As the greater Seattle market has found its real estate footing in the past year, we’re also checking in on some cities in the North and South Sound to see if the good real estate news is trickling out to the rest of the Puget Sound region.
The Capitol City seems to be experiencing a resurgence in its real estate market in 2012, with monthly and annual increases in sales. Olympia has the makings of a strong yearly total, as does Thurston County as a whole.
Sales of Olympia real estate are up 11.8 percent for 2012, year-to-date. There have been 1010 homes sold in Olympia this year, compared to just 903 home sales in the same span last year at this time.
For Thurston County, a total of 2017 homes have been sold thus far in 2012. That’s an increase of 8.6 percent over 2011′s home sales. While Olympia is the majority of the Thurston County market and saw its greatest increases, other cities like Tumwater and Lacey seem to be experiencing booming real estate sales at the same time.
Just analyzing the past month of statistics, we see an even more dramatic picture of the Olympia real estate market. Home sales in Olympia were up a whopping 33 percent this past month as compared to August 2011 (164 vs 123 sales). The shift toward the end of this year seems to be happening all over the Puget Sound region, with buyers getting competitive and sellers dealing with multiple-offer situations on well-priced homes.
Thurston County also saw a sizable shift in August, as 314 homes were sold last month, compared to just 248 in August of 2011. The 26.6 percent increase is just another of dozens of factors we see that point to a strong 2012 and potentially stronger 2013 for the local real estate markets.
For a better picture of the South Sound market, one can just look at the available Olympia real estate listings — the total inventory of Olympia homes for sale has stayed flat all year, avoiding the usual summer increases of 30% to 40%. This means that the seasonal inventory is effectively down around 30%, and buyers have much more competition for quality properties. Home buyers are also buying more Olympia waterfront real estate and luxury homes as the market picks up.
Prices for Olympia homes, meanwhile, have been stable for almost a full year, after 5 years of losses. Increased pending sales, increased closings, smaller inventories and a stable market can only lead to one thing, and that’s long-term appreciation in a real estate market. If the trends in place today continue as projected, the Olympia real estate market is looking at a strengthening real estate market through 2013.
Data Source: NWMLS – The Northwest Multiple Listing Service did not compile or publish this information.