In years past, the holiday season is typically a time of rest for the real estate market, with competition for homes easing quite a bit as we head into the new year. But, like most things this year, the real estate market did not follow the trends of normalcy, with activity being unusually strong as we headed into the holiday season.
One indicator of this unusually energetic activity is the ratio of pending sales to new listings. November had a total of 8,584 pending sales, which far outweighed the month’s new listings, which totaled 6,425 area-wide. Only in March and April did new listings surpass pending sales this year, resulting in the depleted supply of active listings.
A Strong Seller’s Market
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, what we are experiencing right now is a true seller’s market, being that inventory is so low and buyer demand is continuing to increase. In fact, many counties, including Skagit County, have reported at least a 60% decline in the number of listings from a year ago. This fact is particularly true for listings in the mid-range prices. A quarter of homes on the NWMLS database are listed under $400,000 while the other majority of 24.4% are listed between $400,000 and $600,000.
In addition, 13 of the 23 counties in the MLS report had only about three weeks (0.73) of inventory at the end of November, well below the balanced market threshold, accredited by many analysts, of four-to-six months.
All of these circumstances have been the main catalyst in 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates falling to their lowest level, at 2.71%, for the 14th time this year. These record-low rates are allowing people to bid up prices on listings.
To read the full article, visit NWMLS.