Prices and number of sales increased despite reduced inventory

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Northwest MLS, the source for the most current, accurate market listing data in Washington state, today released its Market Snapshot for the month of January 2024.

Market Recap

Real estate market activity has remained slow in accordance with typical seasonal patterns. Interest rates held steady through the month of January to end at 6.69%; at the time of this publication, there was a slight decrease to 6.63%. For the Washington counties covered by the NWMLS, January 2024 saw a 3% increase in closed sales transactions year-over-year, an improvement from December 2023’s year-over-year change in closed sales transactions, which was a decrease of 11%. Overall, the median price for residential homes and condominiums sold in January 2024 was $593,500, up 6.5% when compared to January 2023 ($557,250).

Important takeaways from January’s data:

  • The median sales price increased year-over-year 19 out of 26 counties, with the highest median sale prices in King ($760,000), San Juan ($757,000) and Snohomish ($700,000). The three counties with the lowest median priced homes sold were Columbia ($235,000), Pacific ($250,900) and Grays Harbor ($305,000).
  • The volume of homes on the market has continued to decline throughout Washington with 15 out of 26 counties seeing a year-over-year decrease. There were 7,084 active listings on the market at the end of January 2024, a decrease of nearly 14% compared to January 2023 (8,220).
  • Despite the decrease in available inventory, 13 of the 26 counties in the report experienced an increase in the number of homes sold year-over-year.
  • Condominium sales jumped nearly 21% year-over-year, with 492 units sold in January 2024. The median price of condominium sales increased 7% year-over-year from $424,000 in January 2023 to $453,750 in January 2024.

“Seller reluctance has led to a continued decline in year-over-year inventory levels, an overall 14% decrease of active listings on the market,” said Mason Virant, associate director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at The University of Washington. “Encouragingly, year-over-year sales transactions saw a 3% improvement over January 2023. Low levels of for-sale inventory have led to increased competition amongst buyers, producing a nearly 7% year-over-year increase in median home prices across the Washington counties covered by the NWMLS.”

Active Listings

There were 7,084 active listings on the market at the end of January 2024, a decrease of nearly 14% compared to January 2023 (8,220). The volume of homes on the market has continued to decline throughout Washington with 15 out of 26 counties covered by NWMLS seeing a year-over-year decrease. 


New Listings

NWMLS brokers added 4,954 new listings to the database in January 2024, which is nearly the same (+.6%) as in January 2023, when 4,925 new listings were added.


Pending Sales

There were 5,282 total residential units & condo units under contract in January 2024, a decrease of 8.6% when compared to January 2023 (5,776).

Despite the overall decrease, there were 10 counties that had a year-over-year increase in the number of pending sales, in Adams, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Grant, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kittitas, Pacific, and Whatcom counties.


Closed Sales

January 2024 saw a 3% increase in closed sales transactions year-over-year, an improvement from December 2023’s year-over-year change in closed sales transactions (-11%). The total dollar value of closed sales for residential homes for this month was $2,161,883,933 and was $264,930,742 for condominiums.

The seven counties with the highest increases in the number of homes sold year over year were Walla Walla (+61%), Chelan (+60%), Kittitas (+36%), Thurston (+17%), Snohomish (+11%), Douglas (+11%), and Whatcom (+9%).


Months of Inventory

A balanced market is considered to be 4 to 6 months by most industry experts. At the current rate of sales, it would take around two months to sell every home that is active in the NWMLS inventory. The four counties with the lowest months of inventory in January 2024 were Snohomish (0.84), Thurston (1.69), King (1.78), and Pierce (1.82).


Median Price

Overall, the median price for residential homes and condominiums sold in January 2024 was $593,500, up 6.5% when compared to January 2023 ($557,250). The median sales price increased year-over-year in 19 of the 26 counties, with the highest median sales prices in King ($760,000), San Juan ($757,000) and Snohomish ($700,000) counties.

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