The Northwest Multiple Listing Service's report on May home sales shows higher condo prices and sales in the city. Prices and sales for houses, though, are down.

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Demonstrating that the lackluster housing market has yet to turn around, May’s median King County’s house price, $440,000, reflected a 1.9 percent decline compared with April and 6.2 percent drop year-over-year, Puget Sound housing statistics released today showed.

And while real-estate firms tout this spring as an ideal time to buy because the selection of homes is larger than it’s been in years and sellers are ready to deal, buyers apparently remain unconvinced.

May’s house and condominium sales both continued to lag year earlier totals and show little, if any, improvement over April, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which released May home sales numbers today.

Pending sales — deals signed but not yet completed — were down almost 40 percent compared with a year earlier for houses and condos, MLS figures show.

One bright spot was King County condo sales; May saw 648 compared with 579 in April.

Seattle’s median condo price, $320,000, was an increase from the previous month’s $312,500. It also reflected a 4.1 percent increase over May 2007.

Last month’s in-city median house price, $475,000, was up significantly from the previous month’s $440,000, but still reflected a 2.7 percent decline from the previous May 2007.

“Open-house traffic is picking up, and buyers are coming off the sidelines to make buying decisions,” Dick Beeson, broker/owner at Windermere/Commencement Associates in Tacoma said in a statement.

Beeson credits the activity to buyers realizing that interest rates could creep up, canceling any gain they might see by waiting to prices to fall further.

Last month, the median Snohomish County house price, $349,950, was 6.9 percent below a year ago.

In Pierce County, the median house price dropped 6.7 percent year-over-year to $266,000. Kitsap County’s median fell 11.3 percent to $265,462 for single-family homes.

Elizabeth Rhodes: