RE/MAX National Housing Report for April 2022

Screenshot 2022-05-22 193303

Competitive Spring Market Greets Buyers
and Sellers with More Listings, Higher Prices

Signaling a flattening of the seasonal spring ramp-up, April 2022 home sales increased less than 1% over March – and dropped 12.8% year over year – across the report’s 53 metro areas. That, coupled with an 11.5% increase in new listings from March to April, resulted in a 24.0% surge in inventory month to month.

The Median Sales Price of $420,000 was up 3.4% over March and 15.1% over April 2021. And home offers grew more competitive. For example, average sale to list price ratio measures how close homes are selling to their asking price and in April, the average sale to list price ratio was 104% of the list price, compared to 103% in March and 101% in April 2021.

Though up 24.0% month over month, active inventory was down 10.4% from a year ago, driven in part by a 7.4% decline in new listings year over year.  Months Supply of Inventory increased from 0.7 in March to 0.8 in April. A year ago, Months Supply of Inventory was 1.0.

Homes spent an average of 26 days on the market in April – five days less than March, and two days less than a year ago.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for April 2022

marketsnapshot 04-22

Rising interest rates and inflation, coupled with slight improvement in inventory, may bring some normalcy to Western Washington’s frenzied housing market suggest some brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Last month’s sales of single family homes and condominiums across 26 counties in the report had a list price to sales price ratio of 107.8%, which was down from March when it reached a 12-month peak of 108.2%. A year ago, the ratio was 106.6%.

Member-brokers added 11,681 new listings of single family homes and condos during April, the highest number since last July when 12,916 listings were added. Only two counties, King and Jefferson, had year-over-year drops in inventory.

At month end, the selection of homes and condos in the database totaled 6,514, the highest level since September 2021 when there were 7,757 total active listings.

Notably, the number of new listings (11,681) surpassed the number of pending sales (9,760), to help boost inventory. Pending sales were down about 7.8% from a year ago and down 3% from March.

Commenting on April’s improvement in total inventory compared to a year ago, James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, suggested “This is evidence that interest rates are having a cooling effect on some parts of the suburban market and along the I-5 corridor.”

Area-wide prices for single family home sales (excluding condos) in King County also increased, climbing nearly 20% from a year ago, from $830,000 to $995,000.

Closed sales of homes and condos slid from year ago, from 8,791 to 8,344 for a drop of around 5.1%.

“We are starting to see signs of impact from the significant rise in mortgage rates earlier this year, such as an increase in active listings and months of inventory creeping higher, but the full impact will likely not be felt for a few months,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate.

Commenting on growing inventory of single family homes (up 27% from a year earlier), Young suggested higher priced homes requiring a mortgage “are feeling some heat from recent interest rates.”

The NWMLS report shows there was about three weeks (.78 months) of inventory of single family homes and condos combined at the end of April. By this metric, that is the highest level in nearly 18 months. MLS data show there was .80 months of supply in October 2020.

Despite the improving inventory, and in spite of rising interest rates, brokers report brisk activity and are not seeing prices ease much.

“One thing that has not been impacted by rising financing costs is home price growth,” Gardner said, pointing to double-digit gains in nearly every county, “including a whopping 27% in Snohomish County, the highest by far in the four-county Puget Sound region.”

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Source: NWMLS 5/5/2022

RE/MAX National Housing Report for February 2022

NHR 02-22

Home Prices Rise 3%, Closings Dip 1%
Ahead of Anticipated Spring Surge

February home sales dipped nearly 1% from January, potentially setting the stage for what is typically the year’s biggest month-over-month ramp-up in sales as March typically is considered the start of the spring home-selling season. And while the number of homes on the market remained at record lows, February’s month-over-month decline in inventory of 6.8% was the smallest such decrease in five months.

At the same time, home prices across the report’s 51 metro areas started to move upward again after experiencing no such increase in January and four small monthly declines in the second half of 2021. February’s Median Sales Price of $345,000 – the highest in report history – was three percent higher than January’s and 17.3% above a year ago. Only three months in 2021 – March (4.5%), April (5.9%) and June (4.9%) – saw prices increase at a higher rate.

Despite declining 4.7% year-over-year, February’s slight month-over-month drop in sales of 0.9% was in sharp contrast to an average increase of 4.4% from January to February over the past five years (2017-2021). Currently underway, March home sales typically produce the largest monthly increase in closings each year. From 2015-2019, sales rose an average of 35% month over month from February to March, while the second-highest average month-over-month increase was just 14% from April to May.

Inventory declined 6.8% from January to February following double-digit declines the previous four months and was down 28.9% from February of 2021. Months Supply of Inventory dropped to 1.2, compared to 1.3 in January and 1.8 a year ago.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for February 2022

NWMLS 02-22

Multiple offers “the norm” for home buyers, but may ease with uptick in listings

Multiple offer situations are the norm for today’s home buyers, but some brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service suggest February’s improving inventory and a slowing pace of price increases may ease some of the competitive pressures.

Commenting on the latest statistical report from Northwest MLS, representatives of the service expressed optimism for the housing market as pandemic-related restrictions ease, but also uncertainty due to the global economic crisis around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Northwest MLS brokers added 7,920 new listings to inventory during February, a 6.8% improvement from a year ago, and a gain of more than 33% from January’s total of 5,927. Pent-up demand led to big month-over-month gains in pending sales and more shrinkage in overall supply.

Sellers system-wide accepted 7,697 offers on their homes during February, about the same number (7,724) as a year ago, but a 21% jump from January’s volume of pending sales (6,350). Fourteen of the 26 counties in the MLS report had fewer pending sales than a year ago, a likely consequence of tight supply.

Closed sales also reflected 2022’s slower start compared to a year ago. Member-brokers logged 5,147 closed sales during February, a drop of 665 units (down 11.4%) from a year ago. This year’s volume of completed transactions through February is lagging year-ago totals by 12.6%.

Prices continue to trend upward. The area-wide median price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $585,000, up 14.3% from a year ago, and up 5.4% from January.

Prices for single family homes (excluding condos) rose at a smaller rate, about 12.2%, increasing from $535,000 a year ago to $600,000 last month.

Industry analysts believe conditions will probably continue to favor sellers.

At the end of February, there were 3,461 total active listings in the MLS database, up from January’s total of 3,092 for a gain of nearly 12%, but down about 19.5% from twelve months ago when inventory included 4,298 listings of single family homes and condominiums.

Measured by months of supply, there was about 19 days (0.67 months) at the end of February. That was the highest level since September 2021 when the MLS reported 0.75 months of supply.

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Source: NWMLS 3/7/2022

RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2022

NHR 01-22

Prices Remain Steady as Home Sales Decline Seasonally and Inventory Stays Low

January home sales dropped 31.4% from December’s total – a decrease slightly more than the seasonal norm – as inventory shrank for the sixth consecutive month. Year over year, sales were down 5.3% from January 2021.

A December-to-January decline in home sales is typical and expected. In the past five years (2017-2021), the average drop in home sales between the two months was 28.0%.

Across the 51 metro areas in the report, the Median Sales Price remained steady as January was the second month in a row of little-to-no month-over-month price increase. January’s Median Sales Price equaled December’s $335,000, which was only $5,000 below the report’s all-time high of $340,000 set in October 2021. However, year-over year price increases remain steep as January’s price was 15.9% higher than a year ago.

Inventory remains historically low. November, December and January have each reset the mark for lowest inventory (in terms of units) in the last five years. Similarly, January’s 1.2 Months Supply of Inventory matched the low reached in May 2021. There were 1.9 months supply of inventory a year ago.

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Spokane Association of Realtors® Home Sales Report for January 2022

Source: SAR MLS 2/22

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for January 2022

marketsnapshot

Northwest MLS brokers see signs of busy spring market despite slow January

A frigid first week of January, surges in coronavirus cases, and depleted inventory were among factors brokers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service cited for last month’s slower than year-ago sales.

In newly released statistics for January, the MLS reported 6,350 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during January, about 1,000 fewer the same month a year ago for a drop of 14%. The year-over-year (YOY) number of closed sales also fell, dropping from 5,896 completed transactions to 5,085 for a decline of nearly 13.8%).

Broker-members added 5,927 new listings during January, nearly 1,000 fewer than the same month a year ago, but an improvement on December’s volume of 4,617. Only five counties reported YOY gains in new listings.

Last month’s pending sales outgained new listings to further shrink inventory. At month end the selection included a meager 3,092 active listings, down more than 30% from a year ago. There is about 2.5 weeks of supply (0.61 months) across the 26 counties served by Northwest MLS.

King County had the steepest drop in active listings, shrinking nearly 59% from a year ago, followed by Jefferson County, down 40%, and Snohomish County, down more than 35%.

A comparison of counties in the listing service report shows only about half of them have more than one month of supply, and these areas tend to be in more rural areas. King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties all have less than two weeks of supply. Kitsap County is slightly better with 0.58 months.

Last month’s prices were up nearly 14.9% from a year ago, climbing from $483,250 to $555,000. Five counties reported price gains of 30% or more, led by Okanogan at 46.3%. Other counties with price increases of at least 30% were Chelan, Kittitas, Pacific, and San Juan.

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Source: NWMLS 2/7/2022

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

marketsnapshot

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