Categories: News & Blog1360 words5.2 min read

August Housing Activity in the Greater Seattle Area Follows Patterns of Seasonal Slowing

DATE

September 29, 2021

CATEGORIES
TAGS

No tags

SHARE
AUTHOR
WPI地產集團

No description found.

Northwest MLS brokers say August housing activity follows patterns of seasonal slowing

Latest Press Release – August Statistical Data

KIRKLAND, Washington (September 7, 2021) – August typically brings a dip in housing activity and this year was no different, according to representatives from Northwest Multiple Listing Service when commenting on newly-released statistics. Figures comparing July to August show month-to-month drops in new listings, total inventory, pending sales, close sales, and median prices.

“August showed a more traditional seasonal pattern with decreased activity as families took end-of-summer vacations and made back-to-school preparations,” remarked Frank Wilson, Kitsap regional manager and branch managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate.

NWMLS statistics show the volume of new listings added during August, including single family homes and condominiums, declined from both July (down 11.5%) and twelve months ago (down 4.2%). Total inventory for the 26 counties in the report also fell, shrinking about 6.6% from July and nearly 22.6% from a year ago. At month end, there were 7,425 active listings, down from the year-ago total of 9,591.

“We saw a dip in open house traffic overall, although some new listings were overwhelmed with traffic, depending on the area and the price point,” reported Wilson. “We are seeing homes stay on the market slightly longer and more instances of sellers overpricing their properties.”

John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Banker Bain, agreed. “The continued lack of inventory indicates properties will move very quickly if priced reasonably. Even in our current hot market, pricing a property correctly has never been more important,” he emphasized.

Prices showed signs of moderating during August. The median price on the 10,571 sales that closed last month was $579,000, a drop of $10,000 from July. Prices did rise compared to 12 months ago, climbing from $490,000 for an increase of about 18.2%. That year-over-year (YOY) percentage change was the smallest since February when there was a bump-up of about 15%.

Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, suggested price cooling is in sight. He said he looks at listing prices as a leading indicator of where things are headed. “In King County, median list prices dropped from $740,000 in July to $729,000 in August. That would explain why the median sales price also fell modestly month-over-month. I believe this is because we are hitting a price ceiling and that the rabid pace of home price appreciation will continue to cool as we move through the rest of the year.”

Northwest MLS figures show the median list price system-wide for single family homes and condos combined, was unchanged, at $605,000, from July to August. The asking price fell from July to August in about half the counties in the report.

“Purchasers are continuing to find mortgage interest rates below 3%, providing increased buying power,” stated Dean Rebhuhn, owner at Village Homes and Properties. He believes the historic low interest rates coupled with lifestyle changes continue to be market drivers and factors in keeping inventory at historically low levels.

Northwest MLS figures indicate there was around three weeks of inventory (0.70 months) at the end of August. Clark, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston counties had only about three weeks of inventory, with Snohomish reporting the smallest supply (0.49 months), about two weeks.

Commenting on inventory, James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, said gains in total active inventory in several counties were mostly consistent with patterns observed all year, notably in the suburbs, the seaside, and the Olympic Peninsula. “It is not just a return to the suburbs, it is a continued return to the country as people continue to work from home.”

Several counties experienced year-over-year increases in inventory, including Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grays Harbor, Island, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, and Thurston.

In about half the counties, the number of new listings outgained the number of pending sales. For all counties combined, last month’s total number pending sales (12,238) surpassed the number of new listings (11,437), a margin of 801 units.

“The extreme real estate market in the Puget Sound area continued during August, with strong buyer demand due to historically low interest rates and a backlog of buyers still looking for a home,” remarked J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

Scott expects the “housing market intensity for each new listing will start tightening back up again in the Puget Sound region as we start heading toward the first of the year.”

Deely said condos may be showing some signs of pent-up demand, noting closed sales were up more than 10% from a year ago, with King County sales jumping 19.9%. “Not only is there pent-up demand as some choose to move back to the city center a year after civil unrest and a pandemic, but residential buyers are finding themselves priced out of the market and are moving toward condo ownership.”

While Deely noted the YOY uptick in condo sales, he said some buyers are still looking to move further away from the city and employment centers. “Work from home opportunities, as well as the thought/hope that some employers will allow flexible work schedules post-COVID are driving factors,” he said, adding, “Other factors are lower taxes and overall costs in suburban areas. People are buying the maximum house they can and factoring in the variable cost of a commute. Many out-of-state buyers are not very concerned about distance from workplaces as they are accustomed to long commutes.”

In Kitsap County, the market “continues to be very hot,” with inventory remaining low, according to Frank Leach, broker/owner at RE/MAX Platinum Services. “Don’t be fooled,” he added, “Prices and interest rates are not going to stay stable for long.” He also noted rental rates continue to climb.

Leach expects an influx of people will keep moving to the Kitsap Peninsula area, including 3,000 sailors and their families who arrived in late July when the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt shifted its homeport from San Diego to Bremerton for a planned 16-month retrofit.

Both Leach and Wilson expect home values in Kitsap County, which rose 14.7% from a year ago, will keep increasing even as builders are trying to meet demand. “Although there are affordable home options being planned for the future, those are several years away,” according to Wilson. “Affordable housing has taken a real hit over the past six or seven years with the average price far exceeding what the average income in Kitsap can afford.”

At the other end of the price spectrum, economist Gardner noted luxury home sales continue to exceed expectations, with no signs of slowing.

According to Northwest MLS statistics, nearly 15% of this year’s sales (through August) commanded prices of $1 million or more. The year-to-date total of 10,237 sales that have fetched $1 million-plus eclipses the totals for all of 2020 when there were 8,898 such sales, as well as the entire year of 2019, when members notched a total of 6,711 sales over a million dollars.

Gardner’s analysis found strong activity for luxury homes in Snohomish and Pierce counties, prompting him to say, “This tells me that there’s a migration of buyers who are choosing to move away from King County and into adjacent areas where their money goes further.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service is a not-for-profit, member-owned organization that facilitates cooperation among its member real estate firms. With more than 2,500 member firm offices and 32,000 brokers across Washington state, NWMLS (www.nwmls.com) is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Based in Kirkland, Washington, its service area spans 26 counties, and it operates 21 local service centers.

Single Fam. Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

MONTHS OF INVENTORY

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

This month

Same mo., year ago

King

3,774

2,268

4,027

3,680

$968,432

$771,750

0.62

1.16

Snohomish

1,779

813

1,910

1,658

$719,104

$667,410

0.49

0.69

Pierce

1,871

1,071

2,029

1,733

$553,360

$505,000

0.62

0.70

Kitsap

513

349

620

550

$617,371

$498,925

0.63

0.81

Mason

184

117

211

155

$457,937

$399,000

0.75

0.72

Skagit

224

176

225

192

$581,947

$516,653

0.92

0.95

Grays Harbor

239

255

261

170

$348,045

$331,750

1.50

1.14

Lewis

164

185

169

132

$408,679

$375,000

1.40

1.02

Cowlitz

164

103

210

145

$402,196

$365,000

0.71

0.86

Grant

169

161

147

118

$337,992

$315,000

1.36

1.42

Thurston

665

314

750

635

$500,089

$464,000

0.49

0.46

San Juan

41

95

37

40

$1,115,597

$790,000

2.38

3.00

Island

217

137

233

180

$672,574

$552,500

0.76

0.65

Kittitas

119

138

113

100

$656,148

$459,875

1.38

1.46

Jefferson

71

63

89

63

$665,083

$616,500

1.00

1.57

Okanogan

57

134

47

41

$356,862

$300,000

3.27

2.37

Whatcom

435

318

429

374

$567,149

$548,500

0.85

1.08

Clark

120

67

128

109

$573,100

$510,000

0.61

1.49

Pacific

85

100

75

52

$339,048

$337,000

1.92

2.04

Ferry

13

28

10

5

$385,740

$289,900

5.60

4.00

Clallam

144

124

141

117

$458,414

$413,000

1.06

1.66

Chelan

130

150

128

105

$636,681

$530,000

1.43

1.30

Douglas

73

49

60

51

$637,346

$465,000

0.96

0.94

*Adams

15

17

25

11

$272,221

$260,000

1.55

5.25

*Walla Walla

97

82

81

71

$418,566

$395,000

1.15

3.33

*Columbia

10

16

7

11

$278,091

$250,000

1.45

N/A

Others

64

95

76

73

$401,768

$347,000

1.30

2.66

Total

11,437

7,425

12,238

10,571

$715,758

$579,000

0.70

0.97

 

*Adams, Walla Walla and Columbia counties are added as separate rows this month; previously, statistics for these counties were included in the row for “Others/Out of area.”

4-county Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)

(totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2003

4746

5290

6889

6837

7148

7202

7673

7135

6698

6552

4904

4454

2004

4521

6284

8073

7910

7888

8186

7583

7464

6984

6761

6228

5195

2005

5426

6833

8801

8420

8610

8896

8207

8784

7561

7157

6188

4837

2006

5275

6032

8174

7651

8411

8094

7121

7692

6216

6403

5292

4346

2007

4869

6239

7192

6974

7311

6876

6371

5580

4153

4447

3896

2975

2008

3291

4167

4520

4624

4526

4765

4580

4584

4445

3346

2841

2432

2009

3250

3407

4262

5372

5498

5963

5551

5764

5825

5702

3829

3440

2010

4381

5211

6821

7368

4058

4239

4306

4520

4350

4376

3938

3474

2011

4272

4767

6049

5732

5963

5868

5657

5944

5299

5384

4814

4197

2012

4921

6069

7386

7015

7295

6733

6489

6341

5871

6453

5188

4181

2013

5548

6095

7400

7462

7743

7374

7264

6916

5951

6222

5083

3957

2014

5406

5587

7099

7325

8055

7546

7169

6959

6661

6469

5220

4410

2015

5791

6541

8648

8671

8620

8608

8248

7792

7179

6977

5703

4475

2016

5420

6703

8130

8332

9153

8869

8545

8628

7729

7487

6115

4727

2017

5710

6024

7592

7621

9188

9042

8514

8637

7441

7740

6094

4460

2018

5484

5725

7373

7565

8742

8052

7612

6893

6235

6367

5328

4037

2019

5472

4910

7588

8090

8597

8231

7773

7345

6896

6797

5788

4183

2020

5352

6078

6477

5066

7297

8335

8817

9179

8606

7934

6122

4851

2021

5216

5600

8002

7716

8674

8824

8049

8586

More Local Market Tips