Seattle home sales are still very strong with valuation increases once again reaching well into the double digits during the last year. Affordable homes seem to be a thing of the past for most. For a larger picture perspective lets take a look at the housing market across the country.
Thanks to lower unemployment levels and increasing wages, home ownership nationally is becoming an affordable reality for more potential buyers. However, the housing shortage continues, meaning those potential buyers are still finding it difficult to afford their dream home. Increased home prices isn’t the only thing the low inventory is causing, though; it’s also putting downward pressure on existing-home sales. Supply shortages resulted in the second straight month of declining year-over-year closing. Existing-home sales in October 2017 were down 0.9% from 2016, at 5.51 million. However, this is still the strongest month-over-month sales pace since June 2017. Furthermore, all four regions of the country recorded increased sales activity in October.
Fewer “For Sale” Signs
By the end of October, there were 1.8 million existing homes on the market, a 3.2% decrease from September and a staggering 10.4% decrease from the previous year. For 29 months in a row, home inventory has fallen year over year, and at the current sales pace, unsold inventory would supply the housing market for only 3.9 months. In comparison, unsold inventory a year ago represented a 4.4-month supply.
In October, an average property spent 34 days on the market. This is unchanged from September, but a full week quicker than the average sale in October 2016. Of all home sold in October, 47% sold in under a month. In areas with a healthy job markets, home sales are even quicker. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, all listings “continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago. With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions throughout the winter.”
Regional Existing-Home Sales (October 2017)
Northeast – Annual rate of 740,000; a 4.2% increase from September 2017, unchanged from October 2016
Midwest – Annual rate of 1.31 million; a 0.8% increase from September 2017, and 1.5% decrease from October 2016
South – Annual rate of 2.16 million; a 1.9% increase from September 2017, and 1.8% decrease from October 2016
West – Annual rate of 1.27 million; a 2.4% increase from September 2017, and 0.8% increase from October 2016
If you’d like to know how your home is doing compared to the national and Seattle average let me know. I’d be happy to provide you a professional opinion of your current residence.