Home sales remain strong

  • Mike Benbow / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2001 9:00pm
  • Business

By Mike Benbow

Herald Writer

The slumping economy may have cooled consumer spending, but not when it comes to buying a house or condominium.

Snohomish County home sales were strong for October, just slightly more than a year ago. Prices also continued to rise, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which represents real estate agents in much of Western Washington.

There were 1,090 single-family homes and condominiums sold in Snohomish County last month, three more than in October 2000. The median price of the homes, meaning half sold for more and half brought less, was $203,913.

That’s a 10.3 percent increase from a year ago, when the median price was $184,950. While that doesn’t mean a particular home increased that much in value during the past month, it’s an indicator of the continued strength of the local housing market.

Of the homes sold in the county last month, 922 were single-family homes sold at a median price of $215,000, up 12.6 percent from the $184,950 median price in October 2000. There were 168 condos sold in the county last month at a median price of $152,000, up 8.6 percent from last year’s median of $140,000.

On Whidbey Island, 73 homes were sold last month at a median price of $195,208. On Camano Island, 30 homes were sold at a median price of $186,000.

While sales rose in Snohomish County in October, pending sales were down slightly, indicating sales may be down this month.

That’s to be expected, according to David Lareah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. He predicts a 10 percent to 14 percent drop in home sales nationwide this year, followed by sales early next year that are "stronger than ever."

"Make no mistake, once our nation has had some time to regain its balance from the terrorist attacks, the demand for housing will be there, and it will be bigger and better than ever," he said last weekend in an address at the Realtors’ national convention.

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