We’re now beyond $300,000 for median home price in Pierce County

Pierce County surpassed the $300,000 mark for median closed home sale prices in May, according to NWMLS.
Pierce County surpassed the $300,000 mark for median closed home sale prices in May, according to NWMLS. Associated Press file, 2015

We are now past the $300,000 mark in local real estate.

Pierce County hit $309,000 for the median closed sale price for homes in May. A year ago it was $275,000, according to numbers released Tuesday by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

If it makes you buyers feel better, the median closed home sale price price in King County is at $632,250, up 12.9 percent from this time last year.

“May was the best month for sales activity of any month in history in the four-county area of King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap counties,” Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate said in a news release highlighting the results.

“We finally saw new inventory come on the market in May, and although we had a slight delay in the timing, the spring Puget Sound housing market is in full swing and just as intense and frenzy as it has ever been.”

For now, Pierce County is solidly a seller’s market.

“Multiple offers are the norm,” said Jim Morrison, manager of the John L. Scott Puyallup South Hill office, with all of the Pierce County market “universally hot.”

His No. 1 tip for buyers: “Don’t procrastinate,” he advised. “If you see it on Monday, it will sell on Friday.”

With all the rush to find housing, the condo market also is feeling the squeeze.

According to the NWMLS data for May, active condo listings were down 33.81 percent from a year ago in King County and down 44.44 percent in Pierce County, with the closed median sale price at $209,649 in Pierce.

Meanwhile, Kitsap County is becoming a close competitor with Pierce County for priced-out King County buyers, at $310,000 for its closed median prices in May.

“Buyers who work in King County but don’t want to drive north, east or south are now looking west for a housing solution,” said Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo.

“The new ferry system is helping usher in this new thinking of ‘west’ is where to find a house.”

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell