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Home arrow Real Estate News arrow General News arrow As buyers take time, home prices stay inactive

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As buyers take time, home prices stay inactive
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Thursday, 14 September 2006

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Despite a stronger housing market median of home prices are nearly flat and signs of slowing are clear.  An example would be Kitsap County prices that slipped 0.2 percent that tracks home sales in 17 counties in Western and Central Washington.

The slowdown is coming after a record 2005. Total sales activity in the four-county region this year is still predicted to be the second-best on record, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate.

Median prices for homes and condos combined were still above their levels of August 2005 — up 12 percent in King County, 12.8 percent in Pierce County and 14.2 percent in Snohomish County — but the rate of increase has slowed compared with earlier this year.

But the decelerating pace mirrors the national trend. The National Association of Realtors last week cut its 2006 forecast for existing home sales to 6.54 million — the third-best year on record, but 7.6 percent below 2005.  And the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight last week said home prices nationally rose 1.17 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, the lowest appreciation rate since the fourth quarter of 1999.

The inventory of homes and condos for sale continued to rise throughout King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties, as it has since the beginning of the year. Area brokers said there were still shortages in high-demand neighborhoods close to downtown Seattle, Bellevue and other employment centers.

 

Edwina Baniqued

 

 
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