Source: NWMLS (January16, 2020)
Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 92,503 closed sales during 2019, slightly fewer than the previous year, but the dollar volume surpassed 2018 by more than $1.8 billion for gain of over 3.8%.
Measured by dollars, last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums were valued at just over $49billion. The sales activity reflects the work of around32,000brokers at more than2,400 member offices. The member-owned Northwest MLS serves 23 counties around the state.Collectively, these counties encompass more than 82% of the state’s population.
Of last year’s 92,503completed sales, 80,734were single family homes (87.3%of the total) and 11,769were condos (12.7%). Newly-built residences accounted for about 13%of the sales.
The area-wide median price for last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums(combined)was $425,000, a gain of about 5.7%from the year-ago figure of $402,000. A comparison by county shows median sales prices ranged from $149,900in Ferry County to $619,000in King County.
Year-over-year prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) increased about 6.1%system-wide, jumping from $410,000in 2018 to last year’s median price of $435,000. Condo prices were flat, rising less than one percent from the 2018 figure of $352,000 to last year’s median selling price of $355,000.
Inventory shortages persisted throughout 2019. Brokers added 110,940 new listings (down 5.3% from the 2018 total of 117,177), but that volume was outpaced by pending sales.
Member-brokers reported 114,410 mutually accepted offers during 2019, a slight gain (1.9%) over 2018 when they logged 112,267 pending sales.Last year, the area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, averaged 1.78months, about the same as 2018. Among the counties in the MLS service area, Thurston had the lowest level,averaging just 1.14months, followed by Pierce at 1.3 months.Five other counties reported averaging less than two months of supply. In general, industry analysts use a 4-to-6 month range as an indicator of a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
Sales of high-end single family homes outgained 2018by about 3.3%, with homes selling for more than $1 million rising from 6,101in 2018 to last year’s total of 6,299; of these 65 residences commanded $5 million or more. The highest priced home in the 2019 sales report, located in Hunts Point, sold for $37,500,000. Sales of luxury condos fell below 2018 totals, declining 11.4%. During 2019, a total of 2,951condos sold for $500,000 or more. The previous year, 3,332 condos sold for a half-million dollars or more. Of last year’s high-end condo sales, 391 buyers paid $1 million and up. The most expensive condo, at nearly $4.7 million,was in downtown Seattle.