October Neighborhoods Months of Supply Update

Let’s have a look at “Months of Supply” for the 30 NWMLS areas in King County. For an explanation of what months of supply means, please refer to the original neighborhood MOS breakdown post. Also, view a map of these areas here.

October MOS for King County as a whole came in at 8.33 (compared to 6.29 for October 2007 and 6.57 for September), bringing the current run of 6+ MOS to fourteen months—by far the longest King County has ever seen.

In the graphs below, you’re looking at the MOS for the “Res Only” data from the NWMLS King County Breakout pdfs for the one-year period of November 2007 through October 2008. The bar graph is centered vertically on 6.0 MOS, so that it is easier to visually tell the difference between a seller’s and buyer’s market (i.e. – shorter bars mean a more balanced market). Each graph again has the same scale on the vertical axis and has the King County aggregate figure plotted in red on the far right, so they can be easily compared.

Note that there are a few areas that appear to have no bar at all for a given month—this represents an MOS value at or close to 6.0. Also keep in mind that whatever the reason, pending sales have become increasingly disconnected from closed sales recently, which means that these statistics are likely understating the magnitude of the “buyer’s market.”

We’ll start off with the chart that lets you directly compare each area’s MOS to its value one year ago. October 2007 is in red, and 2008 is in blue.

KC SFH MOS: Eastside

Following below are the breakouts for SW King, SE King, Seattle, N King, and the Eastside, as well as a summary of this month’s data.

Note: Area 100 (Jovita/West Hill Auburn) was over 21 in January, and has been clipped.



Note: For Area 701 (Downtown Seattle) we’re using condo data.

KC SFH MOS: Seattle

Note: Area 800 (Vashon Island) was over 17 in September, and has been clipped.


Note: The vertical scale on the Eastside graph was adjusted to fit the multiple areas with 16+ MOS.

KC SFH MOS: Eastside

Only three of thirty King County areas were in seller’s market territory in October, ranging from 4.47 MOS in 710 (UW, Wedgewood, Lake City) to 5.94 MOS in 330 (Kent). The city of Seattle was still the region closest to an overall seller’s market, although only two of eight areas came in below 6 MOS.

The cumulative MOS for Seattle proper bumped up from a seller’s market of 5.13 in September to a buyer’s market of 6.74 in October, the first time in the recent slowdown that Seattle proper has been above 6 MOS. The Eastside as a whole shot up month-to-month and year-to-year to a staggering 12.42 MOS.

Only four of thirty neighborhoods trended more toward a seller’s market than a year ago. Ten neighborhoods were above 10 MOS, firmly in buyer’s market territory. I suspect these numbers will only get more dramatic as we head into the slow selling season of winter.

The three toughest markets for sellers were all on the Eastside: Mercer Island (510) at 18.90, Kirkland–Bridle Trails (560) at 17.68, and the old standby Medina / Clyde Hill / W. Bellevue (520) at 16.00. 520 continues its 10+ MOS streak, now at 14 months.

West Seattle (140) lost its place on the sellers market list, jumping from 4.61 to 7.88 in a single month. The three best markets for sellers as of last month were: North Seattle (710) at 4.47, Ballard/Greenlake/Greenwood (705) at 5.46, and Kent (330) at 5.94. No other market had less than 6.0 MOS last month, although Jovita/West Hill Auburn (100) did have exactly 6.0.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    obelus says:

    NE Seattle is still in the “special” mindset. Houses go off the market rather than go to realistic prices. Heck, even the gas in Wedgwood area is 25 cents higher than nearby neighborhoods.

  2. 2
    Brian says:

    Where do you get your data? I’m interested in what the MOS is for Snohomish County. Any ideas?

  3. 3
    Steve Tytler says:

    Great graphs … this shows why nationwide, statewide and county-wide home price statistics are meaningless.

    It’s all about the NEIGHBORHOOD!

    Remember … “Location, Location, Location”

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    Brian @ 2,

    All the MOS data comes from the statistics published by the NWMLS monthly. You can grab the latest data for Snohomish County from the top of this page. They no longer have public links to older data, but if you are interested in something specific I can probably get it.

    The short answer to your question is that the county-wide MOS for Snohomish SFH was 10.9. Also note that I cover county-wide data for all the Puget Sound counties in my monthly “Puget Sound Counties” update. Here’s October.

  5. 5
    Brian says:

    Awesome. Thanks Tim.

  6. 6
    Joel says:

    Great graphs … this shows why nationwide, statewide and county-wide home price statistics are meaningless.

    No, lower nationwide home prices mean fewer equity locusts migrating to Seattle.

  7. 7
    Jane says:

    Redmond is so different. Expect prices in Redmond to go up in 2009.
    Good time to buy rt now!

  8. 8
    Mark says:


    Really! I made a bid for new Home by a well known builder, much below the price listed on website (in redmond\kirkland area).

    I backed off as they readily accepted my bid, raising by doubts that the bid amount should have been much lower.

    Anyone who follows Jane will end up in the drain.

    You are on cloud 9 Jane. Wake up!

  9. 9


    This could spike housing supplies worse.

    See the proof:


    Microsoft layoffs looming too? It makes sense based on their lack of stock profit.

    See the proof:


  10. 10
    David McManus says:

    Jane == Realtor

  11. 11
    deejayoh says:

    See the proof:


    Certainly wouldn’t believe Microsoft was due for layoffs based on any of the crap on that site…

  12. 12
    The Tim says:

    Yes, I’m afraid this (@9) is some strange usage of the word “proof” with which I’m not familiar.

  13. 13
    Interloper says:

    I don’t know whether Jane is a realtor.

    I do know that realtors routinely post on Aubrey Cohen’s Seattle PI blog, conveniently with their picture and links to a business website. Then these characters posture against any debate that there’s a speculative bubble that needs to deflate.

    Seems mighty unethical to me.

  14. 14
    Buceri says:

    SoftwareEngineer’s link.

    “It’s likely that Microsoft employees are concerned knowing that their company is nearing debt.”


    If anything, MSFT will clean non profitable areas. There is no debt.

    JANE = RAL’s wife.

  15. 15
    The Tim says:

    I think the “Jane” post was a joke, guys. Poster has the exact same IP as the immediately following comment by “Mark.” FYI.

  16. 16
    Ben says:

    Mark – mind telling us what builder you are talking about? This would be very helpful information to me (the kind of offer you made would help too).

    My suspicion is that right now Redmond new construction is selling way below list, and the builders are trying to hide this by keeping the old asking prices.

    In 6 months I can browse the KC parcel viewer to find out, please let us know now.

    If you don’t want to post publicly, maybe you could email this stuff to Tim and he could email it to me? Maybe this is abusing Tim as a courier service, but I am *very* curious and maybe he is too :)

  17. 17
    TheHulk says:

    Wanna know why stuff isnt moving on the east side? Prices are friggin unrealistic.

    Like someone on this site said … “Sell now or be priced in forever” lol

  18. 18
    Dave says:


    I live in 710 and I think I know why it’s still a seller’s spot – prices never went as high over here. Sure Wedgewood and Sand Point went as high as anyplace in Ballard ever did – but we bought a nice 2 bedrom in Maple Leaf for less than 400,000 in July of ’07. Yes, i know we are underwater significantly (believe me I know) but during the height you really didn’t see the high 500’s and 600’s prices you saw anywhere closer in (NW Seattle I’m looking at you). I think the reason we are doing so well is that we don’t have as many people trying to hang onto completely overinflated values – over here values were overinflated but not insanely so. Less far to fall for people to buy. I think the data backs me up on this.

    My two cents.

  19. 19
    masaba says:

    Maple Leaf is not a seller’s spot. I went to an open house in Maple Leaf yesterday where the list price was about 25-35% over what I would offer. On my way out, the agent said, ‘the seller is now accepting all offers, she has come to terms with where the market is, so don’t worry about the list price.’ I walked by the home later and the agent said she had just talked to the owner, and if the home doesn’t sell by the end of Nov. she is going to rent it.

    Apparently, she still hasn’t come to terms because renting isn’t going to be too much easier than selling right now. I rent a town home a few blocks away, and was just able to negotiate my rent down from what it was a year ago because our landlord has had to lower the asking price on a different unit that just became vacant (and offer a month free) after he got no biters for the old price.

    I went to another open house Ravenna (with another way overpriced list), and the RE agent there said that they were pulling the house from the market in 3 days to relist in January. So, what do they think is going to be different in January?

  20. 20


    Is this your website [the wolf guarding the degrading MSFT stock henhouse?]?

    See the proof:


  21. 21
    Mike2 says:

    Regarding 705 and 710 – just because they’re still classified as a “sellers market” inventory wise doesn’t mean prices are holding up. The number of homes listed for less than the last purchase price in 98117 and 98115 is growing quickly.

    There’s even a home in PRIME sunset hill (Meshugy? you still here?) on 32nd, with an amazing view of shilshole bay that has cut their asking price nearly as low as the 2005 purchase price. It’s not just the junky areas around Crown Hill that are stalling.

  22. 22


    See the proof:


  23. 23
    disgruntledengineer says:


    Realtors always say “the seller’s probably just going to rent it.” It’s a variation of “the takeaway.”

    Just about every realtor I talked with says the same crap. Believe me, the seller wants to sell it, not rent it out.

  24. 24
    Curtis says:

    I did’nt know the home owner dues for waterfront 2 bedroom condos @ Kirkland are $740 monthly. – almost a decent rent price.

    Is this the guiness record for hod?

  25. 25
    Ben says:

    softwareengineer – are you being a troll? NASDAQ is down 44.5% for the year so according to your chosen metric Microsoft is beating the market.

  26. 26
    deejayoh says:

    Microsoft is in the DJIA and its performance has pretty much tracked the DJIA for the past 5 years.

  27. 27
    mukoh says:

    Software engineer knows that we only trust data from blogs especially when they provide so much “proof” or poof?

  28. 28
    Dave says:

    I’m not saying there are not overpriced house in 710 – I’m saying there seems to be alot fewer of them on the market than other areas of the city. I’ve driven in Ballard – there’s 2 or 3 signs a block. It seems like alot more.

  29. 29
    BanteringBear says:

    “I went to another open house Ravenna (with another way overpriced list), and the RE agent there said that they were pulling the house from the market in 3 days to relist in January. So, what do they think is going to be different in January?”

    I bet that really had you grabbing at your checkbook, didn’t it? The difference between now and January is the seller will have spent several thousand dollars servicing the debt, and the house will be worth tens of thousands of dollars less. Prices are, RIGHT NOW, cratering. They are falling faster than any of these people can possibly comprehend.

  30. 30
    anony says:

    Interesting point Mike2
    “Regarding 705 and 710 – just because they’re still classified as a “sellers market” inventory wise doesn’t mean prices are holding up.”

    Does it seem to anyone else that prices shift from rising to falling at an inventory lower than 6 months? Kind of like we should be using a lower value for the line? Is the NAR telling us 6 months is “balanced” kind of like De Beers telling us we have to spend 2 months salary on a diamond?

  31. 31
    DaveyDave says:

    Regarding areas 705 + 710, their annual SFH price depreciation for October ’08 from October ’07 is -15.85% and -17.94% respectively (NWMLS data). It kind of doesn’t FEEL like a sellers market.


  32. 32
    shawn says:

    SWE a little suggestion, study logic, and argumentation. It can only improve your credibility. For extra credit study Critical Thinking.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.