Governor Inslee extended the Stay Home Stay Healthy order through the month of May but tight supply combined with strong buyer demand in the Walla Walla Valley kept home values stable. Spring is typically the active listing season but many sellers delayed bringing their home to market while under the economic lockdown. Listing inventory remained 12% below the number of homes listed for sale 12 months ago. With inventory falling to approximately just one month, sellers who chose to list in May experienced strong buyer demand with very little competition from other listings. Buyers often found themselves competing with other buyers making offers above the seller’s asking price.
While the number of closed homes sales through the pandemic has been an encouraging economic sign for Walla Walla, it has not been business as usual. May’s home closings declined 24% from the closings that occurred in May of last year. The decline was largely due to the lack of inventory.
As our economy opens up there are some positive signs. May saw an 18% monthly increase in home closings and a 9% monthly increase in listings with buyers continuing to write new contracts. Pending sales – homes under contract but not yet closed – grew 20% over the previous month. And even with the 2nd quarter slow down, annual home sales are just 4% behind last year’s pace due to an active pre-pandemic first quarter. Home values have been stable and have likely increased. This year’s median sales price has risen 7.6% above last year. And finally, there are indicators that listings are on the way. The National Association of Realtors’ recent survey indicated the 77% of prospective home sellers were making their homes ready to list as the economy opens up. All said, we expect Summer to be the new Spring market.
May’s Listings: 232
The month’s listings increased 9% over the previous month but remained 12% behind last May’s numbers.
May’s Closed Sales: 53
The months closed sales increased 18% over the previous month but fell 24% behind the number that closed in May of last year.
May’s Median Price: $289,900
The month’s median price declined 3% from the previous month but was 1% higher than the median price for May of last year. Year-to-date the median price is up 7.6% above last year’s median price.
Watch weekly economic updates with Matthew Gardner – Windermere Chief Economist