Early Spring Buyers Abound, Homes in Short Supply

Posted: March 11th, 2015 by Brad

Favorable weather and restored confidence are propelling home buying activity around Western Washington to the highest level in nearly a decade, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service sources.

“The pent-up demand being unleashed has rocketed pending sales back to the levels of our record year in 2006,” former MLS director Ken Anderson said. Buyers have come off the sidelines, adding “At the same time, homes for sale are near a 10-year low.”

Northwest MLS figures show pending sales system-wide surged 18.7 percent in February compared to the same month a year ago, rising from 7,247 mutually accepted offers to 8,599. Twenty of the 23 counties in the service area reported double-digit increases in pending sales.

Those numbers might be even higher given the ample supply of buyers, but inventory is far from ample.

“Listings are flying off the shelf faster than allergy medicine in this early spring market,” quipped MLS director Frank Wilson.  He said the brisk activity is posing challenges for buyers. “They will probably make several offers before one is accepted and they just need to expect to be competing with others,” he cautioned.

A comparison of the four-county Puget Sound region shows single family homes in King County had the highest median price at $429,900 (up 6 percent from a year ago), followed by Snohomish County where February’s completed transactions commanded a median price of $330,00 for a year-over-year gain of nearly 4.8 percent. Condo prices increased 6.7 percent year-over-year, from $215,500 to $230,000. The total number of sales increased 6.7 percent.

MLS Director John Deely also commented on the imbalanced market. “The early spring weather has brought a bumper crop of buyers to a market experiencing a drought of listings.” Deely said activity in Seattle continues to move “at the fastest pace in memory.”  It is not uncommon for weekend open houses to draw upwards of 100 group visits and bidding competitions, he reported. “Multiple offers rule the day, with many bids at 20 percent over well-priced properties around Greater Seattle.”

If you’re considering selling your home, present market conditions in most areas couldn’t be more favorable. We’d love to help, call us for your complimentary no-obligation consultation (866) 766.7325
Northwest Multiple Listing Service contributed to this and the following report.

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