Home sales drop off

The Puget Sound home market clearly slowed down in September as the number of homes available grew, sales slumped and prices rose at a slower pace, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Pending sales in Snohomish County dropped more than 13 percent last month while inventories swelled by nearly 28 percent, according to listing service data released Friday.

The median price of the homes sold in the county was $330,000, meaning half the homes sold for more and half for less. That was an increase of more than 10 percent from a year ago.

While a 10 percent increase is still substantial, home prices were rising at a 20 percent clip last year. That percentage dipped into the teens this year and is now close to single digits in much of the Puget Sound area.

The slowdown is no surprise to the area’s real estate professionals. They’ve been saying for months that last year’s record breaking market couldn’t continue.

“The Puget Sound region is now in the midst of a transitional market in which we’re seeing far more equilibrium between buyers and sellers than we did earlier in the year,” said Joe Spencer, president of John L. Scott Real Estate and a listing service director.

Another board member, Dick Beeson, a Windermere broker in Tacoma, said that’s good news for buyers who are no longer forced to come up with a quick offer for fear of losing a home.

Growing inventory gives buyers a “much better chance to selectively and judiciously make buying decisions without the frenzied attitude of the last four years,” he said, adding sellers are now offering more buyer incentives.

In Snohomish County, the most expensive homes were closest to King County. Those were also the homes where prices rose the slowest from a year ago.

In Maltby, the median was $391,086, a figure actually lower than the year-ago numbers.

In the Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace communities, the median was $352,025, about 5 percent higher than last year.

September sales for local homes


Listings: 4,527, up 27.6 percent.

Pending sales: 1,379, down 13.4 percent.

Closed sales: 1,417, down 10.2 percent

Median price: $330,000, down 10.37 percent.


Listings: 931, up 66.9 percent.

Pending sales: 143, down 11.2 percent.

Closed sales: 131. down 36.7 percent.

Median price: $337,500 up 27.4 percent.

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