Home sales in Kitsap County increased in 2012 over the previous year, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. County by county statistics for 2012 were released last week by the Northwest MLS.
“The housing market locally has been much more stellar in 2012 than it was in 2011,” said Mike Eliason, executive director for the Kitsap Realtors Association. “I think we’re seeing some stability return to the housing market.”
In 2012, the number of single family homes and condominium sales were up by 14 percent from sales in 2011. In total, there were 2,692 units sold. The median sales price for homes sold in Kitsap County was $233,000.
While that median price was slightly less than what is was in 2011 ($235,000), Eliason said real estate still continues to be a good investment.
“The median price may have dropped slightly from last year,” he said, “but if you look at it over time, there’s more than a 23 percent increase in the past 10 years.”
For example, he said, the median sales price in 2003 was $184,000, as compared to this year’s $233,000.
“On average, that’s almost a 3 percent increase in value per year,” he said. “With real estate, it’s like the stock market, it goes up and down and up and down. But over the long haul, it’s a solid investment.”
One of the things that fueled the solid housing sales in Kitsap County in 2012 was the inventory of affordable housing, he said.
“In the past couple of years, hiring in King County has steadily improved,” he said. “As that has happened, people have begun to buy up the affordable housing in and around Seattle. Those wanted to buy a home have begun to look at other places to live that are within commuting distance to Seattle. Kitsap County is one of them.”
When King County sees an increase in sales, it takes about six months to a year for that to happen in neighboring areas, such as Kitsap County, he said.
“And that’s what we’re seeing right now,” Eliason said.
In 2012, there were 163 condominiums sold in the county, with the median price at $210,500.
There were 2,529 single family homes sold. Of those homes, 487 were two bedroom, 1,602 were three bedroom, 570 were four bedroom and 67 had five or more bedrooms. There were 55 homes that sold for $1 million or greater and four condominiums that sold for more than $500,000. Of the homes that sold in the county, 587 were in the Central Kitsap School District.
The Northwest MLS reported that in their service area which includes 21 counties in western Washington, sales of single family homes and condominiums in 2012 were up by nearly 15 percent from 2011. Sales in the area totaled $19.9 billion, up 19.6 percent from 2011. Throughout the area median prices increased an average of 4.3 percent.
Eliason termed the housing market in the county stable and he said he anticipates steady, slow growth in 2013. A determining factor for that growth will be employment.
“If we see hiring freezes such as they are talking about at the Kitsap Naval shipyards and cuts to the Department of Defense, the housing market here could be affected because we have such a strong tie to military employment.”