Thurston median home price stays about $345,000 in June, as market tightens even more

The Thurston County housing market in June looked a lot like it has looked for months: Median price was up and plenty of single-family homes were sold.

There’s just the one recurring problem: the number of homes for sale remains very low, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.

Months of inventory in June stood at one month, and the number of homes for sale were down 14 percent from June last year, the data show. All of that translates to a very strong seller’s market, which has been hard on prospective buyers.

Four to six months of inventory is thought to strike the right balance between buyer and seller.

Houses listed at about $300,000 are selling like hot cakes and are typically under contract in less than two weeks, Van Dorm Realty managing broker Steve Pust said Monday. The market is slower for homes priced closer to $500,000, he said.

Pust said the market is on a good, steady and upward trajectory, but he also called it strange.

If it’s such as seller’s market, why aren’t more people selling? Pust wonders. Mortgage interest rates remain low, too, down about 1 percent from where they were a year ago, he said.

Pust acknowledged that there likely would be more sellers if there were more inventory for them to choose from.

The June data did not suggest there would be any relief soon. While the total number of homes for sale was down 14 percent from a year ago, new listings sat at 618 last month, compared to 632 in June 2018.

The single-family home data for June, compared to a year ago:

  • Median price rose 5 percent to $344,000.
  • Sales were flat at 553 units, compared to 556 a year ago.
  • Pending sales were up a little more than 1 percent at 676 units.

The condo market in June, compared to a year ago:

  • Median price rose 7 percent to $203,000 from $189,750.
  • Sales fell to 15 units from 18 units.
  • Pending sales rose to 21 units from 16 units.

Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.