The Kitsap County housing market continued to cool in September with home prices, pending sales and the number of new listings down from earlier this year, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
"The market was on fire earlier this year, into the spring and summer months, but once August hit, we started to slow down," said Sandi Nelson, designated broker and owner of Poulsbo-based Mike and Sandi Nelson Real Estate. "We usually see a pick up in September, but we didn't see that this year."
The number of new homes listed on the market in Kitsap County last month continued a decline from spring and summer. There were 491 new listings on the market in September, down from a peak of 658 new listings in June.
Inventory continues to be tight in the county, with the months supply (how long it would take to sell all the houses listed) at 1.46 in September.
"It's hard because people who are wanting to purchase don't have the options they want," Nelson said. "The buyer has to decide if they want a new build or settle for a house they don't want. The lack of inventory is really a problem."
Median prices were also down after surging over the summer. Homes sold for a median price of $314,000 in September, after a recent high of $335,000 in June.
Despite what may be a seasonal slowdown, prices are still rising when looking year over year. The median sale price of a home in Kitsap County was up just more than 10 percent over the price a year ago. And, the number of closed sales in September was up 14 percent over the number closed this time last year.
As prices continue to rise, Kitsap County buyers are looking to Mason County, said Kris Klusman, the designated broker and co-owner of the John L. Scott Real Estate office in Belfair.
"I would say probably eight out of every 10 buyers above the $250,000 price point is coming from Kitsap," Klusman said.
Mason County closed sales were up by almost 30 percent over September 2016, and pending sales were up by 20 percent.
The median price for a home sold in Mason County in September was $224,750. That's up 15 percent from a year ago.
Nelson said she'd like to see more houses come onto the market.
"Usually we get a slow down coming on during these months," Nelson said. "A lot of people don't want to have their houses listed during the holidays, but I encourage people to list their houses or leave them up because people are still looking during this time."