Around the Sound: Misery for Buyers Everywhere

Let’s update our monthly stats for the local regions outside of the King/Snohomish core. Here’s your May update to our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

Are things any better in the market right now for buyers outside of the core Seattle areas? Unfortunately, not really. It’s still a pretty terrible time to be buying a home just about anywhere in the Puget Sound area.

First up, a summary table:

May 2015 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $480,942 $350,000 $255,000 $266,950 $246,850 $286,000 $247,400 $289,000
Price YOY 8.7% 7.7% 8.5% 15.8% 7.8% 15.7% 6.0% 5.9%
Active Listings 3,280 1,816 2,818 911 1,085 577 545 1,000
Listings YOY -21.1% -17.7% -17.8% -26.4% -14.8% -24.8% -30.4% -22.4%
Closed Sales 2,684 1,082 1,203 329 344 150 178 288
Sales YOY 15.4% 26.1% 10.8% 10.4% 11.0% 25.0% 16.3% 34.0%
Months of Supply 1.2 1.7 2.3 2.8 3.2 3.8 3.1 3.5

Next let’s take a look at median prices in May compared to a year earlier. Prices were up from a year ago across the board. Gains ranged from as low as 6 percent in Whatcom to as high as 16 percent in Kitsap.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

The number of listings on the market fell by double digits year-over-year in every county. The biggest loser of listings was Skagit County, where listings fell 30 percent from a year ago. The smallest decrease was in Thurston, where listings were down 15 percent from last year.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Closed sales increased in May compared to a year earlier in all eight counties. The biggest gains were in Whatcom County, which saw 34 percent more sales than last May. The smallest gains were in Kitsap County, where sales increased 10 percent.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Here’s a chart showing months of supply this May and last May. The market was less balanced than a year ago, skewing more toward sellers in all eight counties. The least terrible market for buyers was in Island County, which still has just 3.8 months of supply.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

To close things out, here’s a chart comparing May’s median price to the peak price in each county. Technically everybody is still down from the peak, with drops ranging between just 0.01 percent in King County to 19 percent in Skagit County. Note of course that this chart is not adjusted for inflation. Here’s a recent post that shows how King County home prices look when you take inflation into account.

Peak Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

This year is basically a bust for home buyers, no matter where around the sound you’re looking for a home.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.