Fall Market sees renewed inventory challenges

As reported last month, buyers came out in large numbers and began to soak up the increasing inventory from spring. Faced with better choices, lower interest rates and motivated sellers, they snapped up homes in all areas. Pending home sales (an indicator of current market activity) increased, while surprisingly, the usual August bump of new listings, did not appear. New listing activity in August was down (6.3% from July & 18% less than August 2018), perhaps due to sellers getting the message their home value was slipping. This has created yet another shortage of available homes, leading to frustrated buyers who were waiting for further price improvements.

Many buyers are faced with looking outside of King County due to affordability. Both Pierce and Snohomish counties saw double digit increases in both pending sales and solid increases in home prices. Overall, King counties median sale price of $615,000 is up 0.8%, Snohomish County is up 1.8% to $470,000 & Pierce county leads the way in affordability with a median sale price $369,000, up 6.1% year over year.

As a seller, I recommend considering listing now before buyers get tired again and hunker down for the winter. Buyers, hang in there, stay prepared and be ready to act quick when you find the one!!

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