December marked the sixth straight month of declining inventory according to the latest NWMLS Market Update. There were multiple counties reporting steep drops of 30 percent or more. In King County, inventory was down 38.8 percent year-over-year as its supply dropped below one month for the first time since March 2018.
Demand is up as more buyers seek out fewer available properties. At the current rate of sales it would take 1.19 months to sell every active home in the NWMLS inventory, a 38 percent decrease from December 2018.
The median sales prices for closed sales in the Puget Sound region (which includes King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap counties) were up 10 percent to $495,000.
King County’s median home prices were up 3 percent year-over-year to $615,000. Meanwhile in Seattle, the combined prices for single family homes and condos were down by 1.6 percent to $727,000. Seattle’s median condo sales for December dropped 2.5 percent from $500,000 in 2018 to $487,500 in 2019.
As for the rest of the Puget Sound region, Snohomish prices rose 8.51 percent year-over-year; Pierce prices rose 9 percent; and Kitsap prices rose 10.5 percent. On the Eastside, condo prices were down 6.39 percent from $489,250 to $458,000; however, inventory dropped 51.5 percent year-over-year to 0.62 months in December.
As we begin the new year, expect the first quarter of 2020 to be active as buyers continue to benefit from low interest rates, continued job growth, and low inventory.