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How Many Home Sales on Seattle's Eastside Are Distressed Properties?

Are there a lot of distressed property sales on Seattle’s eastside? These are bank owned/foreclosed properties and “short sales,” requiring 3rd party or bank approval. A short sale is when the seller is selling the home for less than the amount owed to the bank, so the seller is “short” on what is owed to pay off the bank.

The topic of foreclosures has been in the forefront of the news lately, with talk of robo-signers, sloppy paperwork and the like.  People are worried about how this affects the economy in general and, more specifically,  our Seattle-eastside real estate market.

The charts below show the total percentage of distressed properties, which includes short sales and bank owned properties.

Distressed Property Sales in Seattle

Total Number of Seattle Area Distressed Properties Sales, 2009-2010

The next two charts show those sales that required 3rd party approval (short sales), and those that were bank owned.

Short Sales Numbers in Seattle

Seattle Area Short Sales Requiring Third Party Approval 2009 - 2010

Bank Owned Sales In Seattle

Seattle Area Bank Owned Property Sales, 2009-2010

The information covers most of the counties around Seattle and the city of Seattle itself.  The charts show the percentage of distressed property sales from the 3rd quarter of 2009 through the 3rd quarter of 2010.

Not surprisingly, Seattle proper and the eastside have fared better than Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties.  Although Kitsap county did have among the lowest number of short sales in some quarters of the past year.  The stronger markets in Seattle and on the eastside are a direct result of the stronger and more diverse economy and job market in these areas.  The area is the beneficiary of hi tech, engineering, and bio-tech jobs than some of the other counties.  People who work in these fields tend to live closer to or in Seattle or on the eastside.  (Although these jobs can be found all over western Washington, there is a greater concentration in the great Seattle area.)

During the first quarter of 2010, 24% of Seattle-eastside property sales were distressed properties.  The second and third quarters both averaged 19% in distressed sales.  Not great numbers, but the reality is in our worst quarter 75% of the sales were not distressed properties.  Since so much of the news has focused on distressed properties and foreclosures, it’s good to know that most sales are not in that category.

What do you think about these numbers?