Home sales rose 21.1 percent to 189 units last month from 156 units in January 2012, while median prices rose 4 percent to $214,000 from $205,782 in the same period, the combined single-family residence and condo data show.
The number of homes for sale also fell sharply last month, down 22 percent from last year, although inventory levels remained above 1,000 units. In December, the number of homes for sale had fallen below 1,000 units for the first time in six years.
Fewer homes to choose from, combined with buyer demand, is thought to stimulate prices.
Thurston County Realtors Association President Pat Pieroni didnt go so far as to say the turnaround in the housing market is complete, but it is a sign that the market has hit bottom and is beginning to rise again, he said.
Theres just a good feeling out there right now, Pieroni said Tuesday, adding that prospective buyers are a little more motivated than they were a few months ago.
January also was much busier than it typically is, he said.
Pending sales rose 31 percent to 321 units last month from 245 units in January 2012, and new listings in January rose to 348 units from 262 units in the same period, the combined data show.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog