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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Olympia Experiences "Necessary Cooling Effect"

Here's the latest report out of Olympia, where business reporter Rolf Boone doesn't bother to wait for the NWMLS talking points press release before publishing his monthly real estate stories.

While South Sound home sales year to date are running 6 percent ahead of sales through all of 2005, higher inventories continue to slow the pace of sales, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Olympic Multiple Listing Service.

Active home listings have nearly doubled since September 2005, rising to 1,764 homes last month, compared with 991 last year, the data showed.
...
In September, 380 homes were sold [in Thurston County], compared with 443 last year, resulting in a preliminary 14 percent decline, the data showed.
...
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant Jeff Devlin said the market's cooling effect has been necessary because home price increases were beginning to outpace incomes.

"Homes on average were appreciating no less than 10 percent in the last few years," he said. "Well, incomes haven't increased with it. We just do not make as much in South Sound. Something had to extinguish the fire a little bit."
Just "a little bit," mind you... so far anyway. Olympia has been experiencing the biggest inventory surge in the Puget Sound area. Between King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston, I expect either Thurston or Kitsap will be the first to experience an actual drop in year-over-year prices. I wonder what Jeff Devlin will be saying then.

(Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 10.05.2006)

5 comments:

S Crow said...

"Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant Jeff Devlin said the market's cooling effect has been necessary because home price increases were beginning to outpace incomes."

With all do respect, many consumers incomes were not "beginning" to be outpaced by home prices, I would suggest that many incomes & savings were never sufficient in the first place to pay for homes without I/O ARM products.

;)

Grivetti said...

More interesting Oly news... apparently its one of MSN Real Estate sections 8 cheap places you'd want to live

Like Austin and Boise, Olympia benefits from the economic pillars of government and higher education. In Olympia's case, the higher education comes from Evergreen State College, a small, progressive liberal-arts institution with no grades, no tests and no tenured faculty. Evergreen's funky vibe contrasts interestingly with the more conservative tenor of the rest of the city.

Although, I'd make the note, that as housing market's go, the Seattle housing bubble's cancerous growth and treatment of the Puget Sound as a defacto bedroom community has not served it well with regard to Real Estate.

I work with a few folks now who commute out of there and its damn near apocalyptic. If you can make some scratch down there, I'm sure its amazing, but you're also in the minority...

Grivetti said...

sorry, think the link was broken...

8 cheap places you'd want to live

flopfolder said...

Did anyone else notice that about half of those cities mentioned in the 8 cheap places article had a cost of living greater than the US average and that only 1 of 8 (Austin) had a median home price anywhere near 3X median income...

The Tim said...

Between King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston, I expect either Thurston or Kitsap will be the first to experience an actual drop in year-over-year prices.

Silly me. I didn't even notice until someone pointed out in a thread above that Kitsap has already experienced a drop in year-over-year prices.

Kitsap Co. SFH Median Closed Price
Sept. '05: $272,900
Sept. '06: $269,900