Friday, January 22, 2016

Record-breaking Home Sales

Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 88,331 closed sales during 2015, outperforming the prior year’s volume of 77,276 transactions for a 14.3 percent increase.

Measured by dollars, last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums were valued at more than $34 billion. Compared to 2014, that dollar volume represents a gain of nearly 23 percent.

Last year’s completed sales included 75,975 single family homes (about 86 percent of the total) and 12,356 condominiums. The total units and dollar volume surpassed the previous highs during 2007 when members registered 82,197 sales valued at $32.3 billion.

Year-over-year prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) increased almost 8.5 percent system-wide, rising from $295,000 in 2014 to last year’s median price of $320,000. Condo prices jumped 13.3 percent, from the 2014 figure of $225,000 to last year’s median selling price of $254,900.

During 2015, the average area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, fell to 2.4 month, down from the previous year’s figure of 3.5 months. King County had the lowest level, averaging only 1.3 months of supply. Industry analysts tend to use a 4-to-6 month range as an indicator of a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.

Among other highlights in its annual compilation of statistics, Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported:

  • About 46 percent of last year’s single family home sales had three bedrooms, while the vast majority of condos (73 percent) had two bedrooms or fewer.
  • The median price for a 3-bedroom home that sold in 2015 was $283,250, about 7.9 percent higher than the previous year’s figure of $262,500. 
  • Of the condo sales, about six of every 10 (61.9 percent) were located in King County, primarily in Seattle or on the Eastside. That ratio matched the figure for 2014.
  • Newly built condos fetched higher prices than single family homes. Last year’s sales included 8,548 newly built single family homes that sold for a median price of $425,000, and 1,018 condos that sold for a median price of $449,950.

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