As we look back on November, there are three prevalent themes; a slight improvement in inventory, stabilizing prices and fewer short sales. When you combine these with our stable local economy, many feel we should see the positive momentum continue along with a relaxing of current appreciation. Some of the many things that could compromise this could be the outcome surrounding any Federal Reserve policy decisions, new loan regulations, and changes in the local job market.
Inventory was up 4.8 percent from a year ago as members added 5,853 new listings to inventory (compared to 5,315 a year ago…a gain of over 10.1 percent) for a total of 22,061 active listings (compared to a total of 21,042 at this same time last year); although, this lower inventory continues to drag on the market as in the Seattle area, we see about a 1.5 month supply. Take November of 2012; we had over 30,640 homes and condominiums on the market (40 percent more).
Pending sales were up 1.56 percent from November of last year as brokers reported 6,624 units (compared to 6,522 a year ago); more signs that the market is stabilizing. This is not a bad thing as the stabilization of price appreciation to a more tolerable number can help us from running into the same thing that brought us down in the recent correction.
Closed sales were up 5.3 percent as we added 283 more transactions to the tally than we had the previous year. In November, we closed 5,616 transactions compared to 5,333 in November of last year. King County came in mixed as closed sales were down 2.9 percent while prices increased more than 7.5 percent.
The median price of homes and condominiums increased 4.86 percent (from $258,500 to $271,061). Condominiums were impressively up 14.2 percent across the board; and in King County, enjoyed a 17.4 percent increase (from $204,500 to $240,000). Even more impressive were the price of condos in Snohomish County; they shot up 19.7 percent. Single family homes were up only 4.1 percent from November of last year.
As the health of the market returns and the threat of higher interest rates loom, consumers are realizing that waiting may not play out in their favor. Those who are thinking of selling could benefit from listing now instead of waiting till January when inventory is expected to rise. The Expert Real Estate Group is here to help, just let us know how and you can thank us later!