… but brokers report frenzy is easing in some neighborhoods.
Earlier this month the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported that figures for August show brisk sales, escalating prices and some improvement in inventory, prompting one MLS director to declare, “What these numbers tell us loud and clear is that buyer demand in the Puget Sound region is still incredibly strong.”
In making that comment, OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, noted the housing market tends to experience some slowing during August, but rising inventory levels and sustained buyer demand fueled “higher than expected home sales and another month of strong appreciation.”
The latest figures from Northwest MLS show pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during August increased 8.7 percent from a year ago. Brokers in the 21 counties served by the MLS reported 9,065 pending sales system-wide. That’s a drop of 500 units from July, but an increase of 727 transactions compared to a year ago (August 2012). In the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish), the total of 6,916 pending sales was the highest volume for August since 2006 when members notched 7,692 sales.
Prices also reflected an upward trajectory. The area-wide median price for last month’s completed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $283,000, which compares to the year ago figure of $250,000 for a gain of 13.2 percent. Only two other months this year have had higher year-over-year increases: March (14.9 percent) and May (13.4 percent). Since January, prices have jumped 18.3 percent.
Prices on single family homes (excluding condos) that sold during August increased from $263,495 to $294,000 for a gain of 11.6 percent.