Beach Business: 2016 home sales soared in Ocean Shores

Condo Sales also rebound

Last year was “the greatest year for real estate sales in the history of Ocean Shores,” according to Jeff Daniel of John L. Scott Real Estate.

Sales of homes have led the way to numbers not seen since before the last recession.

”Everything but inventory is up. Sales are up. Prices are up. This has been the best year for sales activity and price gains since the real estate boom year of 2005,” Daniel said in his 2016 year-end review of the local market.

Ocean Shores residential sales increased over 3 percent in 2016: A total of 321 homes sold last year, up from 310 in 2015. “We’ve never seen this many residential sales — even since 2005 when 318 homes sold,” according to Daniel.

Home prices jumped 6.1 percent to an average price of $183,752. “This is the third highest level home prices have been in Ocean Shores. The highest was in 2006 when the average home sold for $205,838 and $189,312 in 2005,” Daniel said. The most expensive home to sell in 2016 was $425,000. Just over 8 percent of home sales were foreclosures in 2016. That number was 11 percent in 2015 and 18 percent in 2013 and 2014.

”The great news for now though is that only four homes on the market today are foreclosures,” Daniel said.

Condo Sales

In 2016, 53 condos sold compared to 33 last year — a jump of over 60 percent The reason for the big jump in condo sales is because of the Oyhut Bay condo renovations that have taken place at the old Villages project that was foreclosed on. Twenty one of the 53 condos sold in Ocean Shores were at Oyhut Bay. Condo inventory is way down compared to last year. There are only a few ocean View/ocean Front condos available. Most of the available condos on the market right now are “condotels” — such as the Canterbury, Grey Gull, Polynesian, etc. Five condotels sold last year compared to three the year before. Hopefully, more of them will sell in 2017. Prices are still very good for them historically speaking.

The average condo that sold last year in Ocean Shores was 982 square feet and took 92 days to sell compared to 1,034 square feet and 162 days in 2015. Only two out of the 53 condos sold last year were foreclosures. There are only 31 condos on the market (52 last year) for an average list price of $156,265 (compared to $122,952 last year).

Grays Harbor market

At Windermere, Tom Quigg notes that 2016 “ended as a pretty good year for real estate in Grays Harbor County. We don’t compare to the red hot market in King County, where certain areas are the hottest markets in the whole country. The King County market is driven by very high demand, and very low inventory.”

Grays Harbor is similar in that our inventory of homes for sale is far less than normal, Quigg said. In fact, the number of homes listed for sale in December 2016 is lower than it has been for at least 10 years.

Fortunately, the pace of new listings is currently keeping up with the rate of homes sold. This classifies the county as being in a neutral market, which favors neither the buyer of seller. “You might call it a ‘Goldilocks’ market. Not to hot, and not too cold … just about right,” Quigg says in his quarterly and annual report.

According to Quigg, all the areas of Grays Harbor are in a neutral market, with the exception of the Westport/Grayland vicinity, which just moved back into a buyer’s market.

The average/median sales prices for December 2016 are:

• Grays Harbor County — $190,000/$182,000.

• Ocean Shores/North Beach — $245,000/$216,000.

• Aberdeen/Hoquiam — $122,000/$92,000.

• Montesano/Elma — $226,000/$226,000.

• Westport/Grayland — $121,000/$114,000.

The most notable facet of the overall real estate market, Quigg said, is the commercial/industrial real estate activity in Aberdeen and Hoquiam — a couple of new food service businesses have made commitments in downtown Aberdeen, and could be announced in the next few months. The Techline Building in East Aberdeen has a sale pending, and a new retail business will be occupying it very soon. Two vacant warehouses have sold on State Street. One is fully occupied, and the other is undergoing renovations for a change in use. Four commercial buildings in Hoquiam sold in 2016. One was remodeled for offices, and another will be renovated into a brew pub.