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The year started with more of a whimper than a BOOM due to low inventory and uncertainty. January reported the lowest inventory on record. The NWMLS reported 6,350 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during January, about 1,000 fewer the same month a year ago for a drop of 14%. When there is uncertainty, the default position is to stay put, do nothing, and hunker down. Many things are contributing to sellers reluctance to put their homes on the market, most notably, COVID, inflation, the economy, the holidays, and finding replacement property. Security and certainty are more important than cashing in on record amounts of equity.
Brokers added 5,927 new listings during January, this is 1,000 fewer than the same month a year ago. Last months pending sales outgained listings to further shrink inventory. At month end the selection included a meager 3,092 active listings, down more than 30% from a year ago.
King County had the steepest drop in active listings, shrinking nearly 59% from a year ago, followed by Jefferson County, down 40%, and Snohomish County, down more than 35%. King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties all have less than two weeks of supply. The market remains virtually SOLD OUT, and there is a significant backlog of buyers looking for a home to purchase. With higher mortgage rates expected, he said buyers are more anxious to get a home, even during the inventory shortage.
We expect strong demand and search for value outside of Seattle will continue to push up values. Last month’s prices were up early 14.9% from a year ago. Five counties reported price gains of 30% or more. Condominium prices surged nearly 21% area wide. Nearly all counties in the MLS report, prices jumped by double digits (up 20.8%).
Inventory is being snatched up quickly in a rush to take advantage of low interest rates. We are not expecting a flood of inventory coming from foreclosures in part because of the 12%-18% increase in equity over the last 12 months Forbearance across the U.S. is below 800,000 units, down from over 4.5 million in 2020. Let’s recap, the market dipped slightly in January, mainly due to weather and concerns over the latest pandemic variant, but the general feeling is that it’s going to be a good year!
Snohomish County reported 867 new listings, 241 active listings, 901 pending sales, and 734 closed sales. .33 months of inventory and a median price of $686,792. This means there is just over a week’s worth of inventory in Snohomish County. Snohomish County had the most acute shortage of all counties reported in the NWMLS. Historically this number indicates what we can expect for our Spring market. We do NOT have enough inventory! If interest rates remain low we can expect another frenzy-style market. Expect multiple offers, over asking prices, and waived contingencies.
The Puget Sound Region is in dire need of more housing units which would function to slow price growth, however costs continue to limit building activity, and that is unlikely to change significantly this year. With the inventory being “drastically low” the buyer pressure is bidding up values, and there is an inordinate amount of institutional cash buyers in our market. Experts do expect the pace of price growth to slow due to rising mortgage rates and affordability constraints. Some experts predict high single digit rise in home prices (system wide) for 2022 with Snohomish County increasing more than 10%.
Let’s take a look at King County for a moment. King County prices, currently at $892,935 (median home price). Total new listings were at 2,083, total active listings 761, pending sales 2,009, closed sales 1,557 with a .59 months of inventory.
Where do we go from here?
Now is a great time to sell your home as the sellers have the upper hand due to low inventory and strong prices. As we move through 2022, buyers can expect some relief in new financing options. There is talk about the “modern bridge loan”, which would give homeowners the ability to sell their current residence after they’ve found and purchased a new home. This will help buyers to be competitive when making offers and take the stress out of where they are going. I’m starting to see analysts dismissing suggestions of a “bubble”, it is still an ideal time to purchase a home. They are saying they don’t recommend postponing purchasing . If you think you are saving money by waiting, you should run the numbers. Economists and pundits in real estate all say buy now. The anticipated increase in equity across the next two-to-four years will be astonishing.
Northwest MLS Market Report
Here is my Northwest MLS Market Report for the month of February 2022 (all reports and stats are from the prior month of January 2021). Last month there was only .61 months supply system-wide. Multiple offers have been back with a vengeance as buyers are challenged due to the inventory being down, especially in the median price range. Historically low-interest rates and lifestyle changes are fueling housing activity around Washington state. For the most part we have seen month-over-month gains in pending sales closed sales, and prices are “very significant” and indicators of a housing market that is “very robust”. Listings are few and buyers are plenty.
We continue to see price appreciation over last year as well as the all too common shortage of inventory. Buyers are wisely taking advantage of record-low interest rates. Potential sellers should act now as this is an EXCELLENT time to put your home on the market. I will continue to follow the market trends and inform you each month as we go through Winter into Spring.
Let’s go get coffee, chat on the phone, or simply email back and forth if you have any questions about selling or buying real estate. If you want to know what your home is worth, have interest in a certain area, or want to simply be put on a search to follow the market and home prices just let me know. My team & I have many tools to help you make good investment decisions!
A look at Snohomish County Housing Statistics
January began with:
- 703 New Listings
- .36 months worth of Inventory
- Median home price of $715,000
Let’s break it down per city:
|CITIES||MEDIAN SALES PRICE||% CHANGE OVER LAST YEAR||MONTHS OF INVENTORY|
What Does This Data Mean?
Inventory levels continue to be low. Most places currently have less than 1 months supply available, we are still very much in a seller-based market, a balanced market is said to be when we have approximately 4-6 months worth of inventory. Due to the ongoing demand for real estate in the Greater Seattle area, I would expect to see a robust real estate market going through 2021 and into 2022. Prices are continuing to increase in the North Sound Region, especially along the I-5 corridor.
What Does This Mean If You Are Buying A Home in Snohomish County
If you are buying a home in Snohomish County you are going to see a sparse amount of inventory available, you must act quickly, buyers are out there and very serious, driving up prices. Buyers looking for single-family homes and condos are seeing increases in prices, interest rates at historic lows, and holding for the time being. Buyers need their financing in order, pre-approvals available and please, bring an experienced agent to the table when forming an offer and guiding through negotiations.
This is the perfect time to sign up and receive email notifications when a new home is listed in the Snohomish County real estate market. Email notifications and instant alerts give you an advantage over other buyers looking for homes. Fill out our form below so we can keep you ahead of the competition!
Ask Amy for an Email alert when a Snohomish County Home becomes available.
What Does This Mean If You Are Selling A Home In Snohomish County
If you are selling a home in Snohomish County buyers are eager and shopping. This is still a seller’s market and most sellers are getting their asking price and commonly getting over their list price.
Competition means your home needs to be priced competitively. Double-check to make sure your property is in optimum selling condition.
Check the home valuation calculator to get an estimated value on your home. Contact us to get a comprehensive report. We work closely with sellers to create a marketing strategy that gets your listing in front of buyers wanting to buy.
What’s Your Home Worth?
Instant Online Home Value Report
Month-by-Month Comparison and In-depth Market Reports
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About Amy Wagner – Prime Listings Group
“When You Do What You Love…People Love What You Do”
As a real estate agent, investor and managing broker of Keller Williams North Sound, Amy particularly loves helping people sell their homes fast and teaching and helping people build wealth through real estate investments such as multi-family homes, land development and the fix & flip of houses. She founded Prime Listings Group on the principles of doing better and giving more. We have local experience on our side and we promise to give more than expected. You’ve come to the right place. At PLG you can expect better!
“Great service from the start until closing….”
Amy sold my house quick and for more than I expected. Her whole team was excellent. Great service from the start until closing 10 out of 10⭐️’s!!! Thank you 🙏🏽 Amy Wagner