The Northwest MLS released sale and listing statistics for this past Janauary, last week. Their news release confirms what I’ve been seeing hte market. Prices are moving up and competition is stiff for good homes with good prices (meaning good condition and well priced, at or below the average $/SF). Here is an excerpt from the news release…
KIRKLAND, Wash. (Feb. 5, 2013) – Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring is showing up in the latest housing activity report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Its statistics for January showed a 14.4 percent year-over-year increase in pending sales and a 23.6 percent jump in closed sales amid a 31.3 percent decline in inventory.
The MLS reported 4,289 closed sales during January, surpassing the year ago total by 820 transactions. Last month’s completed sales of single family homes and condominiums had a median selling price of $239,300. That’s up 11.3 percent from the year-ago figure of $214,990.
Supply has dwindled to less than two months in some counties close to job centers, spurring bidding wars. Some buyers are even resorting to writing “love letters” to win over sellers in these competitive situations. Brokers also report an increasing number of buyers have little or no interest in making offers on short sales.
I think its important to keep in mind, of course, that not all sub-markets are created equial. While things are tight in some parts of King and Snohomish Counties, and other parts of western Washington. Many counties have 10 months or more supply of homes (so its still a buyer’s market there). Additionally, even within the tight markets, there are plenty of areas where demand is soft. The highest demand is in the more urban areas, with popular school districts, and close to major employers. These are the classic drivers of home demand
Take a look at the basic stats for yourself: