County home sales finally on rebound

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 18, 2013 

Thurston County home sales rose 8 percent in 2012, the housing market finally showing signs of life after several years of steadily declining sales, according to year-end data released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Home sales – single-family residences and condos – rose 8.3 percent to 2,911 units last year from 2,688 units in 2011.

Median prices, meanwhile, were flat, falling an ever-so-slight 0.69 percent to $215,500 from $217,000.

“I thought the year went well,” Van Dorm Realty managing broker Steve Pust said about the overall market, adding that inventory levels also fell last year, which “bodes well for higher prices.”

The number of homes – single-family residences and condos – for sale fell from 1,321 units in January to 988 units in December.

It has been several years since inventory levels fell below 1,000 units.

After a better year for housing in Thurston County, and signs that the national economy continues to improve, Pust cautioned prospective buyers that mortgage interest rates won’t remain near historic lows for long. “We may have seen the lowest rates,” he said.

Some other notable Thurston County housing data in 2012:

 • A single-family residence purchased in 2003 still showed price appreciation in 2012, rising in value 30.56 percent since then. But values have fallen sharply for the homeowner who purchased in 2008 when median prices peaked at $265,000.

 • The medium price of a three-bedroom, single-family residence was $200,000. In King County, it was $320,000.

 • The medium price of a single-family residence in North Thurston Public Schools was $215,000.

 • One single-family residence sold for more than $1 million in 2012.

 • In King County, 945 single-family residences sold for more than $1 million.

Positive trend

Thurston County annual home sales; single-family residences and condos

2007: 4,180

2008: 3,175

2009: 2,938

2010: 2,834

2011: 2,688

2012: 2,911

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone

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