Home sales “pause” with government shutdown, but brokers mostly bullish on market recovery

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - November 5, 2013 – Home sales “paused” during October but prices continued to rise, according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Commenting on year-to-date totals for 2013 compared to 2012, one industry expert remarked, “I would say the real estate market is recovering nicely.”

Pending sales during October dipped 2.7 percent when compared to the same month a year ago, but rose nearly 3.2 percent from September’s volume. October’s decline was the first negative change in year-over-year comparisons since April 2011. (That drop-off was attributed in part to a frenzy during April 2010 when buyers were scrambling to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was expiring.)

Region's housing activity "speeding along," but pace slowing as seasons change, uncertainty looms amid shutdown

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - October 4, 2013 – September tested the housing market's resilience around Western Washington with fluctuating mortgage rates, record-setting rains, and persistent inventory shortages in some areas. By month's end, however, both pending and closed sales outgained the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Demand for Puget Sound area homes "still incredibly strong," but brokers report frenzy is easing in some neighborhoods

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - September 5, 2013 - Northwest Multiple Listing Service figures for August show brisk sales, escalating prices and some improvement in inventory, prompting one MLS director to declare, “What these numbers tell us loud and clear is that buyer demand in the Puget Sound region is still incredibly strong.”

In making that comment, OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, noted the housing market tends to experience some slowing during August, but rising inventory levels and sustained buyer demand fueled “higher than expected home sales and another month of strong appreciation.”

Home sales, prices still rising in Western Washington despite lean inventory and increasing mortgage rates

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - August 6, 2013 – Rising interest rates, rising prices and rising consumer confidence are creating a “positive cyclone of home sales activity,” according to members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. A robust job market around the Greater Seattle area is also spurring sales.

Member-brokers reported 9,565 pending sales during July for an increase of more than 13.6 percent from a year ago – the highest year-over-year gain since January. Last month’s mutually accepted offers across 21 counties also marked a slight improvement on June’s total of 9,484 pending sales.

Northwest MLS brokers say market stays "extremely competitive;" some industry experts believe "housing affordability may never be better"

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - July 3, 2013 – Current market conditions ̶ including rising mortgage rates, tight inventory and declining unemployment ̶ are driving even more buyers into what is already an "extremely competitive housing market," reported OB Jacobi, a member of the board of directors for Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

New figures from the MLS show pending sales during June jumped 10.6 percent from twelve months ago as buyers scrambled to lock in loan rates and bid on a limited supply of homes. Members in the 21 counties served by Northwest MLS reported 9,484 mutually accepted offers last month, outgaining the year-ago number of pending sales by 907 transactions.

Competition among home buyers "still fierce;" rising interest rates adding to fury

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - June 5, 2013 – Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to increases in interest rates and asking prices.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported double-digit gains in several key indicators it tracks for the 21 counties in its service area. Compared to a year ago, the number of new listings climbed 16 percent, pending sales increased about 10 percent, closed sales jumped nearly 22 percent, and prices rose more than 13 percent. Despite gains in listing activity, inventory remains tight.

Multiple offers are “the new normal” for housing market around Puget Sound

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - May 6, 2013 – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members notched their highest volume of new listings since June 2011, but the additions did little to ease inventory shortages. Brokers also reported the highest volume of pending sales since May 2007, along with anecdotes of bidding wars.

“Multiple offers have become the new normal,” remarked MLS director Diedre Haines, the Snohomish County regional managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. “We have literally gone off the charts in absorption,” she stated, adding the dip in pending sales in that county “is all due to lack of inventory.”

Prices “spiking” as home buyers compete for scarce inventory

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA, April 4 - 2013 – Brokers added 9,332 new listings to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service database during March, but pending sales topped that number to further crimp inventory and trigger competitive bidding among buyers who are flocking to open houses.

“All price ranges are feeling a lift,” reported Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma. Northwest MLS director John Deely echoed that comment: “We are seeing many homes in Seattle meet and exceed pre-bubble price levels,” stated Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle.

Western Washington housing indicators aligned “for spring market to remember”

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - March 5, 2013 – Real estate brokers around Washington state agree today’s market is far different than two years ago, with one industry veteran summing it up by saying key indicators “are in perfect alignment for a spring market to remember.”

On the plus side, closed sales during February jumped more than 9 percent from a year ago and median sales prices are up 13 percent according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Last month’s pending sales across the 21 counties served by Northwest MLS also increased, but only slightly (1.7 percent) due in part to depleted inventory.

Brokers report brisk sales, but rising frustration for home buyers

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NWMLS, Kirkland, WA - February 5, 2013 – Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring is showing up in the latest housing activity report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Its statistics for January showed a 14.4 percent year-over-year increase in pending sales and a 23.6 percent jump in closed sales amid a 31.3 percent decline in inventory.

The MLS reported 4,289 closed sales during January, surpassing the year ago total by 820 transactions. Last month’s completed sales of single family homes and condominiums had a median selling price of $239,300. That’s up 11.3 percent from the year-ago figure of $214,990.