The NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service) reported the April statistics today. The jump in sales and pending sales was pretty dramatic. More importantly, the unsold inventory has decreased to more normal market levels, signalling a probable turn in the market. The increased activity can be felt throughout the market, with mortgage , title, and escrow businesses busy as well as real estate brokerages.
Pending sales of single-family homes in King County was over 2,000 in April, the first month it has been that high since August 2007. In percentage terms, pending sales in King county were up 25 percent from March, and up nearly 15 percent from April 2008.
And it wasn't just Seattle. For the four-county Puget Sound area (King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish), there were 5,372 pending sales, the highest total since August 2007 and a jump of 26 percent from March.
To quote the press release:
Lower prices, record low mortgage interest rates, improving consumer confidence, the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit and other incentives for buyers are credited with spurring activity. Industry officials, noting activity is quite strong in the lower, more affordable price ranges, hesitate to declare a housing recovery is under way.
I know a lot of buyers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to see when the bottom of the market is reached before they jump in. I think these are strong indications that time has arrived.