Residential real estate brokers in the region expected an uptick in the number of new listings during March – it happens every early spring. And Northwest Multiple Listing Service reports a more than 50 percent jump in new properties from February, but it also shows an even greater number of pending sales, leaving inventory near historic lows.
“We’re in for yet another frenzied spring,” says Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain brokerage, noting “this lack of supply continues to put an upward pressure on home prices.”
For single family homes only (excluding condos) in Pierce County, prices increased 11.3 percent, from $265,000 to $295,000 average. Thurston County has seen a 13.28 percent increase in closed sales over last year, with a median price of $272,851 (up 15.37 percent) and just over 1.3 months of inventory available.
Lewis County pending sales are up almost 28 percent at a median price of $180,000, while Mason County transaction increased by 33 percent at $210,000 median selling price.
“As the first quarter ends, the South Sound market continues to bubble along,” says Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor. “It’s hard to imagine what the market would be like if two things were different – more inventory giving more buyers opportunities to purchase, and if the miserable weather … had made house hunting and home selling a bit more fun.
NWMLS chairman John Deely, principal managing broker at CBB, says bids over the listing price are commonplace. “We are seeing more multiple offers than ever on new listings, and all-cash offers are dominating the winning bids,” especially in the luxury market around Seattle.