I thought we were finally past the negative headlines in Seattle real estate, but apparently not. Both The Seattle Times and the PI had articles about the decline in prices. The articles take a look at the latest Case-Shiller Index for January, 2012, which shows closings for December of 2011. The offers for the homes sold in December, 2011 were written a couple of months earlier than December, so the latest Case-Shiller report examines data that is 3-5 months old. The focus in these articles is the decline in real estate prices. There was a small decline in Seattle area real estate prices from January, 2011 to January, 2012.
Is this an accurate picture of today’s local real estate?
Besides the fact that the Case-Shiller report is examining older data, we have to remember to look at pricing over a 3-6 month period to see a real trend and in a very local real estate market. When you examine trends in a more localized area, you see true numbers. The numbers that affect you. Case-Shiller examines 20 metropolitan areas, including the Seattle area. However, this includes not only Seattle, but the surrounding counties: Snohomish, Pierce, and King. The counties are very different real estate animals. Aubrey Cohen said in the PI:
Pierce and Snohomish counties are weaker than King County, dragging down statistics for the metro area.
Within counties, real estate markets are different. In King County, the south is very different from the east. In East King County, in such cities such as Bellevue and Redmond or Sammamish, there are differences. Looking at the Seattle and the surrounding counties does not give the true picture of what is happening in Kirkland, Woodinville or Duvall. Case-Shiller does not tell the local story , the local real estate story that affects you and your home.
What’s really happening with real estate on Seattle’s eastside?
As March comes to a close, we’re in a “hot” market in Seattle and on the eastside in Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, and Issaquah. etc. This week in all of King County, there are 6,802 properties for sale. Last year at this time, 10,772 properties were for sale. The eastside is a reflection of these numbers. There is a small supply of available properties. Every day the NWMLS, Northwest Multiple Listing Service, tallies up the number of new listings and sales. On most days, pending sales outpace new listings by about one-third. Many homes are receiving multiple offers, which means their prices are, more often than, not remaining stable. There’s too much demand for housing and not enough houses for sale.
The reality is prices will not go up by much, but they also will not go down on the eastside in most areas with this lack of supply and high demand for homes. Let’s not go back to the past. Let’s focus on the present as much as we can. The Eastside real estate market is hot!
That should be the headline for today’s real estate news.