November saw double digit increases in home and condo median sale prices in both Pierce and Kitsap counties and healthy single-digit increases in King and Thurston counties, new figures from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service show.
Median sale prices for homes and condominiums in Pierce County jumped from $205,000 in November last year to $227,000 this year, a 10.73 percent increase, the statistics show. Thurston County median prices were up a smaller percentage November to November, the NWMLS figures showed. The November 2014 median price for homes and condos in Thurston County was $235,000 compared with $220,000 during the same month in 2013. That’s a 6.82 percent increase.
King County, with a median price of $399,000 in November 2014 was up 5.22 percent since November a year ago when the median price for homes and condos was $379,202. In Kitsap County, median prices advanced by 11.36 percent in the year through November to $245,000, those NWMLS statistics showed.
Low interest rates that in some cases dropped below 4 percent, low numbers of homes for sale and strong buyer interest from families moving to the area have propelled prices higher.
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In the South Sound, said Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma, broker interest is brisk because of concern that interest rates could jump.
“Broker interest remains high partially because many buyers feel interest rates could rise next year, and they realize now is a good time to take advantage of rates under 4 percent,” he said.
Some potential sellers are waiting for warmer weather to put their homes on the market, said real estate professionals.
But others, not wanting to have a home vacant over the winter, have put their residences up for sale.
Though the holidays and winter months may see fewer people inspecting homes for sale, those that do are more likely to be serious customers, said Beeson.