Last month’s newsletter ended with some optimism given how real estate was working then. However, none of us would have guessed just how well the market would be working by now, even with the Covid-19 protocol in place.
Current Interest Rates
Covid-19 or not, our 2020 spring market was not to be denied! In King County, the available inventory in May 2019 was 4,511 units, for May 2020 that inventory only was down to 2,513 homes, a drop of 44%. But while inventory was down by nearly half by May 2020, the number of pending contracts was only down from 3,338 in May 2019 to 2,776 a year later – in the middle of the Coronavirus. This was only 18% less than the year prior
What is even more startling is that there are more buyers (represented by pending contracts) than there are homes for sale! The chart for Snohomish County is also included and the contrast between “Active” listings (1,015) and pending contracts for May 2020 (1,392) is even more startling. Our reaction to all of this was simply… “Wow!” How did this happen?
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the State to essentially shut-down to prevent the continued spread of the virus, the real estate industry was pretty much forced to shut down as well. In just a few weeks, however, our Washington Association of Realtors worked out a viable protocol for real estate to continue.
This protocol was very restrictive, but once we learned how to navigate, we were able to begin doing real estate again. Both Jim and I remained cool to the idea of jeopardizing both buyers and sellers to potential infection though, so we pulled back and advised our clients accordingly – all were in agreement with our caution.
Available Homes vs Pending Contracts
What a ride it is turning out to be
Despite all that’s happened, life does go on, and soon we were watching real estate take off, and with the slight lifting of the restrictions going forward, we also re-engaged with our clients.
Pent-up demand may be what is now driving the market, but of one thing we are sure – buyers are not holding back. They are out in force, willing to compete for the available listings, and multiple offers are back in vogue. As you can see by the numbers, we need sellers. And what a great time to sell! Prices are again moving upward due to the lack of supply to meet the demand.