Business

Home prices a dollar under $350,000

The Mirror

In King County, where there are more homes for sale than in any other county in the Puget Sound region, the median asking price is $349,999, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Services.

More than one-third of available inventory in the housing market is located here, according to NMLS, an industry group that monitors the real estate market.

Driving up the median (half above, half lower) asking price in King County is the $389,950 median price for single-family dwellings. The corresponding price for condominiums is $212,450.

Last month, the combined median purchase price in King County rose above $300,000 for the first time –– $305,000, up about 10 percent from the year-ago figure of $276,500. Median closing prices for single-family homes were just under $336,000 and about $202,000 for condos.

Regionally, marketing time for last month’s completed sales averaged 60 days, or eight fewer days than a year ago. In King County, homes that sold were on the market for 49 days on average.

Throughout the 15 counties monitored by NMLS, November marked another month of double digits for housing activity. NWMLS reported a 32 percent jump in pending sales of single-family homes and condos compared to the same period a year ago. Brokers notched 7,746 pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) across the multiple-listing service area, surpassing the total for November 2003 by 1,881 transactions. On a percentage basis, that increase is the largest since July 2003, when members notched a 39 percent increase.

Brokers say declines in inventory (and often sales) are typical for this time of year, in part due to holidays and some leveling off after several months of stronger activity.

At the end of November, there were 21,717 active listings in the 15-county area, which is 3,756 fewer than a year ago. King County alone recorded a 23 percent drop in that statistic.

Inventory remains tight in the four-county Puget Sound region, where there are 3,326 fewer listings than a year ago (down about 17 percent). As a result, asking prices are higher in nearly every county, NMLS officials said.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, based in Kirkland, encompasses nearly 1,300 brokerages with more than 17,000 sales associates.

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