Washington February Market Stats

According to brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service we belong to in Washington State, open house traffic has been brisk around Western Washington. Softening prices are enticing some would-be buyers, while others remain on the sidelines hoping fluctuating mortgage rates will stabilize or decline.

“It’s a very interesting market, comprised of primarily serious buyers and sellers,” remarked Northwest MLS board member Mike Larson, “Rates and inflation appear to be under control, giving buyers a window of opportunity before things possibly get crazy again.”

Newly released statistics from the MLS for February show upticks in new listings, pending sales, closed sales and median prices compared to January, but when compared to the same month a year ago, figures for those metrics declined:

• Brokers added 5,231 new listings of single-family homes and condos to inventory last month, about one-third fewer than twelve months ago.

• Pending sales declined 19%, from the year-ago total of 7,697 to 6,230.

• Year-over-year (YOY) closed sales dropped 17.3%, from 5,147 to 4,258 transactions.

• Median prices slipped 1.7% areawide, from $585,000 to $575,000. Buyer demand remains at reasonable levels considering the high-interest rate environment we’re in. Multiple offers are still seen on the right properties.

At the end of February, the MLS report shows only 1.7 months of supply across the 26 counties in the report. While that’s an improvement from a year ago when there were only about 0.7 months of supply (about three weeks), it is down from January’s total of about 2.5 months. A supply of four-to-six months is considered a balanced market, according to the National Association of Realtors and other industry watchers.

Low inventory is once again creating multiple offers where good inventory is absorbed quickly. Sellers getting into the market now have less competition. The addition of 5,231 new listings during February was around 300 more than January, but down from the year-ago volume of 7,920 new listings.

Last month’s additions brought the number of total active listings at month’s end to 7,234, more than twice the number of a year ago (3,461).

However, compared with January, the selection shrunk by nearly 1,000 listings.