There’s a phrase going around some of the national real estate media: January is the new April. What it means is that there are signs nationwide that home buyers aren’t waiting until the spring to get active in the market; low inventory and low interest rates, among other factors, are encouraging buyers to begin their home search now.
I don’t usually focus much on what’s going on nationally because all real estate is local, and the Tri-Cities market often bucks whatever trends are happening elsewhere. But look at the number of homes sold in our current market update: 379. That’s the total homes sold in December, and it’s slightly up (2%) from the previous month.
No big deal? Well, perhaps no big deal if that’s typical for this time of year. But a year ago this month, we reported 267 homes sold, which was down 24% from the previous month.
In other words, there was a lot more buying activity at the end of 2019 than there was a year ago, which is an interesting change that we’ll watch again next month. A year ago, between January and February, homes sold dropped another 7% (on top of the December-January 24% decline). We may just be seeing a one-year anomaly. Or we may be seeing that buyers aren’t waiting until spring to go out and get the home(s) they want.
Here are some other interesting things from this month’s market update:
- That median sales price of $310,300 is an all-time high across the area. The previous high was $310,000 last July. (The median sales price in West Richland has risen by almost $80,000 in the past two months.)
- Inventory is down double-digits in the real “tri” cities — Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. Pasco had the biggest drop, going from 151 available homes to 128. Across the area, inventory has dropped three months in a row.
- On the flip side, Pasco also had the biggest increase in homes sold, a 32% gain from 87 to 115. That pretty much single-handedly accounts for the entire area seeing a 2% gain in homes sold.
- As is common for this time of year, days on market was up across the board this month — and by a lot, too. Overall, we went from 13 DOM last month to 24 this month. Both Kennewick and West Richland added two weeks to their DOM count this month.
Give us a call, text or email if you ever have questions about the housing stats here in the Tri-Cities, or even in your specific neighborhood. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the market to help our clients make the best decisions for their buying or selling situations!
(*Remember that days on market can sometimes be skewed by how new construction homes are processed in the MLS.)