Here's another report out of Olympia, on the significant cool-down that housing is experiencing there.
As the South Sound real estate market cools from overheated to warm, sellers are increasingly offering price reductions in order to speed up sales.Obviously they're not to the "meltdown" point yet, as the median price is still going up (although quite a bit more slowly than in King County—just 5% from January to July). But with the number of listings increasing this fast, and more new construction coming on the market every month, will Thurston be the first Puget Sound county to turn?
Real estate agents say the recent appearance of homes marked as "Price Reduced" indicates that this summer's housing market is cooler compared with a year ago.
Last summer, the Thurston County housing market was so active that it was common for homes to sell before they were listed.
But this summer, inventory levels and interest rates are higher, and newly constructed homes continue to come onto the market, contributing to longer selling times.
In July, there were 1,633 active listings, compared with 1,031 for the same period last year, according to the Olympic Multiple Listing Service.
Some agents, though, speculate that because builders don't always list all of their new homes, inventory levels could be much higher, in the range of 2,200 to 2,500 homes.
(Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 08.13.2006)