2023 Market Update

2023 Market Update

Published | Written by Caitlin Spence

Inventory Surges and Buyers Return

The Spring thaw may have arrived early for the Seattle housing market. Pending sales around Washington state reached the highest level since October and surged nearly 44% from December, according to the January report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Many buyers have resumed house hunting and brought the return of multiple offer scenarios with them. While not with the same frequency as the past two years, Seattle area buyers are competing for certain properties. Open houses are drawing large attendance and mortgage brokers are reporting more buyers wanting to get pre-approved for home loans. These are signs that buyers are adjusting to the higher interest rates which, as of February 9, average 6.12% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

But even with the growing interest from buyers, it pays for sellers to be cautious. Inventory numbers are rising offering buyers more selection. Proper pricing and preparation are more important than ever. Often we see inventory numbers climb as the days get longer and the weather improves. Many sellers will need to be aware of the competition and how best to position their home in the market to attract the most attention from buyers.

Another change from the last two years is the return of contracts that include more buyer protections. With increasing inventory buyers are once again using contingencies in their offers. The inclusion of financing, inspection and title contingencies are common components of an offer once again. Sellers will need to get used to the idea of allowing buyers the opportunity to do their due diligence before completely committing to the purchase. 

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