News that hits us where we live.


August 2015 | Pent-up Demand Boosting Home Sales and Prices

Pent-up demand continues to fuel home sales around Western Washington with millennials, military families and relocating workers vying for limited inventory. The Puget Sound housing market is sizzling hot, with the best July on record. 

A total of 9,424 closed sales were reported during July, easily surpassing the year-ago total of 7,878 transactions for an increase of 19.6 percent. Last month's volume of closings also outgained June when members reported 9,163 closings.

Prices for last month's completed sales rose 6.4 percent from a year ago, with a median sales price ranging from $245,000 in Pierce County to $439,000 in King County. July's single family home prices (excluding condominiums) rose 4.1 percent compared to a year ago, but dipped slightly from the previous month.

Some sellers hesitate to list their home for fear of not being able to find a replacement. Despite that reluctance, a total of 11,198 new listings were added to the MLS database in July, marking the fourth consecutive month of replenishing inventory at the level of 11,000 or more. 

In Pierce County, new construction and the millennial generation are driving sales. Sales of newly-built homes are up significantly from a year ago, undoubtedly driven by the fact that bordering counties are struggling to find developable, affordable land for new construction.

Small increases in interest rates do not seem to have any noticeable impact on activity. Buyers are feeling confident that home ownership is still the best investment they can make right now, and homes are still within reach for most segments of the market. Sellers should understand the need to fully expose their home to the market to allow the current pool of buyers the opportunity to see it, structure offers, and possibly conduct a pre-inspection.

by Charles Burnett