As numbers continue to increase for available homes on the market, the opportunity is beginning to shift for homebuyers. Here’s what local real estate expert, Frank Hawkins of Hawkins-Poe Real Estate, Fircrest WA, and Northwest MLS Experts forecast regarding the July market for potential buyers and sellers.
Tacoma, Washington (July 6, 2022) – Housing statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service for June show signs of a shifting market, creating opportunities for some buyers. Compared to a year ago, Northwest MLS (NWMLS) brokers reported a healthy jump in inventory, double-digit drops in both pending and closed sales, and the smallest year-over-year (YOY) increase in prices since June 2020.
Northwest MLS brokers added 14,223 new listings of single-family homes and condos to inventory during June, up from both May, when they added 13,075 homes system-wide, and a year ago, when they added 13,111 properties to the database. Last month’s total was the highest volume of new listings since May 2019 when brokers tallied 14,689 new listings.
At the end of June, there were 13,405 active listings of single-family homes and condominiums in the Northwest MLS database, which includes 26 of the state’s 39 counties. That’s more than double the inventory of a year ago (6,358 listings), and the best selection since October 2019 when buyers could choose from 14,379 listings. Both pending sales (mutually accepted offers) and closed sales declined from a year ago. MLS members reported 8,937 pending sales during June, down 27.5% from the year-ago total of 12,328, and down 3.8% from May. Closed sales also fell from a year earlier (down about 17.2%), but last month’s total of 9,047 completed transactions nearly matched May’s volume of 9,096.
The latest MLS report shows area-wide prices rose about 10.4%, from a median price of $589,000 to $650,000. On a percentage basis, that is the smallest year-over-year (YOY) gain since June 2020 when prices rose around 5.7%. “The slowing of price increases and the increase in inventory is providing breathing room for Home Buyers”, states Frank Hawkins, President of Hawkins-Poe, Inc. “BUT,” he continues, “we must keep in mind that even with a slight decline in demand, the current market still leaves us with less than 1.25 months of inventory. In a balanced residential real estate market, inventory levels are between 4 and 6 months.”
“Well priced and properly presented properties are still getting a lot of action from a pent-up group of Buyers. With the longer marketing times, those Buyers are now able to move more deliberately through the selection process and can include more protections for themselves in the negotiation process”, Hawkins concluded, “This is really a good turn for the market. The price increases of the past 3 years have been unsustainable and lopsided. Seller-centric negotiations left Buyers with no negotiation room. "It’s a breath of fresh air.”