Depleted inventory continues to frustrate would-be buyers in Western Washington. Many of these potential homeowners are expanding their search beyond the major job centers in King County, according to market watchers who commented on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
The MLS report summarizing August activity shows less than two months of supply system-wide, and only about 1.6 months of supply in the four-county Puget Sound region. The sparse selection is pushing up prices. For last month’s sales of single family homes and condos across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS, prices rose nearly 6.2% compared to a year ago.
“While August is always a slower time for listings and sales, what is really surprising this year is the decrease in new listings taken, while pending sales increased,” observed Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain.
The press release is for the Northwest. In King County, sales were up 4.1% year-over-year, and active inventory was down 5.7% year-over-year.
In Seattle, sales were up 5.1% year-over-year, and inventory was up 25% year-over-year from very low levels. The year-over-year increase in inventory has slowed sharply (although still up 25%), and the months of supply is still low in Seattle (1.9 months). In many areas it appears the inventory build that started last year is ending.