Signs of pent-up demand as seasonal slowdown hits, Northwest MLS reports

by Patrick Regan

Closed sales during November in the Northwest MLS hit their lowest point since February, but brokers reported some signs of increasing demand, creating optimism for 2023.

“Determined buyers are purchasing homes, with pent-up demand driving the market,” Dean Rebhuhn, owner of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville, said in a news release. “Sellers who price to the market are attracting showings and receiving good offers.” 

King County had an average of 55 sales per day last month, with year-over-year median prices rising from $740,000 to $750,000.

Across the 26-county NWMLS footprint, the volume of closed sales in November was 5,194, the fewest since February’s 5,147, and a 42% decline from November 2021. 

“Our traditional seasonal slowdown around the holidays is happening earlier this year, with the alignment of climbing interest rates, economic news, local weather and a volatile stock market,” said John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Banker Bain. “These conditions make it easier for consumers to place large purchases on hold, though we saw several notable sales in the luxury market over the last month, as real estate is still one of the best investments one can make.”

November’s supply of inventory was estimated at 2.36 months, the best since January 2019 when inventory reached 2.4 months.

Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, said he expects mortgage rates to drop next year, driving more housing activity. 

“Early in the new year, I expect the Fed to start pulling back from their aggressive policy stance, and this will allow rates to begin slowly stabilizing,” he said. 

“It’s unlikely we’ll see a buyer’s market in 2023, but I do expect a return to a far more balanced one.” 

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