The total value of homes sold up North in 2016 increased significantly, according to a report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Closed sales increased to 95,500 during 2016, an increase of 8.1% from the previous year’s 88,331 closed sales, according to the report, which covers 23 counties in and around Washington state.
Not only were more homes sold, they were sold at a higher price. Total sales in 2016 came in at a value of $40.3 billion, an increase of 18.2% from the previous year.
That is due, in part, to the median sales price increase of 8.9% to $337,500, up from $310,000 last year. However, home prices varied across counties from $102,500 in Ferry County to $489,000 in King County.
All counties, with the exception of Ferry County, showed year-over-year gains in home prices in 2016.
The largest share of homes sold was in the range of $150,000 to $300,000 at 34% of total home sales. Another third of home sales fell in the range of $300,000 to $500,000 and the smallest share was 7% for homes valued under $150,000.
However, new homes are not coming on to the market to replace those sold. Inventory shortages continued to plague the area in 2016, averaging only 1.86 months’ inventory. This is down from the previous year’s average of 2.4 months. In fact, November saw a new low for home inventory in the Northwest.
In general, industry analysts claim a range of four to six month is an indicator of a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
High-end sales surged in 2016 to 3,251 sales of single-family homes priced at $1 million or more. It is up at least 21% from 2015’s 2,676 luxury sales.