Home prices keep going up in Puget Sound region

  • Thursday, June 8, 2017 11:02am
  • News

Would-be buyers who have been shut out of the real estate market should test the “real estate waters” during the summer months suggests one industry leader.

“Summer might provide some competitive relief for weary buyers,” said Gary O’Leyar, owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, pointing to some of the newly released statistics on Tuesday from Northwest Multiple Listing Service as indicators.

Noting that the trend of multiple offers is still prevalent in the Seattle market, O’Leyar stressed that’s not always the case in areas outside the immediate Seattle area. In fact, he added, the market may “cool off” a bit during summer months as weary buyers find vacations and recreational pursuits more alluring than being in competitive bidding situations.

Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen, agrees. “No one is talking about the large number of new listings coming to the market,” he said in a Northwest MLS media release. “New listings are at a seven-year high, and fifth highest all-time in our South Sound market,” according to his analysis.

Northwest MLS brokers added 13,497 new listings during May, improving on the previous month by 2,849 listings for a gain of nearly 27 percent. Compared to a year ago, the volume of new listings increased about 10 percent. Total active inventory is down from a year ago, but about 6.8 percent better than April.

The latest statistics show inventory system-wide is still squeezed (down 17.9 percent), pending sales rose slightly (up 2.7 percent), and sales prices are still rising (up 11.2 percent) compared to a year ago.

“The pace of the real estate market in Kitsap is heating up as summer rolls in. Buyers who work in King County but don’t want to drive north, east or south are now looking west for a housing solution,” said Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “The new ferry system is helping usher in this new thinking of ‘west is where to find a house.”

Last month’s pending sales in Kitsap County rose 8.4 percent from a year ago, which compares to a 2.6 percent decline in King County. The median price on homes and condos that sold in Kitsap County last month was $307,250 (up 7.8 percent from a year ago).

In King County, the median price rose 15.5 percent from a year ago, and, at $560,000, was 82 percent higher than the median price in Kitsap County.

Despite murmurs of the possibility of relief for disenchanted house hunters, May was a hotbed of activity. Brokers notched 9,188 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) in the four-county region, the highest ever reported for the region. Overall, members reported 12,607 pending sales, up 2.7 percent from a year ago.

Measured by months of supply, King County has the smallest, at about three weeks (0.76 months) of all the counties in the MLS report. At the end of May, there were 2,149 active listings of single family homes (vs. 2,696 a year ago) and 421 condos (vs. 636 a year ago) in King County.

Despite a year-over-year decline of nearly 23 percent in the number of active listings in King County, the volume of closed sales rose about 4.4 percent. Prices on sales within the county (including single family homes and condos) spiked 15.5 percent from a year ago, rising from $485,000 to $560,000. Thirteen counties reported double-digit increases, including King County, up nearly 15.5 percent.

More in News

Tukwila man pleads guilty to child pornography

The man faces at least 15 years in prison

Photos by Kayse Angel
Gov. Jay Inslee signs package of bills at Foster High School

These bills are intended to improve participation and representation in the Washington elections.

Tukwila Police donate $13,000 to nonprofit

The money was found in furnishings donated to Habitat for Humanity. When the police could not locate the donor, they returned the cash to the nonprofit

Council sends Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System to ballot

This database helps identify arrested individuals through fingerprint matching, solve crimes by identifying “latent” prints left at crime scenes, and establish criminal history.

Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Visit state parks for free on March 19

No Discover Pass needed for State Parks’ 105th birthday.

Low income priority hire program moving forward

This provides family-wage jobs for economically distressed areas.

Undocumented man detained after calling 911 for help

The community outcry continues for the man who called 911 for help but was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and currently faces possible deportation.

Fain hosts South King County leaders at the Capitol

In one of his longest running Senate traditions, Sen. Joe Fain hosted the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound at the state Capitol for the eighth consecutive year.

Competitive grants from King County will help community organizations in unincorporated areas

The following is a press release from King County. King County Executive… Continue reading

Elderly woman dead from fire in Tukwila

A fire was called into the Tukwila Fire Department at 8:07 a.m.… Continue reading

King County, Seattle Foundation partner with 27 nonprofits

New partnerships funded by King County and Seattle Foundation will help address the startling racial inequities in the region.

Washington State Capitol. Photo by Nicole Jennings
Program before lawmakers could strengthen mental health crisis response

A proposed pilot project would partner mental health professionals and local law enforcement officers on calls that involve a mental health crisis.