Home sales send mixed message

Jan 6, 2011

Home sales bumped up in December, in King County.  Analysts disagree over whether it’s sign of an important trend or not.  The Seattle Times calls it the biggest month for home sales since a federal tax credit expired last summer. 

But the Seattle P-I quotes Glenn Crellin of Washington State University as saying the real estate market is likely to stay sluggish for several months or longer:

"I think the first half of 2011 is going to continue to be really rough as you have those foreclosure properties moving through the pipeline (driving down prices)," Crellin said. "I haven't seen any significant job creation on the private-sector side and I think we're going to see continued job losses in the public sector."

Prices in December were lower than a year ago in King, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties, while Pierce saw prices slightly up from last year.