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REAL ESTATE SALES TOP 30,000 MARK, SURPASSING LAST YEAR'S TOTAL VOLUME

 KIRKLAND, Wash., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Housing activity in the Puget Sound area remained healthy during August, with more than 3,500 sales reported during the month, the Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association (PSMLA) announced today. That volume of pending sales pushes this year's total past the 30,000 mark, and represents a 45 percent increase from the same period 1992.
 According to figures released today by the Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association, local brokers have already surpassed 1992's total of 29,608 pending sales in King, Snohomish and North Pierce counties.
 Low interest rates and affordable prices continue to fuel activity, according to PSMLA officials. Association members logged 626 more sales last month than during August 1992, an increase of nearly 22 percent. The year-to-date total of 30,045 pending sales is a gain of 9,320 units (45 percent) compared to the same eight months of 1992.
 Lenders are apparently still challenged to keep up with the demand for new loans and refinancings, according to PSMLA president Jack Johnson in commenting on the volume of closings. Since January, 20,966 transactions have closed, about equal to year-ago figures. During August, 2,874 sales were completed, about the same number as reported for July (2,987), but up around 25 percent from last August when PSMLA members notched 2,288 closings.
 Residential inventory is down slightly, to a total of 4,781 properties -- the first time it has dipped below 15,000 listing since January. Agents added 5,562 properties during the month, including more than 700 newly built homes. About one in five homes currently for sale is priced under $120,000, according to Johnson. More than 6,000 listings, about 42 percent of total inventory, are priced between $120,000 and $200,000.
 A comparison of closed sales indicates prices may be trending upward. The median sales price for closings in the tri-county area during August was $146,950. That figure represents an increase of $7,950, or about 5.7 percent, compared to January, when the median price was $139,000.
 In King County, were 2,104 transactions closed during August, the median price was $149,950. Snohomish County's median price, based on 663 sales, was $143,000, while the northern part of Pierce County (the only are reported by PSMLA) reports a median price of $125,000.
 PSMLA, based in Kirkland, tracks listing and sales activity by more than 9,400 sales associates in nearly 500 companies in the three-county area. Together, the members of the independent, nonprofit organization have reported around $4.5 billion of residential sales this year.
 Res. & Condo King Snohomish N. Pierce Total
 Summary Co. Co. Co.
 Active Listings 10,132 3,718 931 14,781
 Pending Sales 2,493 884 140 3,517
 Closed Sales 2,104 663 107 2,874
 Avg. Price $180,845 $157,349 $145,653 $174,115
 Median Price $149,950 $143,000 $125,000 $146,950
 -0- 9/10/93
 /CONTACT: Jack Johnson of PSMLA 206-820-9200; or Cheri Brennan, (for statistical reports), of Alliance Communications, 206-869-5839, for PSMLA/ CO: Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association Inc. ST: Washington IN: SU:


RB-JH -- SE010 -- 0977 09/10/93 20:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1993
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