Retirees buying Port Townsend homes boost Jefferson County’s real estate market

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

Powered by a surge in retiring baby boomers to Port Townsend, the Jefferson County housing market jolted to life in 2013.

“A lot of baby boomers are retiring, and looking to here,” said Steven Kraght, president of the Jefferson County Association of Realtors.

“With the stock market cruising and houses everywhere starting to sell, people are starting to look at buying before prices start to go up.

Jefferson County home sales were up 22 percent in 2013 with 492 sales over 404 in 2012, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service’s year-end report.

The average price at which those homes sold also picked up with a 5 percent increase, from $264,250 in 2012 to $277,208 in 2013.

The biggest price increases were in areas of Port Townsend and Marrowstone Island.

Powering the surge was a 39 percent increase in sales of Port Townsend homes, which leaped from 183 in 2012 to 255 in 2013.

“We’ve seen a big pickup in Port Townsend, but a lot of that was increased activity in the lower end of the market,” Kraght said.

In the southern part of the city’s market, prices fell from an average of $371,000 in 2012 to $309,103 in 2013.

Sales in rural Jefferson County were close to 2012 numbers, though the numbers of sales in places like Brinnon, Quilcene and Coyle were still small.

Together, there were 60 homes sold in those markets in 2013, compared to 55 in 2012.

The Port Hadlock market was close to 2012, down one sale, though the average price fell steeply from $196,078 in 2012 to $165,795 in 2013.

Marrowstone Island sales showed the biggest price spike, with the $417,444 average for the nine homes sold last year was up from the $345,709 average price of the 13 homes sold in 2012.

With the amount of Peninsula sales still in progress at the end of the year up and the number of homes on the market down, real estate agents are prices will rebound in the wake of the sales jump.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 11. 2014 6:12PM
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