Pending home sales in Seattle have taken off in recent months, with the number of signed contracts dwarfing the number we saw one year ago.  For the month of May, Seattle had 885 pending sales.  That's an increase of 62 over April's pending home sales, a 7.5 percent increase.

Seattle Active Real Estate Listings vs. Pending Listings, Monthly

Seattle active and pending real estate listings

Home sales are alway up in Spring as the normal real estate cycle takes its effect, but the increases we're seeing this year are far more than just a cyclical bump.  In May of 2012 there were just 703 pending homes in Seattle.  Compared to May of 2013, that's a 25.8 percent gain in total transactions.  The chart above illustrates what all of those new pending home sales are doing to the amount of active inventory for sale.

As I've discussed before, there are still plenty of new listings coming on the market.  In fact, new listings are keeping pace with past years.  The difference is the speed with which buyers are scooping up homes these days.  The new listings are sold so quickly that we're seeing an inventory that can't keep up.

The rate of new pending sales has caused monthly inventory to fall to nearly the same level as sales themselves.  This puts  us in a nice flat market when there are 6 months of inventory available, but when we only have 1 or 2 months, we have a real estate market that nearly turns itself over every month.

The good news is that these trends always do even out, eventually.  Rising numbers of pending home sales are good for local real estate values, and for home sellers who have been battered for the past few years.  It will only be a matter of time before the sellers in our market get the confidence to list their homes, and grant home buyers a reasonable amount of inventory to select from.

In the meantime, 26 percent year-over-year gains are something to celebrate for the Seattle real estate market.  


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© - Sam DeBord, Managing Broker, Realtor

Board of Directors, Washington Association of Realtors
Coldwell Banker Seattle: Coldwell Banker Danforth & Associates
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Source:  NWMLS Stats - The Northwest Multiple Listing Service did not compile or publish this information.

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