This is how bad it is if you’re looking to buy a house.
“The shortages are now reaching critical levels in Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap counties,” stated the Northwest Multiple Listing Service in its March compendium of facts and figures related to home and condominium sales.
“We’re experiencing a gridlock in the Puget Sound housing market,” said Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “We are virtually sold out of inventory and there’s a pipeline of stalled buyers.”
The shortage of properties being offered, MLS said in a release Monday, “is creating a frenzy … This continues to be a historic time for the residential real estate economy, which is being driven by high regional job growth combined with historically low home mortgage interest rates.”
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The figures tell the story:
▪ The number of active residential listings has decreased dramatically in Pierce and Thurston counties.
▪ Last year in Pierce County, March saw 2,557 active listings. This year, the total hit 1,715. That’s a decrease of 32.93 percent.
▪ Last year in Thurston County, March saw 1,026 active listings. Last month, 706. That’s a decrease of 31.19 percent.
▪ Active condominium listings last month showed a decrease over the year of 45.77 percent and 18.18 percent in Pierce and Thurston counties respectively.
▪ At the end of March, Pierce County could count 1.45 months of inventory and Thurston measured 1.97 months. Last year, Pierce and Thurston counties could count 2.59 months and 3.22 months.
▪ As the supply of available listings dips, and as demand increases, prices have gone up.
▪ In Pierce County, the median price of a home in March 2015 was $244,950; one year later, the median price was $265,000 – an increase of 8.19 percent.
▪ In Thurston County, the price a year ago of $229,000 rose to $239,900 – up 4.76 percent.
▪ With the state’s highest median residential home price of $531,250 last month, King County marked an increase 20.67 percent over the year, MLS stated.
▪ With closed condominium sales in March of 82 units in Pierce County and 11 units in Thurston County, prices were up 23.24 percent and down 23.29 percent, to $201,500 and $140,000 respectively.
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535