A Transitional Market We hope you are enjoying this nice transitional weather to Fall! Soon, we'll all have a pumpkin spice latte in our hands. King and Snohomish County inventory is currently 1.3 months (Condos/Single-Family Homes). This is relatively low. We expect the low inventory will continue to be the case through the end of the year due to the "lock-in" effect we discussed in last month's newsletter. That said, as soon as interest rates start to drop, we will likely see Buyer competition go up, and more properties come on the market. Between King and Snohomish County, the median price for single-family homes is currently at $838,250, up from $765,000 in January. This month, interest rates have hit a 20-year high. Prices continue to see some downward pressure. Part of this pressure is also the market's seasonality, as I will discuss in the next section.
The "unknown" best metric for market activity As many of you know, when we tour homes together, we access the property through an MLS Keybox. The Keybox is the secure blue lock that typically is on the front door that houses the property key. You must be a licensed agent to access the Keybox, and when we log into the Keybox, there is an electronic record that timestamps our entry along with our information. It is a significant safety mechanism. Not only does it track our information for safety purposes, but when we log into a Keybox, the "logging in" activity is tracked. The graph above is the Keybox activity for the entire NWMLS (the MLS published this graph), so nearly all of Washington. So, it shows how many times per month homes were shown or previewed by agents. This metric is rarely shown or discussed and is one of the best hard data points to observe market activity. As you can tell, this year's activity has dropped considerably since last year, primarily due to the interest rate hikes and the "lock-in" effect. We are following a similar trend this year, but with winter around the corner, we will see the activity drop off. As a Buyer, this could mean that you have much less to see in terms of inventory these next few months but considerably less competition. As a Seller, you may face less competition when listing your home since inventory is so low, but you will have fewer Buyers actively looking at your property.