Home prices rise 10% in Snohomish County

Home prices are on the rise in Snohomish County, according to a report released Thursday.

The median price for single-family homes sold in the county last month increased nearly 10 percent over homes sold in April 2011, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. However, the median price of condos in the county dropped nearly 12 percent in April compared to the same month in 2011.

Overall, the median price for homes in the county last month was $236,817.

The number of home sales in the county continued to climb as well, up 20.7 percent in April, compared to the previous year.

“Low interest rates continue to energize buyers, while for sellers, prices in the Puget Sound are stable and up in areas close to job centers,” Joe Spencer, area director for Keller Williams Northwest Region, said in a statement.

Northwest MLS director Meribeth Hutchings, broker and owner of Windermere Real Estate in Lake Stevens, credited favorable interest rates and low inventory for spurring activity.

“The demand for ‘good clean homes’ is extremely high,” she said. “Our primary buyer today is still the first-time homebuyer.”

There were about 2,486 homes for sale in Snohomish County last month. That’s down 46 percent from the number of homes available in the county in April 2011.

About 886 Snohomish County homes were sold last month; 771 of those were single-family homes. The median price of single-family homes in the county rose to $255,502 from $232,546 in April 2011.

Condo sales in the county were up just 2 percent in April. The median price of condos in the county fell to $157,000 from $178,000 in April 2011. The number of condos on the market in the county was down 57.6 percent in April.

The shortage of inventory means brokers are seeing multiple offers in some situations for new listings, said J. Lennox Scott, CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.

“The pent-up demand of local home buyers who are now purchasing homes has ignited a surge of sales activity,” he said.

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