Industry News

Real estate sales sink in Northwest

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Home sales in western Washington fell 7.9 percent in May compared to a year ago, as prices continued to climb by double digits, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Brokers reported 8,568 closed sales last month, down from 9,307 reported in May 2005. Last month's decline is the third consecutive month of slower sales, according to NWMLS statistics. The MLS report for May reflects a hefty gain in the number of active listings compared to the same month a year ago -- 27,660 versus 21,499. The snapshot at month's end shows inventory of single-family homes and condominiums is up 18.3 percent across the 17 counties served by NWMLS. In King County, however, the increase in active listings was less than 8.4 percent, with several Seattle- and Eastside-area neighborhoods reporting sharp declines. "We continue to see a lack of viable inventory in those areas close to the job centers in Bellevue and Seattle, while the outlining areas have levele...