Home prices rose in the four-county metro area in June, but they climbed more in outlying areas as buyers sought to move to less congested areas.
Compared to a year ago, the Puget Sound region’s single-family housing market is in the dumps, but compared to earlier this year, it’s moving ever higher.
Record-low interest rates are fueling the market, with the region among the nation’s markets that are seeing the strongest recovery from the pandemic.
Strong demand and low inventory drove prices up in June, according to data the Northwest Multiple Listing Service released Monday. In the four-county metro, Pierce logged the largest increase, nearly 9%, followed up Kitsap (6.6%), Snohomish (5.2%) and King (4.3%).
Demand is especially strong in areas farther afield as buyers look to escape crowded cities and suburbs due to Covid-19 and urban strife
Median sale prices rocketed up from 12% in Thurston County (Olympia) to nearly 31% in Kittitas County (Ellensburg and Suncadia). Prices similarly rose in the counties that are home to Shelton, Port Townsend and Wenatchee/Chelan.
More space and lower prices and taxes make these areas more attractive now that people have discovered they can get most of their work done from home, Dean Rebhuhn, president of Village Homes and Properties in Woodinville, said in the NWMLS news release.
The extraordinarily low supply of homes for sale indicates prices could further climb in outlying areas still relatively close to Seattle, said James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research.
A lack of housing stock is holding back the market. In the four-county metro, there were nearly 4,350 fewer homes for sale this June compared to last, a 48% decline. New listings were down 11%, closed sales were off 13% and pending sales were about even.
But compared to May, the June numbers were downright muscular. New listings were up 35%, closed sales were 39% higher and pending sales increased nearly 13%.
By Marc Stiles Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal