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April’s housing report from the 26-county Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) included some bits of good news for buyers: more inventory (except in King County), a slight softening of the sales prices range over asking price, and perhaps an easing away from the competitive offer peak. 

But even with that and rising interest rates, median sales prices of single-family homes and condominiums combined in the 26-country region rose 16.8 percent from a year ago, NWMLS reported.

When excluding condominiums, the median sales price in King County for single-family homes approached $1 million in April, settling at $995,000, or roughly 20 percent higher than a year ago. The price is up 28 percent since January.

The median sales price for single-family homes for the eight submarkets comprising the Eastside was $1.7 million, up 32.5 percent from April 2021. The highest Eastside submarket was Bellevue west of I-405, with a median of $3.8 million.

Snohomish County saw strong price hikes as well.

The median sales price for a single-family home hit $839,298, up 24.3 percent from a year ago. Add condos into the mix, and the median price increase was 27 percent, the highest in the four-county Puget Sound region, according to a news release from NWMLS.

The priciest submarket in Snohomish County for single-family homes was the southeast county, at $1.3 million, up 43.9 percent from a year ago.

The median price of condos in King County hit $518,000, up 12.6 percent from a year ago. In Snohomish, condos’ median price was $550,000, up 27.2 percent.

Nonetheless, industry representatives are seeing some signs the 26-county NWMLS region is taking a breath.  

“The Puget Sound housing market has shifted down several levels of hotness in most areas and is more in alignment with the strong market we saw pre-pandemic,” J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said in the release.

April sales of single-family homes and condominiums across 26 counties in the report had a list price to sales price ratio of 107.8 percent, down from 108.2 percent in March, but still up exceeding April 2021’s ratio of 106.6 percent.

There were 11,681 new listings of single-family homes and condos during April, the highest number since July.

“Did you hear that? It’s the sound of happy buyers in all areas other than King County celebrating last month’s jump in active listings as it means they now have more homes to choose from,” Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, said in the NWMLS report. “Unfortunately for King County buyers, the area is still desperate for inventory and competition is as fierce as ever.”

The number of new listings surpassed the number of pending sales to help boost inventory in the broader region, NWMLS said, noting pending sales were down about 7.8 percent from a year ago and 3 percent from March.

“We are starting to see signs of impact from the significant rise in mortgage rates earlier this year, such as an increase in active listings and months of inventory creeping higher, but the full impact will likely not be felt for a few months,” Gardner said.

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