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Posted on Dec 20, 2017

Realtors see strong market for homes in state

Washington state’s housing market was strong in the third quarter of 2017, with both sales and new building permits rising compared to a year ago, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research.
The statewide median sales price for a single-family home rose to $363,200 in the third quarter, 9.7 percent higher than the same time period in 2016. In Grant County, the median resale price was $194,400, says Tom Parrish, president of the Grant County Association of Realtors.
Home sales in Grant County for the third quarter also rose by 3.4 percent over a year ago, with 240 existing home sales during the period. At the end of the quarter, 317 homes were listed for sale.
Nationwide, Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, says sales activity in October picked up for the second straight month, with increases in all four major regions.
“Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” Yun said in a news release. “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”
Meanwhile, NAR is concerned about federal legislation that the trade association says will impact homeowners.
NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor from Columbia, Mo., and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says the pending tax reform legislation in the U.S. House and Senate is a direct attack on homeowners and homeownership, with the result being a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners.
“Making changes to the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating or capping the deduction for state and local taxes and modifying the rules on capital gains exemptions poses serious harm to millions of homeowners and future buyers,” Mendenhall said in a press release. “With first-time buyers struggling to reach the market, Congress should not be creating disincentives to buy and sell a home. Furthermore, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt will raise future borrowing costs for our children and grandchildren.”

By Post-Register Staff