Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Report: May 2023
April showers slow home buyers, but May’s sun rays make for busy offer review days.
Last June, this newsletter’s subject line was “Are we finally decelerating?” We sure have come a long way since then. So far, in fact, that I believe we’re finding new normalcy in new patterns.
Recall that last month I noticed a unique and years-long trend in both new listings and pending sales taking a lull in April, as shown in MOM decreases: four and three years, respectively. And I hoped to “see the newly weird normal of the April slowdown rebound in May like it has the last few years!”
“Thank goodness!,” I muttered aloud. May saw an increase in new listings of 53% MOM; this is a new record for the month, except for 2020, when half of March’s inventory experienced a delay in going to market as a result of when we all got locked down (is it just me, or does that feel like more than three years ago?).
And also, thankfully, the number of pending sales more than doubled MOM with an increase of 137%. May had never seen a MOM increase of more than 47% prior to 2020, but each of the last four years it’s been above 50% (53% in 2020, then 68% and 65% before this year’s incredible 137%). Read that again, because the translation is that 2023's buyers are confident in the marketplace.
It would appear that now April showers slow home buyers, but May’s sun rays make for busy offer review days.
Reading last year’s newsletter was quite the reflection. We knew it was just a matter of time before things slowed down, and the brakes definitely were applied and I laid out my case for it. Here are my updated thoughts on some key elements of today’s market.
- Affordability has been accepted. Rates are up, but have stabilized. Prices have softened in a correction, but have not crashed and there is no foreclosure wave coming. The nation’s, and the island’s, problem is our insufficient housing supply given our population’s demands has no solution in sight.
- Buyer sentiment is confident: The buyers participating in this marketplace are discerning; they know value and will pay for it when they see it. They sat on the sidelines the last few years in awe and patience. Now it’s their time to bring more reasonable offers (balanced!) and actually negotiate. I have always had a love/hate feelings about Zillow; I hate that sellers can believe the Zestimate is accurate, but LOVE that buyers understand how to analyze property and determine their side of market value in real time.
- Showings are where the value is: It comes down to condition, location and price. The homes that have the right combination are getting showings, and offers, at all price points.
- Multiple offers are conservative: They are still happening, yes. First, the home has to be priced right. But even then, the results are conservative, at best. Some buyers have taken to the strategy of offering under asking price and escalating up to, but perhaps not over, the asking price.
Last spring I asked if this was the change in the air, and answered that we certainly had started to decelerate. So going back to last summer’s motorcycle metaphor - it sure does feel like we’re in a 55 MPH zone and have stabilized our speed at a reasonable 62 MPH. Safe and steady, and at times having a little fun.
For all the metrics and analysis on last month’s sales, check out my Bainbridge Market Report below.
P.S. Sharing the love of a recent client.
So that is it, your job will get well done with a minimum of effort and you may even laugh while doing it – call Jason.
-- Jim McNett and Boon Keng-Woo
Real estate Sales on Bainbridge Island in May 2023
Are you curious what a property sold for last year? Click the links below to view the sold listings in my Multiple Listing Service "Portal" and see sale prices for every property sold on Bainbridge Island in May.
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