Coldwell Banker Bain, a leading provider of real estate brokerage services throughout Washington and Oregon, and a market leader in home sales in 2018,* releases its second-quarter market report providing a variety of statistics for the sale of homes in neighborhoods and counties throughout the Puget Sound region, as well as for other segments, including luxury and condos. The second-quarter report reflects activity between April 1, June 30, 2019.**
Reflecting on the second-quarter numbers and feedback from brokers, Mike Grady, Coldwell Banker Bain president and COO, said, “Clearly we now see that the market is ‘moderating’; that is, we’re definitely moving from a ‘hyper-market’ to one where a correction is underway compared to last year. However, while it’s the best time to buy that we’ve seen in some time given increased inventory and low interest rates, because we continue to have only an average of 1.5 months of inventory, it is STILL a seller’s market. So buyers are getting some relief, but they will still have to deal with multiple offer situations, consider inspection waivers, etc., in order to have their offers be competitive. They are also being forced to consider markets outside of King County for affordability – this is showcased especially in Pierce County which is performing at an amazing pace.”
Principal managing brokers and other segment experts in several markets reflected on the activity:
Stephanie Callen, broker in Coldwell Banker Bain of Puyallup’s office, said, “The secret is out in Pierce County! Tacoma’s sales prices are up 6% from last year, inventory is still down 14.7% and the average sale price is now $416,000. This is significantly lower than our neighbors in King County, but worth the commute when you can spend half the amount and get twice the house. With home prices increasing and interest rates holding steady, it is hard for buyers to get their offers accepted in this market. They need to be prepared and fully underwritten if possible. Selling a home is still a cakewalk, however buyers do want the inspection work done. Puyallup and Graham have extremely low inventory – nearly 20% less than last year at this time. Moving forward, Pierce County expects the market to remain very active, prices stabilizing and more buyers arriving from King County.”
Chris Murphy, a broker in Coldwell Banker Bain of Tacoma Proctor, and author of washingtonwaterfronts.com, said, “The seasonal spring inventory influx for 2019, across the seven counties included in this report, had a median inventory growth of 7.37%. This illustrates that waterfront inventory is slightly higher than in the second quarter of 2018 but remains noticeably lower in most counties relative to the second quarter of 2017 and 2016. On either end of the inventory spectrum, Kitsap County had the greatest increase of inventory with 53.62% and Pierce County had the largest inventory reduction of -25% compared to the second quarter of 2018.
The quarterly median number of waterfront properties shows a slight reduction of -2.39%, with April and May posting much larger reductions that were leveled out by a significant increase in waterfront sales in June. King County posted the greatest increase of waterfront sales with 13.04%, which is consistent with its quarterly increase in inventory of 26.54%. Despite its massive influx of inventory, Kitsap County posted a 26.67% quarter decrease in in sales.
The median price at which waterfront properties have sold increased slightly by 5.06%, with Skagit County having the largest quarterly median price increase of 16.74% and Whatcom County with the largest reduction in quarterly median sale price of -9.73%.
All three of these categories illustrate the sentiment we are experiencing most frequently in representing waterfront home buyers. Buyers have funds available to affect quick cash closings, however they are being more selective despite the increase in available options from which they can choose.”
*According to final 2018 statistics derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data (NWMLS).**Information and statistics derived by CB Bain from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) each quarter. Statistics not compiled or published by the NWMLS.