Northwest MLS brokers tally 84,037 sales during 2022 valued at almost $64 billion
KIRKLAND, Washington. (January 18, 2023) – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported 84,037 sales of single-family homes and condominiums during 2022. Last year’s closings were valued at more than $63.8 billion, with single-family homes accounting for about 90% of the total.
The activity in the Northwest MLS report reflects the work of nearly 34,000 brokers in more than 2,600 offices across 26 counties statewide. More than 83% of the state’s residents live in these counties.
The median price for last year’s completed transactions was $615,000, a gain of 8.85% from the 2021 figure of $565,000. In 2012, the median price was $245,000. For single-family homes, last year’s prices rose more than 8.1% from 2021. Year-over-year condo prices jumped 11.3%.
Single-family home sales (72,866) accounted for 86.7% of the total number of transactions, with condos making up the remaining 13.3%.
Compared to 2021, there were 23,317 fewer sales (down 21.7%). Last year’s sales of homes and condos were the lowest since 2014. (The 2021 total of 107,354 closings was the first time the sales volume topped the 100,000 mark.) Based on dollar volume, the 2022 total was down about 15% from 2021 when sales were valued at just over $75 billion.
Brokers reported fewer pending sales during 2022 compared to 2021, with year-over-year volumes down about 21.5%. The number of mutually accepted offers fell every month last year, peaking at a drop of 40.4% in November compared to the same month a year ago. In December, year-over-year pending sales were down 31.3%.
Real estate analysts point to insufficient inventory and spikes in interest rates as factors for the decreases.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, noted interest rates climbed to one of the fastest paces on record during 2022, commenting the jump “drastically cut into the number of contract signings to buy a home.”
During 2022, Freddie Mac’s mortgage market survey shows the rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.22 for the week ending 1/6/2022 and steadily increased to a peak of 7.08 in early November, before tapering off to a rate of 6.42 for the week ending 12/29/2022. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, described the housing market as “hypersensitive to rate movements, with purchase demand experiencing large swings relative to small changes in rates.”
Bloomberg cited higher borrowing costs and an uncertain economic outlook for keeping many potential buyers sidelined and suggested the Federal Reserve’s “aggressive tightening campaign to cool inflation has had an outsize impact on the housing market in 2022.”
For last year’s buyers around Washington state, the selection of listings as measured by months of supply showed steady increases from the start of the year. In January, there were less than three weeks of supply (0.61 months). By December, inventory had improved to 2.09 months of supply. In 20 of the 26 counties in the Northwest MLS report, year-over-year inventory more than doubled.
On average, there were 10,075 active listings in the NWMLS database each month during 2022, improving on the monthly averages for 2021 (5,664) and 2020 (8,665), but well below most years since 2012, when the average number per month that year was 24,604.
Member brokers added 110,294 new listings to the MLS database during 2022, down from the previous year’s volume of 117,948 (a drop of about 6.5%). Activity for new listings, including single-family homes and condos, peaked in June with 14,223 additions.
Snapshot of Prices
Although there were fewer completed transactions (84,037) in 2022 than during 2021 (107,354), prices rose in all but one county (Ferry). Fourteen counties registered year-over-year double-digit gains.
For the MLS overall, prices escalated by double digits for the first six months of 2022 when compared to the same months a year prior. The price hikes moderated to single digits for the second half of the year, becoming essentially flat in December (-.051).
For 2022, the year-to-date median price of $615,000 was $50,000 higher than the figure for 2021 ($565,00) for a gain of nearly 8.9%. For single-family homes (excluding condos), year-over-year prices rose more than 8.1%; for condos, prices jumped 11.3%.
Viewed by price ranges, Northwest MLS statistics show an upward shift. In 2022, about 29% of buyers paid less than $500,000 for their home, a drop from 2021 when 35.4% of buyers paid less than $500,000. In King County, only 8.2% of last year’s buyers paid less than a half-million dollars for their home.
At the other end of the spectrum, nearly one of every five sales last year (19.85%) fetched one million dollars or more. For 2021, the figure was just under 16%. In King County 35.7% of the sales were for $1 million plus.
|Sales Prices, SFH + Condos||2022||2021||King Co, 2022|
|$300,000 to $499,999||24.27%||29.43%||7.87%|
|$500,000 to $749,999||33.63%||32.94%||31.89%|
|$750,000 to $999,999||17.38%||15.81%||24.23%|
|$1,000,000 to $2,499,999||17.97%||14.38%||31.62%|
|$2,500,000 & higher||1.88%||1.51%||4.08%|
Northwest MLS brokers sold 14,317 single-family homes priced at $1 million or higher, including 136 that sold for $5 million plus. The highest-priced sale, a waterfront home on Medina’s Gold Coast, commanded $23 million.
A total of 5,012 condos sold for a half-million dollars or more during 2022, including 1,045 condos that sold for $1 million or more. The most expensive sale, at $7,150,000, was for a penthouse in a high-rise building in downtown Seattle.
An analysis of prices by school districts revealed eight areas where median prices for single-family homes topped $1 million, led by Mercer Island where that district’s median price was $2,550,000. The other districts where the median price on last year’s single-family home sales exceeded $1 million include Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Easton (in Kittitas County), Issaquah, Lake Washington, Northshore, and Snoqualmie Valley.
A comparison of prices for 3-bedroom homes that sold last year showed San Juan County with the highest median price, at $1 million. It was followed by King County ($836,000), Snohomish County ($675,000), Jefferson County ($654,250), and Whatcom County ($590,000). The most affordable 3-bedroom home was found in Ferry County where the median price on last year’s sales was $225,900.
Last year’s sellers, on average, received 102.5% of their asking (list) price. The ratio of the sale price to list price exceeded 100% in the first part of 2022 but dropped below that threshold starting in August and continuing through December. Thirteen of the 26 counties in the NWMLS report had a sale price to list price ratio of at least 100% or more for 2022 overall.
Snapshot of Condominiums
Of last year’s closed sales, 11,171, or about 13.9% of the total, were condominiums. About six of every 10 condos that sold (59.1%) were located in King County. Nearly 20% (19.7%) were located in Snohomish County.
The median price for last year’s condo sales area-wide was $473,000. Condos that sold in Snohomish County had a median price of $515,000, about 3% higher than King County’s figure of $500,000. Within King County, the most expensive condos were on the Eastside where the median sales price was $624,800, followed by Seattle at $535,000. (The median sales price in Okanogan County was higher, at $586,000, but only three condos were sold there during 2022.)
About half the condos that sold in 2022 had two bedrooms. Studios and one-bedroom condos accounted for 23.8% of the sales. Around one of every five condo sales (21.2%) had three bedrooms, with the remaining 5.6% having four or more bedrooms.
Snapshot of New Construction
Of last year’s 84,037 closed sales, 9,504 (about 11.3%) were classified as new construction. That was 2,699 fewer than 2021’s total (down 22.1%). The median sales price on last year’s newly built homes and condos was $740,084, about 11.3% higher than 2022’s figure of $664,950.