Although some brokers from the Northwest detected a slight slowdown in housing activity in August, it is less severe than what is typical, according to the latest housing report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Opinions on the rest of the year widely vary, ranging from one person who predicted the market is on the cusp of a slowdown, to others who say sales will continue at a fast pace.

For the fifth month this year, pending sales system-wide outpaced the number of new listings added to the inventory. In August, members reported 10,603 mutually accepted transactions and 9,921 new listings.

In addition, like new listings declined. At the end of August, Northwest MLS members reported 20,749 total active listings in its database, a slight drop from July’s total selection of 21,069. However, this is a 23.3% decline from the year-ago inventory when there were 27,060 homes for sale.

Supply, as measured by months of inventory, showed slight improvement in August, inching up to 2.38 months overall, and up from July’s figure of 2.24 months.

“The velocity of sales activity continues at a very fast pace with pending sales eclipsing new listing inventory. This sales activity is keeping the selection of available properties at historic lows,” commented John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. He said the low listing inventory continues to impact some sub-markets, including Seattle’s, where multiple offers and escalation clauses are “the rule rather than the exception.”

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