Home sales in King County showing big gains




Posted on March 9, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 9 at 9:06 AM

The latest report on home sales in King County shows some amazing gains, and sellers are starting to get back in the driver's seat.

Last year, winter was wicked in Western Washington. And in a cruel parallel, the recession practically froze the housing market.

"In the depth of the banking crisis people were just paralyzed with fear," said Dennis Brown, president of the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors.

Cut to this year and another parallel between the weather, which is mellower, and the housing market, which is much better.

"Pent up demand - people that would have normally bought or sold  put everything on hold for a year or two, and now we're starting to see those people re-enter the market," said Brown.

The rebound is partially a result of lower interest rates, include lower jumbo loan rates, the federal tax credit for first time and repeat buyers.  And the employment picture is better, which translated this way in February.

"The inventory is declining, sales are increasing dramatically by 45% in February over February of last year," said Brown.

Yes, the real estate scales are tipping back.

"Right now we're in more of a neutral market where buyers are still able to get some concessions from sellers and, yet, sellers can expect to get a decent price for their house if they price it right," said Brown.

Brown says sellers need to price their homes aggressively to give themselves the best chance at making a deal.