Vibrant, Robust Housing Market is Encouraging Economic Sign
When it comes to selling real estate, things are starting to heat up in Grays Harbor County. That’s great news for all of us because it is one indication that economic health is returning to our area.
“The housing market is very vibrant and robust now by our standards,” said Tom Quigg, owner of Windermere Real Estate, Ocean Shores.
“It’s not equivalent to what you see in King County, of course. Traditionally our area is not considered a seller’s market, but now we are seeing a consistent seller’s market in the Aberdeen /Hoquiam area and the Montesano/Elma area,” Quigg said.
For the entire county, the median and average sales prices for this past May are $163,000 and $174,000. (The average price is determined by adding up the total of all sold and dividing by the number sold. The median price is found by lining up all the prices and finding the middle one.)
The Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies reports that at the end of the 1st quarter of 2017 the value of median priced home sales for the county is up 9.1 percent over the previous year. Also this May, the NWMLS reported that countywide listing inventory increased to its highest level in the past six months, and pending sales have increased over the past four months.
“Statistically the county as a whole remains in a neutral market, but the result has been a steady increase of both median and average home prices during that time,” Quigg said.
The number of houses that are sold versus the inventory of houses on the market during a given month indicates how long it will typically take to sell a house at the current rate houses are selling in the area.
An area that has three or fewer months of housing stock is considered a “seller’s” market, Quigg explained.
The Westport / Grayland area’s home sales stats were the lowest in the county during May, but because it’s such a small area, numbers can be easily skewed one direction or the other, Quigg said.
In fact, in the Westport/Grayland area this May, both median and average prices ($158,000 and ($154,000) jumped up dramatically from the prior month and had the highest number of closed home sales for over a year.
The Ocean Shores/North Beach area is considered a very stable market, Quigg said. However, the sold prices slipped just a little bit from April, perhaps due to the weather.
The median price for that area in May was $173,000, with a $174,000 average sales price.
WHAT’S UP IN MONTE?
Montesano, in particular, has a lot of demand for houses.
“By far Montesano is the hottest market on the Harbor,” Quigg said. “One developer has been building houses since the beginning of the year and has sold all seven he’s built before they were even finished,” he said.
Also, the median price houses in Montesano and Elma sold for ($231,000) is higher than the average price ($221,000), which indicates more upper-end homes are selling there.
What’s the attraction to Monte?
“Montesano is a nice place to live. Prices are still very reasonable and for people who work on the west side of Olympia, the commute is relatively easy,” Quigg said.
While the house values aren’t rising as quickly in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, the market has shifted back to a Seller’s Market for the fourth time in 12 months with great increases to both the median and the average prices over the past four months.
“This indicates that the inventory of low-priced homes has diminished, with the result being the bulk of current listings are now in mid-price range, “Quigg said. The median and average prices for a home in the Aberdeen/ Hoquiam area are $128,000 and $127,000, respectively.
MORE NEXT WEEK
In next week’s column we’ll talk some more about the current housing market in Grays Harbor County and why people are choosing to move to the Harbor.
FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER ADVICE
First time homebuyer? To get the best loans, get educated. Check out HomeSage.org for your internet homebuyer education and housing counseling needs. We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor will help you get it done. We may be able to help you finance your home purchase, too.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.
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