As I wrote in my December blog ( Here ), buyers got the memo about more choices and low interest rates and continued their buying into the Holiday season. This buying activity absorbed lot of the remaining inventory and has lead to an even tighter market. Inventory of single family & condo properties across the entire 23 county NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service) is down at year end by 31% with the I-5 corridors counties of Thurston (-54%), Pierce (-38.9%), King (-38.8%) & Snohomish (-35.6%) leading the way.
While December is typically a slower month, activity stayed brisk across all categories. Closed sales in December were up 11% (reflecting Novembers results) and December Pending sales (the best indicator of current market activity) were up 4.7% over last year. Even more close to home, Coldwell Banker Danforth had the best December ever and my listing had showings every day but Christmas & New Years in the last two weeks of the year. It went pending shortly after the 1st. ( 5508 S 2nd Everett, WA ).
Going forward, some brokers feel that prices may moderate as spring inventory increases. While I agree, I believe it will be short lived. My best advice is as follows:
- Properly priced and presented homes will still sell at a premium.
- Sellers should take the Costco approach, bring your home to market earlier than every one else. While most market advice says mid April, I am advising anytime between now and then that you are ready but no later than March 15. Those buyers who trusted this advice last year did quite well, as the buyers were out but sellers were not quite there yet with more choice.
- Buyers, as always, be prepared, have financing in order and move quick.
Data excerpted from NWMLS January press release. Click Here for full report