Yakima's real estate market improving slowly but surely

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Despite interest rates going up slightly, right now is still a great time to buy a home in Yakima County.

Reports show a steady market improvement. However, be sure to do your research.

After living in the Seattle area for the past 31 years, Grant Dahl and his wife decided to come to Yakima to be close to their kids and grandkids.

"We decided on this place here because it's a very nice street, and we've already met the neighbors and they're absolutely fantastic, so we feel we got pretty lucky," said Grant Dahl.

And with the steady market improvement in Yakima, it was the right time for them to buy.

The number of homes sold between January and June of this year is up 8% from the same time period last year. More homes sold improves the market.

Realtors told KIMA it's a great time to buy if you're looking for homes over $200,000, and it's a great time to sell if you're selling for under $180,000, since that is the price range of most buyers in the region.

"For what we could buy here in Yakima as compared to the Seattle Market area, it was quite good. Here is quite reasonable comparitively, so the dollar value was great," said Grant.

Records from the Multiple Listing Service of Yakima show that since the beginning of the year, the number of active home listings on the market is up, as well as the prices of those listings.

But if you're selling, be aware that the overall value of homes in the county has barely risen.

However, Yakima typically lags behind the rest of the country 6 months to a year as far as the values of homes rising.

"I think Yakima is a beautiful place to live, you've got the greenway trails, Cowiche canyon where I can hike, and then snow ski up in Mt. Adams," said Grant.

An article from Business Insider agrees, naming Yakima as one of the top 15 housing markets in the nation projected for growth in the next 5 years.

For the month of June, the Yakima area real estate market recorded 124 homes sold at an average price of $167,000.