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Gig Harbor Real Estate | Prices pick up ahead of spring buying and selling season

Posted on February 13th, 2024 By: Alison Paoli

Fueled by a recent decline in mortgage rates, the Gig Harbor real estate market continued to pick up momentum in January despite a significant shortage of available homes to buy. The lack of homes is bringing back COVID-era buyer behavior for the most desirable homes.

In January, the greater Gig Harbor area between the Purdy and Narrows bridges (including Fox Island and everywhere in between), saw an 11 percent increase in pending sales from December. However, during the same time frame, the total number of homes for sale in the month was down 7.2 percent. The supply and demand imbalance means it will now take just 1.4 months to sell out of available single-family homes based on January’s sales pace, down from 1.5 months in December. 

Despite the increase in buyer demand, the median home price between the bridges was unchanged from December, ending the month at $850,000. Historically, no change is more normal than not. Prices most often reserve their upward trend for the spring and summer months.

This Artondale-area home listed in January 2024 and went pending in two days.

New listings to the market in January roughly doubled in December, falling in line with seasonal norms. However, because we had so few new listings in December, we would need to have seen a more than 300-400 percent increase from December to January to return to normal. 

Preparing for the spring buying and selling season

As we head into the spring buying and selling season, we can expect to see more homes pop onto the market and more buyers. However, I anticipate there will still be fewer of both than we experienced in the “normal” years leading up to COVID-19. So, while the spring and summer selling season will likely be slower in terms of the actual number of homes exchanging hands, that doesn’t mean the market is cool. 

Move-in ready homes priced well in January and early February have moved quickly, with many experiencing bidding wars with offers well above the asking price and waived contingencies, especially for homes under $1 million. In fact, just two weekends into February, we already have nearly the same number of pending sales as in all of January. 

This pace should increase throughout the spring. To prepare, buyers need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and be flexible enough to see the homes right after they come onto the market (most often Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) and not wait until the weekend. Waiting invites more competition.

Sellers looking to sell in the coming months should devise a plan now to ensure their home is well-positioned to get top dollar. Since every home is different, there is not a one-size-fits-all way to do this, but as they say, “the separation is in the preparation.” Putting in the work and planning now will go a long way toward meeting and exceeding goals when the time comes to sell.

Alison Paoli is a real estate broker with Properties NW in Gig Harbor. Her longtime love of real estate includes her integral role in helping build Zillow from the ground up, to years working closely with economists and analysts investigating the real estate collapse and recovery in the U.S. As a Gig Harbor resident for a decade now, she loves sharing local insider tips with newcomers and equips all her clients with hard data that helps empower well-informed real estate decisions. Super energetic, Alison’s a mom, wife, and local community volunteer, raising three girls active in athletics and arts.