LONG BEACH — Fifty-five houses were for sale in South Pacific County in October, a decline of 52.6% compared to a year earlier, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
In Pacific County as a whole, there were 85 active home listings in October, down 48.2%.
Nine condominiums were available for purchase in the county — all on the Long Beach Peninsula — a decline of 66.7% from the year before.
The tight supply — driven by current residents being unwilling to move during the pandemic and people from out of the area wanting to relocate here — continues to push prices upward.
Single-family house prices rose more than 11% countywide in October to a median of $244,700, up from $220,000 in October 2019. The median price increase on the peninsula/south county was a more modest 3.5% to $237,450, perhaps reflecting a larger than average number of older manufactured homes located on interior lots. (The median price is the point at which half sold for more and half for less. NWMLS doesn’t report “average” prices, which are typically higher because the sale of a few high-priced properties can skew the number upward.)
In Raymond — the county’s second biggest real estate market after the peninsula — there were 16 houses for sale in October, a decline of 46.7% from a year before. The median selling price in Raymond increased 114.5% from October 2019, to $255,000.
The tight housing market is reflected in NWMLS’s estimate of the number of months it would take to sell the entire available inventory if no new listings were added — 1.25 months countywide and 1.15 months on the peninsula/south county.
Looking farther back in time, the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington recently reported that house prices in the county increased 5.4% to $228,400 in the second quarter of 2020.
Taking prices, local income levels and other factors into account, Pacific County had Western Washington’s most affordable housing this spring, the UW center reported.
County home prices remain a bargain compared with most of the rest of the state, for which the overall average was $433,400 in the April-June period. Prices rose 5.6% in the state as a whole.
Reflecting the extremely constrained supply of houses, the number of sales fell 8.6% on an annualized basis in the county in the second quarter, compared to a half-percent decline statewide.
On the other hand, the number of home-building permits increased 7.7% in the county in the quarter, compared to a 26.5% drop statewide.