The Pierce County housing market ended 2012 on a positive note as median prices rose 14.48 percent, the largest percentage increase of the year, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.
Median prices rose to $200,563 last month from $175,199 in December 2011, the combined single-family residence and condominium data show. Home sales in the same year-over-year period weren’t as strong, rising just 2.15 percent to 808 units from 791 units, the combined data show.
Pierce County median prices gradually showed improvement in 2012 after tumbling sharply during the first half of the year.
Median prices fell 12 percent in January, 16 percent in February, nearly 10 percent in March and then flattened out and stabilized the next few months before rising through the summer and fall. Median prices rose 11 percent in October, 5 percent in November and then surged to cap the year.
Allen Realtors President Mike Larson said the end-of-the year improvement in Pierce County’s housing market is another sign that it’s getting back to normal, a market that no longer strictly benefits buyers but has found a better balance between buyers and sellers.
Sellers no longer have to roll over for anything that’s offered to them by prospective buyers, he said.
Now, Larson just hopes that the new Congress doesn’t hurt any momentum in the housing market by eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, for example, for any property that is not a primary residence, he said.
Meanwhile, the number of homes for sale once again plunged in December, down 36 percent to 2,734 units, while new listings last month also fell to 701 units from 846 units in December 2011. Pending sales rose 6.83 percent to 986 units last month, the combined data show.
By the numbers
Pierce County single- family residence data for December 2012/2011
• Sales were unchanged at 754 units.
• Median prices rose 13.95 percent to $205,000 from $179,900
• Pending sales rose 6.26 percent to 917 units from 863 units.
• Number of single-family residences for sale fell 35.62 percent to 2,512 units from 3,902 units.
• New single-family residence listings in December fell to 654 units from 785 units.
Pierce County condo data for December 2012/2011
• Sales rose to 54 units from 37 units.
• Median prices rose 16.7 percent to $138,875 from $119,000.
• Pending sales rose 15 percent to 69 units from 60 units.
• Number of condos for sale fell 38.38 percent to 61 units from 99 units.
• New condo listings in December fell to 47 units from 61 units.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service