Archive for August, 2011

Aug 15 2011

Where the good news for Gig Harbor home sales is found

Where the good news for Gig Harbor home sales is found

Gig Harbor home sales are up 47% year-to-year and 5% for the first seven months of the year.

While the median sales price is down 16% from last July to $332,000, it increased 2% in the May to July time period over the previous three months. There appears to be a slow stabilization in prices.

  • Sales price May-Jul over Feb-Apr         ▲2%
  • Sales price  2010 – 2011                                 ▼16%
  • Sales price 2006 – 2011                                 ▼30%

Gig Harbor’s prices peaked May-July 2006 at $478,000, putting prices off 30% from the high. That figure is just slightly less than the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett area index reported by Zillow last week—down 32% from the peak.

Year-over-year prices for the county as a whole experienced only an 11% downturn from 2010. So Gig Harbor home sales are generally the same as the Puget Sound region in the long term but a little worse in the short run.

The short term cause is the high percentage of distressed Gig Harbor home sales in the past six months. July’s distressed closings were 37% of all sales—slightly less than the all-time high of 42% in March and April. Included in these Gig Harbor home sales are homes priced at $800,000 and $1m.

It’s easy to see why prices aren’t picking up steam. Distressed home sales came later to Gig Harbor. Only 19% of the closings in January were distressed and less yet in 2010. While virtually no homes being offered for sale “short” closed during winter, the process has smoothed out and transactions being handled by negotiators often are working their way through the system within a few months.

August closings will be a good indicator of a market not fueled by the 2010 first-time homebuyer tax credit. Transactions had to close by June 2010 for the credit, resulting likely in the strong decrease of closings the following month. Pending sales are up 18% from a year ago and nearly 33% for the last three month period. This bears well for future closings. And inventory is running 12% less than a year ago.

Key Peninsula home prices are showing no sign of stabilizing. Sales are down slightly and prices are off 22.5% from last July. And the May-July quarter registered a huge drop of 16% over the previous three month period.

Key Peninsula’s home prices peaked in February-April 2007 and prices are off 39% from that date—now selling at $156,000.


Carole Holmaas is a Broker at Windermere Real Estate/Gig Harbor, licensed since 1967. She may be reached at or 253.549.6611.

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