Cheapest Homes: July 2011 Edition

Let’s check in again on the cheapest homes around Seattle proper. Here’s our methodology: I search the listings for the cheapest homes currently on the market, excluding short sales, in the city of Seattle proper. Any properties that are in obvious states of extreme disrepair based on listing photos and descriptions will be excluded. This includes any listing that uses the phrases “fixer,” “rehab loan,” or “value in land.” I post the top (bottom) three, along with some overall stats on the low end of the market.

Please note: These posts should not be construed to be an advertisement or endorsement of any specific home for sale. We are merely taking a brief snapshot of the market at a given time. Also, just because a home makes it onto the “cheapest” list, that does not indicate that it is a good value.

Here are this month’s three cheapest single-family homes in the city limits of Seattle (according to Redfin):

Address Price Beds Baths SqFt Lot Size Neighborhood $ / SqFt Notes
1502 SW Henderson St $88,000 2 1 720 4,125 sqft Delridge $122 bank owned
9438 5th Ave SW $99,900 2 1 750 9,000 sqft Highland Park $133 bank owned
522 S Concord St $113,000 1 1 420 6,000 sqft South Park $269

Last month’s number two was the only one not to carry over to this month. At over $120 per square foot, none of these homes seems like an especially great deal, so I can see why they would linger on the market for a while.

Stats snapshot for Seattle Single-Family Homes Under $200,000 (excluding short sales)
Total on market: 106
Average number of beds: 2.6
Average number of baths: 1.4
Average square footage: 1,276
Average days on market: 87

Slight increase in inventory, average beds, and square footage, resuming the trends we saw before last month’s flatline.

Here are a couple of charts to give you a visual of the trend of these numbers since I adjusted the methodology in April 2010:

Seattle's Cheapest Homes: Stat Trends
Seattle's Cheapest Homes: Stat Trends

Here are cheapest homes in Seattle that actually sold in the last month, regardless of condition (since most off-market homes don’t have much info available on their condition).

Address Price Beds Baths SqFt Lot Size Neighborhood $ / SqFt Sold On
5121 NE 68th St $91,236 3 2 1,740 11,160 sqft View Ridge $52 06/08/2011
6946 24th Ave SW $94,900 3 1.5 1,210 5,450 sqft Delridge $78 06/29/2011
10461 57th Ave S $100,500 2 1 1,160 7,200 sqft Rainier Valley $87 06/22/2011
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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
    toad37 says:

    Why is bank owned included but not short sales? Doesn’t make sense Tim.

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: toad37 @ 1 – Because the asking price on a short sale is basically meaningless. You may or may not actually be able to buy the home at that price. With bank owned homes the asking price is actually the price you can buy the home for.

  3. 3

    RE: toad37 @ 1 – For the reason Tim notes, as demonstrated by the Hellicksons.

    Also, they’re only excluded from the first group (active listings), not actual sales.

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    RE: The Tim @ 2

    Do you have any statistics on that variance, as in % of short sales that close over the asking price?

  5. 5

    RE: ARDELL @ 4 – That’s not the issue. The issue is ones that won’t close for the asking price.

    If a buyer makes an offer for list and the bank won’t accept that, there is no stat which will reflect that. The buyer doesn’t have to offer more money just because the bank says that’s what they will accept.

  6. 6
    Toad37 says:

    RE: The Tim @ 2 – That makes sense. Thanks Tim and Kary.

  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    The converted garages are cute, but need more bars on the windows.

    Call me when you can get a real house for $100K. It won’t be long.

  8. 8

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – There’s some new construction in Kent for under $200k (or just over if you want a gas furnace rather than electrical wall units). From memory a 3 bedroom, 1.75+ bath with a 2 car garage. There was only one completed when we went through, so it’s hard to tell how tightly packed this neighborhood will be.

  9. 9
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Here’s the numbers that should drop the prices across the board by 50 percent:

    “Washington had nearly 6.77 million people as of April 1, up just 0.64 percent from the 2010 Census count, OFM reported. The state reported 1.94 million people living in King County and 612,100 in Seattle, up just 0.59 percent and 0.57 percent, respectively, from 2010.”

    No immigration + glut = headed towards basement

  10. 10

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 9 – To the extent those are children born, they could generate a lot of property purchases.

  11. 11
    Jonness says:

    By Lo Ball Jones @ 9:

    No immigration + glut = headed towards basement

    The banks are sitting on shadow inventory in an attempt to artificially inflate house prices. But Fannie/Freddie is starting to aggressively move out the inventory. Next up is the reduction of loan limits. And how about that unemployment rate? Yes we are headed toward basement, but most of the traditional RE agents are afraid of starving to death, so they won’t admit it.

    House 1:
    Foreclosed $194,607
    Mar 1, 2005 $167,000 Sold
    Currently pending with list price of $88,000

    Hmmmm…It went pending at half the cost the bank loaned on it and was most likely worth an additional $100K at the bubble peak.

    Oh wait…It’s missing a $20 kitchen cabinet door. Of course it’s marked down by 2/3rds of its peak price. Haven’t you heard, house prices are shooting straight up. Buy now or be priced out forever. Don’t forget to call me and give me 6% commission when you turn your house. I’ll tell you everything you need to gain enough courage to part with 30 years of your future salary.

    Dial 1-CON-YOU-GOOD and get advice from an expert today!

  12. 12
    Peter Witting says:

    Any ideas about what drove the purchase price on the house in View Ridge?

  13. 13

    RE: Peter Witting @ 12 – As noted above, it was a family transaction. It’s not clear what drove the price paid.

  14. 14
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13 – Thanks, Kary. It didn’t look like an arms-length deal to me.

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