The new year started out with a bang. The market saw year-over-year increases in pending sales, closed sales and home prices. Mortgage rates hit a 20 month low. The one cause for concern: inventory is not keeping up with demand.
• The number of closed sales were slightly higher than a year ago, and the number of pending sales (agreements that have been signed but not yet closed) made it the best January in 15 years.
• Home prices throughout King County continued to climb.
• Supply of inventory fell by double digits.
High demand and low supply continued to boost home prices on the Eastside. While closed sales were up, pending sales were down. The median price of single family homes sold on the Eastside in January was $625,000, an increase of about 4 percent over last year. Inventory continued to drop to a two month supply. Areas close to the city centers experienced a particular shortage of homes for sale.
Seattle continued to have the lowest supply of single family homes in King County. The city averaged 1.3 months of inventory, with northwest Seattle having just three weeks of supply. Low inventory pushed the median price of a single family home there to $517,500 – 13 percent higher than a year ago. The number of closed sales remained unchanged from a year ago, while pending sales were up slightly.
The median price of single family homes sold in King County in January was up nearly 8 percent over last year to $441,500. Inventory continued to be very tight, with just a two month supply available. A supply of three to six months is considered balanced. With more consumers competing for less inventory, buyers should anticipate multiple offers for most new listings.