Puget Sound housing market hits new summer sales record

“It’s been the best summer for sales activity, with June, July, and August clocking in a record number of transactions,” said Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The other big stories are the high sales activity compared to new listings coming on the market, with pending sales activity virtually matching the number of new listings in August, and record low inventory.”

In Kirkland, homes continue to sell quickly, and oftentimes with multiple offers. New listings rose 8.5 percent compared to August 2016 and pending home sales increased 4.7 percent. That being said, overall inventory is down 17 percent from last year. In fact, as the summer market comes to a close and we head into fall, low inventory appears to be the new normal. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, last month was the lowest August on record for total active inventory. In King County listings are down almost 21 percent from August 2016; listings are also down 10.6 percent in Snohomish, 14.46 in Pierce, and 18.85 in Kitsap Counties.

“Houses are still selling in a short period of time,” said Mona Spencer, Office Leader of John L. Scott Eastside. “However, there are not as many multiple offers because of the expected seasonal shift due to vacations, back-to-school activities, and some buyer fatigue.”

Spencer goes on to say that the forecast is calling for smaller gains in price appreciation in the next year. Housing inventory in Kirkland still remains tight, which means that prices will still appreciate due to supply and demand.

“If you are buying in the Kirkland market in the near future and on into 2018, be prepared to compete with other buyers,” she said.

As we head into fall, September and October will see new listing inventory coming on the market drop by about 20 percent from the summer months, so the next two months will be the best opportunity for selection and availability for buyers to purchase a home, because starting November the number of new listings will drop another 30 percent over the winter.

Interest rates and job growth also play into the record-breaking summer; we’re experiencing the lowest rates since last November, and job growth remains very strong.

The luxury market continues to outpace last year’s market in a huge way, with 504 homes selling over one million dollars last month in King County compared to last year’s 332 homes, equating to a 51 perent increase in homes sold. A total of 24 uber luxury homes sold (priced above $3 million), compared to last year’s 14 homes, a 71 percent increase.”