Real Estate Market Heats Up State-Wide
While the market in western Washington is not as hot as it has been in the previous years, things are certainly heating up as the temperatures rise, as evidenced by the statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
According to the newest report by the NWMLS, the number of pending sales across the 23 counties in Washington state is about the same as last year (12,168) indicating that the market activity levels are certainly higher than a month ago. In addition, the number of new listings and closed transactions has increased slightly from last year. There were 14,689 new listings added area-wide, a slight increase from 14,524 in May of 2018. Closed sales were up about 1.6% year-over-year.
The increase in activity we mentioned in our May blog certainly did not slow down, given favorable financing conditions and traditional selling season. While King County experienced the largest increase in total inventory, over 62% higher than last year, the inventory there is still below the two-month level, as it is in several other counties, which indicates that the market is still not quite balanced. The 23-county average was 1.76 months’ worth of inventory, well short of the 4-6 months of inventory required for a balanced market according to industry experts.
While the inventory increased area-wide, so did single family home prices. The median home sales price system-wide was $451,800, up from $429,500 in May of 2018 – a 5.2% increase. Four counties, including King, reported a drop in the median sales price. The largest decrease was in Okanogan county, where the prices dropped an astonishing 20%.
The inventory of condominiums has increased dramatically year over year – up almost 65%. The prices rose at a much smaller rate area-wide, up about 1.4% from May of 2018. The prices rose unevenly across the state – up 18% in Pierce county and a mere 0.7% increase in King county.
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