Despite lackluster results for the Pierce County housing market in July, a Lakewood-based real estate broker thinks the market is in much better shape than the data would suggest.
Pierce County home sales and median prices in the year-over-year July period were flat for the most part, with sales rising 2.36 percent to 860 units from 838 units, according to combined single-family residence and condominium data released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service on Monday.
Median prices fell 2.55 percent in the same period, down to $190,000 from $194,972, the combined data show. The number of homes for sale also continued to fall, according to the combined data, down another 30 percent to 3,786 units from 5,488 units.
The fact that inventory levels continue to fall – possibly the lowest in five or six years – and has not stimulated prices because there’s less to choose from, was surprising for the July data, said Mike Larson, president and designated broker of Lakewood-based Allen Realtors.
Still, Larson showed up to his office Monday morning to find four deals on his desk, including one for a $300,000 home and another for a $275,000 condo, he said.
There was a time, during the slowest part of the housing downturn, when his office produced four or five deals a month, Larson said.
“The market is hopping about as good as it has hopped in a long time,” he said.
The Thurston County housing market, meanwhile, had one of its best months of the year in July – at least in percentage terms – as home sales rose 14.17 percent in the year-over-year July period.
Although monthly sales fell below 300 units, last month’s sales still outperformed the market in July 2011, rising to 282 units from 247 units, the combined data show.
Median prices were essentially unchanged in the same period, inching downward to $224,997 from $225,000.
Pending sales, meanwhile, rose 32.31 percent to 389 units from 294 units, the combined data show, while the number of homes for sale plunged 26 percent to 1,350 units from 1,827 units.
New listings in July fell to 420 units from 476 units, according to the combined data.
Home sales By the numbers for Pierce County
Pierce County single-family residence data for July 2012/2011
Sales: Rose 2.53 percent to 812 units from 792 units.
Median prices: Fell 1.99 percent to $195,000 from $198,950.
Pending sales: Rose 12.63 percent to 1,284 units from 1,140 units.
Number of single-family residences for sale: Fell 30.83 percent to 3,469 units from 5,015 units.
New listings in July: Fell to 1,193 units from 1,321 units.
Pierce County condo data for July 2012/2011
Sales: Rose 4.36 percent to 48 units from 46 units.
Median prices: Fell 13.02 percent to 109,600 from $126,000.
Pending sales: Rose 45.71 percent to 102 units from 70 units.
Number of condos for sale: Fell 32.98 percent to 317 units from 473 units.
New condo listings in July: Fell to 84 units from 88 firstname.lastname@example.org 360-754-5403 theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service.