A sliver of housing inventory hope in King County and Washington?

by Patrick Regan

Seattle downtown skyline with view of Mt.Rainier in distance

New listings jumped in both in King County and across the 26-county Northwest MLS footprint, February data shows.

Brokers added 7,920 new listings in February, an increase of more than 33% from January’s 5,927, a Northwest MLS news release said. In King County, new listings surged to 2,901, compared to 2.083 the previous month.

“Buyers in King County are jumping for joy over the (more than) 40% increase in new listings that we saw in February compared to January,” Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, said in the news release. 

Across the Northwest MLS footprint, there were about 19 days of housing supply at the end of February, a slight uptick from January and the most since September. Roughly four to six months of supply is considered “normal.”

“It seems even homes that wash up on the beach are getting multiple offers,” said Dick Beeson managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest Realtors, “The sound of interest rate increases is ever nearer, and when coupled with the enormous price increases for homes around Puget Sound, the wringing of buyers’ hands will surely be a sad tale of 2022. There’s no relief in sight.”

Despite the increase in new listings in February, market conditions are likely to continue to favor sellers, with multiple offers, many above asking price, industry leaders said.

The median price for a single-family home in King County grew to $857,000, compared to $750,000 in the same month last year. In Snohomish it was $745,000 from $624,00, and Pierce was $535,000 vs. $462,000. 

“As we head into spring, it’s time for buyers to re-energize and go through a renewal of spirit as they begin or continue their home search,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Buyers will be pleased to hear that more listings are on the way! Historically, the number of new listings bumps up in March and April, and then goes up even higher in May and June.”

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