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Housing market seeing a good start to spring

Buyers beware. The housing market in Kitsap County - like other places - is getting hot.

With multiple offers on many properties that are for sale, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said this week that inventory of homes for sale is going up, but not at a pace to keep up with demand.

“Buyers have to be ready to buy and have an approval in hand from their lender,” said Frank Wilson, board member for the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. He also is district manager and branch managing partner for John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “Just as sellers had to work harder to get their homes sold a few years ago, today’s buyers have to work harder to succeed in this competitive market.”

In Kitsap County, the median selling price for a home in April was $234,950. That was up from a year ago when the median selling price for residential property was $229,900.

There were 456 homes pending sales last month, compared to 399 in April 2012. Closed sales were 262 in April, compared to 186 a year ago.

There were 26 condominiums sold in Kitsap County last month as compared to 19 in April 2012. The average price was $253,663, compared to a year ago when it was $207,021.

The total number of homes on the market in Kitsap County currently is 1,387. There were 577 new listings added since the last market numbers were calculated in March.

Throughout the 21 counties in Washington that are covered by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, volumes of new listings hit their highest since June 2011. But still, the additional inventory did little to ease the inventory shortages.

“Multiple offers have become the new norm,” said Diedre Haines, managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Snohomish County.

Members of the service added 10,351 new listings in April, improving from a year ago at a gain of 12.9 percent. Pending sales throughout the area rose 9.2 percent and is the highest at 9,600 transactions since May 2007 when 9,743 pending sales were tallied.

Closed sales for April jumped nearly 20 percent from a year ago to 6,209 completed sales. Year-over-year prices on those sales climbed 12.5 percent with an average median price throughout the area at $269,950.

The market improvements are due to low interest rates and low inventories, according to sources at the Multiple Listing Service. Additionally, positive job growth reports and improvements in the stock market have encouraged home buyers.

Whether the market becomes more balanced in the coming months, will depend on listings, according to Mike Grady, with Coldwell Banker Bain, in Bellevue. He added that every county in the service area had seen more inventory in April as compared to the previous year.

“Lets hope this is the start of a positive trend for inventory,” he said.

 

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