Shortage of inventory creating anxiety amongst buyers
As the shortage of inventory continues state-wide, buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to win in multiple offer situations according to the latest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
October was quite a busy month, with a 16% increase in pending sales and a year over year uptick of almost 30% in closed sales. Meanwhile, the active listing levels last month were 40% lower than during the same month last year. The sales prices rose significantly as well – the median sales price of single-family homes and condominiums in October of 2020 was $500,000 – a staggering 19% higher than in October of 2019.
While more listings were added last month than during the same period last year, the pending sales surpassed that amount yet again. King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties continue to break records for the number of homes going under contract – 7,934 pending sales for the four-county region, according to the report. The previous high of 7,740 pending sales occurred in 2017.
The low levels of inventory continue to be the biggest concern – a staggering 14 counties in Washington state have less than one month of supply, driving prices up at double-digit rates. When looking at the sales of single-family homes as well as condos, prices rose by double digits in 21 of the 23 counties that make up the Multiple Listing Service area. The median sales price for condos and homes in King County was $685,000 while the median price for single family residences only was $745,000.
While many buyers choose to move away from city centers and into more affordable areas, luxury real estate is also breaking records. King, Kitsap and Snohomish tri-county area was home to over one thousand sales priced at $1 million or above – nearly doubling the previous record of 553 sales in 2019.
Meanwhile, condo buyers seem to be facing less pressure than those looking for single family homes. System-wide inventory is up about 5.4% compared to October 2019 – about 1.5 months’ worth of supply. Pending sales of condos are up about 35% and closings are up area wide – 1,414 in October of 2020, with only 950 during the same month last year. The median price of condos in King County (where about 60% of condominium sales in WA state occur) was $459,970 – a 19.5% increase year-over-year.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service is a member-owned organization with 30,000 members; it spans 23 counties.
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