Southwest Washington Real Estate Blog

Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (May 5, 2016) - Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported strong gains in the volume of new listings its members added during April (up 13.6 percent from March), but inventory remained well below the supply needed for a more balanced market. MLS leaders say the lopsided market is prompting some anxious buyers to take ill-advised risks.

Prices showed some signs of moderating with a 5.5 percent year-over-year increase across the MLS 23-county market area. That's the lowest YOY gain since December 2014 when it was 5.45 percent.

In its latest statistics with summaries of April activity, the MLS reported 11,407 pending sales during the month, about the same as a year ago when brokers reported 11,384 mutually accepted offers.

For

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (April 4, 2016) - Traffic isn't the only thing that is gridlocked around many Puget Sound communities. "We're experiencing gridlock in the Puget Sound housing market," suggested J. Lennox Scott in reaction to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

MLS figures show pending sales across the 23 counties it serves dropped about 4.5 percent in March compared to the same period a year ago. Inventory fell sharply - down more than 25 percent. Brokers say that imbalance helped spur a 9.4 percent escalation in prices area-wide, with 12 counties reporting double-digit increases.

One MLS spokesperson wondered if spring "has sprung in the wrong direction." Noting inventory usually grows at this time of the year, yet

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (March 7, 2016) - Home prices in King County hit new highs in February as buyers tried to outbid each other for the sparse inventory in much of Western Washington.

"We're in for another crazy spring real estate market," predicts J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc.

With the number of single family homes for sale in King County down nearly 30 percent from a year ago, prices on last month's sales surged 19.8 percent, jumping from $429,900 to $514,975. Ten other counties in the 23-county area served by Northwest Multiple Listing Service also reported double-digit price gains for single family homes that sold last month, according to its latest statistics. Condo prices surged 19.6 percent.

"Buyers who are

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (February 4, 2016) - Depleted inventory is contributing to "overwhelming" traffic at open houses, shifts in strategies for both buyers and sellers, and escalating prices, according to officials with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Dick Beeson, a former chairman of the MLS board, said the lack of inventory in almost every county is, "without question, a 2016 game changer." He described traffic at open houses as sometimes simply overwhelming. "There haven't been any battle royals on the premises, but it could happen any day now," quipped Beeson, the principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma.

The latest figures show a drop of nearly 28 percent in the number of active listings in the MLS database compared

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Wash. (Jan. 21, 2016) - Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 88,331 closed sales during 2015, outgaining the prior year's volume of 77,276 transactions for a 14.3 percent increase.

Measured by dollars, last year's sales of single family homes and condominiums were valued at more than $34 billion. Compared to 2014, that dollar volume represents a gain of nearly 23 percent.

The sales activity reflects the work of 23,800 brokers across 23 counties in the member-owned Northwest MLS.

Last year's completed sales included 75,975 single family homes (about 86 percent of the total) and 12,356 condominiums. The total units and dollar volume surpassed the previous highs during 2007 when members registered 82,197 sales valued at

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2016) - Home prices have "clearly recovered" in King County and a few other areas served by Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Many member-brokers say prices are likely to keep rising as a backlog of buyers competes for depleted inventory.

Those were among reactions from brokers upon reviewing the December statistics from the MLS. The latest report shows the year ended on a mostly positive note with pending sales, closed sales and prices all showing year-over-year increases. Not surprisingly, listing activity dropped, in part because some sellers are balking at listing their home for fear of not finding a replacement.

Selling prices for single family homes and condominiums that sold across the Northwest MLS

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (December 4, 2015) - Inventory remains "critically low," but there are fewer house-hunters in the hunt during this holiday season so motivated sellers and buyers are seeing success, according to brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Its just-released statistics for November show year-over-year gains in pending sales, closed sales, and prices, but a steep decline in inventory.

"The housing market continues to be red-hot on a seasonal basis, but this winter will be even more intense given the dangerously low inventory," remarked J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

Compared to a year ago, MLS figures show drops in the number of new listings added to inventory during November (down 4.6 percent)

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (November 5, 2015) - With holidays approaching, real estate brokers usually expect a slowdown as buyers and sellers shift their attention elsewhere. "This year is different," say some industry leaders. 

"Today we have one of the best markets we've ever seen for sellers," observed Ken Anderson, managing broker and owner at Coldwell Banker Evergreen in Olympia. "Buyers are still surging to the market and inventory is low. It's a very good time to sell. Owners who are eager to make the next move don't have to wait six months or until spring to act," added Anderson, a former board member at Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Newly released MLS figures for October show pending sales are up 7.8 percent from a year ago, rising from 8,643

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (October 5, 2015) - Scarce inventory, new rules for mortgage closings and affordability concerns will likely slow home sales around Western Washington during the remaining months of 2015 and into early 2016, according to spokespersons from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The latest statistics from the MLS show a double-digit drop in inventory, a double-digit jump in closed sales, and a near double-digit increase in prices from a year ago, prompting one industry leader to say the trends aren't sustainable. "We simply can't sustain double-digit increases in sales when inventory levels continue to drop every month," remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. "We're on the cusp of a housing market slowdown," he predicts.

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Northwest MLS Logo NWMLSKIRKLAND, Washington (August 5, 2015) - Pent-up demand continues to fuel home sales around Western Washington with millennials, military families and relocating workers vying for limited inventory. Brokers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service say they're not seeing a typical summer slowdown.

Commenting on a new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Services summarizing July activity, J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc. said, "The Puget Sound housing market is sizzling hot, with the best July on record." He expects inventory shortages will continue into the summer of 2016.

Northwest MLS members reported 9,424 closed sales during July, easily surpassing the year-ago total of 7,878 transactions for an increase of 19.6 percent. Last

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