The spring housing market is here. We’re calling it a Pac-Man market because homes are being gobbled up as soon as they come on the market. In February pending sales of single-family homes rose 56 percent, from 32 to 50, and pending sales were even with February 2015. New listings rose 17.8 percent last month, from 45 to 53 but that number is down 24.3 percent from than a year ago.
“As forecasted, we’re in for another crazy spring real estate market,” said Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Six months ago we predicted the major decline in inventory throughout the winter months that would create a more intense market starting the first of the year. It’s like déjà vu all over again. We’ve seen this pattern for the last three years, but the lack of inventory is taking its toll on homebuyers; we are facing the most intense market yet.”
Starting the month of March, we will start to see an explosion in the amount of sales activity for the next eight months. That’s the good news.
The bad news? Market conditions still require buyers to make an instant response because there are so many hungry buyers out there.
“We have a real estate market that is out of balance,” said Mona Spencer, managing broker of John L. Scott Eastside. “There is less than a month of inventory in Kirkland: great for sellers; extremely challenging for buyers.”
Ms. Spencer goes on to say that in a more balanced housing market, which consists of four to six months of inventory, buyers have an easier time buying their dream home.
“For buyers, have your agent explain how to navigate through the lack of inventory to help you win the offer,” she says. “Make sure they have a list of techniques to use. The good news is that interest rates are still historically low which helps with affordability. For sellers, it is still important even in this market to understand how to price and market your home correctly.”
Kellee Bradley is a spokesperson with John L. Scott.