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Number of homes for sale is up, and so are the prices

At least there are more homes for sale last month in Pierce County.

Inventory as well as pricing have gone up since the last monthly home sales report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

For example, new listings for the county (residential and condo) for May were at 2,380 up from 1,875 in April. Months of inventory rose from 1.10 in April to 1.24 in May.

The median closed home sale price for Pierce County in May (not including condos) was at $355,000, up nearly 15 percent from last year. The number of listings for the county were up as well.

Last year at this time was also when Pierce County blew beyond $300,000 for its median price.

For King County, the median closed home sale price was $726,275, up nearly 15 percent from same time last year.

Thurston County's median came in at $310,000. Mason County's median hit $255,000; Kitsap was at $360,000; and Snohomish reached $500,000.

Prices varied across Pierce County.

Gig Harbor continued to be the most expensive area to buy a home. The median price for May was nearly $500,000, up $6,110 from a year ago.

The Browns Point area isn't far behind, with the median priced home selling for $470,000, a nearly 15 percent increase from last year when homes there sold for $410,000.

Coming in at third is an area that includes Fife, Milton, Edgewood and Sumner, where a median-priced home sells for $426,000 — nearly $57,000 more than it did a year ago.

The most affordable areas in the county include Southeast Tacoma, with the median home selling for $264,000. In South Tacoma, median homes were selling for $1,000 more. Both neighborhoods saw year-over-year increases of 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

For condos, the median closed sale price was as follows in:

Pierce County: $227,500.

King County: $427,000.

Thurston County: $199,500.

Mason County: $349,750 (note: number of closed condo sales — two.)

Kitsap County: $425,000 (note: change in median price was up 160.74 percent from May 2017, with 29 vs. 17 closed sales, respectively.)

Snohomish County: $367,475.

Two trends of note in the NWMLS roundup: Agents hearing of baby boomers leaving Seattle to retire in cheaper cost-of-living states, and a "shift from move-up and luxury home buyers to more first-time buyers."

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell
Kate Martin: kmartin@thenewstribune.com, @KateReports
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