The Inventory Dilemma


Spring is upon us.

In a normal year this is when we see inventory go up and increased sales follow soon after. This year may be different as a persistent problem seems to have struck the market. You may have heard about the inventory dilemma we have at the current time. It’s all across the news. Too many buyers, no homes to buy.

Bidding Wars

We have certainly felt the effects of it here at 360 Modern. You may have noticed the slow down in new listings on our site and the fact that, when we do post a new home, it’s pending almost immediately. Hordes of buyers are out there descending on any new home that comes on the market with anxiety in their eyes and money in their pockets. It seems that the lessons of the previous decade have been completely forgotten as evidenced by the current bidding wars we are seeing so frequently these days.

Multiple Offers | Increasing Prices

Multiple offers and pre-inspections are now the norm with selling prices often coming in thousands of dollars or more over listing prices. The Northwest MLS recently published statistics showing a 45% drop in the number of Active listings in King County year-over-year. That’s a heck of a lot of homes to not have on the market. Builders are trying to catch up but home starts are still down substantially. Our Active listing inventory in King County in January of 2012 was 5,378, in January of 2013 it was just 2,975. What does that mean for prices? Not surprisingly, they are going up. The NWMLS reports that the average home price in King County in Jan ’12 was $554,936 and this year it was up to $719,500. Median price, which gives us a more accurate picture of what the market is doing, was $349K in Jan ’12 and $415K in Jan ’13.

The Modern Market

In our modern market, we are feeling the effects of this in a big way. Mid-Century Modern homes in particular are in high demand with very few actually on the market to absorb all the buyers. You may have seen Tanya Thackeray’s new Paul Kirk designed listing in Wedgewood and Heidi’s new Modern in Magnolia. Both sold immediately, Tanya had multiple offers on hers (not unusual for this price point) and both of them had loads of people of people through their open houses. It’s a great thing for sellers but if you are a buyer, it is an incredibly frustrating experience. So if you are an owner of a modern home, mid-century, contemporary or otherwise, take note. For every home that sells, there are probably 4-5 buyers that are still out there looking. If you have had a mind to sell, now is the time, it’s a seller’s market.

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