Snohomish County sees 17 percent jump in home prices year-over-year

Snohomish County saw a spike in the price of sold homes in October compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The median price for homes was $317,000 last month up from $270,000 for October 2013, or a 17.4 percent increase year over year, according to the listing service. It’s also a $7,000 increase from the median price $310,000 in September.

The number of closed sales went up in October with 1,113 homes sold compared with 1,041 the year before. That’s a 6.92 percent increase.

“Watching some markets around the Puget Sound is like watching a championship tennis match, first a buyers’ market, then a sellers’ market,” said George Moorhead, the broker and owner of Bentley Properties/America’s Home Caretakers in Bothell, in a statement. “As these shifts become more of a blend, as they have the last 18 months, we will see good balance and stability in our market with healthy growth and competition.”

The county also saw an increase in the number of pending sales last month. The listing service reported 1,327 pending sales in October compared with 1,219 for the same month the year before, or an increase of 8.86 percent.

Still, real estate agents cautioned that home sellers need to price their home correctly from the start, said Kathy Estey, a member of the listing services board of directors, in the statement.

Inventory at the end of October, as measured by months of supply, stood at 3.24 months, a slight drop from the previous month’s figure of 3.7 months. In King County there is less than two months of supply, well below the four-to-six month level that many industry analysts use as a gauge of a balanced market.

The winter weather and dark nights will also affect sales in coming months, said Diedre Haines, another MLS director who is the regional managing broker for Snohomish County at Coldwell Banker Bain.

“We are seeing the beginning signs of the post-election, year-end, holiday slowdowns,” she said in the statement. “First time and second time move-up buyers are still in abundance, but they’re taking their time in making decisions and offers.”

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