Feb 5, 201805:54 PMBlog
Home prices continue to spike; will interest rates offer relief?
Home prices continue to rise around the Puget Sound region, with the South Sound not immune to the spike.
That’s according to numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, whose 23-county coverage area saw 5,325 closed sales with a $363,500 median price — up about 11 percent from the year-ago figure of $327,500.
Twelve counties reported double-digit spikes in prices for homes and condos, with prices in Pierce County shooting up 15 percent to $307,250. Thurston County saw a 9.8 percent jump to $280,000; the biggest leap in the South Sound region, though, belongs to Mason County, which saw median prices of closed sales jump a whopping 38.0 percent to $241,450.
Some brokers expect the hefty price gains to ease.
“As interest rates rise, the rate of price increases will slow down,” predicts Northwest MLS director Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor. Despite this expectation, he believes sparse supply and the area’s appeal both nationally and internationally will mean ongoing competition and multiple offer situations.
“What it costs to rent small spaces astounds me,” he remarked, citing recent reports that put Tacoma and Olympia on lists of top cities for increased rents during 2017. “Investors, because rents are high, compete daily with home buyers, and they often win the deal in the lower priced homes. Because they are buying all cash, they consistently beat out buyers who have to get loans.”