Housing Market in ‘Recovery Mode’

Posted: August 13th, 2014 by Brad

More sellers listed their homes for sale during July compared to a year ago, but brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) say inventory remains “well below” what is considered to be a balanced market.
 
King county has less than a two month supply of inventory. Highly sought after neighborhoods such as Ballard/Greenlake and North Seattle have less than a one month supply of available homes. Here is how to quickly analyze the market based on months of inventory:
>6 Months of Inventory = Buyers’ Market
4-6 Months of Inventory = Balanced Market
<4 Months of Inventory = Seller’s Market
 
Northwest MLS director Dick Beeson said open house traffic is “seasonably strong,” but it’s still considered a seller’s market in many areas. He also commented on trends for reviewing offers. “Brokers are allowing new-on-the-market properties to ‘age’ at least one weekend before reviewing offers,” he noted. “This tends to frustrate buyers, but sellers like the energy this can bring to their side if the equation.”
 
Brokers point to the quality of some properties and unrealistic pricing as factors that are hindering sales.
Both buyers and brokers shy away from listings that are overpriced, of poor quality or bank owned auction listings, explained Northwest MLS Director Diedre Haines. “Sellers should be advised that overpriced listings will not garner offers,” she emphasized. Buyers will walk away from them and in many cases simply wait for the price to be reduced rather than make a low offer, according to Haines. Overpriced listings stigmatize the property, often driving the sale price below the market value, she cautioned.
 
Haines, who has worked as a real estate professional for more than 30 years, said a property’s condition and appearance are also very important key elements. “Properties that are well priced, in good condition, staged for the best presentation, and of course in key locations are still receiving multiple offers,” she commented.
 
Rising prices are bringing more sellers into the market. Open house traffic is strong in Seattle’s central core neighborhood with more than 100 people typically viewing homes each weekend day, according to John Deely, a director with Northwest MLS. He said relocating buyers employed in the technology sector “dominate the current transfers looking at homes in the core Seattle markets.”
 
Residential properties in King County sold for a median price of $425,000, an increase of more than 6.5 percent compared to a year ago. About 80 percent of last month’s sales in King County were single family homes. They sold for a median price of $468,000, an increase of 7.8 percent from the same month a year ago. The median price for condos that sold in King County during July was $250,000. That reflects a jump of 8.2 percent from the year-ago selling price of $231,000.
 
A growing economy, job growth, pent up demand, competitive mortgage rates, affordable home prices and low unemployment are expected to keep housing moving on an upward trajectory.

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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