The August weather in the Olympia area has been downright HOT the last few days - and the pending home sales are heating up as well. Just looking at the daily "hot sheets" of market changes on our NWMLS has had that fact on the periphery of my mind, since I'm seeing homes that I've recently shown go pending more and more frequently lately. So I decided to really take a look at the statistics to see if my impressions were accurate.
Looking at just single family homes in the Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater area (that is, excluding condos and manufactured homes), and including all types of pending sales, I found a total of 499. By all types, I mean that I have included pending subject to either feasibility or inspection contingencies, and those subject to short sale approval, as well as those that don't have any of those contingencies or conditions in place.
Excluding those pending sales which are short sales (since they tend to have more failures to reach closed status), the pending number now totals 403.
Since a lot of the buyers out there right now have gotten tired of homes that need so much work that you must figure on a rehab type loan and a wait to move in, I then excluded homes where condition indicated is "fixer" - now we are down to 297 pendings. Still a pretty healthy number of sales on the path to becoming closings!
Of this remaining bunch of pending sales, I also found that 192 of them are at list prices of $300,000 or less; and under $200,000 there are 64.
So what do I conclude from those last numbers? Well, I am still seeing quite a bit of investor activity in the lowest price categories, where the house's condition may rule it out for many a buyer who intends (or needs) to occupy the home when they close on it. Likely many of the pending sales that disappeared when I excluded "fixers" have investor buyers. And though the non short sale, non fixer pendings priced under $200,000 is a smaller number than I would have predicted, it is good news that a fair proportion of sales are now in the higher price brackets.
Overall, I think these numbers show just what I've been observing - buyers are making decisions and moving more of the homes on the market for sale into that "pending sale" category - with next stop (hopefully) a closed sale!