Housing market stays hot despite some "lousy" February weather

#February2021 #realestatenews #pugetsoundnews


Housing activity during February remained hot around much of Washington state despite significant accumulation of lowland snow over the Valentine’s Day weekend, according to the latest statistical report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.


“It’s amazing how close the February numbers are when compared to February 2020, which was, of course, right before our world changed,” said Mike Grady, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Bain. "Despite our similarly lousy February weather, the data show that the market continues to be hot, with residential inventory very tight and median prices rising by double digits across most of our counties.”


Northwest MLS figures show brokers added a similar number of new listings of single family homes and condos last month (7,418) as a year ago (7,786), for a difference of 368 properties (down 4.7%). For residential units (excluding condos), there was a 6.8% year-over-year (YOY) drop.


Total active listings of single family homes declined nearly 44% from a year ago. The selection of single family homes fell more than 51% while condo inventory rose 7.9%.


“A decline in listing volume this year should not surprise anyone,” remarked James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington.


“We are virtually sold out of unsold inventory everywhere in the Central Puget Sound area except the Seattle city core,” stated J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.


There are only about three weeks of supply (0.74 months) of inventory in the MLS database, which covers 26 counties. For residential only (excluding condos), the shortage is more pronounced at only 0.67 months’ supply.


Condominium shoppers will find somewhat more selection, with inventory up 7.93% from a year ago, and more than a month of supply (1.12 months).


“While pending condominium sales were down slightly in King County (-0.56%), it’s worth noting that several urban neighborhoods, including Queen Anne, Downtown Seattle, and Ballard performed better than expected. That suggests to me that there may not be the mass exodus from the core urban areas that many have been predicting,” commented Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.


Nearly six of every 10 pending sales of condos took place in King County last month, according to the Northwest MLS report. Pending activity nearly match the year ago totals for that county (716 versus 720). Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) were up sharply in several Seattle neighborhoods, including Queen Anne (48.8%), West Seattle (42.1%), and Ballard/Green Lake (32.5%). Even the Downtown/Belltown area registered an uptick (4.8%).