Jennie's Market Intel - April 2024

Jennie Wetter April 12, 2024
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Last month I noted that March is the official start to the season of real estate "madness", aka "March Madness". I also mentioned it's just a "weird" market and I'll stick with my "exceptionally eloquent" adjective to describe what happened in March and what we are seeing as we move into April
Indeed, it was MADNESS, although not necessarily for the same reasons as other years!
So, let's get the elephant out of the room right away. On March 15th, the National Association of Realtors reached a tentative agreement to settle a number class action law suits brought on behalf of sellers related to broker commission.,sellers%20related%20to%20broker%20commissions.
It took less than 24 hours for the media (of all types) to be flooded with misinformation. Yes, MISINFORMATION, surprise, surprise! As of this writing, NOTHING has been approved. While it is likely that practice changes that were agreed upon in the prelim agreement will take effect later in the summer, nothing has happened to date. Furthermore, Washington State and our NWMLS were not a part of these suits, and we are leaps and bounds ahead of others in the US as it pertains to transparency and consumer choice surrounding brokerage compensation. No matter what happens nationally, once again remember, REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL!
On March 28th I wrote a blog post expressing 10 tidbits of truth in an attempt to answer some of your questions. While the last 12 days have certainly created many more headlines, each of my 10 tidbits remains 100% true as of today. Check it out here:
I reiterate the promise I made in the post... to stay on top of ALL of this and be your trusted resource for the truth, the facts, and the impact it will have to the future of buying and selling homes in Washington State and Greater Gig Harbor. Keep your questions coming, PLEASE! I'm here to be your resource!
Now that the elephant is pushed off to the side... let's dive into what it looked like for Buyers and Sellers in March.
The trend we've seen to this point in 2024, with the total number of active listings being both very low and very consistent has continued. At the same time, the number of pending sales each month continues to rise. March was no exception.
As the gap gets between total active listings and the number of pendings gets tighter and tighter, what it means for Buyers is competition, lack of choices, and overall disappointment.
Bottom Line - We need more new listings! Sellers, please jump in!
The graph below paints this picture extremely well. It's a 10 year history of the new listings to hit the Greater Gig Harbor market each March. As you can see, in each of the years between 2014 and 2018 well over 150 new listings went active in March. We reached a peak in 2018 or 197. In 2024 we are at HALF the 10 year peak! March of 2023 and 2024 were essentially dismal for the number of new listings. Can can also see the gap between new and closed sales getting tighter and tighter. A continuation of this trend very clearly means prices will continue to rise to as supply doesn't meet demand. Check out the 2nd graph...
Wow! This 10 year history of March median sale prices is dramatic We all know about the huge jump between 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, but post COVID, the market should have returned to normal and prices stabilized. Instead, they continue to rise year over year because of the extremely tight supply.
What does all this mean?
Interest Rates - Adding a bit more fuel to the fire is the Fed. Inflation data released on 4/10/24 showed inflation rising instead of trending down. As such the promise of interest rate cuts this summer are fleeting. We started the year expecting up to 7 rate cuts. At this point, predictions are varied, some saying 1, others up to 3. We're all just hoping we see cuts at all.
Buyers - Stubbornly high interest rates are a blessing and a curse. The blessing is many potential buyers who were certain they can purchase now and refinance to a much lower rate in the very near term are having second thoughts. If more buyers stay on the sidelines, it helps with the inventory crunch. Also, some good news, in the last 7 days we've seen almost 40 new listings in Greater Gig! It seems Sellers waited for April this year instead of March, so hopefully it's a good trend! Hang in there and don't give up!
Sellers - You're still in the driver's seat, but as more homes are coming on the market each week, you cannot expect that your home will sell overnight. 29 homes went pending inspection or pending in the last 7 days. Of those homes, the average days on market is 32.
Just because median prices have continued to rise year over year, doesn't mean your house has doubled in value since 2019, or especially since 2021! Overpricing your home can be a major pitfall in this market. Tight inventory doesn't mean a buyer will pay ANY price. You still have to be realistic!
And of course, as always... Presentation is EVERYTHING! A well prepped and presented house WILL sell the fastest and for the most money. That's tried and true. Just look through the listings and see how many homes are now fully staged vs ones that are not. You have to keep up with your competition.
ALL - We've got you covered! You don't need to be the experts... just trust that we will guide you in the right direction and absolutely have your best interests at the forefront!

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