Frank Hawkins of Hawkins-Poe Real Estate, Fircrest WA, provides insight for this coming months market trends and statistical analysis to project how the market will respond.
As summer winds down and we enter fall, the story remains similar to our initial speculation of cooling prices, longer days on market and an increase in supply. We are now pairing that with record high inflation and continued volatile interest rates. Average pricing has remained stable, with 3 months in a row of little to no increase.
Inventory has finally increased and buyers have more options to choose from. We are finally on our way to a more balanced market after a 12-year incline since 2010. This is the first time since 2019 that the NWMLS has reported inventory in excess of 2 months supply. This is good news for both buyers and sellers. Buyers have more inventory to choose from and sellers finally have options when searching for a place to go.
NWMLS Reports: “Active listings have nearly doubled from a year ago, jumping from 7,948 offerings of single-family homes and condos to 15,381 (up 93.5%). The addition of 11,805 new listings during the month contributed to the boost. Compared to June, the selection expanded by 1,976 listings (up 14.7%).”
As a result of an increase in inventory the days on market (DOM) have also seen an increase. We are coaching sellers to be prepared for a 30-day average, rather than the 5–7-day average we have been accustomed to.
NWMLS Reports: “Despite the surge in inventory, the Northwest MLS report shows there is only 1.84 months of supply – and that’s down from July’s figure of 2.01 months. Only six counties had more than three months of supply: Adams, Ferry, Lewis, Okanogan, Pacific, and San Juan. Most industry analysts consider four to six months of inventory to be a balanced market"
Many have asked us: “Does this mean we are due for a crash?” Experts say NO. This is just a plateau or correction and not a bust. Inventory remains stretched, with demand on high, while homeowners’ equity reaches an excess of 65%. I don’t expect prices to decline from 2021 levels, but we will see declines from the steeply elevated and accelerated prices from the first half of 2022. That frenzy of multiple cash offers and over asking price offers from buyers was a dangerous and unsustainable time,” reports Frank Hawkins, President Hawkins-Poe.
Savvy brokers will use this time to retool with more time for open houses and refreshing listings. A balancing of the market is a breath of fresh air and full of opportunity. The next 3-5 months will be the best opportunity buyers have had in the last 2 years. For the wise home seller this is the time to use their enormous equity to their advantage.