There is a sense of urgency in the air for most buyers in the Puget Sound area as real estate inventory continues to create a seller favored real estate market. The good news is that the number of houses for sale showed an increase for the month of April. In fact, there was a substantial 13.6 percent increase from March.
Lack of inventory in March sent prices soaring towards the sky, but the addition of houses to the market in April showed the beginnings of moderation in house prices when compared to April of last year.
According to a report on northwestmls.com, the four-county Puget Sound region showed up strong for April. Brokers reported 8,322 pending sales, which makes April one of the top three strongest months recorded in 16 years.
Sales Drop and Inventory is Low
In King County, pending sales for April dropped 5.8 percent, which shows the impact of a decrease in volume of 28 percent in inventory. Prices for condominiums increased 14 percent to $323,500 from last year’s $272,000.
During April, MLS members added approximately 11.939 new listings to the inventory. This is not a substantial increase from last year’s 11.495. Even with these additions to the inventory, the total number of active real estate listings sits at 14,235 for the month of April. This is a 21.5 percent decrease from the inventory for April of last year, which totaled 18,132.
Buyers Willing to Take Risks
The shortage of inventory is causing buyers to take risks that they may not take during a period of time with more houses active on the market. Multiple offers place added pressure on those looking to seal the deal, and this can blur the lines of good decision making for many who feel a sense of fatigue when it comes to the home buying process.
It’s become increasingly prevalent to see buyers agreeing to set aside their rights when it comes to title conditions, neighborhood statistics, inspections, and financial options. This type of behavior seldom ends in a positive outcome for both the buyer and the seller. The end result, even with their compromises, is that buyers are paying more for a house now than they would have in the past.
Listings Increase During April
The hope right now is that the increase in listings during the month of April will lead the way to a trend of increases that will add some balance to the real estate market in this area. Real estate specialists encourage both buyers and sellers to maintain their sense of diligence when it comes to real estate transactions during the inventory crunch.
Cash sales in King County are consistent at 15 percent. More buyers are choosing to place larger down payments or borrow money from other sources to purchase a house for cash. This is more common in situations that involve those moving to the area from elsewhere, or when a multiple offers on a house are causing a bidding war.
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