Northwest MLS brokers are seeing a possible positive on the hotizon regarding inventory. Here's what local real estate expert, Frank Hawkins of Hawkins-Poe Real Estate, Fircrest, WA, along with Northwest MLS experts see regarding the May market for potential buyers and sellers.
Finally, some good news for home buyers! Sizeable increases in new listings compared to a year ago and reports of moderating prices might mean we are seeing some relief for
buyers. We will see if that holds as we move into the heaviest demand months of May - July with still severely limited inventory.
April's month-end inventory of 5,616 listings was a year-over-year (YOY) drop of 4S%. A year ago, there were 10,282 active listings in the MLS database. Pending sales continue to surge, keeping inventory depleted. Brokers reported 10,583 pending sales during April, up nearly 47% from a year ago when they logged 7,207 mutually accepted offers.
With supplies depleted, prices continue to climb. Brokers reported 8,791 closed sales of single-family homes and condos during April, nearly 50% higher than the year-ago total of 5,866 completed transactions. Year-over-year prices on closed sales surged 25%, frum $452,030 to $565,000. Nearly every county had double-digit gains. Prices on single family homes ruse about 26.5%, while condo prices increased by a more modest 12%.
"Inventory in Pierce County has not expanded at normal April/May rates," according to Frank Hawkins, President of Hawkins-Poe. "The April Inventory was down by 50% year-over-year when comparing April of 2020 with 2021. With brisk sales and lower inventory, we have less than 2 weeks' worth of inventory - 4 to 6 months typically indicates a balanced market. Builders are perplexed with new regulations and increasing costs of construction materials, which is delaying bringing new home inventory to the market."
"Inventory in Kitsap County is similar," according to Hawkins. "The volume of new listings (including single family homes and condos) in Kitsap County increased 47.4% from a year ago and nearly 17% from March, but total active inventory was down 47% from a year ago, resulting in about two weeks of supply:" Kitsap County year-over-year prices ruse 22.7%, with the median price on last month's sales at $485,000.
"Although bidding wars are common," stated Hawkins, "I'm hearing some brukers reporting things may be moderating slightly relative to pricing. I've had some Brukers tell me some sellers, who have been pusring the envelope on their home price, are now experiencing longer list times and, in some cases, have had to drop their prices." He emphasized, "Sellers need to price appropriately---properly priced and properly prepared pruperties are still in high demand."