September pending home sales in Pierce County were down 24 percent from the same time last year, and median sale prices barely changed – both trends that have been consistent through the summer.
Data released Tuesday from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which collects information from 21 counties in Western and Central Washington, shows no radical changes in the month-to-month residential real estate market.
“The three-county area of King, Snohomish, and Pierce are reporting about six months of inventory,” said NWMLS board member and John L. Scott president Joe Spencer in a news release. A six-month inventory historically points to a more balanced market and stabilizing home prices.
“That’s not to say we should expect prices to increase right away, but it’s a positive sign nonetheless, especially when you consider that the national supply of inventory is more than 11 months,” he said.
The median sale price on single-family homes and condominiums in Pierce County in September was $220,250, down 0.61 percent from $221,600 a year ago, the data show. King County’s creeped up 0.27 percent to $349,950, while Snohomish County dropped 7.32 percent to $261,353.
Statewide, pending sales are down about 24 percent and median sale prices are down 5.64 percent, the monthly data show.
Specialty homes, “homes that have a unique mix of character and amenities,” said OB Jacobi, general manager of Windermere Real Estate Co., in the release. “It can be a waterfront estate or a Craftsman cottage, but there are qualities about the home that really make it stand out. Those homes are one of a kind and they’re never bought on price alone.”
Buying and selling a home continue to be a paperwork and emotional gauntlet.
NWMLS director Dick Beeson, broker/owner of Windermere Commencement Associates in Tacoma, said agents are finding it’s much more difficult to navigate the closing process than ever before.
“If it’s not the conditions of an inspection report, it’s the appraisal coming in off sale price or lenders reviewing and re-reviewing the buyer’s qualifications or buyers rethinking whether or not to buy,” he said.