From NWREporter News From the NWMLS
KIRKLAND, WA, February 3, 2011. Dramatic increases in open house activity and shrinking inventory are fueling optimism among members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Commenting on the just-released MLS report on January’s housing activity, one director stated, “There is a strong belief in the industry that the worst is behind us and we can look forward with confidence.”
Darin Stenvers, managing broker at John L. Scott in Bellingham, who made that comment, also noted consumers are gaining confidence and buyers may be seeing what they believe is the bottoming of the market. “I’m very optimistic about the housing market for 2011 and the buyers and sellers should be as well,” he exclaimed.
Year-over-year pending sales were down somewhat, the volume of new listings declined more than 23 percent, sales prices continued to slip, but the number of closed sales increased slightly across the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS service area.
Last month’s pending sales lagged totals for the same month a year ago, but only by 186 units system- wide, a decline of about 3.3 percent. Northwest MLS director Matt Deasy, the broker at Windermere Real Estate/East in Bellevue, said he considered anything within 5 percent of a year ago when tax incentives were boosting sales a “home run.”
Members reported 5,393 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) of single family homes and condominiums during January. That compares to 5,579 pending sales for the same period a year ago, and marked a big gain from both January 2009 (4,353 pending sales) and January 2008 (4,499 pending sales).