Sales of Expensive Non-Distressed Homes Surging

Let’s check in on the sales histogram again.

In exploring this data, the biggest thing that jumps out to me is how much non-distressed homes above the median price have surged in the last year. Last November there were 407 non-distressed single-family homes sales in King County under $350,000 and 621 for $350,000 and up. This November there were 547 sales below $350,000 (a 34% gain) and 1,064 at or above $350,000—a 95% gain! It definitely seems like the high-end buyers and sellers are getting back into the market.

To generate the chart below, I took all the sales data for single-family homes sold in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties from the beginning of 2010 through the end of November. Since my data download puts late-reported sales into the month that the sale actually took place rather than in the month they were reported, there is a slight difference in the number of sales I’m counting vs. what the NWMLS reports each month.

By default the chart shows just King County sales in November. Use the controls below to scroll through different months, or to see what the mix looks like for Snohomish or Pierce County. I’ve also added color-coding and controls to separate out “non-distressed” sales from the sales of bank-owned homes and short sales.

As you explore the data for yourself I’d love to hear what stands out to you. Let me know in the comments!

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

4 comments:

  1. 1
    Plymster says:

    When I look at the chart and fiddle with the settings (for King County), I compare the Bank Owned and Short Sales, and see roughly the same distribution across the price spectrum (bank-owned appear shifted about $50k cheaper than short sales). When I look at non-distressed, I see a $200k premium added to short sales. That’s a hefty price improvement for a non-distressed home vs a short sale.

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  2. 2
    Steve Putnam says:

    I think your chart would be more instructive if you broke out the >$1M into more granular buckets. Perhaps looking at $100K buckets out to $1.5M, and then have a “>” bar? Not that I could afford it but it would be interested in seeing if there is a creep rightward in the data.

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  3. 3
    ChrisM says:

    Are you looking at MLS sales, or are you exhaustively looking at county records, with all their weirdnesses? Down here in Clark county, I see bank-owned house “transfers” that happen outside of the MLS.

    I’ve reported some of the issues to RedFin, but haven’t heard back.

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  4. 4

    By Plymster @ 1:

    When I look at the chart and fiddle with the settings (for King County), I compare the Bank Owned and Short Sales, and see roughly the same distribution across the price spectrum (bank-owned appear shifted about $50k cheaper than short sales). When I look at non-distressed, I see a $200k premium added to short sales. That’s a hefty price improvement for a non-distressed home vs a short sale.

    I’m not sure how you could possibly determine that from that data available here. All you know from this data is the price and quantity sold. You don’t know anything about the attributes of the houses themselves.

    In any case, the difference is not a premium, but instead a discount on the short sale houses and REOs. Not everyone is in position to buy a short sale property, particularly people who currently rent. And although interest rates have been low for some time, and are expected to remain so, not everyone wants to make an offer on a short sale property where they cannot lock their rate. As to both REOs and short sales there are likely condition deficiencies, or at least uncertainties at the time the offer is made. And as to REOs there are uncertain or unfavorable terms compared to normal sales, and also, REO properties do tend to be less desirable properties as to location. They’re basically what remains unsold at the trustees’ sales.

    Both can lead to some pretty good bargains, but not everyone is either in a position to go after them, or has a desire to go after them. That means less demand and lower prices.

    As to the $200,000 discount, that probably does happen with some frequency on properties that are worth something north of $600,000. It’s probably relatively rare below that point. The $50,000 discount for bank owned is probably much more common.

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