KIRKLAND, Washington (July 6, 2017) – For frustrated house hunters, there’s hope: the volume of new
listings added to inventory during June (13,658) was the highest total for any single month since May
2008 (14,176 new listings), according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
“This time of year we see more new listings coming on the market than pending sales, and June didn’t
disappoint,” stated J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.
Noting the pace of sales is slowing and the number of multiple offers is moderating, broker Gary O’Leyar
suggested a summer breather is under way (as anticipated), which could yield “the season for a successful
purchase” for weary shoppers. O’Leyar, the designated broker/owner at Berkshire Hathaway
HomeServices Signature Properties, said this mid-summer real estate market “seems to be following a
fairly typical seasonal cycle” even though inventory is significantly lower than a year ago.
Northwest MLS director George Moorhead also commented on the “typical summer slowdown,” but said
it is more noticeable in outlying areas. “The hot core areas are still quite active as buyers vie for a new
home.” He also detected a slight increase in the time it is taking to market a home, and reported some
cooling off in the luxury market, saying prices may be reaching a plateau.
For many brokers, rising prices are an ongoing concern, with one industry leader describing the ever-
increasing prices as “startling.”
While the number of new listings was up about 7 percent year-over-year, total inventory lagged. Brokers
reported 14,482 active listings of single family homes and condos at the end of June, which is down 14
percent from twelve months ago when would-be buyers could choose from 16,838 listings. Compared to
the previous month, however, inventory jumped up 16 percent (12,481 vs. 14,482).
System-wide there was just over 1.4 months of inventory, but the supply varied across the 23 counties in
the MLS market area. King County continued to have the tightest inventory, with less than a month of
supply (0.84). Six other counties reported less than two months of supply (Cowlitz, Douglas, Kitsap,
Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston). In general, four-to-six months is considered to be a balanced market.
“Inventory continues to go lower as prices continue to climb in Kitsap County, leaving us with about 1.5
months of supply and home prices that are up more than 12 percent from a year ago,” said MLS director
Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo.
“Unlike a normal market for buyers, today’s market is not about the current inventory, rather it’s about
inventory that is coming on the market,” Wilson commented. “The real story is the increased number of
homes that will become available next month, and the month after.” He recommends buyers work out a
success strategy with their real estate professional before even looking at their first house.