Sales of single-family homes slowed for the fourth consecutive month in October, although there were still plenty of signs that the local housing market remains strong, according to new Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released this week.
More than 470 single-family homes sold last month and the median price again jumped by a double-digit margin, the data show. Still, sales slowed in October, just as they did in September, August and July.
Windermere Olympia owner Steve Garrett thinks several factors are at work: Some of the slow down is seasonal, some of it is due to slightly higher mortgage interest rates, and finally this: It had to happen.
“Something had to give,” he said. “We couldn’t maintain the pace we were at.”
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In other words, the local housing market has gone from frenzied to something approaching a more normal market, Garrett said.
That transition is being played out a little more dramatically in King County, the data show.
Sales of single-family homes there fell 16 percent last month, while months of inventory, which had been extremely low all summer, has jumped to more than two months.
A healthy market that doesn’t favor either sellers or buyers is thought to have an inventory in the range of four to six months.
The median price of a single-family residence in King County is still well above $600,000 and that has sent buyers looking for more affordable alternatives. That might explain why months of inventory in Thurston County is still below two months at 1.52 months, the data show.
A closer look at the Thurston County single-family residence data for October 2018 versus October 2017:
- Sales fell 3.6 percent to 476 units from 494 units.
- Median price rose 12.3 percent to $315,000 from $280,500.
- Pending sales fell 4 percent to 523 units from 545 units.
Thurston County Condo data for October 2018 vs. October 2017
▪ Sales fell to seven units from 25 units.
▪ Median price fell 6.45 percent to $145,000 from $155,000.
▪ Pending sales fell to 12 units from 15 units.
▪ Number of condos for sale increased to 54 from 32.
▪ New listings rose to 15 from 14.