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King, Kittitas Counties Outperform NWMLS Overall on three Key Metrics

June 27, 2024

Both King and Kittitas counties notched year-over-year (YoY) gains during May for active listings, pending sales, and sales prices. Those increases outperformed the overall totals in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) areas covering 26 counties across the state.

In its recently released report summarizing May activity, NWMLS noted the median sales price for homes and condos that sold during the month increased 7.32% from twelve months ago, from $615,000 to $660.000. Prices in King County rose from $816,750 to $890,000, a gain of 8.97%. YoY prices in Kittitas County were up 8.04%, from $560,000 to $605,000. The two counties were among 17 counties that registered price gains from May 2023 to May 2024.

The report suggested buyers and sellers are beginning to adjust to higher interest rates. Improving supply should have an impact in stabilizing price levels over the summer months, a spokesperson observed.

“For-sale inventory levels have increased dramatically year-over-year, which should help to stabilize home prices,” NWMLS stated in its market recap. The market reflects “typical seasonal patterns, with further increases in activity expected as we move fully into the summer months,” the MLS added.

The number of active listings jumped more than 41%, with the volume of single family homes (excluding condos) rising nearly 37% and condos inventory surging 70%. All but two counties reported year-over-year gains in active listings.

Brokers added 11,572 new listings to the NWMLS database last month, with 4,173 of them in King County and 190 in Kittitas County.

At month end, the NWMLS had 12,837 active listings and 1.92 months of supply, well shy of the four-to-six months of supply many industry experts use as a metric for a balanced market.

King County had 3,880 active listings and 1.55 months of supply. Kittitas County’s active inventory totaled 331 properties and about 5 months of supply.

Of the 8,220 pending sales (mutually accepted offers), a third of them (2,743) were in King County, about the same volume as a year ago (2,717). Kittitas County reported 114 pending sales, a gain of more than 37% from the year-ago figure of 83. For the NWMLS overall, there was a 1.23% YoY increase in pending sales.

Commenting on the report, Steven Bourassa, director, Washington Center for Real Estate Research, said “With the 30-year fixed mortgage rate currently at 7.03% as of late May 2024, the purchasing power of prospective buyers remains constrained relative to a few years ago,” adding, “Year-over-year inventory levels have improved dramatically relative to May 2023, increasing by 41%. The number of year-over-year closed sales transactions saw a 6% increase, signaling that buyers and sellers are beginning to adjust to the higher interest rate environment. Higher levels of for-sale inventory should have an impact in stabilizing price levels over the summer months.”

The total number of property showings scheduled through NWMLS-provided software increased by 5% from April 2024 (122,975 showings) to May 2024 (128,924 showings). Keyboxes located at listed properties were accessed 163,414 times in May 2024, a 7% increase from activity in April 2024 when they were accessed 152,999 times.

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