Surprising amounts of precipitation in the form of both snow and record rainfall haven’t deterred determined buyers from being active in the market so far this year. Brokers report fierce bidding wars and multiple-offer situations as hopeful home seekers continue their quests.
The most recent NWMLS statistics show February closed sales prices for single-family homes are up compared with the same time last year. In Snohomish County, prices are up by 14.9 percent; and in King County they are up by 8.74 percent.
The rise is, in part, due to buyers price escalation tactics during multiple offer situations. Other factors include foreign buyers fleeing tax hikes in Vancouver, B.C., and are now looking to buy the Puget Sound area, as well as a red-hot job market that continues to draw high wage earners to our region.
The main issue is the same as it has been for more than a year: There are fewer homes available for purchase in our area. With Inventory at record lows, it would seem there has never been a better time to list a home for sale. Properly priced homes are selling quickly, and in the hottest neighborhoods, homes sell in 30 days or fewer according to MLS stats.
Sellers are understandably reluctant to list, fearing difficulties finding their own next home. The inclement weather we’ve experienced in recent weeks has also caused many to postpone listing. Brokers describe sellers as being on a “traditional spring schedule” that begins in May, while buyers have attempted to get ahead of competition earlier in the year. The coming warmer weather is sure to lure more sellers to make the move to list their homes. In the meantime, sellers are being advised that the longer they wait, the more competition they’ll face later in the spring.