It’s no surprise that January was a pretty slow month in the Tri-Cities real estate market. Only 175 homes closed last month, which is the lowest we’ve seen since we began tracking the market in 2018. Based on a quick look at the Tri-Cities Assn. of Realtors stats, the last time we only sold 175 homes in a month was early 2014!
But activity typically slows down during the winter. And even with our slowdown last month, there are a couple signs that could point to a good 2023 in our market. Let’s dive in!
Tri-Cities Home Inventory
Good sign #1: The number of homes for sale in the Tri-Cities is basically unchanged this month.
When we took our January market snapshot, there were 617 homes for sale; this month, there were 605. That’s just a 2% drop in inventory, and that’s much lower than usual. Last year, inventory dropped 19% between January and February. In the three years before that, the drops were 6%, 7%, and 13%, respectively.
Our current inventory (605) is almost double what we had one year ago, when there were just 309 homes for sale.
Part of the reason we still have 600+ homes for sale is that homes are taking longer to sell: a median of 36 days on market last month, up from 22 a month earlier. But whatever the reason, as buyers come back to the market, having more homes available gives them more options.
And one more thing about days on market: Not all homes are selling slowly. Our most recent listing, a $735,000 West Richland home, went under contract in just five days. Homes that are in great condition and priced correctly will sell!
Tri-Cities Home Prices
Good sign #2: Home prices are holding steady in the Tri-Cities, avoiding any big gains or declines.
Our median price for homes sold in January was $414,600, which is 1.6% higher than December. If you go back a year and compare, today’s home prices are 1.3% lower.
Meanwhile, if you listen to a lot of the national real estate experts and national media, you’ll hear a lot of fear that prices will either continue to skyrocket (and make it harder for buyers to keep up) or prices will crash soon (hurting homeowners). But as I recently wrote, please ignore the national media. The Tri-Cities is not Seattle, not San Francisco, not Austin, not Miami, etc. The housing markets there don’t impact ours.
And that’s a look at this month’s Tri-Cities housing market! As always, please drop us a note if you ever have questions about what’s happening around town or in your specific neighborhood.
(*Remember that days on market can sometimes be skewed by how new construction homes are processed in the MLS.)
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