economic and housing market experts who participated during the 2019 and 2020 summits. The survey was conducted from November 19 through December 4, 2020.

[Source: Seattle King County REALTORS® NW Reporter]

RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2020

Strong December Home Sales,
Big Second Half of 2020
Set the Stage for Potentially Historic 2021

December home sales increased 6.2% over November and 21.9% year-over-year, capping a record-breaking second half of 2020 that set new overall monthly benchmarks for most sales, highest price, lowest inventory and quickest closings.

Although December is typically a month with fewer sales, December 2020 ranked 5th in highest number of home sales for the year – and its sales exceeded all but two months of 2019.

Down 17.9% from November 2020 and 33.0% from December 2019, December 2020 established a record low for inventory in the 13-year history of the report. It also set multiple new December records:

• Average Days on Market of 37, over two weeks less than the 53 days a year ago.
• Median Sales Price of $290,000 – up 9.4% year-over-year.
• Months of Supply of Inventory at 1.8, which was less than half of December 2019’s 3.9.

After the pandemic’s initial impact on the housing market last spring and early summer, 2020 ultimately posted a number of highlights in the report’s history:

• Home Sales: 5 of the top 10 months of sales since 2008 occurred in 2020 – July (the new record), August, September, October and December
• Inventory: 7 of the top 10 months with the lowest inventory; August through December became the five lowest months in report history, with each month’s inventory lower than the previous month’s
• Days on Market: 5 of the top 10 months with the report’s fewest Days on Market; September through December comprise the four months with the fastest average time for listing to sale
• Median Sales Price: 9 of the top 10 months with the highest Median Sales Price; at $290,000, August, November and December tied with the highest mark in report history

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for December 2020

“Extraordinary market conditions” sustain strong home sales around Washington State during holidays

“Insatiable buyer demand” is keeping inventory scarce as house hunters try to outmaneuver and outbid each other, according to reports from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Its statistical summary for December showed strong activity throughout the holiday season with double-digit increases in new listings, pending sales, closed sales, and prices.

Northwest MLS brokers added 5,260 new listings to inventory during December, a hefty 39.3% increase over the same month a year ago. Last month’s additions fell short of meeting demand as members reported 6,883 pending sales (mutually accepted offers). That number surpassed the year-ago volume by 940 transactions for an increase of 15.8%.

At month end, there were 4,732 total active listings system-wide in the MLS database, which encompasses 25 counties. That’s down 44% from a year ago when the selection included 8,469 listings. Measured by months of inventory, there is only about two weeks of supply (0.53 months) overall. Only five counties had more than a month of supply, well below the four-to-six months of supply used by housing analysts as a gauge of a balanced market.

Home prices continue to rise. For the 9,008 sales of single family homes and condos that closed last month, prices jumped nearly 12.2% from a year ago, increasing from $435,000 to $488,000.

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Source: NWMLS 1/6/21

RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2020

Monthly Home Sales Up
Nearly 20 Percent from a Year Ago

The housing market continued its extraordinary half-year run of high activity, with November 2020 home sales up almost 20% over November 2019 – establishing a new high for the month in the 13-year history of the report.

November did experience the normal seasonal decline from October, with home sales decreasing 14.5% month-to-month, but that drop was in line with the 12% average of the past five years. In fact, November 2020 broke several records for the RE/MAX National Housing Report, and inventory reached its lowest point since the report debuted in 2008.

In addition to Home Sales that eclipsed the previous high for November, set in 2017, new November records reflecting averages across 52 U.S. markets included:

  • The Median Sales Price of $292,000 was up 13.8% from November 2019
  • Days on Market was a mere 36 – down nearly two weeks from last year’s 49
  • Months Supply of Inventory totaled 1.8 – only slightly more than the report record low of 1.7 set in August

Home sales continued to far outnumber new listings. November was the fourth consecutive month of 2020 to set a new report record for fewest listings.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for November 2020

Northwest MLS brokers say real estate activity across Washington remains strong

Some real estate brokers expect the competition for homes to ease somewhat over the holidays, but the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service indicate activity is unusually strong heading into December.

The Northwest MLS report summarizing November activity shows strong year-over-year (YOY) increases in closed sales (up about 23%) and prices (up 13.8%). Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) rose 7.9% from a year ago, and the year’s saga of depleted inventory continued last month with the number of total listings down nearly 43%.

While overall inventory is down, a comparison of counties shows a wide range of deficits, according to NWMLS data. Perhaps surprisingly, King County’s supply declined “only” about 18% from a year ago, while five counties (Clallam, Clark, Island, Mason, and Snohomish) reported drops of at least 63%. A closer look at the MLS report for all counties shows the shortages are most acute for single family homes (off 50.6% area-wide), while the condo supply improved (up 7.1%). Thirteen of the 23 counties in the MLS report had less than one month of supply at month end. Overall, there was about three weeks (0.73) of inventory at the end of November, well below the four-to-six months many analysts use as a gauge of a balanced market.

One indicator of brisk activity is the ratio of pending sales to new listings. November’s 8,584 pending sales outgained the month’s new listings, which totaled 6,425 area-wide, continuing a pattern reported during much of the year. New listings surpassed pending sales during only two months (March and April) this year, resulting in the depleted supply of active listings. Brokers reported 6,505 total active listings at the end of November, down from the year-ago total of 11,366. Supply was at the lowest level since February.

Prices on last month’s 8,875 closed sales were up nearly 14% from a year ago, rising from $434,900 to $495,000. Seventeen of the 23 counties in the report had double-digit price gains compared to a year ago.

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Source: NWMLS 12/7/20