Low inventory becoming the new normal for Pierce County home buyers

Fed up with not enough homes to look at on the market? Welcome to the new normal.

That’s the take from the latest summary of homes sales for October from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Total active listings for Pierce County compared with last year started dropping in June and by July started to drop by double-digit percentages.

In September, single-family home listings were down by nearly 31 percent in Pierce County, and for October they were down nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year.

Pierce County’s median closed home sale price for existing single-family residential homes at $365,000 was lower than September’s $384,500.

People are moving here, home prices will continue to increase, inventory shortages will occur. That’s our future,” remarked Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest in Gig Harbor, in the NWMLS release accompanying the report.

Pierce County’s months of inventory on the market has persistently stayed low this year, not even reaching two months’ worth. Four-to-six months is typically seen as a more balanced market.

The report stated, “October’s supply of active listings declined by double-digits in 18 of the 23 counties in the NWMLS report. Thurston County had the sharpest decline (down 35.5 percent), followed by Pierce (down 28.7 percent) and Kitsap (down nearly 27 percent).

John L. Scott Real Estate’s recap of the month labeled the overall sales trend for Pierce County as in “surge” mode.

The strongest shortage of listings is for those priced up to $500,000.

Good news, though, for those looking for million-dollar homes: There’s a close to five month inventory of those listings.

Closed median home sale prices for the area in October by county:

King $660,000

Snohomish: $495,000

Pierce $365,000

Kitsap $386,000

Thurston $348,300

Mason $290,000