Northwest Real Estate in March: Sales up 16% YoY, Inventory down 56% YoY

Note: Inventory is down sharply in the Northwest almost everywhere except Seattle. And inventory is low in Seattle too, but was even lower a year ago.

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Northwest MLS brokers say bidding wars, escalating prices, and buyer fatigue are widespread

“There’s no April fooling when it comes to how hot the housing market is right now,” commented J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L Scott Real Estate. “In King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties, the current spring market we’re seeing is one of the best on record.”

James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, agreed, noting March marked the first post-COVID/pre-COVID comparison. “It is very difficult to compare year-on-year results once lockdown started in late March 2020,” he stated.

“The drop in the number of active listings between now and last year is extraordinary,” Young exclaimed. NWMLS statistics show a 55.9% decline in total active listings, shrinking from 9,418 at the end of March 2020 to 4,153 at month end. Young noted the decrease is even more pronounced in “peripheral counties.” Six counties (Clallam, Clark, Island, Kittitas, Mason, and San Juan) experienced year-over-year declines of 69% or higher, according to the latest report from Northwest MLS.
emphasis added

The press release is for the Northwest MLS area. There were 7,803 closed sales in March 2021, up 15.9% from 6,735 sales in March 2020.  Active inventory for the Northwest is down 55.9%.

In King County, sales were up 20.7% year-over-year, and active inventory was down 37.1% year-over-year.

In Seattle, sales were up 33.5% year-over-year, and inventory was UP 7.3% year-over-year. (inventory in Seattle was extremely low last year).  This puts the months-of-supply in Seattle at just 0.95 months.