December the best in years for local real estate

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The best closing December in eight years capped Walla Walla’s best year for home sales since 2007.

The Walla Walla market closed 2013 with 616 home sales, a 22 percent increase from 2012, according to market data provided by Windermere of Walla Walla broker Doug Simcock.

Walla Walla hasn’t broken the 600 mark in home sales since 2007, when 665 homes were sold, the figures show. In the four years after that, sales stayed in the 400s.

The stronger year here was cemented in December with 58 closings, the highest in eight years, Simcock said.

Walla Walla’s home sales had shown signs of rebounding in the first 10 months of the year. By October, Realtors were noting not only that sales were up, but that homes upward of $400,000 were moving for the first time in several years.

According to the figures, the median sales price increased 5 percent for the year to $186,181. That means half the homes sold were more than that and half were less. The average price in 2013 was $214,312, the highest since 2008.

Simcock said year-end listings were tallied at 328, or the equivalent of just more than five months of inventory for the whole county.

“It was a good year for real estate in Walla Walla,” Simcock said in his analysis. “As we begin the new year we believe these trends will continue. However, we anticipate more modest increases in home sale numbers due to higher interest rates in combination with continued price gains.”

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