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After snowy conditions slowed Thurston County single-family home sales over the winter, the market got back on track in April as pending sales, sales and median price all rose above April 2018, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released this week.
But the news wasn’t good for prospective buyers, particularly first-time buyers, because inventory was low and homes were moving quickly, said Ken Anderson, president and owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty in Olympia.
“For homes priced right — those that did not require a price reduction before attracting an acceptable offer — the average time on market was just nine days,” he said.
Months of inventory for single-family homes fell to about one month in April, the data show, which means Thurston County is still very much a seller’s market. A market that doesn’t favor either buyers or sellers is thought to have inventory in the range of four to six months, experts say.
One reason inventory is so low is that homes were coming to market at a slower pace, Anderson said.
“The amount of homes coming to market year-to-date is at a five-year low,” he said. “It seems that more sellers were waiting a bit longer to list this year.”
At the same time, the April data show some encouraging signs for new listings down the road.
Last month, 571 units hit the market, compared to 564 units in April 2018.
“The strong job market, a recent dip in mortgage rates, and the most affordable home prices of Washington’s major I-5 counties are all contributing to strong buyer interest,” Anderson said of Thurston County. “We expect that to continue through the busy spring and summer months.”
Thurston County single-family home data for April
▪ Sales rose 4.7 percent to 420 units from 401 units last year.
▪ Median price rose 8.2 percent to $330,000 from $305,000 last year.
▪ Pending sales rose 5 percent to 625 units from 595 units.
Thurston County condo data for April
▪ Sales rose to 16 units from 13 units last year.
▪ Median price fell 7.2 percent to $163,500 from $176,250.
▪ Pending sales fell to 14 units from 18 units last year.