Mortgage Rates Drop Drive Early Spring Season for Buyers

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Pending sales around Washington state reached the highest level since October and surged nearly 44% from December, according to the January report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Last month’s 5,776 mutually accepted offers were down about 9% from a year ago, but brokers seemed encouraged by the “favorable spike.”

Prices on last month’s closed sales edged up slightly, at 0.41%, compared with twelve months
ago. The area-wide median price on January’s 3,264 completed transactions $557,250; a year
ago, when there were 5,085 closed sales, it was $555,000. Nine of the 26 counties in the report
had year-over-year price bumps.

“We are seeing multiple offers once again,” stated John Deely, VP of operations at Coldwell
Banker Bain. “It’s not like it was at the peak of the market, but buyers are out there and
competing for properties,” he added.

The selection of properties, based on the number of total active listings in the MLS database,
improved significantly from a year ago, rising from 3,092 listings to 8,220 at month end. That
total, which includes 7,179 single family homes and 1,041 condominiums, was down about
13.2% from December’s selection.

Brokers added 4,925 new listings to the MLS database in January, about 1,000 fewer than the
same month a year ago. Last month’s additions outgained December when 2,980 properties
were added, as well as November, when 4,890 listings were added.

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