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PUGET SOUND MULTIPLE LISTING ASSOCIATION: LOCAL HOME SALES UP 68 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR

 PUGET SOUND MULTIPLE LISTING ASSOCIATION:
 LOCAL HOME SALES UP 68 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR
 KIRKLAND, Wash., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Great selection, good prices and excellent financing helped propel September's residential real estate sales to double-digit improvements from a year ago, said Jack Johnson, president of the Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association (PSMLA).
 Despite hearing occasional murmurs about job uncertainty, Johnson said members are reporting good activity at open houses and a constant flow of well-qualified buyers. That activity, coupled with attractive mortgage rates, is reflected in four months of steady increases in sales, he noted.
 According to PSMLA figures released today for King, Snohomish and the northern part of Pierce counties, September's summaries show significant gains in both pending and closed sales. The number of pending sales, 2,955, represents a 68.4-percent increase -- or 1,200 more units -- over the same period last year. Only twice in the past year have pending sales topped the 3,000 mark, Johnson remarked.
 All three counties reported strong sales activity compared to a year ago, although both Pierce and Snohomish counties show some decline from August. In both areas, the average price on pending sales edged up from the previous month. Snohomish County reported the largest increase, from $150,841 in August to $158,038 in September. Pierce County's average price rose from $143,962 in August to $146,235 in September. King County's prices were virtually unchanged ($170,792 in August to $169,953 in September).
 For the three-county area overall, average prices have remained fairly constant during the past year, ranging from a low of $155,222 in January to a high of $170,361 in July. September's figure was $166,235, which represents an increase of about $4,200, or 2.6 percent, compared to the same period a year ago.
 The number of closed sales also rose substantially in September. Members reported 3,527 closings, which mean transactions are completed and deeds have been transferred. That level marks a 52.1-percent increase (1,208 more units) over the report for August, and is 14.3 percent better (440 units) than September 1991.
 Prices on completed sales reveal a 3.6-percent ($5,966) increase during the past 12 months. The average for the three-county area was $172,473 this September, which compares to $166,507 a year ago.
 Snohomish County registered the largest increase over the past year, at 8.6 percent, with a current average of $154,472. Pierce County's average price on closed sales increased 7.4 percent, from $135,193 to $145,263 during the past 12 months. King County prices, at an average of $179,098, reflect a 1.8-percent increase.
 The inventory of available property remains plentiful, with prices changing only slightly from month to month. Asking prices average $216,999 for the overall area, virtually unchanged from the August figure of $218,534. In King County, the average listing price is reported to be $231,136, while in Snohomish County it's $181,897 and in Pierce County it is $179,503. Compared to a year ago, asking prices are down about 8.4 percent overall.
 PSMLA, an independent nonprofit organization, has 670 member offices with more than 9,500 sales associates.
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Johnson of PSMLA, 206-820-9200; or for statistical reports, Cheri Brennan of Alliance Communications, 206-869-5839, for PSMLA/ CO: Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association ST: Washington IN: SU:


TB-JH -- SE005 -- 8312 10/09/92 11:30 EDT
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Date:Oct 9, 1992
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