NWMLS Press Release, July 3, 2014: No Summer Slowdown Expected – Brisk Activity Reported

MC900432680Activity in the Puget Sound Region’s housing market perked up during the month of June. Plus, robust growth in Seattle/King County employment numbers indicate brisk real estate activity will continue throughout the summer. In June, year-over-year gains were seen in several key indicators, including housing inventory, pending sales, closed sales and prices. Interest rates will be something to watch as we move deeper into summer. Per trends from previous years, interest rates have a tendency to notch up as summer draws to a close. Multiple offers on well priced homes is still a viable possibility, and investors are still major players, in the Puget Sound housing market. It’s also noteworthy that contingent offers were written, and accepted, at a marked increase during the month of June.

Below are excerpts of the July press release. To read the whole press release, please click here.

Listing activity perked up during June, but strong job growth in the Seattle/King County region has brokers predicting brisk sales with competitive bidding throughout the summer.

Figures just released by Northwest Multiple Listing Service for June activity show gains from a year ago on several key indicators, including inventory, pending sales, closed sales, and prices:

  • Brokers added 735 more new listings during June than during the same month a year ago, an increase of 6.8 percent;
  • Inventory (total active listings) rose 7.5 percent compared to twelve months ago;
  • Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) are up about 4.5 percent year-over-year;
  • Closed sales rose 3.3 percent from a year ago;
  • Prices for sales of single family homes and condominiums climbed 6.9 percent from same period last year, reaching the highest level since August 2008.

Supply, as measured by the ratio between listings and sales, remains tight across many of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS system. King County shows only 1.8 months of inventory, with Snohomish slightly better with about 2.8 months of supply. Area-wide, there is 3.35 months of inventory. Many industry experts consider 4-to-6 months to be the barometer for a balanced market.

Talking Points

  • New home starts and a higher demand for employees will help keep the outlook optimistic…
  • The market for homes priced at $1 million and up around Seattle is experiencing pending sales volume at levels not seen since 2007…
  • …investors paying all cash or with very large down payments are “still major players.”
  • … recent reports on the addition of 14,400 jobs in the tri-county area (more than any two month period since the beginning of 2007)…

Brokers reported 9,909 pending sales during June, outgaining a year ago by 425 transactions for an increase of nearly 4.5 percent. Ten counties reported double-digit increases. Last month’s pending sales, although up from 12 months ago, declined compared to May (down about 4.5 percent).

Low appraisals are still a concern as a potential deal-killer on some pending sales…June’s closed sales (completed transactions) climbed about 3.3 percent from a year ago. Brokers reported 7,558 closings during June, surpassing May’s mark by 371 transactions for a gain of nearly 5.2 percent.

The median price system-wide was just under $300,000 ($299,335), which represents an increase of more than 6.9 percent from a year ago. The last time the median price topped $300,000 for the overall area was August 2008 when it was $302,500.

King County continues to report the highest median price for single family homes and condos (combined) at $410,000. That’s up 7 percent from a year ago. For single family homes (excluding condos) the county-wide price jumped more than 6 percent compared to a year ago, rising from $427,500 to $453,500.

June 2014 4 county housing stats_Puget Sound Region

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

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