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?
Aubrey Cohen wrote an article about the fastest selling neighborhoods in Seattle, which prompted me to write this post about the fastest selling neighborhoods on Seattle’s eastside. What happens in Seattle, doesn’t just stay in Seattle, it also happens here on the Eastside!
Homes in East Bellevue and Redmond near Microsoft sold the fastest on Seattle’s eastside in September. Not only did these homes sell more quickly, in 69 days, but out of the 204 homes for sale, 51 got offers. These means that 25% of the homes in the area sold in September, among the best odds on Seattle’s eastside. The odds of selling a home in the Woodinville, Bothell areas also stood at 25%, which means September was one of the best months to sell a home in those cities.
Why do homes in East Bellevue and Redmond sell more quickly? Because they’re close to employment centers and transportation and have a broader range of more affordable housing. With the main Microsoft campus in Redmond and on the border of Bellevue, there’s a huge number of jobs right in the area. In addition, there’s easier freeway and bus access to Seattle than in the outlying suburbs.
West Bellevue is the most expensive area on the eastside, although it’s proximity to Seattle, schools, and housing make it the premier location on the eastside. The higher price point in the area means fewer buyers can afford West Bellevue, which increases the market time. Longer market time here is a function of pricing, not desirability.
Why is market time important? It’s one indication of the desirability and affordability of an area and both are key to future growth and appreciation. People like to live in convenient areas with good schools and affordable housing. (Remember affordability is relative to each area of the country.)
The cities below are grouped together to follow our MLS areas (multiple listing service) and shows how our statistical information is reported.
Which Seattle-eastside city had the fastest selling homes?
1. Redmond/East Bellevue
The odds of selling a home were 25%.*
Median sales price decreased (y-o-y)** to $503,000 from $560,000.
204 homes were for sale
A total of 51 homes sold.
Days on the market: 69
The odds of selling a home was 21%.
Median price increased from $516,000 to $626,000.
270 homes were for sale.
A total of 57 homes sold.
Days on Market: 87
3. South Bellevue/Issaquah
The odds of selling a home were 18%.
Median price decreased from $533,000 to $529,000.
362 homes were for sale.
A total of 65 homes sold.
Days on market: 88
3 (tie). Woodinville/Bothell/Kenmore/Duvall/North Kirkland
The odds of selling a home were 25%.
Median price was down from $415,000 to $380,000.
558 homes were for sale.
A total of 139 homes sold.
Days on Market: 88
4. The plateau: Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend, and Fall City
The odds of selling a home were 19%.
Median sales price increased from $486,000 to $500,000.
There were 714 homes for sale.
A total of 137 homes sold.
Days on the market: 90
5. Redmond/Education Hill/ Carnation
The odds of selling a home were 19%
Median pricing increased from $541,000 to $580,000.
321 homes were for sale.
A total of 62 homes sold.
Days on Market: 100
5. West Bellevue
The odds of selling a home were 19%.
Median pricing decreased from $956,000 to $936,000.
164 homes were for sale.
A total of 31 homes sold.
Days on Market: 127
Overall, market time is excellent in all of the eastside cities. As I mentioned above, Seattle-eastside real estate is one of the bright spots in the country. Companies in the area are hiring and people continue to want to live here because of the quality of life, the job market, and good schools.
If you’d like more specific information about your neighborhood or home, feel free to contact either Brooks or me.
*(The odds of selling a home in each area is a result of the number of homes for sale divided by the actual number of home sales, so if 10 out of 100 homes sold, the odds of selling would be 10/100 or 10%)
** (y-o-y) median pricing is comparing year over year numbers.