Thinking of Making a Move This Year?
According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) our Seattle area real estate is hot, hot, hot! Well…for Sellers, for sure! “Insatiable buyer demand” is keeping inventory scarce as buyers are trying to outmaneuver and outbid one another, according to reports from the NWMLS (January 6, 2021). Their statistical summary for December, 2020 showed super strong activity all the way up through the holiday season! We had double-digit increases in new listings, pending sales, closed sales and home sale prices over December, 2019.
Why is Inventory So Low?
Why is this super low inventory persisting even in the midst of a pandemic? We thought people would be staying put and hunkering down until we got back to “normal”, but our normal is changing. As people have found creative ways of working from their homes, they have found that they don’t actually need to “go in to the office” as much, if at all. This is helping the employees and employers both in very different ways. Employers have been able to reduce their monthly rent/building expenses overall, which may have actually kept some of them open and their people working. Employees working from home have saved hours in their day not having to sit in traffic, their saving gas money and wear & tear of vehicles…maybe even reducing their auto insurance rates by not driving as much. So many things that we knew as normal are a distant memory. If you don’t need to drive to work, well then you can live anywhere! As the year went by, people started rethinking where they live in relation to where they work. It doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore….so, the minute a home went on the market it seems it was scooped up within hours.
According to our latest MLS update, in King County, despite a nearly 62% increase in new listings compared to a year ago, the insatiable buyer demand absorbed available properties almost immediately. John Deely, NWMLS Director and Executive Vice President of Operations at Coldwell Banker Bain, posted his review of new listing activity during the month of December 2020 and found that for the past decade last month’s total (5,260) was the largest since 2010 (5,460) and yet there is only about two weeks of supply (0.53 months) of homes on the market overall.
Crazy, right! What’s next?
We don’t have a crystal ball and can’t know what the market will be all the way through 2021, but for now, it looks like its going to be a wild ride going into the Spring market of 2021. Economist Matthew Gardner is saying, “As we move into 2021, I expect continued strong demand from buyers, but unfortunately, the likelihood that there will be any significant increase in inventory is slim. As a result, I believe prices will continue to rise, which is good news for sellers, but raises concerns about affordability. This, combined with modestly rising mortgage rates, could end up taking some steam out of the market but overall, I expect housing to continue being a very bright spot in the Puget Sound economy.”. These are our sentiments exactly at the Krueger Team. So, if you’re thinking about selling your home, this Spring market looks to be a great time to make a plan for that. If you’re a Buyer in today’s market, there are also strategies that we can work with you on to help find and purchase that elusive home…even in this crazy market! Let us know if you have questions that we can answer or if we can help you put a plan together to guide you to your next home.