Still too tight: limited number of Seattle houses for sale drives prices higher

Aug 6, 2014, 6:32pm PDT

Still too tight: Limited number of Seattle houses for sale drives prices higher

House Sold Enlarge Photo

The number of houses that are for sale in the greater Seattle, while increasing, remains constrained. The result is higher prices.

stiles-marc-psbj-1000px.jpgMarc Stiles

Staff Writer-Puget Sound Business Journal

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More houses were for sale last month in the Puget Sound region compared to this time last year, but the inventory was still way too limited, area Realtors said Wednesday.

As a result, the price of houses and condos continues to climb. Snohomish County notched the biggest price hike last month when the median price of sold homes hit $319,950 in July. That’s 10 percent higher than the same month a year ago.

The median price increase 8.3 percent in Kitsap County to $252,250. In King County, the median sales price was $425,000, up 6.5 percent, and in Pierce County last month’s median price was $230,000, a 4.5 percent hike. The numbers were in a Northwest Multiple Listing Service report.

For months, real estate agents have been clamoring for more houses and condos to sell. They’re starting to get their wish, albeit slowly. In the four counties, the number of residences on the market climbed to nearly 14,700 in July, or around 1,550 more than a year ago.

Matt Deasy of Windermere Real Estate in Bellevue said King County is slowly improving supply should alleviate the frenzy among buyers, who are engaging in bidding wars. The frenzy, however, continues for some homes in desirable areas, such as Ballard, Green Lake and North Seattle, agents said.

“Inventory levels are still the main concern in many areas,” said George Moorhead of Bentley Properties in Bothell. He said buyers complain “there just isn’t enough to look at, then when something great does come up there are multiple offers.”

Unlike many previous years, Moorhead said “this year, we have seen weeks of aggressive activity.”

PSBJ

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