Northwest Multiple Listing Service Press Release

Published on: October 5, 2023

Northwest MLS, the source for the most current, accurate market listing data in Washington state, today released its Market Snapshot for the month of September 2023.

Market Recap

As we head into the fall season, the number of transactions in Washington counties continues to decline, with limited growth in year-over-year median prices.

  • When compared to the same month last year, September 2023 experienced a -20% change in active property listings on the market in Washington counties covered by the NWMLS.
  • Most counties covered by the NWMLS (23 of 26) saw a decrease in the number of homes sold, with changes ranging from -2% to -50% year over year with an average decline of -24% and one county going unchanged. 
  • The median price of homes sold increased in 15 out of 26 counties, declined in 9 counties, increased in 15 and remained unchanged in 2 counties relative to September 2022.

“The real estate market typically slows down in the fall and winter months,” said Mason Virant, associate director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at The University of Washington. “However, the high-interest rate environment has further decreased the purchasing power of prospective buyers leading to a continued decline in year over year transaction volume with overall median prices stagnating.”

While continued mortgage rate increases will make additional home price gains much more challenging, the demand for listings will have sellers thinking positively about their options by next year.

“The combination of low inventories and pent-up demand suggest that home price pressures will continue to mount and drive home prices up some 5% by next September,” said Selma Hepp, executive and chief economist with CoreLogic.

NWMLS President and CEO Tom Hurdelbrink also expressed optimism about further market stability in the near future, noting that in addition to increased interest rates, experts also observed growth in home values over the last several years. “I see this as a transition period, post pandemic, after a year of steep inflation and rising interest rates. It suggests there may be a more balanced market coming in the near to mid-term future.”