Improving supply helps slow escalating home prices

Local

House hunters in western Washington can choose from the largest supply of homes in three years and they are facing fewer bidding wars, according to officials from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

New statistics from the MLS show prices appear to be moderating (up about 6.7 percent overall), but brokers say they are not bracing for a bubble or even anticipating a quick shift to a buyers’ market.

“There have been incremental increases in listing inventory the past few months,” noted Gary O’Leyar, designated broker and owner at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Signature Properties, but he added, “By no means have inventory levels reached a point that is deemed to be a balanced market.”

Area-wide, the number of active listings of single-family homes and condos (combined) rose 16.2 percent, but 16 counties reported year-over-year drops in inventory; of those, nine had double-digit decreases 12 months ago. At month end, there were 18,580 active listings, the highest level since September 2015 when buyers could choose from 19,724 listings. Compared to July, inventory was up nearly 11 percent.

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