Thurston home sales said to be in ‘recovery mode’

rboone@theolympian.comAugust 7, 2013 

The Thurston County housing market had another strong month as sales rose 20 percent in the year-over-year July period, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday.

Home sales rose 20.6 percent to 340 units last month from 282 units in July 2012, the combined single-family and condominium data show.

“Housing is in recovery mode,” Washington Realtors Association president Mark Kitabayashi said.

Median prices rose modestly, up 1.6 percent to $228,500 from $224,997, the combined data show.

That’s quite a bit different from Pierce County in July where median prices climbed higher by 16 percent.

Sales and median prices likely are higher there, Kitabayashi said, because King County buyers are looking for a relative bargain.

The median price for a Pierce County home in July was $220,000, while the median price for a King County home in July was about $400,000, Northwest MLS data show.

Inventory levels in Thurston County, meanwhile, are beginning to rise, too, as new listings continue to outpace last year’s listings.

In July, 486 homes hit the county market, compared with 420 in July 2012.

Total inventory was down only 6 percent as a result — to 1,268 units from 1,350 units in July 2012 — after previous double-digit declines this year.

Although the number of listings is improving, it still amounts to only about a four-month supply of homes in the county, Kitabayashi said.

A six-month supply is considered healthy, he said.

Another sign of how well the housing market is doing is whether it will continue through fall and winter, he said.

“Sustaining current levels will be a good sign of recovery,” Kitabayashi said.

Thurston County July residential sales

Single-family data for July 2013 versus July 2012:

 • Sales rose 19.5 percent to 330 units from 276 units.

 • Median prices rose 2.2 percent to $229,925 from $225,000.

 • Pending sales rose nearly 11 percent to 422 units from 380 units.

 • Number of single-family residences for sale fell 5.6 percent to 1,221 units from 1,293 units.

 • New listings in July rose to 471 units from 405 units.

Condominium data for July 2013 versus July 2012

 • Sales rose to 10 units from six units.

 • Median prices fell to $94,000 from $125,000.

 • Pending sales rose to 19 units from nine units.

 • Number of condos for sale fell to 47 units from 57 units.

 • New condo listings were unchanged at 15.

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

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