King County house prices jumped almost 20 percent over year

UntitledKing County house prices jumped almost 20 percent over year

By Sanjay Bhatt – Seattle Times business reporter
April 4th, 2013

The median price of single-family homes sold in King County leapt in March to $392,000 as buyers, many waving all-cash offers, bid up the region’s tight inventory.

With 40 percent fewer houses for sale than a year ago, March’s median closing price was 19 percent higher than the previous March and up 7 percent from February, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday.

A severe shortage of homes for sale — with listings equal to only about a month’s worth of pending sales — is driving the jump in prices. Generally a supply of four to six months is considered a balanced market.

“Where are the listings?” asked Glenn Crellin, associate director for research at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. Crellin said the inventory over the past four months is the lowest he’s seen in the 15 years he’s been tracking it.

All of which could make this spring buying season the busiest in years, if inventory remains tight and more buyers enter the market.

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