As summer fades into fall, Realtors in the Northwest area explained now is the perfect time to buy a home since housing inventory will begin to reach its peak levels in October, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“October will be the best month for selection and availability until late February,” said John L Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott on the latest statistics from Northwest MLS.

A recent analysis from Trulia also showed that autumn is the best time of year to buy a starter home due to decreasing demand, and increase in housing inventory and cooling home prices.

Housing Inventory increased to 1.7 months’ supply by the end of the month in September, matching 2017’s high that was first hit in February, according to the report which covers 23 counties in and around Washington state. While this is still well below the four to six month supply of a balanced market, it is an improvement from 1.55 months’ supply in August.

But while demand is beginning to cool for the year, allowing for inventory to rebuild, it is still up significantly from last year.

“We continue to have very strong buyer demand as the typical seasonal slowdown begins for new listings,” Scott said.

Members of the Northwest MLS added 10,120 new listings during September, up slightly from last year’s 10,029. By the end of the month, there were 15,888 single family homes and condos still listed on the MLS database. This is down 12.4% from last year’s 18,136 listings.

Home prices also continue to soar, rising more than 12% from last year’s $340,000 to $385,000 this year in the Northwest area.

“The entire region is off the charts,” said Mike Grady, Coldwell Banker Bain president and chief operating officer, referencing the latest numbers from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. It shows Seattle area home prices have spiked 13.5% in the past year, well above second place Portland with its 7.6% average and more than twice the national average of 5.9%.

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