If it's summer, it must be homebuying season.
That’s what area real estate agents are hoping, anyway, both in Thurston County and around the state.
“We’re optimistic,” said Dennis Adams, owner-broker of Virgil Adams Real Estate in Olympia. “We’re hoping we’ll get bigger waves, but we don’t know if they’re coming.”
About half of his customers are state workers, and they’re uncertain about their jobs, what with recent layoffs and furloughs, Adams said.
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“It’s a rough time for people to go into a new house when they know their pay is decreasing,” Adams said. “When it levels out, I think you’ll see a lot more positive rebound in the housing market.”
The number of homes for sale went up in June in Thurston, Pierce and King counties, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service statistics out Tuesday. In general, home sales prices dropped slightly.
It’s typical for more homeowners to put their homes up for sale in the summer months, said Bobbie Petrone Chipman, co-managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain Tacoma/Puyallup.
“Their gardens are beautiful, the sun is out, the days are longer,” Chipman said.
But across the state, not even the lowest national rates in decades could get wary buyers to bite, according to the Northwest MLS statistics. Pending sales of single-family homes and condos dropped 28 percent from the same month a year ago, but rose 5.8 percent from May, statistics showed.
“In general, consumers seem to be stuck in uncertainty surrounding the world’s economic concerns, our lack of jobs and the rollercoaster of the stock market,” Frank Wilson, Northwest MLS director said in a statement.
Many in the real estate business said the end of an $8,000 or $6,5000 federal tax credit program for homebuyers on April 30, caused May to be lackluster.
Those buyers had until June 30 to wrap up the transactions, so looking ahead to July numbers also should tell Realtors the score, said Dan Engell, associate broker at Real Estate USA’s Lakewood office.
“The July closings will tell us if there is really life after the tax credit,” Engell said. “I’m honestly not expecting the July median number to be higher than the June median number either.”
Beth Potter: 253-597-8638 firstname.lastname@example.org