Hot start for Grays Harbor real estate market

A combination of strong demand and low inventory in Grays Harbor County sent the median price of a single-family home soaring more than $65,000 in January.

The median price of a house in the region settled at $335,350 in January, up from $270,000 in January 2021, according to data compiled by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That marked an increase of 24.20 percent in the period.

The jump in the median price came amid a pullback in sales, which eased 4.63 percent to 103 in January from 108 in January 2021. Data reflects single-family homes and condominiums.

“The main driver is there are just not enough homes available for people who want to move to Grays Harbor County,” said David Quigg of Quigg & Co Real Estate in Hoquiam of an inventory level that stood at 1.62 months in the county as of Jan. 31. “Westport, Montesano, and even Ocean Shores can’t keep up with demand.”

The hottest market in the county to start the year was Ocean Shores, where the median price of a home went up 50.28 percent to $404,250 in January from $269,000 in January 2021.

“Phenomenal numbers,” said Joy Beard-Eggert, a broker with Windermere Real Estate in Aberdeen, on the strength of the Ocean Shores real estate market.

Aberdeen, Central Park, Elma and Hoquiam also posted strong price gains in the January-over-January period. The median price of home in Aberdeen leaped 46.91 percent to $272,950 in January from $185,800 in January 2021.

Central Park was close behind as the median price was up 43.22 percent to $422,500 from $295,00 in the same period. Elma notched a 41.88 percent gain to $415,000 in January from $292,500 in January 2021.

Hoquiam followed with a 31.98 percent increase in the median price to $244,630 from $185,360. The Montesano housing market rounded out the list of double-digit percentage gains with a 17.19 percent rise to $375,000 in January from $320,000 in January 2021.

The numbers recorded in Grays Harbor County stack up favorably with other markets in the state of Washington. Okanogan County, which is located along the Canada and United States border along Highway 97, posted a 46.29 percent gain in its median price to $365,000 in January from $249,500 in January 2021.

Chelan County, which is home to the city of Wenatchee, had a 42.12 percent increase in the same period. Pacific County was next up at 41.03 percent. All told, the median price of a home in Washington was up 14.85 percent to $555,000 in January from $483,250 in January 2021, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data showed.

Looking ahead, in Grays Harbor County, the real estate market appears to be poised to end the winter season on a strong note and grow into spring and summer.

“The housing market around the state and county has kind of just exploded,” said Jim Vleming, a regional labor economist with the Washington State Employment Security Department, whose coverage area includes Grays Harbor County and Pacific County.

“It used to be, a few years ago, you didn’t have any trouble finding ‘for sale’ signs, and then with the pandemic and such, it started drying up … It’s a seller’s market.”