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What Were The Odds of Selling Your Seattle-Eastside Home in December, 2009?

Seattle-Eastside Residential Sales, December, 2009

The odds of selling a home on the Eastside in December 2009 ranged from a low of 11% to a high of 20%, with an average 16% absorption rate. (The absorption rate is the number of homes for sale in any given month divided by the actual number of homes sold that month.)

December, 2009     2584 homes for sale,     419 homes sold           16% odds of selling.

November, 2009    2943 homes for sale      503 (now 457)homes sold    17% (now 15.5%) odds of selling.*

December, 2008    3413 homes for sale       207 homes sold              6% odds of selling.

*Adjusted from previous month’s numbers to reflect the actual number of homes sold and closed. (see explanation below)  Each month some sales  fall apart and don’t close.  A lower number of home sales may be reported at a later date to show the actual number of sales that did close.


December, 2008 Seattle-Eastside real estate market compared to December, 2009:

Several important trends this month:

  • Home sales were up in all Seattle-Eastside cities.
  • The number of homes for sale dropped to the lowest number since March, 2007. This is a huge factor in our real estate market.  For most of the past two years, there’s been a large number of homes on the market.  In 2005 and 2006, when the real estate market was booming, we saw the numbers of homes for sale on the eastside in the 2000-3000 range.
  • The median prices were down by 3%.
  • Home sales on Seattle’s Eastside:  up 81%!

Sales prices: down 3%.

Number of homes for sale: down 24%.

Best odds of selling: For the third month in a row, the cities of Sammamish, Issaquah, Fall City, Snohomish, and North Bend, with 20% of the homes selling.

Worst odds of selling: West Redmond, near Microsoft, and East Bellevue with 13% odds of homes selling.

Biggest increase in sales from last year: West Bellevue, with 279% more home sales, which translates to 34 home sales in 2009 vs. 9 home sales in 2008.

Smallest increase in sales from last year: East Bellevue/Redmond area around Microsoft with a 6% increase in sales over last year.

Home sales in Bellevue and Redmond were tops for several years and have now dropped off when compared to other eastside cities.

Decline in real estate sales from last year: None on the eastside.

The peak of homes for sale in 2008: July,   4370 homes.

The peak of homes for sale in 2009: June,  3859 homes.

The number of homes for sale at the start of 2010: 9726 homes

Rate of home sales that failed this month: 9%

Why home sales fail to close:

  • This can be the result of inspections in which buyers and sellers do not agree, an appraisal that does not justify the sales price, lenders who do not package the loan properly or the great number of short sales that are out there.
  • Short sales are sales in which the selling price for a property is less than the price owed to the bank, so the seller is “short.”  Many of these offers do not stay together because it often takes months for a short sale to get approved by the bank.  There’s no guarantee the bank will accept an offer.  I’ve heard only 4% of the short sales actually close in King County.  Since there’s a huge number on the market, if you’re someone willing to take a chance and accept that your offer may never be looked at or accepted, then a short sale may be a way to go. With the extension of the home buyer tax credit, home buyers have more time to go after short sales.  However, months may still be needed to get the short sale closed, if it is to close at all. Since most buyers truly want to purchase a home and close on it, I would recommend NOT making offers on short sales.  I’d also recommend reading as much as you can about short sales before attempting to make an offer on a short sale. This way you’ll be prepared if you choose to go the route of a short sale.
  • My team and I are closing on a short sale this week.  The original offer was written in August.  There were two lienholders, two banks with mortgages on the property, which complicated the process.  Short sales can happen, but a buyer has to expect a rocky ride through the sales process, if the banks actually respond to the offer.  Be ready for most anything and most of all, be patient and not under any time constraints.