Despite low inventory, the Walla Walla Valley MLS is poised to have its second most active real estate year ever. With one month to go, annual homes sales remained 4% ahead of last years pace. Last year’s sales were second to the number that occurred in 2016. While sustained listing inventory levels were extremely low this year for the Walla Walla Valley, new listings that came to market each month were quickly sold. The seller’s market continued, especially for homes under $600,000.
As reported throughout the year, low inventory levels led to increased prices. With one month to go, the fourth quarter’s median sales price is 10% higher than that for the same period a year ago.
While the market sustained good activity throughout the month, there were signs that the anticipated seasonal slowdown had begun. November’s pending sales – homes under contract but not yet sold – declined by 13%. However, December’s projected closings should ensure the lead over last year is maintained.
November’s Listings: 237*
Novembers listing inventory dropped 13% from the previous month and remained 14% below the number of homes listed for sale in November of last year.
November’s Closed Sales: 63*
Closed sales declined 14% from the previous month but stayed on par with the number of homes that closed in November of last year.
November’s Median Price: $260,000*
The month’s median price equaled that of last month but was 9% higher than the median price of closed homes in November of last year.
*WWMLS WA Data
With just two reporting months left in the year, 2018 is poised to be the second busiest real estate year in Walla Walla’s MLS history. 2016 currently holds the record for the most annual MLS home sales and 2017 holds the record for the second most. Through October of this year, home sales were 4% ahead of the pace from a year ago, but there were signs that the market is slowing a bit. October’s pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – declined by 14%.
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, reported that most of the country experienced “another month of rising inventory on a year-over-year basis”. However, this trend has not occurred in the Walla Walla Valley where inventory has remained low. At months end, year-over-year listings were 9% less than October of 2017.
Low inventory levels continued to put upward pressure on prices and the current seller’s market continued for homes under $600,000. Through October, the annual median sales price had increased 9% over the previous year to $248,481.
We continue to experience a moderately active market with buyers and sellers looking to make a move before year-end.
October’s Listings: 271*
The number of listings declined 2% from the previous month and was 9% below the number of homes available a year ago.
October’s Closed Sales: 67*
Monthly home sales stayed even with the previous month but were 13% below the same month of last year. As mentioned above, annual homes sales were still 4% ahead of last year’s pace.
October’s Median Price: $259,500*
The months median sales price increased by just $2000 over the previous month but was 14% higher than the same month of last year.
*WWMLS WA Data
Walla Walla Valley home sales slowed in September which is typical during this time each year as many buyers focus on summer vacations and back to school activities.
Inventory declined during the month and remained 8% below the number of homes listed for sale a year ago. Low inventory levels have been caused, in part, by sellers who were excited about the prospect of receiving good offers on their property but were reluctant to list for fear of not being able to find their next home.
In spite of low inventory levels, Walla Walla has experienced a strong market through the first nine months. At month end, annual closed sales were 6% ahead of last years pace. The seller’s market continued to put upper pressure on prices. Year-to-date, Walla Walla’s median price has increased by 9% over the previous year.
We expect activity to pick up this fall prior to the Holiday Season as both buyers and sellers look to make changes and/or additions to their real estate holdings before year end.
September’s Listings: 277*
The month ended with 2% fewer listings than the previous month and 8% fewer than the number of homes listed for sale 12 months ago.
Septembers Closed Sales: 67*
Closed home sales declined 21% from the previous month. But as mentioned above, this is typical for the month of September. Closed sales were just 6% off the total for September of last year.
September’s Median Price: $257,500*
The months median price had a slight drop of 1.3% from the previous month but was significantly up from last September’s median sales price of $209,500.
*WWMLS WA Data
Hot weather and smoky skies did not slow home sales in August. The month tied June for the most monthly home sales of the year in the Walla Walla Valley. But a decline in pending sales and an increase in listing inventory suggested the market had slowed just a bit. Pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – stayed even with the previous month but were down 18% from the pace set earlier in the summer. However, at month end, annual sales were still 7% ahead of last years pace.
Listing inventory grew during the month to the highest level in 10 months, but remained historically low for our market. The number of homes listed for sale was down 6% from the number available 12 months ago.
As reported in previous months, low inventory continued to put upward pressure on price. The month’s median price was 13% higher than in August of last year. However, rising interest rates and home prices have not yet damped buyer’s demand for Walla Walla valley homes and our year is on track to be the 2nd most active annual market in our MLS’s history.
August’s Listings 284*
The month’s listing inventory grew by 7% over the previous month but there were still 6% fewer homes listed than were available 12 months ago.
August’s Closed Sales: 84*
Monthly closed home sales increased by a single sale over the previous month and were within 1 closing of the number that closed in August of last year.
August’s Median Price: $261,000*
The month’s median sales price held level with the previous month but was 13% higher than the median price for the same month of last year.
*WWMLS WA Data
Through the first half of the year Walla Walla’s Real Estate Market has experienced active sales, low inventory, and rising prices. 2017 was the second most active real estate market in Walla Walla’s MLS history but at the end of June, home sales were 6% ahead of last years pace. June was the single busiest month for home closings yet this year.
Inventory remained low but did not experience a month-over-month decline as enough new listings were brought to market during the month to replace those that sold. The seller’s market continued, especially for homes under $600,000.
Year-to-date, Walla Walla’s median price was $241,185 – a 6% increase over the previous years median price. Thus far, rising prices coupled with increasing interest rates have not dampened buyer activity. We expect the active real estate market to continue through the summer.
June’s Listings: 265*
Even after a busy closing month, the month ended with essentially the same number of active listings as the previous month. Listings were down 7% from the number of homes available at the same time a year ago.
June’s Closed Sales: 81*
June’s closings increased 20% over the previous month and equalled the number that closed during June of last year.
June’s Median Price: $257,000*
June’s median price settled 8% from the previous month and was 3% higher than June of last year.
Click here for June’s Charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
Strong buyer activity continued during the month of May in the Walla Walla Valley. Closed homes sales slowed slightly from the previous month’s pace but May still became the 2nd busiest month of the year. Thus far, annual home sales are 8% ahead of last years pace.
Heading into summer, two important things to watch will be inventory levels and rising prices. While inventory remained low in May, new listings came on the market to replenish those that sold. The month ended with a net listing increase of 6%. Yet, the trend of year-over-year listing declines continued. Walla Walla’s listing inventory was 14% lower than the number of homes listed for sale 12 months ago.
Low inventory levels coupled with strong buyer demand continued to put upward pressure on prices. May’s median price of $279,000 represented a 23% increase over the previous month. The sharp monthly increase was caused by a decrease of homes sold under $200,000 coupled with the the number of home sold in the upper price ranges of our market. The upper priced segment of our market is strengthening. Ten of the homes that closed in May were above $400,000 including two above $800,000.
May’s Listings: 266*
The month ended with 6% more listings than the previous month. However, the trend of year-over-year inventory declines continued. There were 44 more homes for sale in May of last year.
May’s Closed Sales: 67*
The month experienced a 14% decline in closed sales from the previous month and was 7% below May of last year. Yet, year-to-date sales are 8% ahead of last years pace during the same period.
May’s Median Price: $279,000*
The months median price was one of the highest monthly totals ever in Walla Walla. This was due to an increase in the closings of more upper priced homes than in previous months. For the year, Walla Walla’s median price has increased 5% over last year.
Click here for May’s monthly charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
April became the most active month for real estate this year. The month’s 77 home sales made it one of the busiest Aprils ever for the Walla Walla Valley. By month end, closed home sales had surged 12% ahead of last years pace through the same reporting period.
At the same time, enough new listings came on the market to replenish those that sold. The month ended with the same number of listings as the previous month. Inventory remained low, but this trend may be shifting. For the second month in a row, the Walla Walla Valley had more listings than the previous year. Listing inventory experienced a year-over-year monthly gain of 1%.
The seller’s market continued for Walla Walla as buyer demand remained strong, especially for homes under $400,000. While most buyers would have preferred more homes to look at, Walla Walla maintained just enough inventory to keep price increases moderate. Through the first four months, Walla Walla’s median price increased 4% over the same period a year ago.
April’s Listings: 252*
The month ended with the same number of listings as the previous month, and there were 3% more homes listed for sale than were available 12 months ago.
April’s Closed Sales: 77*
Monthly home sales jumped 37% over the previous month and 57% over April of last year. This was one of the most active Aprils in Walla Walla’s history.
April’s Median Price: $226,362*
April’s median price declined by 5% from the previous month. On the year, Walla Walla’s median price is 4% higher than the same period of last year.
Click here for April 2018 Charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
Sellers brought their homes to market in March and the buyers were ready. The Walla Walla Valley experienced a monthly increase in both home sales and listings. Exceptionally low inventory levels continued to put upward pressure on pricing. Walla Walla’s median sales price increased for the 2nd consecutive month to $238,000.
Here is how the 1st Quarter of this year compared with the 1st Quarter of last year: Closed home sales remained steady but are 3% behind last years pace. Prices increased modestly. The Quarter’s median home sale price increased 3% over the same period of last year. The interesting story was listings. For the first time in 16 months, the number of homes listed for sale experienced a year-over-year monthly gain. Although by a slim margin, March ended with 1.5% more listings than Walla Walla had 12 months ago. We expect this trend to continue as more sellers list their homes in preparation for Walla Walla’s active Spring buying season.
March’s Listings: 257*
March’s listings increased by 11% over the previous month and by 1.5% over March of last year. This was the first year-over-year monthly increase in 16 months.
March’s Closings: 55*
The months closings increased significantly (37%) over the previous month but was 11% behind the number of closing for March of last year.
March’s Median Price: $238,000*
The months median price increased by 6% over the previous month and was also 6% higher than March of last year.
Click here for March 2018 Charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
An uptick in Walla Walla Valley home sales in the final three months of 2017 pulled down housing inventory to its lowest point in more than 15 years. But listing inventory improved a bit early in the year. Some sellers, wanting to capitalize on continued buyer demand, listed their homes early in January. As a result, listing inventory grew 3.5% during the month.
January’s median price ($222,750) pulled back a bit from 2017’s median price ($227,517) but low inventory levels will continue to put upward pressure on prices. The prospect of higher prices and potentially higher interest rates continued to fuel buyers motivation.
Although 6 sales shy of last January, closed home sales got off to a steady start in the new year. What happens to sales going forward will depend on whether or not listing inventory can keep up with buyer demand.
January’s Listings: 234*
The months listings grew 3.5% over the previous month but was still 5% below last January.
January’s Closings: 50*
The month’s closed sales settled from last month and was just 6 sales behind last January’s pace.
January’s Median Price: $222,750*
The month’s median price settled 8% from the previous month but was 6% higher than last January.
Click here for January 2018 Charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
2017 finished 2nd best for home sales in the Walla Walla Valley.
The Walla Walla MLS (WWMLS) reported 799* home sales in 2017 finishing just 5% behind last years record setting pace. Low interest rates kept buyers active despite fewer homes on the market making 2017 the 2nd best year for home sales in WWMLS’s history.
At year’s end, listings declined to their lowest level in over 12 years.
The year ended with just 226* active WWMLS listings, 16% fewer than last year. Throughout the year the Walla Walla Valley maintained approximately 2 months of inventory and ended with just 1.8 months of inventory for the cities of Walla Walla and College Place.
The median sales price experienced an annual gain of 6%.
Lower inventory levels continued to put upward pressure on prices in 2017. The median sales price increased to $227,517*, a 6% increase over the previous year. The Walla Walla Valley experienced a seller’s market, especially for homes below $400,000.
Click here for our 2017 Year-End Charts.
Walla Walla Real Estate 2018 Forecast:
So what will 2018 bring? To help answer that question, here is a summary from Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner:
Existing Home Sales
In 2018 we should expect existing home sales to increase by 3.7%. In many areas, demand will continue to exceed supply, but a modest increase in inventory will help take some heat off the market. Because of this, home prices are likely to rise by 4.4%.
Matthew continues to be concerned about housing affordability. Home prices have been rising across much of the country at unsustainable rates and, although Mathew still contends we are not in “bubble” territory, it does represent a substantial impediment to the long-term health of the housing market. If home price growth begins to taper, as predicted in 2018, that should provide some relief.
Interest rates continue to baffle forecasters. The anticipated rise that many have predicted for several years has yet to materialize. As it stands right now, Matthew’s forecast is for interest rates to rise modestly to an average of 4.4% for a conventional 30-year fixed rate mortgage – still remarkably low when compared to historic averages,
Click here for Matthew’s forecast.
*WWMLS WA Data