Walla Walla Real Estate Update – July 2016

2016-7 July Web Size

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

 
Posted on August 15, 2016 at 8:10 PM
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Community Service Day – 2016

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 8:28 AM
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Walla Walla Real Estate Update – June 2016

Walla Walla Vineyard

June marked the busiest closing month of the year.  At the halfway point of 2016, Walla Walla’s home sales remained 5% ahead of last year's pace.  June's closing activity led to declines in pending sales and listing inventory.

Pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – declined by 16% in June and after four consecutive monthly gains, the number of homes listed for sale declined by 3%.  Yet Walla Walla’s inventory remained in the 3 month range.  While this level of inventory was low for Walla Walla, it remained above the inventory levels found in most communities in our state.

Through the first half of the year, Walla Walla’s median price was 9% above last year, but low interest rates have kept homes reasonably affordable.  As we’ve reported, what happens to our local market through the rest of they year will be impacted by our listing supply and interest rates.

June’s Listings: 373*

June’s listing supply declined 3% from the previous month and remained 5% lower than June of last year.

June’s Closed Sales: 85*

June’s closings swelled 39% over the previous month and beat out June of last year by 2%

June’s Median Price: $230,000*

June’s median price was the highest of the year.  More homes closed above $400,000 than any previous month this year.

Click here for June 2016 Charts

*WWMLS WA Data

Photograph courtesy of Christina Kennell Photography

Posted on July 18, 2016 at 11:58 AM
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Walla Walla Real Estate Update – May 2016

Windermere Walla Walla

New contract activity and listing inventory grew in May.  Pending sales – homes under contract, but not yet closed – increased by 22% over the previous month.  The number of closed home sales held steady with the previous month, but declined from the number of closings that occurred in May of 2015.  Still, year-to-date sales are ahead of last year's pace by 5%.

The number of homes listed for sale in May grew by 7% over the previous month. The trend of year-over-year listing declines also continued, but the gap narrowed to just 2% fewer.  While the number of listings in Walla Walla are lower than previous years, we are still not experiencing the extreme lows of many metropolitan areas, including many neighborhoods on the west side of our state.  Therefore, price gains are more modest in Walla Walla.  For the year, our median price is 6.6% higher than the previous year.

While some buyers may wish they had more inventory to chose from, favorable interest rates and modest inventories have kept them active through the first five months of 2016.

May's Listings: 386

May's listings increased by 7% over the previous month.  Approximately one third of the total active listings are under contract.

May's Closed Sales: 61

May's home sales held steady with the previous month.

May's Median Price:  $213,000

May's median price increased from the previous month.  For the year, Walla Walla's median price is $202,664.

*WWMLS WA Data

Click here for May 2016 Charts

Photography courtesy of Christina Kennell Photography.

 

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 8:05 AM
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Annual Windermere Foundation Bowling Event – 2016

Posted on May 26, 2016 at 8:36 AM
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Walla Walla Real Estate Update – April 2016

Pioneer Park Pond - Walla Walla

April home sales rose 7% higher than April’s sales in 2015.  Walla Walla’s annual home sales continued to outpace last year by 15%.  New contract activity continued to increase as well.  Pending sales – homes under contract not yet closed – grew by 27% during the month of April.

Seller’s looking to capitalize on the active market listed more homes in April.  Monthly listing inventory grew 10% over the previous month.  However, April’s total listings were still 9% less than a year ago.  Approximately one third of Walla Walla's active listings are under contract.

The month's median price declined, yet Walla Walla’s annual median price was up 5% from 2015’s median price.  This was a modest increase when compared to many parts of the country that continued to experience inventory levels well below Walla Walla’s.

As we have mentioned previously, what happens the rest of the year depends largely on inventory levels and interest rates.  So far, so good…our inventory has experienced 3 consecutive monthly gains and interest rates have remained low.

April's Listings: 359*

The trend of year-over-year listing declines continued.  April had 35 fewer homes listed for sale than were available in April of 2015.

April's Closed Sales: 62*

April experienced a slight monthly decline in home sales, but brought the yearly total to 230 sales compared to just 200 homes sales during the same period of last year.

April's Median Price: $182,868*

April’s median price dropped from the previous month as more homes in the lower price ranges closed.

Click here for April 2016 Charts
 
*WWMLS WA Data
 
Photograph courtesy of Christina Kennell Photography.
Posted on May 11, 2016 at 12:50 PM
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Walla Walla Real Estate Update – March 2016

Winter Wheat Field - Walla Walla

March was the most active month yet this year for home sales in Walla Walla.  Total sales for the first quarter ended 6% above last year's pace.  Buyers were lured by low interest rates and a modest uptick in inventory levels.  In spite of the active closing month, March’s listings increased slightly from the previous month.  However, the trend of year-over-year listing declines continued.  Listing inventory dropped 11% below March of last year.  Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says “looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings.”  For now in Walla Walla, it appears that buyers are more than ready for spring’s busy listing season to begin.

March Listings: 326*

March’s listing inventory grew 1% over the previous month.  However, there were 39 fewer homes listed for sale than were available 12 months ago.

March Home Sales: 60*

March saw an increase of 20 home sales over the previous month.  Pending home sales – under contract, not yet closed – held steady with the previous month.  One third of March's 326 listings are under contract.

March Median Price: $218,250*

Median prices surged 11% over the previous month.  The increase was caused by more homes closing in the upper price ranges and by annual declines in listing inventory.

Click here for March 2016 Charts

*WWMLS WA Data

Photo provided by : Christina Kennell Photography

Posted on April 11, 2016 at 2:43 PM
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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
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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
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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
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