Before I get to tonight’s stats, let’s talk a little bit about some myths out there. Many are saying that the volume of sales is down by 30% this year because the low end can’t finance, as if only the lowest of price ranges is reacting to the mortgage markets. Not so. In fact the results are pretty startling across the board in that they are virtually identical in every price range!
Number of sales is down 30% equally in every price segment.
In Jan & Feb of 2007 when there were 4,226 properties sold, 46% of them were priced between $200,000 and $400,000
In Jan & Feb of 2008 the number of sales dropped from 4,226 to 2,919, but still 46% of them were priced between $200,000 and $400,000.
Virtually the same for all price segments. $400,000 to $600,000 represents 28.5% of sales in both years. To see all price segments and compare the percentages to 2005 and 2006 and to see all of the underlying data too boring to post on RCG 🙂 go here.
Up to this point more people were buying at higher prices each year. This “flatlining” of percentage of purchases in each price category is another way of saying that prices are flat.
When will we know that prices are down? When more people can and do buy more houses at lower prices and those percentages start increasing on the low side and decreasing on the high side, you will know that prices have been affected by more than just a little. Conversely if these percentages stay the same or start moving up again, then volume is down and prices are not affected. Personally I don’t see how volume can continue to reduce by 30% YOY without that affecting prices more than it has to date.
I will be waiting a week or so before reporting for the full first quarter in a like comparison. It takes a good week or even two weeks for agents to post their March month end sales. But as soon as we’re pretty sure all of the sales are posted, the all telling 1st Quarter 2008 numbers will be very interesting. Generally the 1st quarter accounts for 20% to 22% of the year’s sales. So we should be able to make some assumptions about how we expect the year to play out once we have all of the 1st quarter data.
OK…on to Sunday Night Stats and our regular programming.
King County Residential Sales
Active/For Sale -10,064 – UP 285 – median price $528,000- up $3,000
In Escrow – 2,664 – DOWN 48 – median price $447,725 – UP $3,725
Closed YTD – 3,273- UP 390 – median price $435,000 – DOWN $2,500
King Conty Condo Sales
Active/For Sale – 3,518 – UP 83 – median price $324,950 – no change
In Escrow – 863 – DOWN 39 – median price $299,900 – DOWN $50 (asking prices)
Closed YTD – 1,097 – UP 139 – median price $285,000 – no change
“Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.