Home prices in Western Washington rose slightly more than a percentage point in May, rising to $242,500 from $239,999, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported.
Prices of single-family homes, excluding condos, rose 2.34 percent, while condo prices dipped more than 5 percent. Median prices are up 12.8 percent since January.
In many areas, a lack of inventory has combined with greater demand due to historically low interest rates to create a seller’s market. Average rates as of May 31 were 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, an all-time record low, and 2.97 percent for a 15-year fixed-rate loan.
“The six month trend of low listing inventory continues to cause strong buyer competition for homes close to job centers,” Northwest MLS director Joe Spencer, area director for Keller Williams Northwest Region, said in a statement. He said he does not expect this trend to change direction “for quite some time due to what appears to be long-term economic and demographic influences.”
The number of sales in King County, for example, rose 24.3 percent over May of last year, while inventory dropped. King County has less than a two-month supply of homes for sale, well below the figure of five to six months that many industry analysts use as a barometer of a balanced market.
Home prices in King County rose .6 percent between April and May, the second monthly increase in a row. The prices were up 4.93 percent from a year ago.
Areas of King County that reported double-digit gains in both sales volume of single family homes as well as prices included Central Seattle/Leschi/Mt. Baker, Queen Anne/Magnolia, North Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue (east of I-405), the Renton Highlands and Dash Pt./Federal Way.