Real Estate Activity in Washington Remains Strong
While real estate activity usually slows down during the holiday season, it is safe to say that 2020 has been anything but ordinary. As we near the end of the year, the data collected by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows the unusually high levels of activity.
The report summarizing November activity revealed that closed sales increased about 24% from the same month in 2019. Prices are up as well, 13.8%, along with pending sales which increased 7.9%. There is no great news on the inventory front, as number of total listings was down 43% from November of last year.
While the inventory is low, there appears to be evenly distributed through various price ranges. About 25% of the listings in the surveyed counties was priced under $400,000. Just over 24% of total listings in the 23 counties where the NWMLS is present were in the $400,000-$600,000 range. The higher end is also well represented, with 21% of all active listings in November having an asking price of over $1 million.
The supply of listings, while low, is not the same in all counties. While five of them (Clallam, Clark, Island, Mason and Snohomish) have reported incredible drops of at least 63% year-over-year, King County’s supply is “merely” 18% lower. In addition, it is mainly single-family homes that are suffering from the biggest shortages – about 50.6% area-wide. Meanwhile condo supply has gone up 7.1% in the counties surveyed. Overall, there was only three weeks’ worth of inventory at the end of last month, far from the four to six months many believe is needed for a market to be balanced.
While single family home inventory remains low, many buyers are turning to condominiums in a bid to become homeowners. In King County condo listings are 39% higher year over year and in Seattle alone prices rose about 8.7% from last year. System-wide sales of condominiums went up 34% overall and the prices increased about 11%.
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