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SALES OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES UP IN PUGET SOUND REGION, PUGET SOUND MULTIPLE LISTING ASSOCIATION SAYS

 SALES OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES UP IN PUGET SOUND REGION,
 PUGET SOUND MULTIPLE LISTING ASSOCIATION SAYS
 KIRKLAND, Wash., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Reversing three months of declining sales, local real estate agents reported 2,649 pending sales during July -- a 31.5-percent jump over June's figures and a 63.2-percent improvement over the same period a year ago.
 Spurred by low interest rates and abundant selection, both first- time buyers and those moving up to more expensive homes are enjoying increased buying power. Jack Johnson, president of the Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association (PSMLA) said activity has been particularly strong for homes priced under $160,000 -- an indication that more people are qualifying for loans, now at the lowest rate in two decades.
 A comparison of the time it takes to sell a home also illustrates a vigorous market for attractively priced homes. In King County, for example, pending sales for homes priced over $200,000 show they're on the market for an average of 83 days; for homes priced under $160,000, average days on the market was around 63 days.
 Fewer new listings (6,161) were added to inventory than during June, when 6,376 properties were listed. Compared to July 1991, some 279 fewer residences were listed, a drop of 4.3 percent. Still, the number of single-family homes and condominiums currently listed totals 25,218 -- the highest level in more than a year.
 Prices reinforce the view that much of the activity is from the "starter home" and "move-up" buyer. The average asking price for all residential listings in PSMLA's three-county areas is $221,731 -- the lowest figure in more than a year. In June, the average listing price was $225,098. Compared to a year ago, average prices are down about 4 percent, or more than $8,900.
 The number of closed sales, 2,678, represents a 14-percent increase over July 1991, but a drop from June's figure of 3,080 closings. Completed sales indicate prices are continuing an upward trend. The average price for PSMLA sales that closed during July was $178,108, a 7.3-percent increase over June's average of $165,991. For the same period a year ago, the average was $167,597, or about $10,500 (6.3 percent) less.
 All three counties in PSMLA's service area posted sizable increases in pending sales. The northern part of Pierce County nearly doubled its activity of a year ago, reporting 126 sales compared to 66 for July 1991. The figure represents a 50-percent increase over June, when 84 sales were logged.
 King County showed a 62.9-percent increase from a year ago. The 1,880 pending sales in July compares to 1443 for the previous month, an increase of more than 30 percent.
 Snohomish County reported 643 pending sales, compared to 403 a year ago. Some 155 more residences were sold in July than during June, a 31.8-percent improvement.
 PSMLA, with 670 members offices and more than 9,600 sales associates, is an independent, private, nonprofit organization.
 PSMLA Summary of Activity
 July 1992
 (Residential and Condominium: Units and Average Prices)
 King Snohomish Pierce Total
 LISTINGS
 New (July) 4,440 1,521 200 6,161
 Total Active
 Listings-July 18,190 5,896 1,132 25,218
 Avg. Price $236,702 $183,687 $179,307 $221,731
 Total Listings
 July 1991 16,571 5,374 939 22,884
 Avg. Price $248,116 $186,231 $183,286 $230,688
 PENDING SALES-July 1,880 643 126 2,649
 Avg. Price $178,168 $153,838 $138,180 $170,361
 Pending Sales-July 91 1,154 403 66 1,623
 Avg. Price $171,978 $147,151 $143,224 $164,644
 CLOSED SALES - July 2,000 583 95 2,678
 Avg. Price $188,088 $152,127 $127,429 $178,108
 -0- 8/10/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Johnson of Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association, 206-820-9200; or Dean Rebhuhn of John L. Scott, 206-454-2437; or (for statistical reports) Cherie Brennan of Alliance Communication, 206-869-5839, for Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association/ CO: Puget Sound Multiple Listing Association ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH-SF -- SE004 -- 8502 08/10/92 12:01 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1992
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