Small inventories, low interest rates drive jump in June home sales and prices

Home sales and home-sale prices rose across Washington state in June.

Last month, 8,577 sellers in 21 counties accepted offers on their homes or condominiums—a 13.8 percent increase from one year ago, according to figures released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Statewide closed sales also rose 11.7 percent from last year. With 6,214 closings on single-family homes and condos in June, it is the highest total reported since September 2007.

In Whatcom County, buyers closed on 271 sales of single-family homes and condos in June, up from 215 during the same month last year.

The median sale price also increased from $247,450 in June 2011 to $250,000 in June of this year, according to the MLS. The statewide median price last month was $255,000.

MLS brokers cited smaller inventories of available homes and historically low interest rates as key factors in the increased activity.

“Consumers bothered by the lack of inventory are ready to make sure they do not miss out on the shift in the market,” said Darin Stenvers, a MLS board member and the office
managing broker at John L. Scott Inc. in Bellingham, in a press release.

Sale prices are also increasing due to fewer listings in markets. With greater competition from buyers, most sellers are receiving multiple offers on their homes.

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