Housing Trends in Yakima County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Housing Trends in Yakima County

YAKIMA, Wa - YAKIMA, Wa - The housing market in Yakima doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. This despite rising interest rates and all the new development going on right now...

Home ownership... it's the American dream... a dream that's becoming a reality for more and more people in Yakima County. "There are a lot of first time home buyers that qualify now that five years ago didn't qualify," says Dan McLaughlin, a real estate broker in Yakima. McLaughlin's real estate agency - The Buyer's Agent - has been able to capitalize on this trend. He estimates that 70% of his clients are first time home-buyers.

He says that all these new buyers have helped to cause a shift in the housing market in Yakima County. Five years ago, it used to be a buyer's market, now the seller's control the market. "The environment right now, the inventory is tight. 75% of the offers that we write are multi-offers," says McLaughlin.

The numbers back that up. Home sales have increased dramatically in Yakima County in just the last two years. In 2004, 2,360 homes were sold and the average sale price was $128,400. In 2005, that number jumped up to 2,854 and the average sale price increased 9% to $139,300

More demand means more construction. Developments are sprouting up in West Valley, Terrace Heights and Selah. "Most of the area in the city limits are existing houses and basically no more land to build on and so the developers are going west and north and east."

McLaughlin says that despite all this new development, demand has not fallen enough yet to slow the housing market.