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Low inventory expected to drive more Seattle holiday shoppers

Tight inventory and the threat of rising interest rates could bring out more holiday home shoppers than usual this year.

“As we approach the holiday season when we typically experience the seasonal slowdown, the housing market is showing signs of stability and resilience,” said Mike Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate in West Seattle. “Even though November’s new listings were up 10.1 from a year ago, and pending sales were up 1.6 percent, the lack of inventory is holding sales down.”

According to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median selling price of a King County home in November was $414,000 compared to $385,000 a year ago. The number of closed sales across the 21 counties in the report outgained the volume of a year ago by 283 transactions, rising from 5,333 completed sales to 5,616 for a gain of 5.3 percent.

Many Seattle neighborhoods are still experiencing high demand for listings, said Gary O’Leyar, designated broker and co-owner of Prudential Signature Properties.

“Although the pace of the in-city Seattle market has leveled off somewhat, we are still seeing many instances of multiple offers due to high demand in several of the most sought-after neighborhoods,” O’Leyar said.

Gain said his company outlines advantages of listing a home during the holiday season. Among the benefits it cites are “decked halls look great,” “only serious buyers are out,” and “the process will be quicker.”

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