Local home sales rise in February

Home sales in Snohomish County continue to outpace last year, though the supply is beginning to dry up, according to a report released Monday.

For February, home sales were up 41 percent compared with February 2011, reported the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. But the number of homes on the market has declined 38 percent from one year ago.

The county has a supply of about 2.1 months. That’s the amount of time it would take to sell all the homes on the market in the county if the current sales pace continues and no new homes come on the market. Economists say three to six months supply indicates a balanced housing market. Fewer months’ supply can indicate a seller’s market.

In Snohomish County 2,925 single family homes and condos were on the market in February, down from 4,729 in February 2011.

Historically low interest rates and gains in the job market are helping boost home sales.

“The only thing tempering this from being a hot, thriving market are the short sales and foreclosed properties which represent about one-third of the transactions,” said Frank Wilson of Northwest MLS in a statement.

Nearly half of the home sales in the county last year were foreclosures or short sales, according to Washington Property Solutions of Bellevue.

Home prices locally dropped 3.6 percent in February compared to the same period in 2011. The median price was $220,000. Condo prices have taken a harder hit than single-family homes with condo prices down 18.8 percent from February 2011 while single-family home prices declined only 1.3 percent.

Statewide, home sales were up 24.9 percent in February, while home prices dropped 8.8 percent from February 2011.

February home sales

Median prices compared to February 2011

Snohomish-Monroe area: $317,000, down 1.7 percent

Marysville area: $179,990, down 4.8 percent

Everett-Mukilteo area: $219,950, up 0.9 percent

Edmonds area: $239,000, down 3.5 percent

Granite Falls: $199,900, down 11.4 percent

Source: The Northwest Multiple Listing Service

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