Up, up and away as Thurston Co. home price rise to new high

Rolf Boone

The Olympian

The Thurston County residential housing market is on some kind of trajectory.

Month after month it seems the median price of a single-famliy home here continues to rise, and it rose sharply again in May, up 23 percent to $452,000 from May 2020, according to new data released Monday by Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

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How did we get here? Strong demand — sales rose nearly 40 percent in May from the same time last year — combined with low inventory has pushed prices higher here and throughout the region. In King County, the median price of a home rose 30 percent to $869,975 last month.

“The dramatic increase in prices and low inventory just continue in such a way that although we have more inventory coming on the market, it is immediately absorbed because of a demand that simply cannot be met,” said Northwest MLS director John Deely, executive vice president of operations at Coldwell Bank Bain, in a statement.

New listings in the county for May were higher than new listings for May 2020, but it hasn’t done much to bring balance to the buyer/seller dynamic, the data show.

A healthy balance between buyer and seller is thought to mean months of inventory in the range of four to six months, but inventory here was still less than one month in May.

One expert has said the county’s real estate market has favored the seller for the last seven years. The buyer, meanwhile, is left to confront a multiple-offer environment.

“They need to be ready to compete in this market by reviewing successful offer strategies with their broker and lender,” said Meredith Hansen of Keller Williams, Greater Seattle, in a statement.

A closer look at the Thurston County housing market for May

— Single-family median price rose 22.96 percent to $452,000 in May 2021 from $367,600 in May 2020.

— Single-family sales rose 38.91 percent to 457 units from 329 units over the same period.

— Single-family pending sales rose 13 percent to 631 units from 558 units over the same period.

— Condo median price rose to $270,000 from $201,950 over the same period.

— Condo sales rose to 19 units from 10 units over the same period

— Condo pending sales rose to 18 units from 12 units.

May single-family median prices in the region

— King County: $869,975.

— Snohomish County: $697,000.

— Pierce County: $510,000.

— Kitsap County: $500,000.

— Thurston County: $452,000.

— Mason County: $375,000.

— Lewis County: $350,000.

— Grays Harbor County: $300,000.

Source: Northwest MLS.