The Pierce County housing market put together another impressive month in February, highlighted by a double-digit increase in median prices, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday.
That’s welcome news for homeowners, but median prices still have a way to go to match the median prices set during the boom in housing.
The median price of a home in 2007 was $281,400, Northwest MLS data show.
Still, home prices rose 15.5 percent to $195,725 from $169,450 in February 2012, the combined single-family residence and condo data show. Sales also rose 12.2 percent to 714 units from 636 units, the combined data show.
Buyer demand, combined with fewer homes to choose from, has stimulated prices. And once again, inventory levels fell, down 29 percent to 2,841 units last month from 4,018 units in February 2012, the combined data show.
Allen Realtors of Lakewood President Mike Larson said all the metrics he follows — transactions, pending sales and phone calls to the office — are on the rise.
“We’re finally seeing some traction and momentum and that’s fueling what we’re seeing in values,” he said.
He also said he senses more confidence among consumers, partly because the election is over. Larson admitted the national economy is not exactly rosy, citing the sequester, but the “stock market is setting records just about every day.”
Pending sales in Pierce County for February rose 9.56 percent to 1,352 units from 1,234 units, the combined data show.
In a separate report, U.S. home prices rose 9.7 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest increase since 2006, a real estate data analysis firm reported Tuesday.
The best-performing area of the country was Phoenix, where prices of single-family homes, including foreclosure sales, were up 22.7 percent, CoreLogic said.
“With these gains, the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing,” said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist.
The January price increase was the 11th straight and the largest year-over-year increase since April 2006, before the housing market crashed. Prices in January were up 0.7 percent from the previous month.
Overall, prices throughout Arizona were up 20.1 percent in January from the previous year, followed by Nevada at 17.4 percent, Idaho at 14.9 percent, California at 14.1 percent and Hawaii at 14 percent.
Only Illinois and Delaware did not show price increases in January from a year earlier, Fleming said.
by the numbers
Pierce County single-family residence data for February 2013/2012
• Sales rose 11.6 percent to 670 units from 600 units.
• Prices rose 15.7 percent to $199,900 from $172,750.
• Pending sales rose 9.9 percent to 1,266 units from 1,151 units.
• Total number of homes for sale fell 29.2 percent to 2,590 units from 3,662 units.
• Number of new single-family listings in February rose to 1,120 units from 1,042 units.
Pierce County condo data for February 2013/2012
• Sales rose 22.2 percent to 44 units from 36 units.
• Median prices rose 41.7 percent to $137,475 from $97,000.
• Pending sales rose 3.6 percent to 86 units from 83 units.
• Total number of condos for sale fell 29.4 percent to 251 units from 356 units.
• Number of new condo listings in February fell to 96 units from 110 units.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report. Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service