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Open house traffic has been brisk around Western Washington, signaling the start of the spring market. Softening prices are enticing some would-be buyers while others remain on the sidelines hoping fluctuating mortgage rates will stabilize.
Newly released statistics from the NWMLS 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.
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 all 26 counties. While that’s an improvement from a year ago when there was only 0.7 months supply (about three weeks), it is down from January’s total of about 2.5 months. A supply of 4-6 months is considered to be a balanced market.
Although the number of homes for sale in the tri-county area of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties is more than doubled from a year ago, there were still fewer homes available to buy in February than in January. Listings were more than 40% lower than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that homeowners may be holding off on selling until the market stabilizes. Listings are not coming to the market as quickly as in recent years, low inventory is once again creating multiple offers where good inventory is to drive prices down slightly. Sellers getting into the market now have less competition. The NWMLS tri-county (King, Pierce, and Snohomish), where about half the current inventory is located, shows more than seven of every 10 listings (71.6%) have an asking price of $600,000 or more, with nearly a third of those (31.6%) priced at 1 million or higher.
Year over year, home sales are down, but that isn’t surprising given that a year ago homeowners were scrambling to buy in the face of mortgage rates that were about to skyrocket. This decline has been welcomed, particularly as the typical home price has risen 42% in the past three years. Rising interest rates are a factor in the slowing market, but people are still making the move and looking at creative financing until the rates level out. Open house traffic has been brisk. Many homebuyers are making their buying decisions now while inventory is available, and they will refinance at a later date.
Many homeowners are not listing adding to the inventory shortage, homeowners are reluctant to give up their 3-4% mortgages. We should see an uptick in listings when mortgage rates stabilize and settle in the 5% range.
Snohomish County reported 728 new listings, 662 active listings, 967 pending sales, and 652 closed sales. 1.02 months of inventory and a median price of $664,975. This means there is just over a month and a half worth of inventory in Snohomish County. As interest rates change we will keep a close eye on these numbers, for now, you can still expect strong offers, traditional contingencies added to the contract, and some waived contingencies at the median price point and in desired locations. Homes may sit on the market a little longer than in the prior months of the housing frenzy. Sellers need to price competitively to get their homes sold. Sellers that are not pricing their homes accurately, will result in their home sitting.
Where do we go from here?
Now is still a great time to sell your home as home values are holding strong and we do have pent-up buyer demand, the overpriced have tapered off, so sellers need to be reasonable in this more balanced market. Buyers now have increased inventory, giving them options. Buyers have more homes to choose from and we are seeing contingencies and finance options return. Although we are seeing some price adjustments I don’t recommend postponing purchasing, home values are expected to continue to rise in our area. 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 March 2023 (all reports and stats are from the prior month of February 2023). Last month there were 1.70 months of supply system-wide. Interest rates are still a concern for buyers, creative financing has returned. For the most part, we are getting back to the “Pre-COVID” real estate market which was considered very strong just not like the fierce market we have experienced the last few years.
We continue to see price appreciation over last year. Potential sellers should act now as this is still a good 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 spring.
Let’s get coffee, chat, or 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 an interest in a particular 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
March began with:
- 728 New Listings
- 1.02 months’ worth of Inventory
- Median home price of $664,975
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 an issue in some places. Most places currently have under a 2-month supply available, we are still very much in a seller-based market, however, we are moving to a balanced market. A balanced market is considered 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 slow to robust real estate market going through 2023. Short term we will see prices soften but in the next few years I believe prices will continue 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 more inventory available, you don’t have to act as quickly, buyers are out there and very serious, driving up prices in some cases. Sellers are accepting contingencies again. Buyers looking for single-family homes and condos are seeing increases in prices, interest rates are unknown, and we are still in the 10% of low rates if you look back 50 years. 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
Buyers are eager and shopping if you are selling a home in Snohomish County. 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 of 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