Home sales, prices, listings all get better

Many who had been waiting bought a house, says Realtor

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 7, 2014 

The Thurston County housing market ended the year on a positive note in December, showing across-the-board improvement in sales, prices, pending sales, inventory levels and new listings.

Home sales rose 25 percent to 279 units last month from 223 units in December 2012, the combined single-family residence and condo data show, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.

Median prices rose almost 11 percent in the same period — to $224,950 from $203,000 — while pending sales rose 9.27 percent to 271 units from 248 units, the combined data show.

The number of homes for sale rose 7.5 percent to 1,062 units from 988 units the year before, while new listings last month rose to 240 units from 187 last year, the combined data show.

Mark Kitabayashi, the immediate past president of the Washington Realtors Association, said 2013 was a year when the housing market continued to recover, with buyers who had previously been on the fence finally buying a home.

But the market also slowed during the second half of the year, he said.

The state of the job market continues to weigh on the minds of some buyers, and Boeing’s standoff with Machinists affected consumer confidence, Kitabayashi said.

His forecast for 2014 is for slow but steady improvement in the housing market, he said.

“Everyone has come to realize that this is not bad,” Kitabayashi said, adding that the Thurston County market may not be as strong as King County, but then he’s not sure the sizzling pace of the King County market is sustainable.

The median price of a single-family residence in King County in December rose more than 10 percent to $419,825.

“I’m not sure that’s healthy,” he said.

Home sales data

Thurston County single-family residence data for December 2013/2012:

 • Sales rose 29.7 percent to 275 units from 212 units.

 • Median prices rose 8.44 percent to $225,000 from $207,495.

 • Pending sales rose 14.1 percent to 266 units from 233 units.

 • Number of single-family residences for sale rose 6.1 percent to 1,004 units from 946 units.

 • New single-family residence listings in December rose to 230 units from 184 units.

Thurston County condo listings for December 2013/2012:

 • Sales fell to four units from 11 units.

 • Median prices fell to $83,800 from $130,000.

 • Pending sales fell to five units from 15 units.

 • Number of condos for sale rose to 58 units from 42 units.

 • Number of new condo listings in December rose to 10 units from three units.

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

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