Real Estate

A real estate yard sign stands outside a Mount Vernon home in December 2020.

With a historic low number of homes for sale and no signs of demand easing, the median closing price on the sale of a home in Skagit County rose to $490,000 in May, according to figures released Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The median home price in Skagit in May 2020 was $400,000.

The MLS report showed only 126 total active listings in May, a 57% drop compared to May 2020.

The spring real estate market usually brings an uptick in new listings, but not this year. The number of active listings in Skagit County decreased by three from April to May, according to the MLS.

Neighboring Whatcom and Island counties also saw large price increases from May 2020 to May 2021 and shrinking inventory.

In a news release, Northwest MLS Director Robb Wasser, branch manager at Windermere Real Estate/East in Bellevue, said the number of active listings for single-family homes for all counties dropped from April to May for the first time in at least 20 years.

In the news release, James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate at the University of Washington, noted that first-time homebuyers have few opportunities to take advantage of low interest rates.

“Unfortunately for them, continued supply constraints along the I-5 corridor mean they are increasingly being left out of the market for the whole region. Only a decrease in demand will moderate house price trends,” he said in the news release.

Mike Grady, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Bain in Bellevue, stated in the news release he expects demand to remain strong.

“While we’re starting to hear some talk about increasing inflation given a lack of new construction and skilled labor and supply chain shortages, our market is counteracting that,” he said.

Grady said factors including more millennials entering their home-buying years, baby boomers retiring and downsizing and relocating, and more relocating and working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to drive demand.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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