Seattle Real Estate News December 2020
The Personal Seattle Real Estate News
Seattle Real Estate News December 2020: Activity remains strong despite low inventory in all price ranges.
KIRKLAND, Washington (December 7, 2020) – Some real estate brokers expect the competition for homes to ease somewhat over the holidays, but the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service indicate activity is unusually strong heading into December.
“The rush is on for housing,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO at John L. Scott Real Estate. “Real estate activity typically chills as temperatures drop but buyer demand remains high. “With low unsold inventory, all eyes will be on each new home that comes on the market,” he suggested, adding, “This strong demand is present in the more affordable mid-price ranges and extends into high-end homes.”
The Northwest MLS report summarizing November activity shows strong year-over-year (YOY) increases in closed sales (up about 23%) and prices (up 13.8%). Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) rose 7.9% from a year ago, and the year’s saga of depleted inventory continued last month with the number of total listings down nearly 43%.
Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner said even though the housing market has started to show some signs of its traditional winter slowdown “activity remains higher than we would normally see at this time of year. This isn’t too surprising given the fact that the spring selling season was essentially cancelled due to COVID-19.”
Commenting on the low inventory, NWMLS director Meredith Hansen emphasized buyers need to be ready to compete. “Offers that have the best chance of acceptance are from buyers who are pre-approved with a local lender or have cash. Buyers also need to be prepared to have a pre-inspection in order to waive that contingency, and be ready to escalate in price if necessary,” suggested Hansen, the owner/designated broker at Keller Williams Greater Seattle.
Although inventory is limited, a check of the supply by price range shows about 25% of the listings across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS are priced under $400,000, and a similar number (24.4%) are priced from $400,000 to $600,000. At the high end of the spectrum, about 21% of homes and condominiums in the database have asking prices of $1 million and higher.