These days, everyone wants to own a home. The market is being flooded with people moving into the Puget Sound area, looking for their first home, or moving up from renting to buying. Even with the number of houses for sale showing an increase for the month of May, the housing inventory struggles.
This buying frenzy is good news for sellers in the King County and Snohomish County, as 80 percent of all newly listed houses are being sold within 30 days. In fact, some sellers are seeing their homes snatched up by buyers within the first week.
According to a report on northwestmls.com, the four-county Puget Sound region is maintaining its strength. Brokers reported 12,275 pending sales for the month of May, showing the highest on record since 2004. This is up from May of 2015 when the number was 11,425.
New Listings Can’t Compete with Housing Demand
In King County, pending sales for May increased by 7.4 percent, but so did house prices. In some cases, prices have risen to double the usual asking price. Of the 8,630 sales that were closed in the month of May, the median price for condominiums and single-family houses was $339,950. This time last year, the median price was $317,000. This shows an increase of 7.2 percent.
During May, MLS members added approximately 12,272 new listings to the inventory. Due to the fast pace of the market, with 12,275 buyers coming to the table, the total number of active real estate listings sits at 15,198 for the month of May. This is a 22 percent decrease from the inventory for May of last year, which totaled 19,515.
The shortage of inventory is proving to be a challenge for those seeking condominium living. The median price rose 9 percent, but the inventory decreased 29 percent. The picture is not much brighter for those seeking a single-family home. Prices increased by an incredible 16.5 percent, from $480,942 to $560,000.
Quick Sales from Best Asking Prices
In the current real estate market, home sellers who set their asking prices well from the beginning are showing quick sales, some as soon as 12 days. This brings up concerns to some who are selling a house in order to purchase another home. While their house may sell quickly, they could find themselves unable to buy a new house because of the inventory shortage.
Buyers are finding it more important than ever to know what’s happening within the market so they can create a compelling offer on the house they choose. With multiple offers coming in, their offer needs to stand above the rest and get them noticed. Advisors still encourage buyers to maintain a sense of diligence during the home buying process.
Experts believe that the shortage is not going to end anytime soon. Even if there was a surge in new listings, the current number of buyers waiting would have a great impact on the increase.
Those looking to purchase luxury property can smile during the inventory crunch. Look for more luxury properties to be listed this time of year. With over 900 listings in the MLS database for King County right now in the over $1 million price range, luxury home buyers have a bit more room to breathe.
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