Yes, Virginia, there was a decline in median pricing on Seattle’s eastside in October. The Seattle media got everyone a little nervous about real estate when it stated there had been a 15% y-o-y price drop in King County real estate prices from October of 2010 to 2011. I talked with several clients who were speaking doom and gloom about the eastside real estate market based on the news stories. I suggested they look at the true numbers for the eastside, not the entire county. The article discussed all of King County, which includes areas that are not doing as well as the eastside. Seattle and the eastside cities, such as Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, are the shining stars of King County real estate. If you look near the bottom of the article, it states the decline in eastside real estate prices measured in the single digits, not 15%.
The decline on the eastside depends on what you were looking at when comparing the numbers. Median sales pricing declined by 9% from last year, but the average sold prices increased from $602.000 to $619,000. It’s more of a mixed bag, although no home owner likes to see any sort of a decline.
Why the decline in median sales pricing? Here are some possible reasons:
- Jumbo loan rates have gone up, limiting the number of buyers who can buy at the higher end of the market.
- Distressed sales take up a large portion of the home sales all over the county. Distressed sales, short sales and foreclosures, usually sell for less than market value, thus causing the median pricing to drop.
- Lastly, the numbers you see here are a result of the real estate sales activity that happened that particular month only. In order to see a trend, it is important to look at a number of months together. One month is only indicative of that particular month’s sales.
Remember real estate is hyperlocal and North King and South King County are different real estate markets than Seattle’s eastside. In one of my next posts, I’ll look at the eastside real estate market even more closely and show the hottest and coolest selling areas.
Now that we have that issue of the decline in median pricing examined more closely, let’s take a look at what happened with eastside real estate in October. There were 24% fewer homes on the market this October than last and 22% more homes sold than in 2010. There were also 8% fewer homes on the market than in September of this year. Sales increased by 22% from last year and by 11% from September of this year.
Most home sold within 97 days and for about 92% of the original asking price. Sellers had a 23% chance of getting their homes sold last month. These are strong numbers, much stronger than October of 2010.
I’ll be watching the sales trend over the next couple of months. I expect to see fewer homes on the market and fewer sales as we approach the holidays. But will median pricing decline? What do you think?