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Greater Seattle Real Estate Prices Still On The Rise

Northwest MLS brokers say market stays "extremely competitive", while some industry experts believe "housing affordability may never be better".

KIRKLAND, Wash. (July 3, 2013) including rising mortgage rates, tight inventory and declining unemployment are driving even more buyers into what is already a competitive housing market.

New figures from the MLS show pending sales during June jumped 10.6 percent from twelve months ago as buyers scrambled to lock in loan rates and bid on a limited supply of homes. Members in the 21 counties served by Northwest MLS reported 9,484 mutually accepted offers last month, outgaining the year-ago number of pending sales by 907 transactions.

Frank Wilson, an officer on the Northwest MLS board, recommends sellers prepare to deal with multiple offers by discussing a strategy with their broker when they list their home. Buyers should consider writing offers that may be above list price and contain an escalation clause, Wilson suggests.

While would-be purchasers jostled for acceptance of their offers during June, 7,318 newly-minted homeowners took possession of their home. That volume of closed sales compares to 6,214 completed transactions for the same month a year ago for a 17.8 percent increase.

For the first six months of 2013, the year-to-date number of completed transactions totaled 35,115, surpassing the figure of 29,777 for mid-year 2012. That equals a 17.9 percent year-over-year increase.

The median price for last month area wide was $279,950, which is about 9.8 percent higher than the year-ago figure of $255,000. Three counties reported double-digit price gains on sales of single family homes and condominiums: Kittitas (up 17 percent); Snohomish (up 14.4 percent) and King (up 10.1 percent).

Single family home prices (excluding condominiums) rose more than 8 percent, from $268,162 to $290,000, while condo prices spiked 17.3 percent (from $183,350 to $215,000). In King County, the median sales price of single family homes last month (excluding condos) was $427,500, up 12.5 percent from June 2012 when the selling price was $380,000.

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