With a recent increase in active listings, the local real estate market is shifting, and fatigued buyers are taking note this summer. In King County, listings for single-family homes are up 43 percent year-over-year, and in Snohomish County, they are up more than 17 percent.
With more homes for sale, the market’s breakneck pace of the recent past is easing slightly, allowing buyers to forgo ill-advised decisions such as waiving the inspection requirement or purchasing a home that doesn’t quite meet their needs.
Although it remains a seller’s market, homes that are in top condition are selling first and fast, while outdated homes or those in disrepair may languish on the market and become subject to price reductions.
Home prices have not yet responded to the higher inventory levels, as single family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties all have shown increases over the same period last year. The median sales price in King County has increased 9.22 percent year-over-year, with Snohomish County showing a 13.67 percent increase and Pierce County showing a 10.53 percent increase.
On an interesting note, the Northwest MLS stats show the median sales price for single family homes in King County fell from $726,275 in May to $715,000 in June. According to the NWMLS, this May-to-June cooling hasn’t happened since before the recession.
While some buyers are finding breathing room with the new inventory and enjoying the expanded range of selection, they are advised to be prepared to make their best possible offer when a property that might fit their needs comes on the market. Homes that are in good condition and properly priced will still spur fierce competition.
For many buyers, climbing mortgage rates and rising prices may quickly place homes at certain price points out of reach. Change is definitely in the air.