Housing Market Healing Itself

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on February 8, 2012

As reported by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the January housing market shows positive signs. Overall the numbers look very good. For the entire NWMLS area, single family pending sales are up 12.2% over January 2011. Closed sales were up 5.4%.

“While locally, the numbers are flat – with 236 pending sales this year versus 235 last year, this year we produced better results with 25% less time to do it – factoring a week of lost activity due to the snow and ice. Under those circumstances, the numbers are phenomenal,” expressed Ken Anderson, President, Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty. “As a good sign for the coming months, we are hearing increased reports of much higher interest from trade—up and trade-down buyers,” he continued. Adding, “the time for buyers to jump into the market is soon, as we are seeing stiffer competition on the best homes in each price range. Active inventory is down 13.3% from a year ago. There are now just 1,264 homes on the market. Inventory hasn’t been this low for six years.” 

Improving numbers show the artificial stimulus of the tax credits was not the key to the recovering market, suggested Anderson. “Instead, today’s affordability has buyers in all price segments returning – and feeling more confident about the future.” While pending sales may not appear to be much higher than 2011 (up 13.7 percent in January), the numbers are astoundingly good, considering such factors as harsh weather and the tax credits that boosted sales at this time a year ago, said Anderson. 

This is the first January in four that we can make a reasonable year-over-year comparison,” said Anderson, noting numbers are no longer skewed by the artificial stimulus of various tax credits and incentives that date to 2009. “The improvement in the numbers show that the market is healing itself and standing on its own.” Anderson commented.

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