Pierce County home sales up in December over 2012

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 7, 2014 

The Pierce County housing market ended the year on a mostly positive note as sales in December rose 11 percent from last year, while price appreciation and pending sales cooled, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.

Home sales rose 11.5 percent to 901 units in December from 808 units in December 2012, the combined single-family residence and condo data show.

Price appreciation cooled in the same period, with median prices rising 2.2 percent to $205,000 from $200,563, the combined data show.

Although median prices rose, the county continues to have one of the lowest median price points in the region.

The median price of a home in King County was $375,900 in December; in Thurston County it was $224,950, the combined data show.

Pending sales fell 8.6 percent from December 2012, although there are still 901 units in the pipeline to be sold.

Allen Realtors of Lakewood President Mike Larson said Monday that he was ready to announce that the “market was back” after a sizzling summer of home sales in 2013.

And then things slowed during the second half of the year.

The housing market typically slows during the holidays, but he also thinks that consumer confidence took a hit as the standoff between Boeing Machinists and their employer grabbed local attention.

Now that a new labor agreement has been reached, consumer confidence should improve for the new year. Larson thinks 2014 will be a solid year for the Pierce County housing market.

“I’d rather it be a slow trajectory,” he said about the state of the housing market, compared with the crazy ups and downs that suggest it is not a healthy market.

Meanwhile, the total number of homes for sale rose 11.6 percent to 3,052 units last month from 2,734 units in December 2012, the combined data show, finally ending a recent trend of low inventory levels. Low inventory levels, though, are thought to have stimulated prices.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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