Courtesy of Avi Waxman via Unsplash

The median sales price of single-family homes and condominiums combined in five South Sound counties rose by anywhere from 14 percent to 30 percent in March from the same month last year, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) reported today.

The story remains one of more buyer demand than houses available for sale.

Looking at single-family homes only, excluding condos, the median sales price in Pierce County was $480,000, up 17.1 percent. In Thurston County, the median was $425,000, up 19.7 percent.

Elsewhere, Mason County’s median was $325,900, up 14 percent; Grays Harbor’s was $283,250, up 31.7 percent; and Lewis County’s was $348,000, up 26.6 percent.

In the NWMLS release, James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, called the drop in active listings from last year extraordinary.

NWMLS reported a 55.9 percent decline in total active listings, shrinking from 9,418 at the end of March 2020 to 4,153 at the end of March 2021. Young noted the decrease is even more pronounced in “peripheral counties,” with Clallam, Clark, Island, Kittitas, Mason, and San Juan counties posting year-over-year declines of 69 percent or higher.

“This collapsing active listing volume in the face of high demand is telling,” Young said in the release. “As this was occurring, the number of pending transactions year-over-year increased markedly. Double-digit price increases throughout the region are the natural result.”

Looking only at condos in Pierce County, the median sales price was $328,975, up 15.4 percent on 88 sales. The other markets have far fewer condo sales than Pierce, skewing price comparisons year to year. But Thurston’s median was $199,900, down 7 percent on nine sales; and Grays Harbor’s median was $64,750 on nine sales, down 30.8 percent.

Mason and Lewis counties had no condo sales last month.