I may be crazy, but it seems like the housing market has performed better in the first half of this year than our weather! The steadily improving market in our area over the last several months is very encouraging and the positive trend continued in June. Here are a few statistics based on the general data for King and Snohomish Counties.
Inventory has remained low. As of the end of June, active homes for sale increased only 2.6% from May and they are down 18% from last June. Pending sales increased nearly 5% from May and are up 60% from last June! Closed sales rose 6.8% from May and while they are down 7.8% from last June, we were still closing sales that were benefited by the tax credit last year at this time.
Prices are up! Average sales prices jumped up 4.4% to $404,000 in June– that is still down 6.5% from a year ago. Similarly, the average square foot price popped up 4.8% to $183/sqft in June– that is down 5.3% from last year. Average days on market decreased slightly to 97 days which is about the same as last year. And continuing the low inventory theme, we are at only 4 months of inventory based on pending sales, the lowest since April 2010.
I am cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year. There are still plenty of “macro” events to deal with such as persistently high unemployment, budget troubles, etc. But, there are many underlying factors supporting the housing market as well such as low inventory, low interest rates, and favorable rent to purchase ratios.