The number of homes for sale in the Seattle area has been dwindling for the past year. We've reported month after month that there were more homes being sold than those coming on the market. It seemed that sellers would soon come out of the woodwork, realizing that there was little competition from other sellers and that buyers were eager to purchase.
That simply hasn't happened yet. The number of homes for sale continues to drop, and the masses of frustrated buyers continue to increase. This past month, the NWMLS reported just 1.39 months of housing supply in King County. Real estate analysts usually point to a number around 5-6 months of supply as a "balanced" market, or one that is fairly even for buyers and sellers. It points to a healthy number of available homes but no oversupply.
I can't remember ever hearing of shortage of homes for sale this severe, and certainly not when there are so many eager buyers in the market. The number of competitive, multiple-offer situations has become so large that we expect it on almost any transaction. If a home near the major metros in the Puget Sound region is priced correctly and prepared for the market, it is now a better than 50/50 chance that it will sell in less than one month.
I'll repeat that for effect. 60 percent of homes being listed in the major job centers of the greater Seattle area are selling in one month or less.
It's true that some home sellers may be underwater, or have other financial issues that are holding them back, but that's a fraction of the market. Some sellers think that they might just "wait it out until the market comes back."
If you've just read this article, you already know. The market is back.
So, Seattle home sellers: Where are you?