More sellers listed their homes for sale during July compared to a year ago, but most brokers agree inventory remains "well below" what is considered to be a balanced market. Last month's pending sales rose slightly from a year ago while prices throughout the Puget Sound Area increased nearly 6.3 percent.
Western Washington housing market in "recovery mode" but some brokers say it's still not at full potential.
Price increases right now are healthy, not exorbitant. Thankfully we are not seeing signs of a bubble and instead are seeing realistic appreciation. Rising prices are bringing more sellers into the market. Open house traffic is strong in Seattle's central core neighborhoods with more than 100 people typically viewing homes each weekend day.
- Nevertheless, sellers who overprice their properties can face disappointing consequences. Sellers should be advised that overpriced listings will not garner offers, buyers will walk away from them and in many cases simply wait for the price to be reduced rather than make a low offer. Overpriced listings stigmatize the property, often driving the sale price below the market value.
- Properties that are well priced, in good condition, staged for the best presentation, and of course in key locations are still receiving multiple offers.
- Buyers need to be prepared to compete in today's market where inventory is low and loan underwriters are being strict about loan approvals. Buyers need to provide all papers and documents requested by the lender quickly and completely, and be approved for their loan before looking.
- A growing economy, job growth, pent up demand, competitive mortgage rates, affordable home prices and low unemployment will keep housing moving on an upward trajectory.
Residential properties in King County sold for a median price of $425,000, an increase of more than 6.5 percent compared to a year ago. About 80 percent of last month's sales in King County were single family homes. They sold for a median price of $468,000, an increase of 7.8 percent from the same month a year ago. The median price for condos that sold in King County during July was $250,000. That reflects a jump of 8.2 percent from the year-ago selling price of $231,000.
Inventory improved from 12 months ago, rising from 25,272 active listings to 26,813 for a 6.1 percent increase. Snohomish County notched the biggest gain with the selection there expanding by 27 percent.
Months of inventory (the ratio of active listings and closed sales) stood at 3.4 months at the end of July, a modest improvement from June's figure of 3.35 months. In King County, there is less than two months of supply, with the Ballard/Green Lake and North Seattle neighborhoods having only about one month.
An uptick in housing construction appears to be easing some of the shortages. Developer and builder confidence in the Seattle market has been steady with real estate developers shifting away from building apartments and moving to condos.
Homes and condos that sold during July had a median price of $300,000. That's up 6.25 percent from twelve months ago when the median sales price was $282,363, and up slightly from June's figure of $299,335.