January 2021 Market Update

Below is a snapshot of how the Puget Sound real estate market is off and running in 2021. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) includes 23 member-counties across the Puget Sound area with King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties leading the pack by sales volume and average price. All market statistics and real estate data in this post is provided by the NWMLS.

My overall feeling right now is that while we experienced slightly less pressure from the buyer or demand side during the holiday weeks, the demand for homes in our region appears to be stronger than ever. Inventory in terms of new listings is up 5.5% from January 2020, but we are seeing that is not enough . Homes listed for a reasonable sales price are currently being bid up 10% or higher or on the offer review date. I recently bid on a home in Woodinville that received 25 offers! The good news is that with more inventory typically coming on during the Spring months it should give buyers more options but I believe that low interest rates and strong demand will drive prices up even higher.

I am winning many of these bidding wars due to a competent bidding strategy combined with clear and open communication between all parties involved. Always feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss the current offer trends and my take on topics such as offer review periods, which contingencies to consider waiving, love letters, or escalator clauses; there is never any pressure.

Median Sales Price

The median sales price across all NWMLS member counties was month was $483,250. King County had the highest median price at $644,950.

Sales Volume

It is pretty staggering to see that across the Puget Sound area that real estate agents closed nearly 3.5 billion in sales for January 2020. King County contributed to this with 2,006 closings with an average sales price of $804,808. Snohomish and Pierce counties followed with 907 and 990 closings respectively. You can see how quickly the average price drops off when you leave the metro area – the average sales price for a home in Pierce County last month was $486,985.

Available Inventory

I think the available inventory really speaks for itself when we’re talking about a “months of inventory” metric. This is something I’ve tracked on my blog for a long time because the Seattle area market has been under the typical/balanced levels of 4-6 months for years now. Not only is less than a month pretty unprecedented, it would be better named weeks of inventory if areas around the country were consistently at these levels. While 0.75 “months” was the average for January across the NWMLS, we’ve already seen hot spots in areas like King County dip below 2 weeks or 0.5 months of inventory. By comparison, the highest months of inventory we’ve seen across the NWMLS in recent years was slightly over 2 months of inventory on average for the year 2019.


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