Home sales in western and central Washington sank for the eighth straight month in October, as a surge in listings gave buyers more time to gauge the market, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Brokers reported 8,036 home sales last month, down 11 percent from a year earlier when 9,035 sales were recorded, according to MLS statistics.

In October, the median price paid for single-family homes and condos increased 9.8 percent from a year ago to $315,000.

In King County (Seattle), which accounts for about four of every 10 sales in the MLS service area, the median price of a single-family home (excluding condominiums) rose 12.8 percent, increasing from $390,000 a year ago to $440,000 for sales that closed last month. Condo prices jumped 20.8 percent, climbing from a median selling price of $215,000 a year ago to last month’s figure of $259,700.

For most counties in the Northwest MLS market area, price gains from a year ago tended to be in the range of 9 percent to 11 percent, NWMLS reported.

Some 11,910 new listings of single-family homes and condominiums were added to the MLS during October, about 500 more than a year ago, with every county in the region reporting double-digit inventory gains. At month end, the total inventory stood at 36,282 listings, up 48 percent from the same month last year.

“The evidence looks pretty convincing that the market has corrected itself and we are experiencing a tilt to the buyers’ side in the arena of negotiations,” said NWMLS director Dick Beeson. This “gentle incline,” as he described it, presents some good opportunities for buyers, particularly in areas like Pierce County where the selection is about 50 percent larger than a year ago.

Kirkland, Wash.-based Northwest Multiple Listing Service encompasses more than 2,100 companies with approximately 27,000 sales associates. Together, they serve 19 counties, mostly in western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state.

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