Every year the Northwest Multiple Listing System (residential real estate database) publishes year end numbers on active/pending/sold listings in the Seattle area, as well as Washington State as a whole. Looking at these numbers can give us some insight as to where the Seattle real estate market may be heading.
Between 2010 and 2011, new active residential listings (homes for sale) in North Seattle dropped by 20.57%. Closed residential transactions in the same area also fell by 2.97%. So even though total sales fell slightly, levels of new inventory fell by much more, which means that buyers in North Seattle had less to chose from in 2011, than they did in the previous year. If demand stays relatively stable, but supply decreases by quite a bit, leverage shifts into the hands of the suppliers (sellers).
This scenario generally signals recovery in any giving housing market. Many economists in the last few months have also started to argue that housing prices have hit bottom, which could be another huge indicator of a housing recovery on the horizon. (We’ll cover North Seattle housing prices in our next post.) However, the disclaimer here is that these are only numbers on North Seattle, not the entire nation. So your specific area could be doing quite differently.
Supply and demand are only a couple of the determining factors to consider when buying a home. Other things that come into play are interest rates, housing affordability vs. rental rates, job stability, how long you plan to stay in the home, etc. If you’re a first time home buyer in the greater Seattle area and would like to gather more information about buying your first home, go to our Calendar/Reservations page and sign up for one of our FREE First Time Home Buyer workshops