February’s home sales dropped in Walla Walla amid harsh winter weather and a declining housing inventory. Year-to-date closings were 12% below last year’s pace during the same period a year ago. Buyers also faced higher home prices and mortgage rates, yet, they stayed surprisingly active. New contract activity for homes not yet closed increased by approximately 30% during the month.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says interest in buying a home is the highest it has been since the great depression. “Households are feeling more confident about their financial situation, job growth is strong in most parts of the country and the stock market has seen record gains in recent months.”
Through the first two months of the year, buyer traffic has outpaced seller traffic in Walla Walla. As we enter what is typically our busiest listing season of the year, many sellers will benefit from buyer demand that is already waiting for them.
February’s Listings: 250*
February’s listings held steady with the previous month. However, there were 22% fewer homes listed for sale than were available exactly a year ago.
February’s Closing: 32*
February’s closings dropped sharply from the previous month and ended 31% below the number of homes that closed in February of the 2016.
February’s Median Price: $217,500*
February’s median price increased 4% over the previous month. A seller’s market continued in Walla Walla as low listing inventory placed upward pressure on price.
Click here for February’s charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
September was the biggest home sale month of the year in the Walla Walla Valley. 94 homes closed making it the most active home sale month in Walla Walla MLS’s history. With one quarter left, annual home sales were 9% ahead of last years pace.
In the midst of all those closings, there were signs of the market slowing a bit as we entered the autumn season. Pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – declined by 28% from the previous month and the number of listings available for sale also dropped.
With approximately 3 months of inventory, Walla Walla’s real estate market continued to tip in the sellers favor. Lower inventory levels continued to put upward pressure on price. Through the first three quarters of the year, Walla Walla’s median price was $214,555, a 13% increase over the previous year.
September’s Listings: 343*
September’s listings declined 10% from the previous month and 5% from the number of listings a year ago.
September’s Closings: 94*
Closings increased 15% over the previous month and 25% over the number of homes that closed in September 2015.
September’s Median Price: $235,000*
The median price increased 9% over the previous month and 28% over the median price for homes sold in September 2015.
Click here for September’s charts.
*WWMLS WA Data
Home sales kept up their robust pace in July and pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – grew by 6%. Annual home sales are now 7% ahead of last years pace.
Walla Walla’s listing inventory grew slightly over the previous month but the trend of year-over-year inventory declines continued. In the cities of Walla Walla and College Place, listing inventory dropped slightly below the 3 month range as the market moved more strongly to a sellers market.
July’s median sales price increased to $242,032, the highest of the year. The increase was caused by lower inventory levels and by more homes selling in the upper price ranges. On the year, Walla Walla’s median price is $212,164 – a 12% increase over last year’s median price.
While rising prices create affordability concerns, low interest rates have kept buyers active. As we've reported, what happens through the rest of the year will depend largely on interest rates and listing inventory.
July’s Listings: 380*
July’s listings increased by 2% over the previous month. While the monthly trend of year over year listing declines continued, the gap was just 1% lower.
July’s Closed Sales: 80*
While June was the busiest closing month of the year, July became the 2nd busiest. July’s closings were 10% ahead of the same month a year ago.
July’s Median Price: $242,032*
July’s median price rose 5% over the previous month as more homes in the upper price ranges sold.
Click here for July Charts.
*WWMLS WA Properties