New report: Seattle-area home prices soar as inventory plummets

mailto:lennox@johnlscott.com by Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal

(Lennox Scott is featured in this article covering the NWMLS January market report)

If you’re planning to buy a house in Seattle this year, buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride.

That’s what John L. Scott Real Estate recommended on Thursday when a new report came out showing January’s year-over-year median sales price jumped nearly 21 percent in one part of the metro region. That was for condos in Snohomish County. Price escalation wasn’t far behind in King County, where condo prices jumped 18.3 percent, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Services report.

Whether condos or houses, prices increased by double digits in all four of the metro’s counties. The issue remains a seriously constrained supply of homes for sale.

This has led to overwhelming traffic at open houses, said Dick Beeson of RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma. “There haven’t been any battles royal on the premises, but it could happen any day now,” he quipped.

“We’re selling virtually all of the new listings, many with multiple offers, in all the market areas of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties in the price ranges where 90 percent of the sales activity is happening,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.

He added that the number of homes selling in the first 30 days is double what a normal, healthy market would look like.

The median price of houses that sold last month in King County hit $431,502, up 11.2 percent from January 2015. Median condo prices hit $282,250.

In Snohomish County, the median house sale price in January was $378,950, or 16.6 percent higher than the year prior. The median condo price was $259,750.

The median price for a house in Pierce County increased 10 percent to $242,000, and condo prices jumped 16 percent to $213,500.

And in Kitsap, the median sale price for a house went up 15 percent to $265,000, while condo prices hit $140,000. For condos, the increase was nearly 55.6 percent, though that figure is skewed by the small number of sales; only 11 condos sold last month.

If you’re looking for a house that costs less than $100,000, head 310 miles east to Ferry County. The median price of sold houses there hit $80,000 last month. That represented a 1.3 percent increase over January 2015.

Marc Stiles covers real estate for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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