Western Washington housing market leveling as supply grows

The recent housing market is more balanced, as a new report shows a significant increase in active listings, a slowdown in sales and prices that are still rising, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The days of “multiple offers and waived inspections, at least in Pierce County, are behind us,” said Mike Larson, a member of the NWMLS board of directors.

Larson added that buyers are getting a little relief, but not much, as the market eases back into the pre-COVID-19 market.

Over 13,000 new listings were added to the NWMLS inventory during May, an increase of 9.7% year-over-year. It’s also the highest monthly number since June of 2021.

Snohomish and Douglas counties more than doubled their active listings from a year ago, with nearly a 135% increase for each county.

“The significant increase in the number of homes for sale has some speculating that the market is about to implode, but that is very unlikely,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “What’s more likely to occur is that the additional supply will lead us toward a more balanced market, which after years of such lopsided conditions, is much needed.”

Gardner also believes that rising mortgage rates are not yet negatively impacting the housing market.

“The additional supply of homes for sale is giving buyers more choices, which is something they haven’t had in several years,” Gardner said.

Buyers should expect to pay more for homes and condos, although those increases may be leveling.