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Real Estate

Summer could bring relief to homebuyer competition in Northwest

New listings flooding the market

The summer months could bring relief for homebuyers in the Northwest region, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Northwest MLS suggested that would-be homebuyers who have been locked out of the housing market should test the waters during the summer months.

“Summer might provide some competitive relief for weary buyers,” said Gary O’Leyar, owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, pointing to some of the newly-released statistics from Northwest MLS as indicators.

While multiple offers are common in the Seattle area, O’Leyar pointed out that areas outside the area the housing markets are less competitive.

Other experts agreed, pointing out the large amount of new listings coming onto the market.

“No one is talking about the large number of new listings coming to the market,” said Ken Anderson, Coldwell Banker Evergreen president and owner. “New listings are at a seven-year high, and fifth highest all-time in our South Sound market.”

The report, which covers 23 counties in and around Washington state, shows the Northwest saw an increase of 13,497 new listings in May. This represents an increase of 27% from April, and 10% from last year. And while inventory is down from last year, it came in 6.8% higher than the previous month.

“The pace of the real estate market in Kitsap is heating up as summer rolls in,” Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson said. “Buyers who work in King County but don’t want to drive north, east or south are now looking west for a housing solution.”

“The new ferry system is helping usher in this new thinking of ‘west is where to find a house,” Wilson said.

While the Northwest is cooling off, May was still hot month for the housing market. Pending home sales hit 9,188 in May, a new high for the region.

“May was a Grand Slam month for housing activity,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “We finally saw new inventory come on the market in May, and although we had a slight delay in the timing, the spring Puget Sound housing market is in full swing and as intense and frenzied as it has ever been.”

“New inventory outpaced pending sales,” Scott said. “This translated into more opportunities for buyers, but with such a quick action market, they still had to act fast to win a home. We’re seeing explosive sales, severe inventory shortages, intense competition, and multiple offer situations.”

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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