Case-Shiller Tiers: High Tier Nearly Back to Peak Pricing

Let’s check out the three price tiers for the Seattle area, as measured by Case-Shiller. Remember, Case-Shiller’s “Seattle” data is based on single-family home repeat sales in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

Note that the tiers are determined by sale volume. In other words, 1/3 of all sales fall into each tier. For more details on the tier methodologies, hit the full methodology pdf. Here are the current tier breakpoints:

  • Low Tier: < $304,986 (up 0.3%)
  • Mid Tier: $304,986 – $483,799
  • Hi Tier: > $483,799 (up 0.1%)

First up is the straight graph of the index from January 2000 through September 2015.

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

Here’s a zoom-in, showing just the last year:

Case-Shiller Tiered Index - Seattle

All three tiers were up month-over-month yet again in September, however in the low and high tiers the gains were considerably smaller than a month earlier. The high tier saw the smallest gain of the group.

Between August and September, the low tier increased 0.3 percent, the middle tier rose 0.3 percent, and the high tier gained 0.2 percent.

Here’s a chart of the year-over-year change in the index from January 2003 through September 2015.

Case-Shiller HPI - YOY Change in Seattle Tiers

Year-over-year price growth was up in the middle and high tiers compared to August, but down in the low tier. Here’s where the tiers sit YOY as of September – Low: +9.0 percent, Med: +7.9 percent, Hi: +8.4 percent.

Lastly, here’s a decline-from-peak graph like the one posted earlier this week for the various Case-Shiller markets, but looking only at the Seattle tiers.

Case-Shiller: Decline from Peak - Seattle Tiers

Current standing is 12.9 percent off peak for the low tier, 6.4 percent off peak for the middle tier, and 0.8 percent off peak for the high tier.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 2015-11-24)

Low Interest Rates Barely Keep Affordability Reasonable

Low Interest Rates Barely Keep Affordability Reasonable

Let’s have an updated look at our affordability index charts for the counties around Puget Sound.

As of October, affordability is still bad, but not terrible for home buyers. Median home prices have dipped just slightly in the last few months…

Join Tim for a Free Early Screening of “The Big Short”

I have a limited number of free passes to an early screening of the upcoming movie “The Big Short,” and I’d like to invite some Seattle Bubble readers to join me. The movie doesn’t hit theaters until December 23, but this screening is at 4:00 PM next Monday, November 23rd in downtown Seattle.

If you’d like to join me, just leave a comment here…

Surefield Pricepoint Home Pricing Tool

Surefield Releases New Map-Based Home Pricing Tool to Compete with Zillow & Redfin

Local alternative brokerage Surefield added another slick new tool to their arsenal this week: A map-based home pricing tool that they are calling Pricepoint. Together with their flagship 3D home tour technology (previously spotlighted here), this new offering strengthens Surefield’s focus on home sellers.

The tool offers an interactive, transparent alternative to Zillow’s black box “Zestimates,” and is touted by Surefield as “the most accurate and reliable way to price a home.”

Statewide Form 22A—Financing Contingency: The Broker’s Perspective

The statewide financing contingency form, Form 22A, present parties with some serious issues to consider. Prior pieces addressed seller and buyer concerns, but Form 22A also presents brokers with serious issues to consider.

The most complex issues for listing brokers may involve the seller’s decision to send a request to the buyer to waive their financing contingency using Form 22AR. Some attorneys believe that a seller’s request for waiver should frequently be sent simply because the waiver of the financing contingency would benefit the seller. In contrast, I would note that in practice I have seldom seen Form 22AR sent, either by my listing clients or sellers when I represent buyers. That calls into question why there is a difference between what some lawyers in Washington think should be done, and what actually occurs…

Statewide Form 22A—Financing Contingency: The Buyer’s Perspective

As discussed in the prior piece on Form 22A, the statewide financing contingency form in many ways heavily favors the interests of buyers. That is because absent drafting custom language, the financing contingency can remain as a buyer protection though the date of closing. After the passage of a specified period of time the seller can ask the buyer to waive the contingency, but the seller cannot force the buyer to do so. Therefore if a buyer cannot get financing, and their offer contains a non-waived Form 22A financing contingency, then the buyer will not be in breach of contract if they cannot close due to lack of financing…