October data shows continued low inventory and record-level sales

Interest rates are incredibly low, inventory is incredibly low, and anxiety is incredibly high among home buyers. The month of October shows an unprecedented shortage of homes across the state, according to the latest statistical summary from Northwest MLS.

NWMLS brokers sold 10,806 residential homes (9,392) and condominiums (1,414) in total during October, 2020, a year-over-year increase of 29.6% in closed sales compared to the same time last year. The median price for single-family homes and condos that sold last month was $500,000, a jump of 19% from October, 2019.

According to the market infographic, the total dollar value of closed sales for residential homes was $5.96 billion and $768 million for condos, adding up to $6.73 billion total last month. This represents an increase of 53.6% compared to October last year.

Brokers recorded 1,004 sales priced at $1 million or more in the tri-county area of King, Kitsap and Snohomish. That volume easily surpassed the previous high of 553 luxury sales in 2019.

The median sales price of new construction last month was $610,081, up 11% compared to last year. NWMLS brokers sold 1,299 new construction residential homes and condos in 2020, an increase of 41.3% from 2019.

Most industry experts consider a balanced market to be 4-6 months of inventory. At the current rate of sales, it would take 0.80 months to sell every home that is available in the NWMLS inventory. Brokers recorded 1.73 months of available inventory last October, a decrease of 53.7% compared to this year.

This record low inventory is allowing home prices to escalate at double digit rates. According to the market snapshot video, there were 8,623 active listings in the database last month for a decrease of 40% from 2019. Brokers continue to see buyers moving from the more expensive King County market to the relative affordability that Snohomish County offers.

NWMLS members added 10,428 new listings to the supply last month, improving on the year-ago total of 8,394 for a gain of 24.2%. In keeping with the pattern of previous months, October’s 11,039 pending sales of residential homes (9,516) and condos (1,523) surpassed the number of new listings. Compared to 2019, the report shows an increase of 16% in pending sales from last month’s activity.

The MLS reported 7,934 pending sales in King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap counties. Yet again, the four-county area broke the record for the month of October for the number of homes going under contract.


Statistic information includes single family homes and condominiums within the NWMLS coverage area, which is currently 23 counties in Washington state.