Real estate market improving in state

Associated PressMay 9, 2013 

— The residential real estate market improved in the state for the third quarter in a row, according to a report released Thursday by the University of Washington.

The report said sales of existing homes rose 14.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period a year ago.

Prices also were on the rise. The statewide median home price was $237,000 in the first quarter, up 14.1 percent from the same time last year.

The report was prepared by the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the university.

“Washington’s housing market is clearly recovering,” said Glenn Crellin, the center’s associate director for research. “However, the pace of sales activity is being held back somewhat by the limited inventory of homes available for sale.”

Crellin said the shortage of listings brings “classic supply and demand pressure on prices.”

Quarter-to-quarter home sales increased in 28 of Washington’s 39 counties. Some counties with a slower sales pace were urban markets such as King County, which entered recovery mode earlier than some smaller communities, the report said.

The first quarter of 2013 actually saw the highest seasonally adjusted sales rate since the third quarter of 2007, Crellin said.

The statewide median home price was $237,600, with a high of $412,500 in San Juan County and a low of $65,000 in rural Lincoln County.

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