In this market: Sellers winning, Buyers face challenges

Posted: May 8th, 2014 by Brad

The real estate market continues to show positive signs both locally and nationally. Many areas outside the Greater Seattle job centers also show signs of positive activity, just at a more moderate pace.

“We are still desperate for inventory in spite of statistics indicating we have more listings,” commented MLS director Kathy Estey. Inventory is being held back because potential sellers fear they will sell their home and not find one to move into, added Estey.

The result is a catch-22 situation “because nearly no one will accept a contingent offer,” according to Estey. Also, she explained, “bridge financing is scarce and risk tolerance is low” as a result of the hangover from the recession.

The imbalance between supply and demand is reflected in the market indicator known as months of supply, a ratio of active listings and sales. Industry experts say a balance occurs (favoring neither buyers nor sellers) with four-to-six months of supply. The National Association of Realtors® tends to use six months of supply as its gauge.

MLS figures show there is slightly less than 3.5 months of supply area-wide, but amounts vary widely around its service area. Eight counties are below the 6-month threshold, including three counties with less than four months of supply: King (1.74 months), Snohomish (2.47) months, and Pierce (3.6 months).
Tight inventory is creating bidding wars in some sought-after neighborhoods, resulting in some price escalation.

For buyers, a savvy agent can use their resources to conjure up off market inventory. For sellers, this is a great time to sell your home if you’re considering making a move.

Curious about current market conditions in your neighborhood or what you’re home is worth? Give us a call 866.766.7325.

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