Snohomish County home sales jump 15.5 percent

Pending sales for Snohomish County homes jumped 15.48 percent in September compared with the same month of the previous year, according to statistics released Monday from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The number of homes with pending sales rose to 1,328 last month from 1,150 in 2013. Every area of the county saw an increase in the number sales.

Camano Island saw a 58 percent increase in pending sales with 57 compared with 36 the year before.

Home sellers also saw an 8.79 percent increase in prices in Snohomish County year over year. The median home price in the county rose to $310,000 last month from $284,950 in September 2013.

Real estate agents said the market expects to continue to have a “healthy glow” heading into 2015 unless interest rates increase radically.

“I foresee a general leveling off in overall market activity as prices approach affordability ceiling for many buyers,” said Gary O’Leyar, broker for Prudential Signature Properties in Seattle, in a statement.

Diedre Haines, a Multiple Listing Service director who works for Coldwell Banker Bain in Lynnwood, cautioned against overpricing homes, noting that high-end houses have been moving briskly.

“It is extremely important for sellers to know if their house is overpriced it may not garner offers and will eventually sell for below market,” Haines said in the press release. “This is an absolute that has laways been the case, in all market conditions, and all locations.”

One novelty of the market is the number of international buyers, especially from China, who are picking up prime homes in the Puget Sound area particularly east of Seattle.

“The influx of buyers from China is very real,” O’Leyar said.

Dick Beeson, a real estate broker in Tacoma and a Multiple Listing Service director, said he believes that the China-Washington connection will continue. He said he believes that the Vancouver, B.C., has grown too expensive so Chinese buyers are looking south to the Puget Sound region.

“Like the San Francisco Bay Area, Vancouver was their location of choice,” he said in the statement, adding that skyrocketing values in those cities have some of them looking elsewhere to buy.

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