May ’23 Housing Market Update: Inventory Rebounds as Price See-Saw Continues

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After a spike in activity that we reported in last month’s update, the housing market settled in this month. Inventory went up a bit, while the number of homes sold dropped a bit. And Tri-Cities home prices are still pretty flat, but continued a see-saw trend that’s going on four months now.

Ready to dive into the numbers?? Let’s do it!

Tri-Cities Home Prices

In the big picture, home prices remain “steady” or “flat” or whatever word you want to use to say that they haven’t changed much over the past 16-17 months. The median sales price last month was $432,500, which is up $17,500 from the previous month. But it’s still within that $400K to $450K window that we’ve been in since January 2022.

It’s interesting, though, to see how home prices have gone up and down like a see-saw over the past four months. We were at $414,600 in February, then $435,000 … then back down to $415,000 … and now $432,500 last month. Up and down, up and down.

Since month-to-month comparisons don’t seem too helpful, how about this: Year-over-year, home prices are down just 1.7%.

Pasco was the one exception last month. Prices there were up $36,000. Home prices in Pasco have gone up for two straight months, while prices have dropped two straight months in Kennewick, Richland, and West Richland.

Inventory of Homes for Sale

Spring usually brings more homes to the market, but this spring is pretty unique in that mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been in years. So anyone selling a home who also needs to buy a new home is probably trading a 4% rate for something around 6%.

With that in mind, it’s good to see that our inventory is up 7% in this month’s snapshot. That ends a streak of five consecutive months with fewer homes for sale. There’s more inventory this month in all of the bigger cities we watch, with Benton City and Burbank being the exceptions.

We currently have almost double the inventory that we had a year ago. This month’s 605 homes for sale is up 81% over May 2022, when there were 335 homes for sale.

Tri-Cities Home Sales

Activity was down 10% last month, after jumping 43% the previous month. Last summer, we typically saw between 300-400 homes sell in a given month. I’m not sure we’ll get back to that level this summer, since mortgage rates are still keeping a good amount of buyers and sellers out of the market.

Even though home sales are down in quantity, the homes that do close are selling more quickly. Our median days on market has dropped from 34 to 13 over the past two months. The market has changed a lot in the past 9-12 months, but homes that are priced right and staged well can still sell quickly.

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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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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