The Seattle media had screaming headlines recently about the 7% increase in King County real estate prices this July when compared to last July. Were the newspaper headlines right? As I've mentioned before, yes and no.
What did the media get correct when they said prices had gone up from July, 2011 to 2012?
They were only comparing the sales from July, 2011 to July, 2012. The median price was based on the sales that happened only in those two months. This could mean more expensive homes sold in 2012 than in 2011 or it could mean prices were higher. It is hard to know based on this one month. A snapshot of one month's real estate sales does not make a trend. It only shows how sales compared for those two months, so the Seattle Times was correct in stating the prices had gone up in from July, 2011 to 2012 by 7%. However, this is not the full picture.
How can you more accurately tell if real estate prices are going up, down or staying the same?
It's important to look at a pattern for a period of time, such as you can see in the chart above.
What does the chart show?
The chart is a compilation of all the home sales on the eastside, including such cities as Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammamish, Issaquah and more. The NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Areas) for these eastside cities are represented by area numbers 500-600 displayed at the top of the chart.
Windermere Real Estate compiled the data from each month and developed this chart to show median pricing for the past 5 years. If you look at the bottom of the chart, you'll see the years 2008-2012. Each blue bar above the years represents a month during each of the years. The red line going across the chart shows the median price point for each year. It was highest in 2008, when the median pricing for the year stood at $623,733 and had gone down consistently through the end of 2011, when the median pricing for the eastside stood at $502,784.
This year the chart shows the median pricing is creeping up, but here on the eastside and in other parts of King County, it's not up by 7%, but by about 3% so far for the year. The median for this year is at $518,309.
This is a much more accurate picture of real estate values on the eastside, not just a measure of one month's sales. Are you seeing similar trends in your area?
If you have questions about the value of your home, please feel free to contact us and we can take a closer look at the data for your home.
Homes in East Bellevue and Redmond near Microsoft sold the fastest on Seattle’s eastside in October. Homes sold in under 2 months, at 59 days. Market time for the other eastside cities, ranged from 99-117 days or just shy of 4 months. This is a reasonable market time as it shows a more of a balanced market between buyers and sellers. It’s actually a normal market and is better for “both sides of the table.”
The odds of selling a home in the Redmond and East Bellevue areas stood at 30%, which also was the strongest absorption rate to be found on the eastside.* Chances of selling ranged from 19-26% in the other eastside cities.
The Redmond and East Bellevue area near Microsoft comes out on top for market time and a higher absorption rate because of more affordable housing, good jobs, an easier commute and good schools. With the main Microsoft campus in Redmond right on the Bellevue line, there are lots of jobs right there. In addition, there’s easier freeway and bus access to Seattle than in the outlying suburbs.
The higher price point in West Bellevue means fewer buyers can afford to live there. Affordability issues increase the market time. Longer market time here is a function of pricing, not desirability. West Bellevue is considered to be one of the best locations on the eastside.
Two of the areas had an increase in the median pricing, Redmond and East Bellevue and Redmond and Education Hill. Changes in median pricing, however, need to be looked at over a period of months since the median price for this month reflects the sales for this month only.
Why is market time important? It’s one indication of the desirability and affordability of an area. Both are key to future growth and appreciation. People like to live in convenient areas with good schools and affordable housing.
The cities below are grouped together to follow our MLS areas (multiple listing service) and shows how our statistical information is reported. How did your city do this past month?
Which Seattle-eastside city had the fastest selling homes in October, 2011?
1. Redmond/East Bellevue
The odds of selling a home were 30%.*
Median sales price increased (y-o-y)** to $435,000 from $427,000.
193 homes were for sale
A total of 58 homes sold.
Days on the market: 56
The odds of selling a home were 26%.
Median price decreased from $592,000 to $501,000.
234 homes were for sale.
A total of 60 homes sold.
Days on Market: 99
3. 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
The odds of selling a home were 22%.
Median price was down from $377,000 to $370,000.
540 homes were for sale.
A total of 117 homes sold.
Days on Market: 101
5. South Bellevue/Issaquah
The odds of selling a home were 24%.
Median price decreased from $580,000 to $500,000.
338 homes were for sale.
A total of 81 homes sold.
Days on market: 104
6. The plateau: Sammamish, Issaquah, North Bend, and Fall City
The odds of selling a home were 23%.
Median sales price decreased from $500,000 to $460,000.
There were 650 homes for sale.
A total of 158 homes sold.
Days on the market: 108
7. West Bellevue
The odds of selling a home were 22.5%.
Median pricing decreased from $985,000 to $878,000.
128 homes were for sale.
A total of 31 homes sold.
Days on Market: 117
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.