Real Estate News

Home price surge continues in South Sound, raising owners above water

Prices for South Sound homes and condominiums continued their meteoric climb in August. Since the start of the year, median prices for Pierce County are up 18 percent, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

In Thurston County, median prices for homes and condos have climbed 12.5 percent since January.

Median home prices in King County are in their own orbit compared with the rest of the state. In February, King County’s single-family home average price surged past the half-million dollar mark. By August, a median-priced, single-family home there cost a buyer $550,000.

Pierce County’s median single-family home price in August was $285,000, while in Thurston County it was $272,000, the data show.

“We expect median prices to continue to increase, and likely at an accelerated pace through the fall,” said Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain in a Wednesday news release. He attributes the anticipated increase to a lack of available homes and condos for sale.

Fewer homes and condos were on the market in August compared with July, with 1.15 months of inventory for sale in August. Pierce County’s inventory in the same time period increased from 1.88 months to 1.9 months of inventory. Thurston’s supply increased as well, from 2.2 months to 2.27 months of inventory.

For the third consecutive month, the number of closed sales of single-family home in Pierce County surpassed 1,400 units. In Thurston County, 475 single-family home sales closed, up 20.25 percent from the previous year.

The more dwellings for sale, the more choice buyers have. Less choice means buyers are often bidding against each other for homes, pushing up values.

Continued inventory shortages, strong consumer confidence, solid job creation and good salaries are factors in the housing market’s robust activity, said Northwest MLS director Dick Beeson of Pierce County in Wednesday’s news release.

“It took nine years of slugging our way back, but we’re here. Owners who bought in 2007 have finally stretched their necks above water.”

By the numbers

Condo data in Pierce County for August 2016 to August 2015

▪ Closed sales: Rose to 88 units from 85 units.

▪ Median price: Rose 13.4 percent to $196,500 from $173,299.

▪  Pending sales: Rose to 128 units from 89 units.

▪ Number of condos for sale: Fell more than 24 percent to 153 units from 202 units.

▪  New condo listings in August: Rose to 99 units from 86 units.

Condo data in Thurston County for August 2016 to August 2015

▪ Closed sales: Rose to 19 units from nine units.

▪ Median price: Fell 17.5 percent to $122,500 from $148,500.

▪ Pending sales: Rose to 21 units from 13 units.

▪ Number of condos for sale: Fell 26 percent to 28 units from 38 units.

▪ New condo listings in August: Rose to 14 units from 13 units.

Source: Northwest MLS