August 29, 2016, Tri-City Herald
by Wendy Culverwell
(This post includes excerpts from the Tri-City Herald article. You can read the full article here.)
The National Association of Realtors says August is the hottest month for residential real estate in a decade. And the Kennewick-Richland-Pasco market is one of the fastest-moving markets in the nation.
In fact, it’s the 18th “hottest” area in the U.S. and the only one in the Pacific Northwest to qualify for the real estate group’s index. The index is based on the median number of days homes spend on the market and the number of views the listings receive on the association’s website, realtor.com.
The median Tri-City home has been on the market for just 40 days. A normal market is about 72 days, it said.
Nationwide, low mortgage rates and shortages of homes for sale contributed to homes selling 2 percent faster this year than in 2015.
Tight inventories are contributing to the sense of urgency in the local real estate market, said Dennis Gisi, owner of John L. Scott Real Estate Tri-Cities Pasco.
Inventories have rebounded slightly since bottoming out at 513 in March. Still, with only 672 homes actively for sale in July, buyers have far less than usual to choose from. That drives up prices and pressure to put in offers.
“That is historically about half of where we had been running prior to the (2008) recession,” Gisi said.
Since January, the median price of a local home has climbed about 4 percent, to $234,000.
Gisi isn’t surprised to hear the numbers have driven the Tri-Cities to the top of the nation.
“The numbers are true,” he said.
Gisi said a booming relocation business is driving residential demand.
The National Association of Realtors predicts the market will slow down after Labor Day, but Gisi disagrees. July and August are typically the slowest months of the year for the Tri-Cities.
Looking ahead, he anticipates robust demand through the fall from buyers looking to secure homes before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.