‘Inexhaustible’ supply of homebuyers means no holiday break for Seattle’s housing market
December 5, 2016
by Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal
Even as the number of new homes listed for sale last month in the Puget Sound region increased by 10 percent, the number of houses and condos now on the market remains well below last year’s level.
The reason is that pending sales shot up, with buyers still actively looking as we head into the holidays when sales traditionally decline. November’s pending sales in the four-county metro region were the highest for the month since 2005, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. He said the result was “a mini power surge” for the market.
“The seemingly inexhaustible supply of ready, willing and able buyers continue to purchase available inventory,” said John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle.
The imbalance in supply and demand continues to fuel multiple offers and drive prices upward.
November’s year-over-year median sale prices for houses and condos were up around 15 percent in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties and 8 percent in Kitsap County.
But the median sales price of $550,000 for houses in King County was the same last month as it was in October, while in Kitsap County the price actually decreased 3.8 percent from October to $282,860.
Month-over-month median sale prices for houses were up in Pierce and Snohomish counties. In Pierce, the price ticked up 2.8 percent to $287,725, while in Snohomish County the median price of $399,990 was up 3.5 percent.
The number of active listings in the metro region was down 10.8 percent, year-over-year, in November to 7,185 houses and condos.
Buyers should expect no relief. George Moorhead, designated broker with Bentley Properties in Bothell, expects strong sales to continue this month, taper off in January and pick back up in February with “another flurry of aggressive buyers.” He thinks an uptick in interest rates will drive even more buyers into the market, causing inventory to likely drop even lower.