I guess the word is out. Home prices are climbing… again. Feel like ‘been here, done this’?! Well, certainly the future is always a mystery – but this mystery may just be a re-play.
Bellevue median price up 23% from last February
According to The Seattle Times, a record-low inventory of homes for sale in King County, very low interest rates and a growing Puget Sound economy combined to push the median price of houses sold in February to $365,000, an 18.5% jump over a year ago.
Only 2,947 homes were listed for sale in King County last month, down from 5,178 a year ago. “The extreme shortage of listings is clearly adding to the price pressure,” according to Glenn Crellin, associate director for research at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.
Just how extreme is the shortage?
Real-estate experts closely watch the ratio of listings to pending sales, as a gauge of how many months’ worth of inventory is available. In February, that number sank to 1.19, the lowest level in more than a decade. A ratio of 6 is considered a balanced market.
Tim Ellis, who writes the real-estate blog Seattlebubble.com called the February inventory ratio “insane,” and predicted the spring buying season, typically the peak season for home sales, would be “crazy.”
Condos, whose prices were battered during the market downturn, are coming back, too. In King County, the median price sold in February was $210,000, 31% higher than a year ago.
Not just the February numbers
January’s median price for houses sold in King County was $350,000, an 11% increase over a year earlier.
First-time homebuyers are jumping into the market since housing prices hit bottom in February 2012 with the King County median house price at $308,125. That was the lowest level in eight years.
Snohomish County home sales up also
In Snohomish County, homes sales also experienced a rise in prices… The median price was $282,617 for houses sold in February, up from $258,500 in January and $238,750 a year ago. The median price for condos sold was $159,000, up from $132,000 in February 2012.
For more good news go to the complete Seattle Times article.