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Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) brokers saw some improving news for buyers in April when the number of new listings of single-family homes and condominiums hit 12,043 across the 26-county NWMLS region. This marks a 57.6 percent increase from a year ago.

But buyer demand exceeds seller housing supply, and total active listings at the end of April were 45 percent lower than a year ago as buyers continued to snap up listings. The good news for buyers, though, is that active listings last month rose 35.2 percent from March, Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, noted in a news release Wednesday.

Gardner said the rise in inventory had a softening effect on the average listing price; he calculated a drop of 5.1 percent between March and April.

“It’s too early to suggest this trend will continue, but it’s encouraging to see and hopefully the beginning of a shift back towards a more balanced market,” Gardner said in the release.

Median sales prices continued their familiar climb, rising double-digits in all but Walla Walla County.

In Pierce County, the median sales price of homes and condos combined was $490,000, up 23.2 percent from April 2020. Looking only at single-family homes, the median sales price was $500,000, up 23.5 percent. The median sales price of condos was $335,950 up 24.5 percent, NWMLS data showed.

In Thurston County, the median sales price of homes and condos combined was $430,000, up 22.5 percent from April 2020. Looking only at single-family homes, the median sales price was $430,050, up 19.8 percent. The median sales price of condos was $217,500, down 4.4 percent, according to NWMLS.

Elsewhere in South Sound, Lewis County’s median sales price of homes and condos combined was $335,650, up 22.1 percent; Grays Harbor County’s was $280,000, up 24.4 percent; and Mason County’s was $361,800, up 21 percent. Looking at single-family homes only, the median sales prices were the same for each county, but the percentage increase in Grays Harbor County from April 2020 was 23.4 percent.

Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said there’s historically a nice uptick in new listings in May.

“This increased availability and selection will be present throughout the summer,” he suggested in the release. He tempered his prediction, though, by noting there is a large backlog of prospective home buyers. That will “keep the market in a state of ‘instant response’ for each new resale listing.”