For the first time in months, a lack of inventory caused South Sound home sales to fall or slow in April, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.
Sales of single-family residences fell 3.3 percent in Pierce County from the same period a year ago, while Thurston County sales rose only 3.6 percent after months of double-digit sales growth. Pierce County also had previously experienced months of double-digit sales growth.
The culprit was a significant drop in inventory, meaning buyers had little to choose from.
Total inventory fell 21 percent last month from a year ago in Pierce County and was down 27 percent in Thurston County.
“The remarkably low number of homes for sale can be blamed for the drop in sales,” said Windermere President OB Jacobi in a statement.
And that drop in inventory resulted in months of inventory — an estimate of how long the supply of single-family residences would be exhausted at the current pace of sales — of 1.27 months in Pierce County and 1.45 months in Thurston County.
Still, the single-family residences that are selling, continue to sell for ever-higher prices, the data show.
Pierce County median price rose 10 percent from a year ago and Thurston’s rose 8 percent over the same period.
King County hit the same wall in April. Despite median price rising 15.7 percent from the same month a year ago, sales fell 5.6 percent in April because there is less than one month of inventory on the market. And yet there still is enough buyer demand to push median price to $625,000 for April, the data show.
A closer look at the South Sound single-family residence data for April 2017/2016
▪ Pierce County: Sales fell 3.3 percent to 1,201 units from 1,242 units. Median price rose 10 percent to $296,950 from $269,925. Pending sales fell 5.7 percent to 1,776 units from 1,884 units.
▪ Thurston County: Sales rose 3.62 percent to 401 units from 387 units. Median price rose 8.1 percent to $281,000 from $259,900. Pending sales rose less than a percent to 624 units from 622 units.
By the numbers
Pierce County condo data for April 2017/2016
▪ Sales fell 15.3 percent to 88 units from 104 units.
▪ Median price rose 11.2 percent to $213,000 from $191,500.
▪ Pending sales rose 40 percent to 144 units from 103 units.
▪ Total inventory fell 33.6 percent to 81 units from 122 units.
▪ New listings in April rose to 107 units from 97 units.
Thurston County condo data for April 2017/2016
▪ Sales rose to 10 units from nine units.
▪ Median price fell 11 percent to $158,500 from $179,000.
▪ Pending sales fell to 15 units from 20 units.
▪ Total inventory rose to 24 units from 23 units.
▪ New listings in April rose to 16 units from 13 units.
Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service