The first quarter of 2014 is in the books and home prices in Kitsap
County are lagging behind the Puget Sound pack.
Median prices were up across the region at the end of
March, driven by low inventory. But prices remained at 2013 levels
in Kitsap, according to the Northwest MLS.
The median price of homes sold in January, February and March
this year was $225,000, compared to $229,000 for the same period of
2013. That was despite surging prices on Bainbridge Island (click
the graph below to expand).
The stale prices can’t be explained by simple supply and demand.
Inventory was still low, with 1,170 active listings (there were
1,287 in March 2013). And closed sales were up (715 compared to
630), while pending sales were relatively flat.
So what was keeping prices down? Frank Wilson, managing broker
at John L. Scott Real Estate Poulsbo and Kitsap district director
for NWMLS, points to the recent glut of short sales and bank
repossessions as one cause. Homeowners who lost their homes in the
recession may be sidelined while they repair their credit, he said.
Demand should increase as they reenter the market.
Overall, it’s an opportune time for buyers, Wilson said.
Interest rates remain low, as do prices. But that won’t last, he
“At some point in the future, double whammy of prices going up
and interest going up,” he said. “When that happens it will
negatively affect affordability.”
Wilson said he expects both inventory and prices to pick up as
the year continues.
“All signs are pointing in the right direction,” he said.
The NWMLS activity report for March is posted below: Read the rest of this entry »