LONG BEACH — During the summer of 2015, homes sold at a strong rate of 490 per annum in Pacific County, almost the same pace as during the hectic spring months. Summer sales were 6.5 percent better than in summer 2014.
Housing prices climbed slightly in the county compared to a year earlier, up 2.1 percent to $157,500. The statewide median sales price for a single family home stood at $291,900, according to the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. This is only a slight increase of 0.01 percent from the second quarter or $2,600 and a 0.9 percent increase over the third quarter of 2014.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing home sales rose 7.8 percent from the second to the third quarter of 2015, and increased 5.7 percent from the same quarter last year. In all, 101,950 homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted basis for the quarter, meaning that if the quarter’s pace continued unchanged for a year, that number of homes would be sold. And though most economic statistics are reported with seasonally adjusted annual rates, these are not forecasts of future activity.
Housing affordability for all buyers statewide continued to fall in the third quarter of 2015. That index — where 100 means a middle-income family can just qualify for a median-priced home, given a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage rate at prevailing rates — was slightly lower at 143 from 144.2 the previous quarter.
The least affordable county continues to be San Juan, with an all-buyer housing affordability index of 84.6; the most affordable was Lincoln County, registering a value of 401. At 185.9, Pacific County was more affordable than all but eight of the state’s 39 counties.
Statewide, the first-time buyer index showed a small but continuing erosion of affordability, ending the quarter at 78.8 down from 80.4. The first-time buyer index assumes a less expensive home, lower down payment and lower income. This means that a household earning 70 percent of the median household income — as may be true of first-time buyers — had only 78.8 percent of the income required to purchase a typical starter home statewide.
In Pacific County, first-time buyers averaged 92.4 percent of the income needed to buy a local starter home.