Olympia-area home prices continue to rise, as sales fell in March

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After a powerful winter storm dumped snow on Thurston County, Wash., in February, pending sales of single-family homes fell by a double-digit margin.

As a result, closed sales also fell by a double-digit margin in March, according to new Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Friday.

With winter now behind us, the outlook for future home sales looks much brighter, the data show.

Olympia. Wash.

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That’s because pending deals in March show that more than 560 single-family homes could potentially change hands, nearly matching a year-ago figure. And 2018 was one of the strongest years on record for Thurston County home sales.

“Looking ahead, more new listings are on the way, and the more affordable and mid-price ranges will see strong price appreciation this year — just not at last year’s extreme levels,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott, in a statement.

The median home price did rise in March to more than $325,000.

Meanwhile, although sales fell in March, it did little to shift the market in favor of buyers, the data show.

Months of inventory, which shows how long it would to take to exhaust the supply of single-family homes for sale at the current pace of sales, still remains very low, at 1.3 months.

A healthy level of inventory that doesn’t favor either seller or buyer is thought to be in the range of four to six moths.

A closer look at the county single-family home sales data for March 2019 compared to March 2018 showed that the median price rose almost 8.2% to $325,550 from $301,000 and sales fell 12.7% to 348 units from 399 units.

Pending sales were flat, with 564 units in the pipeline last month, compared to 567 in March 2018.

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