Mason County Realtor’s Association held their annual State of the Real Estate meeting to present the 2015 statistics for the Mason County housing market:
|Months of Supply of housing||6.26 mo.||4.77|
These are telling statistics. Listings were down over the county better than 20% but nearly 5% more properties were sold. Less supply + more demand = higher prices, nearly 4% higher everywhere in the county. This also drove down “Months of Supply” below the 6% definition of a “neutral market”. Officially ladies and gentlemen, Mason County is finally in a buyer’s market.
Rising prices were also helped by home foreclosures in Mason County at 20.2% of sales, much lower than the high of 37.8% seen in 2011. Shelton’s foreclosure rates were higher at 31.9%, once again much lower than the highs of 51% in 2011.
Prices still have a ways to go. The median cost of a homes in Mason County is 17.92% lower than during the economic recession beginning in 2007. To put this into perspective, Thurston County is at 7.88% lower and Kitsap County 10.82% lower.
In the Northwest, there appears to be a shift from home ownership to more high density – multifamily housing. Seattle is a major influence for the decline citing student debt, tight credit scores and low home equity making it harder to buy single-family residents. Seattle is however a world leader in “IT” jobs, growing at 80,000 jobs a year resulting in rent increases upwards of 41%.
The biggest opportunities and the greatest increases in sales and prices came from Mason County 2nd home ownership. With the demise of its downtown plywood mill, this is a new demographic for Shelton who with the help of the Washington Legislature and Green Diamond’s Forterra efforts to develop rural areas, has proposed a complete “City of Shelton Community Vision & Action Plan of Downtown Revitalization.” It makes for very interesting reading.