Pierce County Housing Reports September 9, 2013

September 2013 Pierce County Housing Report

5 Data Points You’ll Want to Know and What’s Ahead!

With last week’s storms it appears the weather is starting to turn a corner and it seems the Pierce County Housing Market may be doing the same!  Take a look;

  1. InventoryEVEN with last year.
  2. ClosingsUP 27%. 
  3. Months of Inventory DOWN at 3.0.  It was 3.9 a year ago.
  4. Median PriceUP 5.7%. 
  5. New Pending ContractsUP 11%

Sounds good, right!?  Yes, it has been good, however as we dig deeper there’s more to the story.  Pierce County prices in August were actually down from July by 6.3% and inventory was up for the 5th month in a row.  Hmmmmm….  It is worth pointing out here that the media is working from July numbers so they are trumpeting a somewhat different tune. In July our market, along with the rest of the country, experienced the 6th month in a row of increased median price. As I began to elude in my report last month I’m suggesting our market is tempering. 

With recent interest rate hikes along with the increased inventory levels buyers have shown behavior more consistent with a slower or normalized market. They are taking action, but only on properties that are priced and groomed with the market in front of us.  The price gains we’ve seen will not  continue to runaway.  Both rising mortgage rates and slowly growing inventory will effectively tap the brakes on that trend. The good news is those factors keep us away from any “2nd Bubble” talk!

Real Estate is still a great place to be as we move ahead. The July Home Price Expectation Survey of 100 top housing economists predict the national housing market to appreciate each of the next 5 years at an annualized rate of 4.7%.  The “pre-bubble” annual average was 3.6%. This quarterly survey is important because it is not just one economist making a prediction but an aggregate of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists.