Non-Distressed Median Price Up 6 Percent from 2011

Let’s check up on how median home sale prices broken down by distress status: Non-distressed, bank-owned, and short sales.

King County Single Family Median Price - Non-Distressed, Bank Owned, & Short Sales

As of October, the non-distressed median price for King County single family home sales sits at $415,000, up 6.4% from a year earlier. This is down 3.5% from this year’s high point of $430,000 that was set in June.

The bank-owned median sale price was at $185,000 in October, dead flat compared to a year earlier. The short sale median price came in at $258,250, down 6.1% from last year, and up 14.1% from the low point of $226,350 in May.

All three tiers have more or less stabilized this year.

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.


  1. 1

    IMHO, the non-distressed median has been fairly flat going back even further than the graph. I haven’t run the complete period, but I think there were only about 5 months under 380k going back into 2008. Basically we’ve been bouncing around 400k for quite some time, and by “bouncing around” I mean typically the median is within +-20k of 400k.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

  2. 2

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – I agree Larry. I have it bouncing sideways since mid 2009 or so. Yes, it might be up 6% since last year but it’s essentially meaningless until price busts out of this price zone. Right now just looks like lumpy 45th Ave NW in Wallingford before they repaved it!

  3. 3
    softwarengineer says:

    I Agree With Both Blogs Above Me

    Low inventory sales and credible mathematical trend anaysis mix like oil and water.

  4. 4
    Carl says:

    This is an excellent chart. After 3+ years of bouncing around, I feel like I can call bottom. A very long flat bottom.

  5. 5
    corndogs says:

    This doesn’t seem to jive with other sources claiming that the discount premium for a foreclosure is drying up… from 20% in 2009 to less than 7% now…. If that is remotely true, how could the median price of each foreclosure type drop so drastically? Is the mix changing to smaller houses as new construction resumes?…. Can you show us house vs condo?, and $/sq ft?

    This chart could be very misleading without the mix info….

  6. 6
    whatsmyname says:

    I would certainly like to see this chart going back to 2007, or maybe to 2005.

  7. 7
    whatsmyname says:

    I would certainly like to see this chart going back to 2007, or maybe to 2005.

  8. 8
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1
    I would certainly like to see this chart going back to 2007, or maybe to 2005.

  9. 9

    RE: whatsmyname @ 6 – There’s a limit to how far you can go back, because the NWMLS didn’t start categorizing short sales and REO right at the peak. In 2007 it didn’t matter much, but in 2008 it did start to matter. I don’t remember when they added the category.

  10. 10
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9

    Not sure on bank-owned, but short sale didn’t come in as a data field until mid February 2009 and was not widely used until May 2009 forward. Consequently Tim’s data in this post likely goes back as far as it can as to reliable data.

    The first short sale I did in this decade closed in January of 2008 in Bellevue, so even that early on we can’t assume non-distressed. Any attempt to go back to 2005 or earlier might work if you skipped the period from 08/01/2007 to 06/01/2009. You would have to ignore that gap and assume none or none of consequence for prior to 08/01/2007, after excluding the bank owned sales. Brown and Kate and the likes were always doing bank owned sales and I think those few were clearly marked well before short sales came in as a data field.

  11. 11

    RE: ARDELL @ 10 – Yes, short sales have always existed, but they really wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the median. Some months it might have been zero impact.

  12. 12
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11

    If you are talking about the gap period of 8/1/08 to May or June of 2009, I do not believe that would be correct. 2008 and half of 2009 would clearly have as many short sales as 2nd half of 2009 and 2010. I’ll give you could clearly vs would clearly. :)

  13. 13
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Was reading about the introduction of Google Fiber into the town of Kansas City, Kansas…getting close to 1 Gbps speeds, but I was distracted when I read that one of homes that was using it cost a mere $45,000!

    KC Startups Buying Homes to Get Google Fiber

    I checked out the area, Hanover Heights, and indeed there are some stellar bargains like this ranch home for only $60,000:

    See, the real bubble for Seattle is thinking that this is the One and Only Place to live the life.

    But there are now other ways to Be Seattleque…in other places, for much less….that is your competition.

  14. 14

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 13 – Houses in the mid-West have always sold for a lot less. Their economies and populations don’t support more, and they don’t typically have the water and zoning restrictions that we have that restrict supply.

    I had a friend who went to work somewhere in Michigan and then moved to San Francisco. His comment was that even if he’d paid off his Michigan house it wouldn’t even have been a down payment on a house in San Francisco, and he was wondering how he would buy there, even though he and his wife both made very good money.

  15. 15
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 13 – I took it a step further. I chose to live where there is no wired internet access at all. I use 4G via a directional antenna on the side of my house (Verizon Home Fusion). The service is a rip-off, but the quality of life and lower cost of living far outweigh it. Surely not for everyone, but this sort of lifestyle is now becoming possible.

    BTW, I get 15 mbit/sec down and 12 mbit/sec up. Not too shabby.

  16. 16

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 13 -BTW, I just looked at your $60,000 listing. I was expecting something much nicer.

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