The following article is courtesy of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of around 2,300 member offices includes more than 29,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in the state.
KIRKLAND, Washington. (January 16, 2020) – Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 92,503 closed sales during 2019, slightly fewer than the previous year, but the dollar volume surpassed 2018 by more than $1.8 billion for gain of over 3.8%.
Measured by dollars, last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums were valued at just over $49 billion. The sales activity reflects the work of around 32,000 brokers at more than 2,400 member offices. The member-owned Northwest MLS serves 23 counties around the state. Collectively, these counties encompass more than 82% of the state’s population.
Of last year’s 92,503 completed sales, 80,734 were single family homes (87.3% of the total) and 11,769 were condos (12.7%). Newly-built residences accounted for about 13% of the sales.
The area-wide median price for last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $425,000, a gain of about 5.7% from the year-ago figure of $402,000. A comparison by county shows median sales prices ranged from $149,900 in Ferry County to $619,000 in King County.
Year-over-year prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) increased about 6.1% system-wide, jumping from $410,000 in 2018 to last year’s median price of $435,000. Condo prices were flat, rising less than one percent from the 2018 figure of $352,000 to last year’s median selling price of $355,000.
Inventory shortages persisted throughout 2019. Brokers added 110,940 new listings (down 5.3% from the 2018 total of 117,177), but that volume was outpaced by pending sales. Member-brokers reported 114,410 mutually accepted offers during 2019, a slight gain (1.9%) over 2018 when they logged 112,267 pending sales.
Last year, the area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, averaged 1.78 months, about the same as 2018. Among the counties in the MLS service area, Thurston had the lowest level, averaging just 1.14 months, followed by Pierce at 1.3 months. Five other counties reported averaging less than two months of supply. In general, industry analysts use a 4-to-6 month range as an indicator of a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
Sales of high-end single family homes outgained 2018 by about 3.3%, with homes selling for more than $1 million rising from 6,101 in 2018 to last year’s total of 6,299; of these 65 residences commanded $5 million or more. The highest priced home in the 2019 sales report, located in Hunts Point, sold for $37,500,000. Sales of luxury condos fell below 2018 totals, declining 11.4%. During 2019, a total of 2,951 condos sold for $500,000 or more. The previous year, 3,332 condos sold for a half-million dollars or more. Of last year’s high-end condo sales, 391 buyers paid $1 million and up. The most expensive condo, at nearly $4.7 million, was in downtown Seattle.
Among other highlights in its annual compilation of statistics, Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported:
- About 45% of last year’s home sales had three bedrooms; of the condo component, about seven of every 10 condos (70.7%) had two or fewer bedrooms.
- The median price for a 3-bedroom home ranged from $182,000 in Ferry County to $624,500 in San Juan County.
- Of the condo sales, more than 55% were located in King County.
- For the new construction component involving Northwest MLS brokers, newly built condoscontinued to fetch higher prices than single family homes. Last year’s sales included 10,944 newly built single family homes that sold for a median price of $550,000 and 979 condos thatsold for a median price of $629,950. New homes in King County commanded the highest prices: $749,950 for single family homes, while newly built condos in Kitsap County fetched the highest median price at $1,485,000. (Of the high-end condos in Kitsap County, several that sold during 2019 were at the Flying Goat Live Work Condominium development on Bainbridge Island.)
- Prices vary widely when comparing school districts in the MLS service area. Single family homes that sold in the Mercer Island district had a median price of $1,665,500, the highest among all districts.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service is a not-for-profit, member-owned organization that facilitates cooperation among its member real estate firms. With more than 2,400 member firm offices and approximately 32,000 brokers across Washington state, NWMLS (www.nwmls.com) is the largest fullservice MLS in the Northwest. While based in Kirkland, Washington, its service area spans 23 counties and it operates 20 local service centers.