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Monday, March 5, 2012

Washington homebuyers realizing “market may have reached bottom of cycle”

KIRKLAND, Wash. (March 5, 2012) – With spring on the horizon and consumer confidence on the rise, members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service are reporting positive gains in activity. Pending sales for February increased more than 27 percent from a year ago, more sellers are listing their homes, and brokers are reporting an uptick in multiple offers.

“Buyers are beginning to realize that we may have seen the bottom of this real estate market,” remarked Frank Wilson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors. “Waiting to buy may only result in paying a higher interest rate, having fewer houses to choose from, or finding that sellers do not need to give up as much as they have in the past,” he added.

Brokers reported 7,623 pending sales during February, the highest volume since August when they notched 7,632 mutually accepted offers. Last month’s tally jumped 27.4 percent from twelve months ago, with 20 of the 21 counties in the MLS service area reporting double-digit gains.

“The only thing tempering this from being a hot, thriving market are the short sales and foreclosed properties which represent about one-third of the transactions,” Wilson commented.

Buyers have fewer homes to consider compared to a year ago, with inventory down 22.5 percent area-wide. At month end, there were 25,510 active listings in the Northwest MLS database; a year ago, there were 32,922 homes and condos listed for sale.

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