Median house price jumps 14% in King County

cat in windowThe Seattle Times ran an article that tried to dive into why home prices have continued to increase.

In King County last month, the number of sales fell 6 percent as a quarter fewer properties were listed for sale compared with July 2004, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said yesterday in its July home-sale report. Strong competition for the best among them — again — sent median prices through the roof, up 14 percent in King and Snohomish counties.

I find it especially interesting that a quarter fewer properties were listed this July over one year ago. Even with the substantial increase in properties people are simple not interested in moving. I think this phenomena really gets to the heart of why home prices have increased so substantially… and makes me more confident that were not experiencing a bubble. With a smaller supply of homes in livable urban communities, I’m convinced that the increase is simply a result of an increased demand.

Some sellers are making the move now to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates. But in general, there’s little research into what propels owners to sell.

“We have a lot of good data on why people buy homes, but in terms of why people sell, we don’t ask the question,” said Walter Molony, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. “We assume it’s a lifestyle choice. Whether it’s the right time, that’s a very individual evaluation.”

In her classes, Pelascini has noted that sellers usually have a concrete reason to sell, but not necessarily one that prompts them to act immediately. That’s particularly true for empty-nesters.

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