Market News January 8, 2013

Housing market tighter, prices up in December


Jeanne Lang JonesStaff Writer- Puget Sound Business JournalEmail | Twitter

The Puget Sound area housing market showed additional tightening in December as the number of pending sales outstripped new listings for the fourth month in a row.

According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the number of pending sales of single-family residences and condominiums in the 20-plus counties tracked by the listing service was up just 1.5 percent compared to December a year ago, but new listings were down by by 16.2 percent. Active listings, which include new and existing listings, were down a combined total of 33.5 percent from December a year ago.

Currently there is a 3.3-month supply of listings, compared to a five-month supply a year ago.

December closed sales, meanwhile, were up by just over 11 percent compared to December 2011.

Tighter supply helped boost housing prices across the Puget Sound area.

The median price for single-family homes in King County rose 18.8 percent to $380,046 from $320,000 in December 2011.

The sharpest price increases were in the following neighborhoods: Skyway/Bryn Mawr, up 89.8 percent; Central Seattle, up 50.2 percent; Vashon, up 35.6 percent; West Bellevue, up 28.6 percent; and Burien/Normandy Park, up 26.9 percent. December was a hot month for sales of million-dollar-plus homes, up 56 percent, with 106 sales compared to 68 sales a year ago.

Meanwhile, the median price for a single family home in Snohomish County was up 13.4 percent in December to $275,607, from $242,950 a year ago. In Pierce County, the median price of a single family home was up 13.95 percent, to $205,000 from $179,900 a year ago.

The strongest gain in condominium prices was in Pierce County, where the median price of condos rose 16.7 percent to $138,875 from $119,000. The median price for a condominium in King County, meanwhile, was up 11.35 percent to $206,000 from $185,000 a year ago. In Snohomish County, the median condo price dropped slightly, down 0.67 percent to $143,975 from $144,950 in December.