Lewis County Real Estate Market Watch

Lewis County Washington Real Estate MarketThere is really just one word for the current Lewis County Real Estate market: CRAZY! It’s been a while since we have seen such a hot market.

The median home value in Lewis County has gone up 12.9% over the past year. The median sales price of residential property is at $175,000 as of May 1, 2017according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). This is the highest it’s been in a decade.

Some of the median home values according to our Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) for some of our cities include:

  • Chehalis – $188,000
  • Onalaska – $162,470
  • Napavine – $175,000
  • Centralia – $159,900
  • Packwood – $106,500

And, there is definitely an inventory shortage – not just in Lewis County – but in neighboring Thurston and Pierce as well. A “healthy” inventory is when there is approximately 3-4 months’ worth of inventory on the market. That’s a comfortable amount, not too many, not too few. Currently, there is only approximately 1.5-2 months’ worth of inventory – less than half of what we like to have.

This means there are many more buyers than there are homes on the market and things are selling FAST! The average days on market (CDOM) for all residential property in Lewis County is 39 days, with Thurston County at 21 days and Pierce comes in at 17 days.

A friend of a client was moving to Centralia from Tacoma and she bought her house in less than a week – people are jumping on homes when they see them.

What This Means to Sellers

If you are thinking of selling – now is definitely the time! An inventory shortage in real estate is the same as anywhere else – supply vs. demand. This means you will probably sell your house for asking price (or maybe above) and it will most likely sell quickly. If your home has been on the market for more than 60 days, there may be a problem, talk to your REALTOR and heed their advice.

It also means you should be looking for your next house maybe even before you put yours on the market, because you may have a hard time finding a home. Having an interim plan, such as staying with relatives or a short-term rental is another good option that can give you time to find that perfect next home.

What This Means To Buyers

If you’re looking to purchase, you’d better be prepared to act quickly and have all your documents in order – especially that all important pre-qualified letter in hand. This letter makes you look serious and attractive to sellers. If a seller gets a similar offer from two parties, but one has a pre-qualifying letter and one does not, most sellers will select the buyer with the letter, sometimes even if the offer was a few thousand less. This is because the non-pre-qualified buyer is more risky. And, should they be unable to buy the home, the sellers may have already lost the other potential buyers.

Unfortunately, a hot market also means you have less time to “think” about a property. You might be forced into making fast decisions.

Finally, you most likely will have to pay above asking to get into a home, so keep that in mind when you are looking. It’s a good idea to look at homes under your budget so you have room to go above asking to secure the home of your dreams. Other ways to be more attractive to a seller is to pay all the closing costs yourself and/or have a large down payment.

And of course, having a good relationship with your realtor is essential. Your realtor should be letting you know as soon as they find out a house has been listed that meets your criteria, so you can see it as soon as possible. Having a realtor that is on top of the market and knows what being listed is essential in this type of market.

Above all, though, know this is a GOOD thing! It means people are moving to Lewis County and that they want to stay here for a while. It helps the economy in many ways so if you start feeling frustrated in your house hunting, just take a deep breath and call your realtor, they can help you. This just means others are learning what you already know – Lewis County is a wonderful place to call home.



SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate