After a sizzling June for the Pierce County housing market, the heat was turned up even higher in July as sales and median prices not only blew the roof off the house but burned right through it, according to new Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday.
Home sales rose 39 percent to 1,198 units last month from 860 units in July 2012, while median prices jumped 14 percent to around $220,000 from about $193,000 in the same period a year ago, the combined single-family residence and condo data show.
“The market has really turned around in a big way,” said Mike Larson, president of Lakewood-based Allen Realtors.
Larson met with 12 of his agents Tuesday morning, he said, reminding them to contact past clients about how much the market has changed.
“They are probably or possibly in a much different position that they were a year ago,” he said about prospective sellers and their home values.
In December 2011, for example, the median price of a Pierce County home had slumped to about $175,000, Northwest MLS data show.
Prices have benefited from fewer homes on the market, giving sellers the upper hand in recent months after buyers had been in the catbird seat for years. But inventory is on the rise as new listings begin to outpace the number of last year’s listings.
The result is that inventory was down only 8 percent last month to 3,495 units from 3,786 units in July 2012. Previous monthly inventory levels had been down 20 percent or 30 percent from the year-ago period.
“A more balanced market is certainly healthier,” Larson said about the higher inventory levels.
The condo market, which hasn’t been as robust as the single-family market, is finally gaining some traction after median prices rose 24 percent in the year-over-year July period, the combined data show.
Pending home sales in the same period, meanwhile, rose 12 percent to 1,541 units from 1,386 units, the combined data show.
Meanwhile, U.S. home prices surged 12 percent in June from a year earlier, reflecting stronger demand amid a tight supply of homes for sale.
CoreLogic, a real estate data provider, said Tuesday that July year-over-year home prices climbed in 48 states. They fell only in Mississippi and Delaware. All but one of the 100 largest cities reported price gains.
BY THE NUMBERS
Pierce County single-family residence data for July 2013/2012
• Sales rose 37.7 percent to 1,118 units from 812 units.
• Prices rose 16 percent to $226,250 from $195,000.
• Pending sales rose 11.5 percent to 1,432 units from 1,284 units.
• Number of single-family residences for sale fell 6 percent to 3,260 units from 3,469 units.
• New listings in July rose to 1,511 units from 1,193 units.
Pierce County condo data for July 2013/2012
• Sales rose 67 percent to 80 units from 48 units.
• Prices rose 23.6 percent to $135,500 from $109,600.
• Pending sales rose 6.9 percent to 109 units from 102 units.
• Number of condos for sale fell 25.9 percent to 235 units from 317 units.
• New listings in July rose to 94 units from 84 units.
Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403
The Associated Press contributed to this report.