Sep 09 2014

July was good. August a little better for South Sound home sales.

July was good, August a little better for South Sound home sales

Here is the report from News Tribune writer about Pierce County home sales. The Gig Harbor and Key Peninsulas didn't fare quite as well for the median sales price uptick year-over-year but do show a solid 5% upgrade for year-to-date figures — just a tad lower than the county as a whole. BY ROLF BOONE Staff writerSeptember 4, 2014 Pierce County single-family residence data for August 2014/2013 -Sales rose 1.55 percent to 1,176 units from 1,158 units. -Median prices rose to $239,950 from $230,000. -Pending sales rose 4.5 percent to 1,454 units from 1,391 units. -Number of single-family residences for sale rose 12.5 percent to 3,967 units from 3,527 units. -New listings in August fell to 1,480 units from 1,505 units. Pierce County condo data for August 2014/2013 -Sales fell 4.3 percent to 88 units from 92 units -Median prices fell 5.3 percent to $154,500 from $163,200. -Pending sales rose to 96 units from 95 units. -Number of condos for sale rose 3.7 percent to 251 units from 242 units. -New condo listings in August rose to 111 units from 93 units. Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service The South Sound housing market continued its upward trajectory in August, with monthly home sales rising to new highs for the year, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday. Pierce County home sales rose about 1 percent to 1,264 units in August from 1,250 units in the same month last year, while Thurston County home sales rose more than 3 percent to 373 units from 361 units in the same period, the combined single-family residence and condo data show. The number of homes sold in both counties were highs for the year, the data show. Median prices also rose in both counties, up slightly more than 4 percent in Pierce County to $235,000, while Thurston County rose nearly 2 percent to $239,000. King County's housing market, meanwhile, ran headlong into the realities of not having enough homes for sale. Home sales fell nearly 7 percent in August, while median prices inched up about 1 percent. The challenge? King County has only a two month's supply of homes for sale, the combined data show. And that's increasingly the challenge in Pierce and Thurston counties. Although the number of homes for sale rose nearly 12 percent in Pierce County and 5 percent in Thurston County, that still equates to less than a four month's supply of homes on the market at the current pace of sales. For August, the months of inventory was 3.34 months in Pierce County and 3.83 months in Thurston County, the combined data show. But Mike Larson, president and designated broker of Allen Realtors in Lakewood, wasn't too concerned about the lower inventory level in Pierce County because at one time a two-and-a-half month to three-and-a-half month's supply of homes was once considered the norm. "It's slow and steady and trending in the right direction," he said about the market. "Balanced and moderate is a lot better than the ups and downs we saw for years." But Steve Pust, a managing broker at Van Dorm Realty in west Olympia, has noticed the lower inventory level in Thurston County, saying buyers in the market are having trouble finding a home, he said. That has resulted in some multiple offer situations, Pust said. Low levels of inventory typically pushes median prices higher, but the county still has about 60 bank-owned home sales a month, and not every buyer can qualify to purchase such a property, he said. In that situation, banks get very particular about the type of buyer they want, shutting out contingency buyers — those selling a home while trying to buy another at the same time — or requiring that their financing be in order, Pust said. If inventories get leaner, sellers will drive median prices higher, he said.

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