News that hits us where we live.
February 2015 | Limited Inventory Frustrates Homebuyers
Home sales this super bowl season outpaced a year ago as sidelined buyers emerged to compete for limited inventory.
New figures show year-over-year increases in pending sales, closed sales, and prices, while inventory fell in the Puget Sound area by 12 percent from last January. King County alone currently holds a mere two months of supply.
Brisk sales may attribute to low inventory, the number of pending sales surpassing the number of new listings. January’s pending sales exceeded any of the prior years. Closing sales increased more than 3.7 percent compared to a year ago.
Home prices for single family homes and condos are also tracking ahead of the year-ago pace. King County reported the highest median price at $390,000, up 6.9 percent from twelve months ago.
In Snohomish County, closed sales jumped 11.5 percent from a year ago and prices surged more than 17 percent. Pending sales rose only 3.5 percent compared to a year ago due to low inventory.
Despite low inventory, many incentives are enticing buyers into the current market. New and revised loan programs and a general easing of guidelines make home buying more attainable. Low interest rates and strong economic conditions are also encouraging buyers to make a move before home prices and interest rates increase.
With a shortage of homes for sale in the neighborhoods close to job centers, buyers need to be "buyer ready" so they can react quickly. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give potential buyers an edge in a fast-moving market.