Real Estate News

What people are paying now for area homes and condos

Supply of homes for sale remains an issue for the area. King County had less than a month’s supply, while Pierce and Kitsap were at less than two months’ inventory.
Supply of homes for sale remains an issue for the area. King County had less than a month’s supply, while Pierce and Kitsap were at less than two months’ inventory. Staff file, 2017

Maybe it’s time to encourage your friends to go on vacation so you’ll have less competition when you go looking for a house or condo.

After blowing past the $300,000 mark for median closed sales price in May, Pierce County saw the prices hit $317,000 in June.

We’re still the best bargain in the shadow of Seattle. The median closed sale price for King County homes hit $653,000 while Kitsap County was at $335,000. Snohomish County checked in at $450,000.

According to Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the counties of King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish collectively saw a record-setting 9,042 pending sales, beating the previous high for the month of June in 2005. May also beat the record for that month.

“For many brokers, rising prices are an ongoing concern, with one industry leader describing the ever-increasing prices as ‘startling,’ ” according to the listing service’s June news release on that month’s activity.

The condo market also is seeing some upward price pressure.

Median closed sale price in Pierce County for condos was $229,900, up from $190,500 a year ago. Kitsap County showed an even more dramatic rise at $355,000, up from $171,500 a year ago.

Pierce and Kitsap counties were lower than King County, which was at $385,000. Snohomish County was at $288,975.

As always, inventory remains an issue. King County had less than a month’s supply, while Pierce and Kitsap counties were at less than two months’ inventory.

Four to six months of inventory usually is considered a healthful amount for a housing market.

In a separate report, data show that home prices in the state in May rose faster than any other state in the nation, compared with a year ago.

In Washington, home prices grew the most compared to any other state — by 12.6 percent, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data company. Utah home values followed at second place, with a 10.4 percent jump compared to last year.

Within the state, Wenatchee home prices rose the most, by more than 15 percent. The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area trailed close behind at 14.5 percent, followed by Tacoma-Lakewood at third-highest, a 12 percent increase.

Low home inventory is also putting pressure on the rental market, where single-family home rents nationwide increased by more than 3 percent.

“For renters and potential first-time home buyers, it is not such a pretty picture,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With price appreciation and rental inflation outstripping income growth, affordability is destined to become a bigger issue in most markets.”

But the cool-down in home sales and prices could be starting, if June’s numbers are any indication.

Compared with May, statewide the volume of pending sales fell slightly, according to NWMLS, which also could be tied to the tight inventories in certain areas.

Meanwhile, the total volume of new listings added during June was the highest total for any month since May 2008, the service said in its news release.

And, the warnings remain in place about not overpricing your home.

More than 800 listings dropped off as expired since the first of the year, “mainly because they were overpriced,” said the service’s director, Dick Beeson.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

  Comments