Real Estate

According to a report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, “plenty of buyers” came out to compete for a small inventory of properties in November. 

The month concluded with a 7 percent increase from last year in pending sales regionally.

“The volume of mutually accepted offers rose even more (9.2 percent)  in the tri-county Puget Sound region consisting of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, with Snohomish leading that list with a jump of about 12 percent,” according to a news release from the agency.

In Lewis County, the increase in pending sales was less robust. There were 121 pending sales in November 2019 in Lewis County, up 1.68 percent from 119 the previous November. However, 97 sales closed in November 2019, up 15 percent from the previous November, according to the NMLS. 

Locally, there were a total of 97 new listings in November 2019, up from 88 the previous November. 

The median sale price also increased in Lewis County, from $249,450 in November 2018 to $259,000 in November 2019. 

Median sales prices statewide increased compared to both a year ago and to October, according to the NMLS. For November’s 7,216 closed sales, up 5.5 percent from a year ago, the area-wide sales price was $434,900, a gain of about 10 percent from the same month a year ago. 

King County’s median price of $612,000 led all other counties, but prices there edged up just over a percentage point compared to a year ago.

“Just when I thought we had started a ‘new normal’ that equalized things a bit for buyers, we’ve had a ‘November Surprise,’” said Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “Perhaps it’s an aberration, but perhaps not,” he suggested.

 November’s 7 percent increase in pending sales was the highest year-over-year gain for November since 2016. In 2017, the year over year figure was a modest 1.6 percent, while last year’s comparison showed a drop of more than 10 percent.

Brokers could not replenish inventory to keep pace with demand.

“New listings added to inventory retreated nearly 15 percent,” Grady noted. MLS members added 5,437 new listings system-wide, far fewer than a year ago when they added 6,399 residential properties to the MLS market area that covers 23 counties. The imbalance between new listings and pending sales resulted in supply falling to 1.58 months, the lowest system-wide level since last December.

Northwest MLS director John Deely also commented on last month’s pace of activity. “Motivated buyers jumped into the market to capitalize on motivated sellers with both groups looking to complete their real estate goals by year’s end,” he reported. “The upper end market saw an influx of cash buyers looking to grab trophy properties, notably buyers and investors from California looking to diversify their real estate holdings,” added Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain’s Lake Union Office in Seattle.

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