Thurston County median housing price nears $350,000 in September

A dynamic that has played itself out for months in the Thurston County housing market was once again the driving force in September, according to new Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.

What’s the dynamic? A housing market that favors sellers with increased sales and prices and takes a toll on prospective buyers because of low inventory and high prices of single-family homes.

In September, sales of single-family homes in the county rose nearly 9 percent and the median price climbed almost 10 percent from September 2018, the data show.

Meanwhile, the inventory numbers for the county remain startling.

The number of single-family homes for sale was down 35 percent from September 2018. Officials with Northwest MLS, which tracks the housing markets of mostly Western Washington counties every month, said Thurston County led the way with its decline in inventory.

That means months of inventory in the county is around one month. It’s a little more than one month in Pierce County and more than two months in King County. A market that doesn’t favor either sellers or buyers is thought to have months of inventory in the range of four to six months.

If you’re a prospective buyer, there is a silver lining, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate.

“The transition into the fall housing market creates opportunities for home buyers,” he said. “Although there are fewer listings than what buyers find during peak summer months, there is also less competition.”

A closer look at the single-family data:

Sales rose 8.9 percent to 516 units from 474 units in September 2018.

Median price rose 9.7 percent to $347,850 from $317,150.

Pending sales were flat at 493 units, compared to 490 units a year ago.

A closer look at the condo data:

Sales fell to 11 units from 12 units in September 2018.

Median price rose to $179,900 from $175,500 a year ago.

Pending sales rose to 18 units from seven units.