Local real estate market heats up as inventory shrinks

Original press release, Northwest Multiple Listing Service





“Healthy marketplaces” emerging with shrinking inventory, favorable financing
Home sales finished the year much stronger than they started, with pending sales for the fourth quarter outgaining the first quarter by more than 3,000 transactions for a 21 percent increase, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“All over we are seeing healthy marketplaces emerge as the inventory levels drop,” said J. Lennox Scott, CEO and chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate. “As you get closer to the job centers of Seattle and Bellevue, the marketplace is looking strong again,” he added while expressing optimism for the coming year. “The outlook for 2012 is the continuation of a strengthening marketplace, especially in the more affordable to mid range priced homes.”

OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, believes the market has undergone a shift. “Where we’ve been during the past year is a place of transition. It has been a slow recovery, but the housing market has finally turned a corner, albeit a soft one with some bumps along the way,” he commented.

Despite rising sales, Jacobi, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors, noted foreclosures and short sales continue to cause downward pressure on prices. “Many would-be sellers are still wary of the market, and as a result, there are fewer homes for sale,” he observed, adding, “At the same time, there are buyers who are eager to strike while the iron is hot, so in some areas, homes are selling before many buyers even have a chance to react.”