The market offers hope for homebuyers, but Northwest MLS brokers say it
may be temporary. Here’s what local real estate expert, Frank Hawkins of
Hawkins-Poe Real Estate, Fircrest WA, along with Northwest MLS experts see regarding the July market for potential buyers and sellers.
Homebuyers may find some good news in the latest report
from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). The
number of active listings at the end of June—6,358, reached
the highest level since November. The volume of new listings
added last month was the highest number in 17 months.
“Homebuyers are recognizing that between May and June
the number of listings in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties
rose, giving them more options to choose from and possibly
easing the pressure slightly,” remarked Frank Hawkins, President
of Hawkins-Poe. For the tri-county area, total active
listings of single-family homes and condominiums increased
14.5% from May. “These numbers are welcome news to
Home Buyers who need some relief.”
Industry analysts suggested the uptick in inventory might
be short-lived, citing vigorous activity as Washington state
lifts several coronavirus restrictions. “It is exciting to see the
Puget Sound Region at the top of national lists as one of the
hottest housing markets in the country,” stated Hawkins.
The latest report from Northwest MLS shows a year-overyear
(YOY) drop in active listings of more than 34%, with
only about two weeks of supply available areawide. Last
month marked the first time since July 2020 that the yearover-
year decline fell below 40%. Only 10 of the 26 counties
in the MLS report have more than one month of supply.
An analysis of last month’s statistics by price range illustrates
the point. Fewer than 23% of June’s listings had asking prices
under $400,000. About a third of the inventory was listed at
$800,000 or above.
James Young, Director of the Washington Center for Real
Estate Research at the University of Washington, said the
decline in active listings volume suggests homes are selling
and closing very quickly once listed. He noted that while listing
levels for June were higher than two years ago, pending
and closed sales are much higher. According to Young, “This
indicates that well-priced properties are closing very quickly.”
Brokers reported 10,923 completed transactions in June,
a 31.4% increase from 12 months ago, and up 16.5% from
May’s total of 9,374. Prices on last month’s sales, which
includes single-family homes and condominiums, rose nearly
27% from a year ago, from $465,000 to $589,000.
Due to high demand and very little inventory, “Sellers must
remember, they can’t underprice a home in this market, but
they can overprice their property. The market will find you
out and drive the price to the appropriate market value,”