Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, comments on the NWMLS October housing numbers and gives his take on the market:
We’re heading into winter with a repeat of last year’s conditions: low inventory, a backlog of buyers, and historically low interest rates. Last month was the best October on record, and the surge-hot market continues on a seasonality basis. Starting in November, as daylight savings time fell back, so will home sales activity. The farther we move into November the more we’ll start feeling the typical seasonal drop when new listings coming on the market decline by 50 percent on a monthly basis when compared to spring and summer market. But buyers are still out there, and just like last year, we’re going to see a strong winter market where the inventory remains tight throughout the season.
Last month, there were more pending home sales than new listings in King, Snohomish, Kitsap and Pierce counties compared to a year ago, especially in areas and price ranges where 90 percent of the sales activity is taking place. Out of the four-county area, Kitsap County was the only one that saw a slight increase in new residential listings over last year, and pending sales increased by 20.70 percent. Price appreciation is driving the strong Kitsap market.
It is normal for median home prices to fluctuate the second half of the year. The median home price rose from $538,000 in September to $550,000 for October in King County. In fact, the entire four-county area saw median residential (sans condo) home prices increase. Home prices continue to show appreciation compared to a year ago. In fact, in Snohomish County home prices have increased 5.92 percent from a year ago, and King County is at 14.58 percent.
October 2016 was the best October on record for pending homes sales in history for the Puget Sound real estate market. We saw a decrease in new residential listings compared to a year ago in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, but Kitsap County saw a slight increase from 373 last October to 401 last month. (residential resale only, not including condo)
Expect inventory to drop by 50 percent on a monthly basis now until February of 2017.
Pending home sales outpaced new inventory for the month of October in the four-county area.
In the luxury market, sales activity of homes above one million is strong.
Interest rates continue to be historically low in the mid 3s.