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King County in September had the sharpest decline in inventory for single-family homes among the 26 counties in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), with total active listings down 32.5 percent from a year ago, NWMLS reported.

The median sales price of closed single-family homes, excluding condominiums, hit $825,600, up 9.6 percent from September 2020.

Snohomish County’s total active listings for single-family homes rose 4.6 percent last month, but prices jumped 18.4 percent to 675,000, NWMLS data show.

Looking at condos only in King County, NWMLS figures for September show a 20 percent jump in the number of condos that closed last month compared to a year ago, according to a NWMLS news release. Closed sales in Seattle were up more than 34 percent. Condo prices rose more than 8 percent countywide. The southwest, southeast, and north areas of the county registered the strongest gains with more than 13.5 percent in all three subareas, NWMLS said.

Condo prices in nearby counties outgained the rate in King County, as did prices throughout the 26-county NWMLS system, which registered a 15.7 percent gain from a year ago.

In noting the 20 percent jump in King County condo sales, John Deely, executive vice president of operations for Coldwell Banker Bain, said, “This further reflects the affordability crisis in our region as residential buyers are driven to the condo market.”

The median sales price of a King County condo was $466,501 last month, up 8.2 percent from a year ago.

In Snohomish County, the condo sales median was $471,250, up 17.8 percent.

Meanwhile, homes in outlying counties from King continued to soar in price.

James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington contrasted strong price increases in nearly every “outer suburban” county along Interstate 5 plus Kittitas County with prices in King County. Nearly all the outlying counties posted year-over-year increases at or above 15 percent, while King County experienced only a single-digit gain of 6.7 percent when combining single-family homes and condos, Young said in the release.

Prices in Kittitas County, where destinations like Suncadia and Ellensburg are within a two-hour drive of Seattle, surged more than 26 percent from a year ago, the release said.

“With decreases in active listings in King and Snohomish counties, price pressure may increase in urban areas of the region as people return to the city for work,” Young added.

Other outlying counties along I-5 showed combined single-family home and condo prices rising 21.2 percent in Whatcom County from a year ago, 14.9 percent in Skagit County, 16.6 percent in Pierce County, and 20.1 percent in Thurston County.