Posted Friday, December 16, 2022 6:04 pm By Matthew Zylstra / EMAIL Western Washington home prices declined from October to November as 'holidays, inclement weather and various economic factors' prompted a reduction in real estate activity, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (Northwest MLS). However, while prices were down month-to-month, home prices rose from November 2021 to November 2022. 'Our traditional seasonal slowdown around the holidays is happening earlier this year, with the alignment of climbing interest rates, economic news, local weather and a volatile stock market,' said John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Banker Bain. According to Northwest MLS, the median home price statewide rose 0.88% from November 2021 to November 2022, increasing from $570,000 to $575,000. While home prices rose year-over-year, from October to November home prices statewide fell slightly from $595,000 to $575,000, a decline of 3.36%. During that time, the number of active listings in Washington more than doubled, rising 165% from 4,621 listings in November 2021 to 12,245 in November 2022. That year-to-year increase in active listings surpassed Grays Harbor County, which saw a 72.08% increase in active listings from November 2021 to November 2022, but trailed annual increases in Pacific (108.45%), Cowlitz (143.3%) and Thurston (189.8%) counties. While inventory is up from a year ago, statewide listings are down 13.85% from October while listings in Lewis County are down 17.47%. Home prices rose 1.8% in Grays Harbor County during the same period. Eren Millam, a Lewis County-based realtor, said he expects the number of Lewis County listings to continue dropping in December. According to Millam, the drop in listings has been accompanied by a broader slowdown in the real estate market, pointing out the number of closed sales has declined 39% year-over-year. 'My big takeaway is I expect listings to go down through December into January. But Millam cautioned a reduction in market activity won't necessarily mean an increase in affordability for homebuyers. 'For everyone who thinks there's a price crash coming, these numbers are showing everything is down 30% to 40%, but price is the one thing that's still up,' Millam said. I do believe that is our new baseline (in Lewis County). We're not going back to our average of $140,000 like it was when I first got into real estate.' While a significant reduction in home prices isn't likely, there is some good news for buyers. 'That's good news for buyers,' Millam said. 'The last time it was lower was January of 2016.' Home prices have also stabilized, with the average Lewis County home price for November coming in about $7,000 less than in January. He added interest rates could also affect the market, with a stabilization or reduction of interest rates likely to lead to an increase in market activity. 'It looks like interest rates are starting to creep down,' Millam said. 'Inventory is still down but it's not as bad as it's been the past couple of years,' Millam said.