Did everyone get a new house for Christmas last month? Because the South Sound real estate market continues to hum along at a surprising pace, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.
Once again, sales and median prices jumped by healthy double-digit margins, particularly in Thurston County where sales rose by nearly 30 percent in December from the same period a year ago. Median price climbed nearly 14 percent in Thurston and more than 12 percent in Pierce County over the same period, the single-family residential data show.
“The housing market remains frenzy-hot on a seasonal basis,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott, in a statement.
The culprit behind all of this — if you’re a prospective buyer — is the continuing low levels of inventory to choose from. Months of inventory — a measure of how long the supply of single-family residences would be exhausted at the current pace of sales — remained below two months for both Pierce and Thurston counties.
One would expect the pace of sales to slow in King County because of the lack of houses to choose from. December’s numbers, though, remind us of just how strong the King County economy is. Despite months of inventory falling well below one month, sales still rose nearly 5 percent and median price climbed 8 percent to $550,000.
Some single-family residential data for South Sound in 2016:
▪ Pierce County showed double-digit sales growth in nine of 12 months last year.
▪ Thurston County showed double-digit sales growth in 10 of 12 months.
▪ Pierce County sold 1,000 or more single-family residences in 10 of 12 months.
A closer look at the South Sound single-family residential data for December 2016/2015:
▪ Pierce County: Sales rose 11.3 percent to 1,252 units from 1,125 units. Median price climbed 12.8 percent to $285,000 from $252,500. Pending sales rose 4 percent to 1,132 units from 1,088 units.
▪ Thurston County: Sales rose 28.2 percent to 418 units from 326 units. Median price jumped 13.8 percent to $279,000 from $245,000. Pending sales rose 12.75 percent to 336 units from 298 units.
South Sound condo data for December 2016/2015
▪ Sales fell to 74 units from 84 units.
▪ Median price was largely flat, rising to $190,000 from $189,500.
▪ Pending sales fell to 69 units from 84 units.
▪ Total number of listings fell to 106 units from 128 units.
▪ New listings in December rose to 49 units from 36 units.
▪ Sales rose to 12 units from nine units.
▪ Median price fell to $109,000 from $165,000.
▪ Pending sales fell to three units from nine units.
▪ Total number of listings fell to 18 units from 20 units.
▪ New listings were unchanged in December at five.
Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service