Sunday Night Stats – King County

King County Residential Sales

Active/For Sale – 9,779- UP 148 – median price $525,000- no change

In Escrow – 2,712- UP 11 – median price $444,000 – DOWN $4,000

Closed YTD – 2,883 – UP 332 – median price $437,500 – UP $1,500

King Conty Condo Sales

Active/For Sale – 3,435 – DOWN 6 – median price $324,950 – no change

In Escrow – 902 – UP 5 – median price $299,950 – no change (asking prices)

Closed YTD – 958- UP 111- median price $285,000 – no change

Allowing for late postings I went back to March 15th to track volume changes YOY.
Single family home closings are down 33% and condo closings are down 40%.

“Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

58 thoughts on “Sunday Night Stats – King County

  1. Leanne,

    Keeping all of the lowest priced homes in the sample and removing all of the highest priced homes, destroys the concept of “median”. Cleary if you take out the higher priced homes, the median drops. I don’t even have to run the numbers to get that answer.

    I will run some other numbers in a separate post that I think will be more meaninful.

    For now I think it is important to note that property priced at a million dollars or more represents 11.3 percent of all homes closed since the first of the year, 13.4% of all homes currently in escrow and 22.7% of all homes for sale. Consequently the current inventory numbers are more affected by too many homes that too many can’t afford than the pending and sold numbers.

    I will write a new post on what does a house cost that I think will be more meaninful than trying to skew the numbers toward a lower median Countywide by putting a $1M cap on it. That would only be meaningful if you also put a $400,000 floor on it.

    Stay tuned for more meaningful breakdowns in a new post.

  2. “For now I think it is important to note that property priced at a million dollars or more represents 11.3 percent of all homes closed since the first of the year, 13.4% of all homes currently in escrow and 22.7% of all homes for sale.”

    How does that compare to years past? Is that a lot or a little?

  3. John D.

    In all of 2007 – 1711 houses sold for over a million dollars. In all of 2006 – 1,532 sold for over a million dollars. As of this moment there are 1,447 for sale.

    Let’s drop back to the $800,000 to $1M price range.

    1,464 sold in 2006. 1,505 sold in 2007. 800 are currently for sale.

    $600,000 to $800,000

    3,629 sold in 2006. 3,523 sold in 2007. 1,625 are currently for sale.

    I can’t go back to track what was for sale at any given point in time in prior years. But given the relationship of these three segments, I think it’s safe to say that 1,447 is a lot of property on market today priced at over $1M.

    If you accept the definition of “buyer’s market” being 6 months of inventory or more, I’d have to say the $1M plus market is definitely in there moreso than most price segments.

    If I take it down to $1M to $1.5M it gets a little better, but still a buyer’s market.

    989 sold in 2006. 1,059 sold in 2007. 727 on market today.

  4. Ardell, your new report should be interesting. I like to see the stats broken down into less broad categories, and like new construction separated out as it’s own category. Naturally, the newer/new construction properties are more expensive.

    Generally, it’s not the medians that I care about, it is the number of actives, pendings & sold under$800,000 (where most buyers are anyway).

    It would actually be nice also, to see the median comparison for homes under $800,000 and homes $801,000+, as well as a reveiw of new construction for both categories.

    thanks for taking your time to do this!

  5. Case-Shiller says prices are back down to about August 06 levels. Is that similar to what you guys are seeing on the ground?

  6. Seattle as a whole:

    Median Price 8/06 $439,950 DOM 19: 08 YTD $444,500 DOM 45

    98115 and 98103:

    Median Price 8/06 $490,000 DOM 16; 08 YTD $508,750 DOM 36

    Bellevue as a whole

    Median Price 8/06 $640,000 DOM 18; 08 YTD $630,000 DOM 49

    98007 and 98008:

    Median Price 8/06 $490,000 DOM 16; 08 YTD $542,500 DOM 49


    Median Price 8/06 $549,000 DOM 24; 08 YTD $617,250 DOM 52


    Median Price 8/06 $335,825 DOM 30; 08 YTD $314,950 DOM 77


    Median Price 8/06 $349,950 DOM 23; 08 YTD $347,750 DOM 44

  7. b,

    Those are sold prices. The increased days on market struck me more than the variance from list to sold prices. But I’ll go check that out as well. Earlier this year I saw a slight change from most houses selling at 100% or more of asking price to 99% of asking price. Not a huge difference. People still generally wait for a price drop, and then buy close to or at the new price, for the most part.

  8. No problem John,

    I’m having trouble accommodating Leanne’s request for a few reasons. I tried making that a post of its own several times, but may give up.

    It just doesn’t feel right to skew the numbers off of my normal course. A median is no longer a median if you chop of the top and leave the floor. Feels like “an agent” thing to do to make prices look lower than they are. Plus Leanne has the same access to run stats that I do, so I think I’m hitting a wall on that one.

    Houses built prior to 1970 within a couple of miles of microsoft sell for a median price of $534,000 and represent almost half of all single family homes sold in that area. Jump the age up to 1970 to 1990 and you get 38% of the homes sold, but the median price jumps to $625,000. Over 1990 you only have a dozen resales with a price jump to $832,000 and new construction another dozen or so with a median price of $899,800.

    Seems like it’s still good to get close to work, but not necessarily spend a lot of money doing so. 70% of the people within 2 miles of microsoft bought single family homes last year. 30% bought condos at a median price of $302,500.

    2 miles of Microsoft covers parts of Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland. Personally I think the areas over by Lake Sammamish are still bargains. Especially “walk to view” vs. actual view of the lake.

  9. Ardell –

    Thanks for the followup. I was asking because the stats you’ve been posting this year seem to indicate a large gap in median closed price verses list price, it would be interesting to see if you had similar data for back in that time. I would guess based on the DOM data that median list prices were probably closer to median sales prices back in 06. Those DOM numbers should make things pretty interesting by the end of this year if they keep up, do you for see a lot of overpriced listings capitulating later this year? Or is there just a lot of people testing the waters right now?

  10. b,

    I checked August 06 vs 08 YTD as to variance from asking price to sold price.

    Seattle overall was selling at $5,000 over list price , and is now selling at $6,500 less than asking price.

    98115 and 98103 shifted from selling at $15,000 over list price to selling at $1,000 or so under list price.

    Bellevue list prices stayed the same, so are now selling at $20,000 under list price vs. $10,000 under list price.

    98007 and 98008 were selling at list price and is now selling at $18,000 or so under list price, but list prices jumped dramatically from a median of $479,000 to a median of $560,000. So that would still be a big uptick.

    Kirkland still selling at about $10,000 under list price, but the medians jumped up from $549,000 to $617,250.

    The areas that didn’t elevate as high in price like Kent and Auburn also didn’t change much regarding relationship of asking vs. selling prices.

    I think what you are referring to b, is that my stats each week have a big variance from median in escrow to median sold prices. That is apples to oranges though, as I still think that is partly because new construction stays in escrow longer and is higher priced.

    Pretty much we are back to “the old days” meaning there will be a $10,000 bargaining room in any price in the median range of pricing and within $100,000 or so above. Someone asking $549,000 wants to see and likely will still get $540,000 or better.

    I just wish sellers would let go of the idea that they are going to get full price or better within 5 days. They are hurting themselves by hanging on to that hope and saying “no offers will be looked at until…”

  11. Ardell –

    Those are some interesting stats about above/below list price. One would guess that each month of sales hitting below list will push comps+prices down further and further. The opposite was going on in 06 (as we have seen), prices going at/over list were pushing comps+prices higher. I think you’ve hit on an interesting way to watch the appreciation/depreciation slope for a specific area in realtime.

  12. Alan,

    Not really, but it wasn’t a regular warranty deed transfer and wasn’t listed for sale. I wonder if it is an installment payment on the lot and a new house will go up there with the rest of the value paid after the home is completed. Just a guess.

  13. b,

    I used August 06 because that’s what you asked, but I think the better way to do it would be to compare the same months. I think I’ll do Jan and Feb of 06 comapred to Jan and Feb of 08.

    Just got in from showing a house over in Seattle. I’ll try to get those numbers up after dinner.

  14. Ardell –

    Thanks, that would be interesting to see if there is a seasonal variation on asking/final pricing that may explain it instead.

  15. These are median numbers from Jan. and Feb sales YOY for three years. These are residential only,not condos.


    2006 – asking $499,000 sold at $500,000 DOM 30
    2007 – asking $575,000 sold at $569,950 DOM 63
    2008 – asking $644,500 sold at $633,750 DOM 50

    98115 and 98103 (Seattle)

    2006 – asking $449,950 sold at $457,000 DOM 24
    2007 – asking $499,475 sold at $499,475 DOM 37
    2008 – asking $522,000 sold at $515,000 DOM 49

    98007 and 98008 (Bellevue)

    2006 – asking $462,999 sold at $462,999 DOM 21
    2007 – asking $501,950 sold at $498,000 DOM 39
    2008 – asking $549,950 sold at $525,000 DOM 51


    2006 – asking $550,000 sold at $557,000 DOM 23
    2008 – asking $649,900 sold at $626,000 DOM 51

    Seattle (all)

    2006 – asking $399,950 sold at $405,500 DOM 25
    2007 – asking $429,000 sold at $425,000 DOM 35
    2008 – asking $449,950 sold at $440,000 DOM 50


    2006 – asking $299,864 sold at $299,950 DOM 06
    2007 – asking $349,900 sold at $349,900 DOM 67
    2008 – asking $314,950 sold at $312,000 DOM 76


    2006 – asking $311,175 sold at $318,500 DOM 24
    2007 – asking $354,973 sold at $360,000 DOM 49
    2008 – asking $349,654 sold at $346,000 DOM 48

  16. For the most part same story. Volume of sales down, prices up, taking a lot longer to get those higher prices.

    When you get further south the prices are falling. My guess is there were more zero down stacked cost sales in the lower price ranges, so the elimination of easy financing has hit the lower priced areas harder. Same for condos in those same price ranges overall.

  17. Hi ARDELL,
    I am curious about categorizing by zip code. Would you do the same for a zip code like 98144 that encompasses expensive Leschi lakefront, quite a bit of seedy Rainier Valley, and mid-range Beacon Hill? If not, do you just draw a line based on your professional judgment about where the changeover is?

  18. I chose 98007 and 98008 as the volume hasn’t changed much YOY at all. I chose 98115 and 98103 as it is the area of Seattle I am most familiar with and the volume is at 123 sales in that short period vs 18 in 08 in 98144.

    My basic thinking is that points south are affected more than Eastside and points north. Kirkland as a whole incorporates the expensive waterfront and less expensive Totem Lake, Kingsgate and Juanita areas, so no as to the 98144 question.

    98144 doesn’t have enough volume of sales to find meaning in the numbers after the volume hit. Only 18 sales in the 08 period.

    Here are 98144 and Federal Way

    2006 asking 355,000 sold at 356,000
    2007 asking 400,000 sold at 410,000
    2008 asking 277,000 sold at 380,000

    When the volume is only 18 sales, one property reacting abnormally could affect the value of the data.

    I use the areas I am most familiar with so that if people have questions I am answering from a position of experience vs. simply pure data. I throw in some points south as it is my perception that when you look at King County as a whole, you have to factor in the huge variance of market influence in different parts of the County. The forest doesn’t tell you enough about the trees. And people buy and sell “trees” not “forests”.

    Federal Way:

    2006 asking $294,925 sold at $292,225 DOM 33
    2007 asking $320,000 sold at $325,000 DOM 38
    2008 asking $299,000 sold at $295,749 DOM 84

    The lowest of price ranges:

    1) would have had more predatory lending issues
    2) would have had the most zero down stacked cost loans
    3) will have the greatest impact after tightening lending guidelines

    My theory is that from 9/07 through the end of 2008, the lowest price ranges and the highest price ranges will be hit the hardest. So far my numbers prove that out.

    I think that will affect all price ranges across the board eventually, but in a lagging fashion. I think we already know what is happening in the over $1M market and $300,000 market. Watching the impact on the $500,000 to $600,000 market will tell us when those events have entered the mainstream market as to single family homes. That is why my interest lies in areas like 98007, 98008, 98115, 98103 and parts of Kirkland and Redmond.

  19. Alan-

    Could have been sold from one family member to another in which case the difference between the sale price and market value is gifted. Just my 2 pesos.

  20. Q-Diddy,

    That kind of transfer would still be a Warranty Deed usually or a Quit Claim. This was a Sale Contract of some kind…maybe an installment “land contract”.

  21. Ardell –

    So it looks like it is not a seasonal thing and that it does point to appreciation in 06, some appreciation or stagnation in 07 and declines in 08. This is consistent with other indexes like Case-Shiller. It seems that following the asking/closed gap does let you see what the rate of appreciation/depreciation for an area is trending in real time. Very cool stuff!

  22. Most of the areas I work in are still well above 8/06 levels based on the stats I’ve posted. Points South, not. Most areas without some claim to fame as to location as in “close in” to something will see more suffering from what I’ve been seeing. With fewer buyers, the harder locations will take a beating.

  23. Off the topic…does anybody know of any good forums/blogs that discuss heating and cooling costs. I am planning to upgrade my furnace and add AC, so I was lookinig for some tips.

  24. Get a bid from A.S.A.P. Heating and Cooling. I’ve found them to be reasonable, reliable and honest. I haven’t seen anyone doing as extensive a change out as you are, but I’d give them a call. I’ll start a post on it for you the way I did for popcorn ceilings, radiators and hot water tanks. You may get better response in comments that way. Give me two secs and I’ll get it up.

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