Real Estate

While homes for sale are in short supply in Skagit County, pending sales in November were up 20% over the same period of last year, according to monthly statistics published Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The listing service reported 173 pending sales in November, and 321 active listings — a drop from 447 last year.

Danny Baird, designated broker and partner at John L. Scott Real Estate Skagit in Mount Vernon, said a shortage of properties in the $300,000 to $400,000 range has led to a “backlog of buyers” still looking for homes.

“It was a pretty busy fall for us,” he said. “I anticipate it’s going to slow down for the rest of the year, but after the first of the year, it’s going to pick up, and there will probably be some price increases because there’s a shortage of properties in January, February and March.”

Baird said while high prices have driven some out of the market, low mortgage interest rates will continue to attract buyers in 2020.

“I see a pretty strong year,” he said.

In the Anacortes John. L. Scott Real Estate office, broker and owner Guy Davidson said he has seen a decrease in sales due to lack of inventory. Listings fell by 13% in Anacortes in 2019, according to the list service.

“We’re seeing people that are kind of unwilling to put one home on market because they can’t find anything to buy,” he said. “We’re kind of treading water and really waiting for the spring.”

He said there is “intense buyer activity” for homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, and for properties $1 million and above, driven by buyers from Seattle and California.

Some notable new construction is finally coming onto the market, the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors wrote in a quarterly report from October.

Landed Gentry is planning a 66-home community in Sedro-Woolley, and BYK Construction has built a 34-home community in Burlington, according to their websites.

“But with 150 homes per month selling in Skagit County ... it’s clear we need more new housing to meet our current demand,” the Realtors association wrote in a news release.

Erik Pedersen, Realtor with Erik Pedersen Group at Keller Williams Realty in Mount Vernon, said Skagit County’s real estate market is healthy right now and not too hot.

“If we keep on a 5% annual growth rate, that would be very good for health in the housing market,” he said.

In Skagit County, median sale prices rose by almost 7% from $345,000 in 2018 to $369,000 in 2019, according to the listing service.

“Moving into 2020, my sense is we’re going to have a very similar year to what we had this year,” Pedersen said. “The inventory is not high, and the interest rates are fantastic. Buyers can afford to buy and the economy is solid.”

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

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