Summer always seems to leave us a little sooner than most of us want, but one bonus of this time of year is that at least we generally get to see a little pick up in housing activity during the autumn months. Vacations are over, kids are back in school, and those who have been thinking about making a move now get “down to business” and often try to make that transition before the holidays. So, after a sluggish summer season, I’m expecting to see at least a mild bounce in activity over the next two months.
I believe we’re still suffering a hangover from the end of the tax credit, but I think it’s finally starting to slowly improve. Active listings held steady in August and pending sales bounced 9.4%. Closed sales did dip 7.6% from July, but pending sales tend to be more of a leading indicator so it’s good to see those go up, especially when active listings stay flat. However, since August 2009, the numbers are technically worse as there are now 8% more listings than last year, but 13% fewer pending sales and 21% fewer closed sales.
After prices strangely popped up briefly in July, they’ve dipped back down to an average of $424,000 and $188/sqft. The $/sqft price is 4% lower than last year, but the average sales price is about 1% higher. Again, these are the averages for all of King and Snohomish Counties combined.
Days on Market bumped up to 100 from 93 in July, but that is still 18.7% less than last year. Selling price as a percentage of the original list price has held steady at 93%.
Finally, Months of Inventory is back near the recent high of 9 months. That just means there is a lot of inventory which is keeping us in a decent buyer’s market.
Like I said last month, I thought August would be another mixed bag as it is generally the last of the slower summer months- and it was. But now as we hit September and the fall season, I do have higher expectations for the next two months. Interest rates continue to be at historic lows, and well qualified buyers should have very little problem getting a mortgage. There are some very nice homes available at fantastic prices so if you are a buyer, and especially if you are a renter, get out there and take advantage of all the great opportunities.