Heck yeah, things are picking up! After a slow end-of-year season - slower than the usual slow - the housing markets in Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties in western Wa are starting to see housing inventory move off of the market as numbers of pending and closed sales increased in the month of January.
If you were trying to sell during the months of November and December of '22, you know how slow, slow, slow the market was. If you were a buyer, you likely got very favorable terms on a purchase price that was at, or lower, than asking price.
Buyers may still be able to snatch up a relatively favorable deal as we move forward, but if buyers continue to move into the market and buy off listings at this quickened paced, we may see less and less of those deals.
To learn more, let's have a look at that data, let's get into the numbers.
New Listings were down year-to-date from 859 in January a year ago to 709 in January of this year, a decrease of 17.5%.
Pending home sales for the month of January totaled 908 units, up 1.9% from January last year, which saw pendings of 891 units.
Total number of closings seen this January were 497 units - down 34.8% from one year ago. This decrease in closing data for the month of January is a lagging indicator; it is reflective of the much decreased activity seen in the market during the month of December of '22.
Days on market were up from December's 43 DOM (and up from 19 DOM in January one year ago).
"But, Wendy," you say, "I thought you said the numbers were up?" Are buyers back?
Yes, buyers are back.
Even though we see numbers of listings and pendings for the month of January '23 down from one year ago, they are very much up from the depths they were at in November and December. December listings were down 37.5%, pendings were down 28.9%, and closed sales were down 53.3% (and Novemeber '22 listings were not down too bad, they were down 29.8% from numbers posted a year ago, but pendings were down 42.9%, and closings down 45.8%).
The question is, will they continue to BE back. I'll keep an eye on that and I'll let you know what the hard numbers end up being, but out in the market today, out there in practice, what I can tell you is that buyers are present and active.
So, wow! That was a trip of change!
Thurston county saw a similar trend, let's check it out.
Total number of units listed for sale in Thurston county, WA for the month of January '23 was 233, this was down just 18.5% from the 286 that were listed one year ago.
Pending sales were down 11% at 283 units, down from the 318 that were pending last January.
And finally, total sales closed were down 50.9%, at 155 units closed versus the the 316 that closed during the month of January in 2022. As you can guess from the data extracted and described above for Pierce, those closings were reflective of those very decreased pending numbers from the month before in the month of Dec of '22, where total pending units were down 36.3% (177 units).
Days on market were up from December's 42 DOM (and 16 DOM January last year).
Looking at the January numbers, we can see that listings and pending are up - although still below '22 numbers - while the lagging indicator of closings is following on to show lower closings due to those really decreased pendings numbers seen from December.
Now let's have a look at how Lewis county is trending
New listings for Lewis county did not follow too closely to Pierce and Thurston, as we saw 65 new listings come on the market, down 33.7% from 98 units from January last year.
Pendings, however, were up at an increase of 14% to 98 units going under contract, up from last year's 86 units. (Cool!)
Units sold in January this year totaled 54 and were down 39.3%, falling from 89 units closed a year ago last January.
Days on market were down from 60 in December (33 DOM January last year).
Looking into December '22 numbers, we see that pendings were down 35.5% (and closings were down 40.8%).
So we see the buyers taking those listing off the market, but listings are slow to come on. Let's keep and eye on Lewis and see what happens there this month.
So, it will be interesting to see how listings and pendings perform this month (Feb 2023) as we get a gauge for how 2023 is playing out for the market here in the South Sound.
I will certainly keep you posted!
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