Home for sale

After a slow start to the year, activity is picking up in Skagit County’s real estate market, according to data released June 6 from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The number of homes listed jumped from 357 in April to 443 in May, according to the report.

“All of a sudden we’re seeing a little uptick in inventory, and there’s more active buyers and sellers,” said Lana Thompson, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Anacortes.

The market continues to be tight, with about two months of housing supply in Skagit County, according to a news release from the listing service. A balanced market is defined as six months of supply.

Thompson said while the market is less “frenzied” than last year, lower mortgage rates are attracting buyers.

Last week the 30-year fixed-rate average fell to 3.82%, and the 15-year fixed-rate average fell to 3.28%, according to the real estate publication The Real Deal.

The first half of the year saw fewer sales in Skagit County but higher value of homes sold, said Nate Scott, broker/owner at Windermere Anacortes Properties.

The listing service reported 726 closed home sales January through May, compared to 760 over the same period in 2018. The median closing sale price for a home was $366,500, compared to $339,000 last year.

Median closing prices were higher in Anacortes, Mount Vernon and Burlington than last year, according to the listing service.

“The upper end of the market is moving more this year than it was last year,” Scott said. “I think it’s the natural move-up progression (of home values).”

Thompson said demand continues to drive higher prices as more buyers move from Seattle.

Scott said his advice to buyers is to get pre-approval for a mortgage.

“Depending on the price range, you’re likely to face competition,” he said.

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

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