jump to navigation

Market Conditions April 2008 March 27, 2008

Posted by W. Keoki McCarthy in market conditions, Northwest, real estate.

NWREporter April 2008

All five metropolitan areas in Washington that are included in a national survey of home prices showed gains in the fourth quarter of 2007. Roughly half of all metro areas continued to show price increases when compared to the previous year, according to the latest quarterly survey by the National Association of Realtors®.

In the fourth quarter, 73 out of 150 metropolitan statistical areas show increases in median existing single family home prices from a year earlier, including 11 areas with double-digit annual gains – two of which are in Washington state. The survey found 77 areas with price declines, including 16 with double-digit drops.

In the fourth quarter, Yakima claimed the second largest single family home price increase where the median price of $170,600 rose 18 percent from the fourth quarter of 2006. After Yakima, the strongest metro price increase in the West was in the Kennewick-Richland-Pasco area, at $172,400, up 14 percent from a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said disruptions in the mortgage market have played a role. “The continuing crunch in the jumbo market that began in August has disproportionately reduced the number of transactions in higher price ranges,” he said. “For buyers who need loans of more than $417,000, mortgage interest rates have been running more than a percentage point higher, and that has been having an obvious impact. Higher ratios of sales for more moderately priced homes are naturally dampening the national median price as well as the data for some of the more expensive markets.”

NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said he is encouraged with plans to increase conventional loan limits. “Higher limits for FHA loans, which go into effect March 14, will be a big help to first-time buyers in high-cost markets. Higher limits for conventional loans purchased by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will take a bit longer – when they become available, high-income, borrowers in high-cost areas will have access to affordable and safer financing, and that will help unleash pent-up demand,” he said.

Editor’s note: A March 1 survey of single-family inventory in the Northwest MLS database shows more than half (51.2 percent) of current listings in the tri-county region (King, Pierce and Snohomish counties) have asking prices of more than $417,000. In King County, more than two-thirds (67.5 percent) of single family homes offered for sale are priced above $417,000.

“With the market in a state of flux, it’s especially important for consumers to stay abreast of widely varying and changing market conditions. We encourage them to have a traditional long-term view, which means taking the time to thoughtfully research the market. More than ever, the best resource is a Realtor® who can put local conditions in perspective, provide advice and negotiate the transaction.”

Despite the annual decline in the fourth quarter median home price, the typical seller who purchased their home six years ago still saw a very healthy gain, according to NAR research. The median increase in value for sellers who purchased that home in the fourth quarter of 2001 is 31.2 percent, and the median home equity accumulation is $49,000.

Median Sales Price of Existing Single Family Homes,
Metro Areas in Washington State
Metro Area

4Q 2006

4Q 2007

% Change





























NAR began tracking metropolitan area median single-family home prices in 1979. First quarter metro home price and state resale data will be released May 13. For details, including charts for all 150 metro areas in the survey and comparisons by state, visit realtor.org.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: