Sunrise over Mason County

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:

  2014 2015
Listings 683 544
Solds 109 114
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.