Real estate brokers in Pierce and Kitsap counties reported price hikes larger than those in King County, when reviewing January activities. 

Western Washington’s “high velocity” market continued during the new year’s first month, with the number of pending sales (7,745) out-pacing the number of new listings (6,507), according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. At month-end, there were 9,752 active listings in the 23 counties coverage area. That total was 2,605 fewer than the year-ago volume of 12,357, a decline of 21 percent. 

With skimpy supply, continuing demand pushed the median price of a single family home in Pierce County up nearly 11.6 percent from a year ago. Condo prices rose 5.5 percent in January compared to 2016, increasing from $255,750 to $289,900. 

“Properties are moving through the market at an unusually fast pace,” remarked John Deely, chairman of the board at Northwest MLS and the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. 

Measured by months of inventory, the selection is at historic lows in many counties. At month end, there was just under 1.7 months of supply system-wide, compared to the year-ago figure of about 2.5 months of supply. Greater Tacoma has a 1.43 month supply, with Thurston reporting just over 2 months. Mason (3.42 months) and Lewis counties (3.37 months) are in slightly more balanced shape and reporting more moderate price rises.Both King and Snohomish counties have less than one month of supply.

“List it and they will come” is the new mantra as new listings come on the market, commented J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott. Another broker noted that sellers are able to “get away with putting homes on the market in conditions that historically would have been rejected by buyers.”