The month of September presented a host of potential pitfalls due to continued COVID-19 concerns, Boeing’s announcement, and various other factors. Regardless, last month resulted in the highest volume of home sales since June 2018, according to the latest statistical summary from Northwest MLS.
Brokers completed 10,175 sales transactions during September, an increase of 103 sales since the last highest volume was reported in June 2018. Closing sales also jumped nearly 28% in September as opposed to the previous year.
The new report from Northwest MLS, which serves 23 counties in western and central Washington, showed a 43% decrease in inventory, a 23% increase in pending sales, and a 19% surge in prices for single family homes and condos compared to last year at this time.
Northwest MLS attributes the active market to record low interest rates, jobs, and lifestyle choices. Data is consistently reporting a backlog of buyers, resulting in offers being significantly over list price in many situations.
Economists are closely watching the housing market in Snohomish County after Boeing announced the move of all 787 Dreamliner production to a single location in South Carolina. Down the line, the market may see an increase in the number of homes for sale as workers leave the area. These effects could be counteracted by the recent expansions of Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft throughout the region.
Impacts of COVID-19 on the housing market are prevalent as supply continues to be inadequate to meet demand, according to last month’s activity. Brokers are seeing a rotation of home ownership, whether that means refinancing, remodeling, or moving.
Northwest MLS brokers added 11,210 new listings to inventory during September, an increase from last year when they added 9,435. Compared to August, the volume declined by 733 listings. Supply totaled 9,099 active listings at the end of the month, the lowest level since February.
Measured by months of supply, there is less than one month of supply system wide. In the Puget Sound region, only King County notched more than a month’s supply. Mason, Thurston and Snohomish counties had the tightest inventory, with only about two weeks of supply.
The median price for homes and condos that sold last month across the Northwest MLS market area was $499,950, an increase from last year’s figure of $420,000. San Juan County had the highest median price at $850,000, followed by King County at $698,230.
Seattle continues to be a desirable destination for people to move, despite the numerous negative news stories about anarchy and violence. MLS data shows the number of closed sales in Seattle jumped from 750 sales in September 2019 to 1,189 sales in September 2020.
Seattle-area stats also record an 8.4% gain in active listings compared to a year ago, fueled by the addition of 527 condo listings.