Positive News in the Housing Market

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on June 4, 2009

The housing market stats for May 2009 released today by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) reveal some positive trends. Chief among those are an escalating number of sales and price stabilization in many of the 19 counties covered by the NWMLS.

Across the NWMLS Pending sales in May were up 17.7% from May 2008. While overall median prices are down 10% from year ago numbers, eight of 19 counties show price gains since January (Thurston County is one of those counties).

Most of the gains in sales are being seen in the markets closest to Seattle. King County pending sales are up 27% from a year ago. Thurston County pending sales jumped nicely as well, with a 17.5% increase.

Click image to enlarge.

The reason for the big difference between King and Thurston counties is price. King County’s average sales price is down 16% from last year compared to a 10% reduction in Thurston County since May 2008. (It is also important to remember that King County’s prices escalated at a much steeper rate than did Thurston County’s during the run-up. This means that King County required a steeper correction to get back to sustainable prices.)

Those bigger price reductions in King County are bringing buyers back to its market at a faster pace. And while Thurston County’s sales gains have been solid, our areas market average price will continue to see pressure as supply still outweighs demand.

While media attention tends to focus on market-wide numbers, like average and median prices, each individual house is unique in appeal and pricing. One house may be priced at market value while another is priced above it. Therefore, it is important for buyers to evaluate each house individually and not let overall market trends make the call.

If someone were to stay out of this market waiting for the market average price to bottom, that person may miss out on the perfect home that has already hit its bottom. We see examples of that everyday.

For more on this topic see our blog posting on 5/18/2009 entitled Well-Priced Homes Still Selling Quickly.

Statistics compiled by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. from the NWMLS database. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.

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