NWMLS Market Update May 2022

Dated: May 17 2022

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✨The latest market update from NWMLS is out and has discussed that the Western Washington housing market is now "more balanced and not so crazy, and that's a good thing. Buyers are getting a little relief - not much, but a little as we're slowly easing back into the kind of market we had pre-COVID."

Closed sales dipped slightly from a year ago (down about 3%) but rose 9% from April. Members completed 9,096 sales last month, which was 278 fewer than a year ago. May's total outgained April by 752 transactions.

✅ Buyers can expect to pay more for homes and condos, although the increases may be moderating. Last month's system-wide median price of $660,000 was up 12.8% from the year-ago figure of $585,000. Comparing percentages, that was the smallest YOY increase since December 2020 when it was 12.2%.

✅ J. Lennox Scott also commented on market adjustments. "Unsold inventory is ticking upward locally as more new listings hit the market. This gives buyers an increased selection of desirable properties to choose from as they hunt for their new home," said Scott, the chairman, and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

"Though there is still a steady backlog of buyers in the market, the increase in inventory means each home will receive fewer offers and may not go pending the first weekend," Scott remarked, adding, "Seasonal home price flattening is also in play, which means premium pricing is off for most properties."

✅ "The significant increase in the number of homes for sale has some speculating that the market is about to implode, but that is very unlikely," stated Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. "What's more likely to occur is that the additional supply will lead us toward a more balanced market, which after years of such lopsided conditions, is much needed," he added.

Even with the healthy uptick in inventory, there is still less than one month of supply area-wide (0.97 months). Twenty of the 26 counties in the report are showing more than a month of supply, with the tightest inventory (0.85 months or less) in the four-county Puget Sound region.

✨Takeaways :

At the end of May, buyers could choose from 8,798 active listings system-wide, up a whopping 59% from a year ago when there were only 5,533 properties in the database. That is the largest selection since September 2020 when there were 9,099 single-family homes and condominiums offered for sale across the 26 counties served by Northwest MLS. Two counties more than doubled their number of active listings from a year ago. The selection in Snohomish County jumped from 500 to 1,182 listings (up 136.4%). Douglas County had a similar increase, rising 134.5%.

"In May, we saw a slowdown in the steep price increases we have witnessed so far this year," observed John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Banker Bain. He noted prices for single-family home sales (excluding condos) in King County jumped from $775,000 in January to a whopping $995,000 in April, a change of $220,000 in only four months (a jump of 28.4%). Prices for single-family homes in King County were nearly unchanged from April ($995,000) to May ($998,888).

"Rising interest rates coupled with inflation are causing buyers that rely on conventional mortgages to reconsider the affordability, and possibly take a break or look in areas that are less costly," Deely commented. "We seem to be heading from an extreme seller's market toward a more balanced market with increasing inventory."

"Finally, some balance in the market for homebuyers," exclaimed Dean Rebhuhn, owner at Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville. "Last month provided more buying opportunities due to increasing number of new listings and more flexible sellers willing to work with buyers on finance and inspection contingencies," he remarked, but also reported, "Price reductions are on the increase from sellers as overpriced properties are languishing on the market."

"Things have changed," agreed Dick Beeson, managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest Realtors in Gig Harbor. "Sellers who expect to get more than their asking price are unhappy if they receive offers only slightly above their list price. Sellers are now more often required to consider offers contingent upon financing, inspections, or the sale of the buyer's home. Things that were normal in purchase contracts just two years ago are making their return," he stated.

Let us know if we can answer any of your real estate questions or if you need help taking advantage of the opportunities available for you in this current housing market.

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Carmen Johnson

Co Owner of the Red Door Team Carmen has been born and raised in Snohomish. Is married, owns a home in downtown, has a Goldendoodle and is expecting her first child in April! Loves spending time with....

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