Market activity increases despite “constrained” mortgage rate impacts.

Market Recap

The real estate market has begun to pick up consistent with typical seasonal patterns, with further increases in activity expected over the next few months as we transition from spring to summer. Interest rates have increased by 0.38 percentage points over the past month to 7.17%, continuing to constrain prospective buyers’ purchasing power and prospective sellers’ willingness to give up low interest rate mortgages. Nevertheless, for the 26 counties covered by NWMLS, April 2024 saw a nearly 10% increase in the number of closed sales year-over-year and an almost 8% increase in median sales prices year-over-year, signaling some market optimism.

“The increase in year-over-year sales transactions signals that buyers and sellers are beginning to adjust to the higher interest rate environment,” said Mason Virant, associate director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at The University of Washington.

Important takeaways from April’s data:

  • The median sales price of homes increased in 23 out of 26 counties relative to April 2023. The three counties with the highest median sale prices were San Juan ($1,055,000), King ($875,000) and Snohomish ($738,000). The three counties with the lowest median sale prices were Grant ($340,000), Adams ($331,500) and Okanogan ($317,000).
  • The number of homes on the market increased throughout Washington with 23 out of 26 counties seeing a year-over-year increase, two counties seeing a year-over-year decrease, and remining virtually unchanged* in one county relative to April 2023. Overall, there was a nearly 21% year-over-year increase in active listings in Washington counties covered by NWMLS.
  • Condominium sales saw significant growth in NWMLS service areas, with 858 units sold in April 2024, a year-over-year increase of 15.6%. The median sale price of condominiums increased 11.5% year-over-year, from $465,000 in April 2023 to $518,538 in April 2024.

*Unchanged = less than 0.5 percent change.

“Despite interest rates increasing back into the low 7% range, year-over-year inventory levels have improved dramatically relative to April 2023,” said Virant. “It may take 4 to 6 months to be realized, but higher levels of for-sale inventory should soon have an impact on stabilizing price levels.”

Consumer and Broker Activity

NWMLS also provided insights into consumer activities during the month of April 2024:

  • Keyboxes located at listed properties were accessed 152,999 times in April 2024, a 3% increase from activity in March 2024 when they were accessed 148,536 times.
  • 122,975 property showings were scheduled in the NWMLS system in April 2024, similar to the number that were scheduled in March 2024 (125,193.)
  • In April 2024, there were 13,761 listed properties that were eligible for financial assistance in the Down Payment Resource (DPR) program, which made up 70.8% of all listings on NWMLS. The DPR program is directly integrated into NWMLS systems and provides buyers with a list of financial programs that could help them purchase a home.


*Information derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Despite higher mortgage rates, market activity remains robust in the Northwest MLS region. April 2024 saw a nearly 10% increase in closed sales and an 8% rise in median sales prices year-over-year, signaling that buyers and sellers are adjusting to the current rate environment. Improved inventory levels and strong condominium sales growth further highlight the market's resilience. With rising inventory expected to stabilize prices in the coming months, the outlook remains optimistic for both buyers and sellers. 

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