The new year started off very well with busy open houses in January and a lot of inventory getting sold in February. We don’t have the same tax credit incentive that we had going into last April, but optimism still seems high for a good spring housing market this year. It will be hard to compare sales numbers this spring to last spring because of the tax credit, but if we can continue to get modest month over month increases in sales, that should reflect a healthy and sustainable trend. A sustained trend is what is needed to give evidence of some serious stability in the housing market after this multi-year down cycle. For the past year and a half, we have really just been bouncing along the bottom- that’s not a bad thing, it’s just not indicative of any kind of imminent rebound.
As for the February statistics for King and Snohomish Counties combined, the most glaring number to me is that pending sales increased 9% over last February, and that’s without the infamous tax credit! Now, closed sales are still off about 11% from last year, but the increase in pending sales bodes well for March closings. Active listings are pretty flat compared with January and down about 7% from last February. Since a lot of inventory has been sold over these first couple of months of the year, we are a little light on homes to choose from, but I expect that a new influx of homes will come on the market soon as the weather improves.
As far as prices go, we did have a little dip in January, but have popped back up slightly to an average of $382,000 and $174/sqft. That is off about 8% from last year at this time. Last month I mentioned that the January dip could be more of a headfake than the beginning of a new leg lower. At this point it could be just that- a headfake, but one month doesn’t tell the whole story so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming months.
Consecutive Days on Market continued its trend higher to 126 while the “Selling Price as a Percentage of Original Listing Price” bumped up slightly to 91%. The “Months of Inventory” based on CLOSED sales is staying fairly high at 8.6 months, but just like last month, if you look at it based on PENDING sales, it has continued to decline and is now at only 4.5 months.
I’m looking forward to an exciting and busy spring season! Now that the weather is slowly improving, if you are thinking about selling, please contact me today so I can help guide you in getting your home in tip-top shape for the market.