August followed many of the same trends we saw throughout spring and summer; a hot, hot housing market with low inventory and high prices. However, some cooler spots are becoming more apparent, and some trends are beginning their seasonal slowdown.
According to the latest release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), "pending sales area-wide during August totaled 11,867 transactions, barely exceeding the number of new listings" at 11,781. The total amount of active listings at the end of the month (15,987) was 12.8 percent less than the same time last year.
NWMLS director Frank Wilson credits the flurry of back-to-school activities and end of summer vacations for sidetracking some sellers and buyers. "Typically, the last two weeks or so of August cool a bit and the market picks up again full steam once school resumes."
Some buyers are taking advantage of the longer market times and evaluating their options. Even though there were still multiple offers last month, they were down a bit and some offer review dates "came and went with no offers by those deadlines," further signaling a cool down.
We can anticipate seeing a drop in new listing inventory as we head further into fall. This can keep our prices high, but there's no denying the fall/winter slowdown.
Read the full update from the NWMLS.