Metro Seattle real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker Bain has released its third quarter market report for the Puget Sound region, and it projects prices rising sharply in the South Sound.

For one, the south end market’s average home sale prices remain dramatically lower than Seattle proper and the Eastside, yet its inventory is also shrinking quickly. Reflecting on the third quarter numbers, Mike Grady, CB Bain president and COO, pointed to North Tacoma/University Place/Lakewood, which has an average sales price of $372,000 (less than half the average sales price in West Seattle). Inventory in that area has decreased by nearly 21 percent compared to last year. Southeast King County is seeing a nearly identical rate of inventory loss. Trends, CB Bain warns, foretell that prices will continue to escalate in the South Sound market because of that rapidly dwindling inventory.

The condo market in the region is following a similar path. The average sales price for condos hovers around $500,000 in Seattle and the Eastside; South Sound condos, on the other hand, sell for about half that price ($245,000 in South King, Pierce and Kitsap counties). South Sound condos on sale, however, is disappearing quickly, with the inventory 31 percent smaller than last year — again foreshadowing rising prices.

For now, anyway, homes in the South Sound are averaging a sale price of $391,000. Prices, according to CB Bain’s numbers, are highest in the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula area, where homes are selling for an average of $504,000; prices are lowest in Puyallup/Graham, where homes sell on average for $335,000.