Friday, April 17, 2020

Seattle Real Estate in March: Sales up 17.6% YoY, Inventory down 30.1% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 4/17/2020 11:07:00 AM

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Northwest MLS report for March shows initial disruptions from coronavirus pandemi

Like many sectors of the economy, residential real estate is experiencing disruption and uncertainty just when the vigorous spring market was ramping up. Not surprisingly, the March activity report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers 23 counties across Washington state, was mixed as guidelines affecting how brokers conduct business evolved.
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We expect that all numbers will decline in April and May as a direct result of the governor’s “Stay Home” order that became effective on March 26,” stated Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain. He also expects April and May will be “bridge months” before the market returns to a “more normal” activity level, “assuming we all abide by Governor Jay Inslee’s directives.”

Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner described the numbers for March as “essentially irrelevant given the fact that the economy went into freefall during the month.” He also noted that for a period, real estate was not considered to be an essential service, which he said “suggests that April’s numbers will also not be an accurate representation of the market.”
emphasis added
There were 6,735 sales in March 2020, down slightly from 6,750 sales in March 2019.

The press release is for the Northwest. In King County, sales were down 0.2% year-over-year, and active inventory was down 21.6% year-over-year.

In Seattle, sales were up 17.6% year-over-year, and inventory was down 30.1% year-over-year..  This puts the months-of-supply in Seattle at just 1.2 months.

The closed sales are for contracts mostly signed in January and February.   There will be a significant decline in sales in coming months.