The summer real estate season is pretty much here, and things are not slowing down for our seller’s market. Inventory is up slightly but with interest rates still at near record lows and pent-up demand, we are still seeing an extremely competitive market for home buyers. I will cut straight to the chase and dig into the numbers this month. All data in this post provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).
Over the past month I’ve listed a number of homes in Woodinville and Bothell. All of those sales were pending on or before the offer review date, for above asking price! My anecdotes are reflected in the numbers where we see agents added 11,922 new listings in May. Compared to April 2021 this was actually a decrease from 12,043 new listings. I’d like to see that number going up not down, especially as we are in peak real estate season. Looking back a year, we’ve added 21% more listings in May 2021 compared to 2020, but this time last year there was a lot of pandemic impact.
For most of this year I’ve been talking about “weeks of inventory” for the region whereas I’d normally be telling you about months of inventory. This metric means given the current supply and demand, how long would it take to sell all the inventory on the market at a given time. A market that is balanced between sellers and buyers will be in the 4-6 months of inventory range. In May across all the Puget Sound counties served by the NWMLS, the months of inventory average was just 0.55 or about two weeks! Compared to this time last year when the pandemic was ramping up, the months of inventory was 1.74. Things were even hotter in King and Snohomish counties last month where they came in at 0.42 and 0.37 months respectively. Notice Snohomish county dipping below King last month – this tells me buyers are expanding their searches outside of the core metro areas.
Price Impacts of a Seller’s Market
The median price across the NWMLS last month was $585,000. As usual King and Snohomish counties are the biggest contributors to this numbers. Together these counties represent over 50% of the sales volume for May 2021 and have the highest average prices in the region. Last month the median sales price in King County was $775,000 and $655,000 in Snohomish. In my Spring 2021 real estate market update I wrote about how these metrics I’m presenting are lagging indicators. That statement is apparent here now that we’re seeing the data on months of bidding of wars. The YoY price increases are looking to hit regional highs with the median price up 30% compared to this time last year!
In my past few updates I’ve also been keeping a close eye on the average home price for King County and wondering when it will exceed $1,000,000 for the first time ever. Last month I reported that the April 2021 average sales price for a home in King County was $830,000. Some expensive homes have been hitting the market because for May that number jumped to $962,712 for single family homes and condos. That means any month now we’ll be saying the average price of a home in King County is a million dollars!
The data is telling us we’re still in the middle of the hottest seller’s market I’ve ever seen and summer will continue to be an amazing time to sell your home. I can also save you a lot of money along the way with my 1% listing commission. Feel free to contact me to discuss any buying or selling questions you have – there is never any pressure!