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NWMLS, January, 2013. Home buyers around western Washington made offers on 5,314 residences during December, out numbering the 3,857 owners who listed their homes for sale.

The imbalance helped push up prices and further thin the already depleted inventory.

While the expected seasonal slowdown occurred last month, determined buyers were undaunted by sparse inventory and record-breaking rainy days, according to December statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

This is a unique housing market marked by an unprecedented fourth straight month when pending sales outnumbered new listings.

MLS members tallied 5,267 closed sales during December, outgaining the same month a year ago by 526 transactions for an increase of about 11.1 percent.  The 2012 total of 64,624 closed sales was 14.8 percent higher than the volume reported for 2011.

Brokers expect the housing market rebound to continue, while cautioning sellers to refrain from becoming too aggressive and are expressing hope for “controlled natural growth” to sustain the recovery. They also believe distressed properties, rising rents and re-engaged investors will have an impact on activity for the foreseeable future.

The median price for King County was $342,000, while the average price in King County was $425,000, reflecting a gain of more than 17.5 percent.  Prices rose by double digits in ten of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS service area.
 
Prices and the number of multiple offers may be rising in part because of shrinking inventory. At the end of December, there were only 17,718 properties for sale, which compares to 26,639 active listings for the same time a year ago (down 33.5 percent). Months of supply declined to 3.3 months, down from about 5 months of supply for the same period a year ago.

Low unemployment, less inventory, low interest rates and rising rents are among factors that will create a strong housing market in 2013.  The return of first-time buyers who find it is becoming cheaper to own than rent given today’s low, low interest rates!

Your questions regarding these fine properties, your property, other properties or the real estate market in general, are welcomed. I look forward to your call. My direct number is: #206-528-4432 or send me an email at: mpeters@sellingseattle.com. Or go to: www.michaelpeters.net for more photos of great homes.

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