Walla Walla Real Estate Update – February 2016

Whitman Mission Covered Wagon Trail - Walla Walla

February’s homes sales slowed a bit from January’s hot pace, but through the first two months of the year, Walla Walla’s closed sales were still 11% ahead of last year.  Buyers remained very active writing new contracts.  Pending sales – homes under contract, but not yet closed – grew by 31% over the previous month.

After 4 consecutive monthly listing declines, the number of homes listed for sale in February grew by 10% over the previous month.  However, the trend of year-over-year declines in the number of listings continued.  

With more sales and less inventory then a year ago, median prices moved up 4% over February of last year.  What happens to prices going forward will depend on how low our listing inventory gets.  However, we expect our listing inventory to grow as we move into spring, which is typically the busiest listing time of the year.

February’s Listings: 322*

Listings gained 10% over the previous month, but remained 3% below February of last year.  At February’s rate of sales, Walla Walla’s monthly inventory increased to just over 4 months.

February’s Home Sales: 40*

February’s sales declined by 20% from the previous month, but still brought Walla Walla’s year-to-date total sales to 90, an 11% annual gain over the same period a year ago.

February’s Median Sales Price: $196,450*

February’s Median Sales Price declined 3% from the previous month, but was 4% higher than February of last year.

Click here for February 2016 Charts

*WWMLS WA Data

Photo provided by Christina Kennell Photography

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 6:15 PM
Firm - Windermere Walla Walla | Category: Market Trends | Tagged , , , , ,

Walla Walla Real Estate Update – January 2015

 

Liberty Theater - Downtown Walla Walla

January’s 50 home sales set a new high for the first month of a year in the Walla Walla Valley.  Typically, the month of January averages around 35 home sales, but this year closings increased 56% over last January.  Buyers were likely spurred on by the prospect of higher interest rates.  All this activity favored sellers yet listing inventory remained low.  At month’s end, the number of listings dropped below 300 for the first time in 10 years.  At the current pace of sales, there were 3.9 months of inventory.  Yet Walla Walla has not experienced the extreme inventory lows faced by the west side of our state.  As we move into spring, we anticipate listings to increase as sellers look to take advantage of what is already an active market.

January Listings: 292*

The last time the total number of listings dropped below 300 was December of 2006.

January Home Sales: 50*

This was the most active January on record for home sales.

January Median Price: $202,750*

January’s median price increased 6.6% over last years median price.  What happens to prices throughout the rest of the year will depend largely on listing inventory which should increase during the months ahead.

Click here for January 2016 Charts

*WWMLS WA Data

Photo provided by Christina Kennell Photography

 

Posted on February 15, 2016 at 2:13 PM
Firm - Windermere Walla Walla | Category: Market Trends | Tagged , , , , ,

Walla Walla Real Estate Update – Year-End 2015

Pioneer Park Winter Fountain - Walla Walla

2015 was a good year for real estate in the Walla Walla Valley.  Here are the highlights:

1.  Annual home sales passed the 700 mark for the first time since 2006.

A consistent theme throughout the year was increased home sales.  The Walla Walla MLS reported 726* single family home sales in 2015.  This was an 8% increase over the previous year’s pace.  Favorable interest rates and a gradual easing of credit standards kept buyers active throughout the year.

2.  At year end, listings dropped to their lowest level since December, 2006.

Another consistent theme was year-over-year declines in the number of homes listed for sale. The year ended with 305 homes listed for sale and a listing inventory of 4 months.  This was nearly 2 months less inventory than we had 12 months ago.  Most economists believe that 4-6 months is considered to be a balanced market, equally benefitting buyer and seller.  At 4 months of inventory, we begin the new year sitting on the edge of balance and becoming a sellers market.

3.  The median sales price experienced an annual gain of 5.5%.

The decline in inventory this past year year, led to a moderate gain in the median sales price. Walla Walla’s median sales price for 2015 was $190,078*.

Forecast:

As we begin 2016, Walla Walla’s real estate market is in a good place.  Our market has not faced the extreme inventory lows and high price increases that many parts of the country have gone through. We’ve experienced national trends at more moderate levels and we expect that to continue.

This year, listing inventory will remain in the 3-4 month range.  Prices will appreciate at 4-5%.  Sales will remain strong but year over year gains will be moderate. Matthew Gardner, Windermere's chief economist, predicts interest rates will stay below 5%.  We are looking forward to another good year for real estate in the Walla Walla Valley.

Click here for December 2015 Charts

*WWMLS WA Data

Photo provided by Christina Kennell Photography

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 8:22 AM
Firm - Windermere Walla Walla | Category: Market Trends | Tagged , , , , ,