Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Home sales up despite higher interest rates

Staff Writer | May 10, 2024 1:45 AM

KIRKLAND — Activity in the housing market increased in April in spite of rising interest rates, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which compiles statistics from 26 of Washington’s 39 counties. Interest rates have increased by 0.38 percentage points over the past month to 7.17%, continuing to constrain prospective buyers’ purchasing power and prospective sellers’ willingness to give up low-interest-rate mortgages, according to the NWMLS.

Closed sales statewide increased 13.5% between March 2024 and April 2024, although Grant County saw a 13% decrease and Adams County dropped 20%. Closed sales in Washington were up nearly 10% over last April, according to the NWMLS. Closed sales in Grant County were up 12% year-over-year, but Adams County dropped by more than 50% year-over-year.

The number of homes on the market increased by almost 21% across the state, according to the NWMLS. Twenty-three counties saw an increase, including Grant County, which rose 16%. Adams County was virtually unchanged between April 2023 and April 2024. Active listings in Adams County rose between March and April 2024 by 29%, and in Grant County by about 4%.

The median price of homes rose by about 7% statewide between April 2023 and April 2024, according to the NMLS. Grant County median prices were up 13%, while Adams County dropped by about 1%. Grant and Adams counties had the second- and third-lowest median prices in Washington, at $340,000 and $331,500, respectively.

NWMLS also provided insights into consumer activities during April 2024:

· Keyboxes located at listed properties were accessed 152,999 times in April 2024, a 3% increase from activity in March 2024 when they were accessed 148,536 times.

· 122,975 property showings were scheduled in the NWMLS system in April 2024, similar to the 125,193 that were scheduled in March 2024.

· In April 2024, there were 13,761 listed properties that were eligible for financial assistance in the Down Payment Resource program, which made up 70.8% of all listings on NWMLS. The DPR program is directly integrated into NWMLS systems and provides buyers with a list of financial programs that could help them purchase a home.

“The increase in year-over-year sales transactions signals that buyers and sellers are beginning to adjust to the higher interest rate environment,” Mason Virant, associate director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, wrote in the NWMLS announcement.

By the numbers:

Changes are from April 2023 to April 2024

Active listings 

Statewide 9,813 +20.94% 

Grant County 244 +16.75% 

Adams County 94 46.88% 

Closed sales

Statewide 5,847 +9.54%

Grant County 66 +11.86%

Adams County 8 -52.94%

Median price

Statewide $651,000 +7.92%

Grant County $340,000 +13.33

Adams County  331,500 -1.34%