Buyers and sellers are ‘adjusting,’ according to latest NWMLS report

by Emily Marek

Despite elevated interest rates, buyers and sellers in the Seattle housing market are “adjusting” to the new norm, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).

Active listings increased by over 40% in May, with 12,837 properties on the market in the NWMLS region. Meanwhile, Realtors added 11,572 new listings to the database, an increase of 25% year over year. For-sale inventory of condominiums also increased last month, with 2,071 condos on the market. That’s a 70% increase year over year. These increases indicate that at least some sellers are finally willing to give up their low mortgage rates.

“With the 30-year fixed mortgage rate currently at 7.03% as of late May 2024, the purchasing power of prospective buyers remains constrained relative to a few years ago,” Steven Bourassa, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, said in a press release. “Year-over-year inventory levels have improved dramatically relative to May 2023, increasing by 41%. The number of year-over-year closed sales transactions saw a 6% increase, signaling that buyers and sellers are beginning to adjust to the higher interest rate environment.”

Bourassa added that “higher levels of for-sale inventory should have an impact in stabilizing price levels over the summer months.” Months of inventory rose to 1.92 in May, a 33.4% annual increase, while the median price rose 7% year over year to $660,000, up from $615,000 in May 2023. Median prices were considerably higher in King ($890,000), Snohomish ($785,000) and San Juan ($744,500) counties.

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