The Northwest Multiple Listing Service said buyers were in “full sprint” mode, competing for a dwindling number of homes for sale. There were 3,280 active listings in May, down 21% from the previous May, the MLS reported.
The trend holds true regionwide: Snohomish and Pierce counties each saw their inventory drop by 18% compared to a year ago. That helped push median prices up by about 8% over the year to $350,000 in Snohomish and $255,000 in Pierce.
Buyers across the four-county Puget Sound region are jumping on almost any listing in their price range. In May, there were 8,620 pending sales, the highest May total in at least 15 years. A sale is pending when buyer and seller have a mutual agreement but haven’t closed the deal yet.
King County’s median home price up almost 9 percent over year, Seattle Times, June 3, 2015
National Chase Shiller report
Meanwhile, the S&P Case Shiller adjusted 20-city house price index rose a very solid and slightly higher-than-expected 1% in March with gains across all cities and well balanced gains across all regions.
“The current tightness of supply conditions would normally be consistent with much faster price growth. The continued steady growth in home sales that we expect this year will only add to this upward pressure on prices,” the economists said.
National house prices rising above 5% annual rate
“Furthermore, other measures such as the CoreLogic and FHFA indices suggest that house prices are still rising at an annual rate above 5%. All things considered, we expect a gradual acceleration in the Case-Shiller measure of price growth soon,” they continued.
…Nowhere to go but up
All this feeds into the larger picture of what’s really happening in the housing market. That is, as the below chart shows, in recent times, the months of supply remains low and steady while house price appreciation is also flattening out, with nowhere to go but up.
Capital Economics: Chart shows home prices ready to grow more, Housing Wire, May 26, 2015