The Tri-City housing market is staying steady, unlike in much of the rest of Washington.
Benton and Franklin counties saw home resales grow by 1.1 percent the first quarter of this year compared with the previous three months, according to data released Monday by the University of Washington Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.
And resales were up by 2.6 percent in Benton County and 2.2 percent in Franklin County when compared with the same month last year.
Statewide, home resales have taken a nose dive, down 12.1 percent from the last three months of 2013, according to the data. And sales are down by 7.1 percent compared with January through March of last year.
"The housing market is still suffering from low inventory," Stephen O'Connor, director of the Runstad Center, said in a statement.
But the Tri-Cities hasn't seen the same slip in the number of homes available.
As of April, there were about 1,140 homes listed for sale in the Tri-City area, according to the Tri-City Association of Realtors. That's about 150 homes fewer than in April 2013, but represents more choices for buyers than were available during the three previous Aprils.
So far in the first three months, almost 930 homes were sold in the Tri-City area, according to the Tri-City Association of Realtors. That's about the same as during the same period last year and up from first quarter 2011 and 2012.
The median resale price in the Tri-Cities was $178,900 for the first quarter of this year, according to the Runstad Center. That price is up by 1.7 percent from the same time last year.
Statewide, the median price grew more rapidly, at 8.2 percent, to reach $248,900.
Like home sales, new home construction has remained stable so far this year. As of April, about 340 new homes were given permits in the Tri-Cities, unchanged from last year, according to data from the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities.
"We are happy that it is holding steady and hope to see some increases over the next few months and finish the year strong," said Renee Brooks, the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities director of governmental affairs.
But while the number of new homes being built hasn't picked up yet, the value of the homes has risen by about 10 percent to an average of $293,000, according to the data.
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-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; email@example.com