King County Home Prices, and what is causing them to go up or down, is dramatically different from one area to the next. I often think about the many who track short sales and bank owned sales, and the growing number of them, who think that these distressed property sales pull the median home price down. That is not always or even often the case in many areas.
North Seattle and Bellevue School District median price per square foot numbers would actually be LOWER if there were no short sales or bank owned properties in the mix. In Bellevue School District, the current median price per square foot would be $330 vs. $338 if there were no short sales or bank owned properties selling. The median price per square foot of a home not in distress is $230, bank-owned $298 and a short sale $268. Given the median asking price of homes for sale there is $899,000 vs. the median sold price of $563,500, the distressed properties of today and for some time into the future are more likely to be the most expensive homes that fewer people can afford to buy.
Now to Seattle North of Downtown.
Again, short sales and bank owned property sales in North Seattle are pulling the median price up from $244 to $248 in the 3rd quarter. Not necessarily for the same reason as Bellevue School District. More likely due to their being bid up or banks pricing them high and people thinking they are “a bargain” because they are “distressed properties”.
This is NOT the case with sales in Seattle SOUTH of Downtown where the median short sale sells for 15% less and the median bank-owned property sells for 25% less.
I’m working on volume and price stats to determine if the $8,000 Homebuyer Credit expiring will pull prices below “bottom” and for Seattle South of Downtown…no question that is a big yes. But for North Seattle and Bellevue School District (not finished with the rest of the Eastside School Districts) we just might see the bottom holding “post credit”. I’m still speculating on where volume of sales would have been in North King County, if there never were a homebuyer credit. And while I expect a 4th quarter price drop, I don’t expect prices to fall below the 1st quarther “bottom” of $233 median price per square foot.
Not finished with all of my predictions and stats yet. But thought it was very interesting that in some areas Short Sales and Bank Owned property sales are actually pulling median price per square foot UP…vs. DOWN.
(Required disclosure: Statistics not compiled, verified or posted by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)