Median price of homes hits $519,000

The Mirror

The median price that sellers wanted for homes in King County last month was $519,000, a 16 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NMLS(, a residential real-estate organization that tracks the housing market regionally, the median asking price in King County in April 2005 was $447,000.

Half of the overall prices are higher and half are lower than the median figure.

The median sales price countywide last month was $377,000.

In its report on last month’s market activity, King County was one of only three counties in western Washington that had fewer houses on the market than it did 12 months ago, according to NMLS.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate, called the job centers in Bellevue and Seattle “the epicenter of sales activity.”  He added, “We continue to see a quick-action market and a strong surge of buyers, but there simply isn’t enough housing supply to meet the demand.”

Despite modest increases in mortgage rates, attractive financing, including multiple options for first-time buyers, is sustaining activity, NMLS reported.

Industry surveys of large lenders pegged 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 6.6 percent, the highest rate since June 2002.  A year ago, the mortgage index was 5.8 percent, NMLS said.

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