Eastside Homes Get More Expensive, Sell More

It’s time once again to take an updated look at how King County’s sales are shifting between the different regions around the county, since geographic shifts can and do affect the median price.

In order to explore this concept, we break King County down into three regions, based on the NWMLS-defined “areas”:

  • low end: South County (areas 100-130 & 300-360)
  • mid range: Seattle / North County (areas 140, 380-390, & 700-800)
  • high end: Eastside (areas 500-600)

Here’s where each region’s median prices came in as of August data:

  • low end: $243,000-$391,503
  • mid range: $360,000-$673,600
  • high end: $498,500-$1,265,000

First up, let’s have a look at each region’s (approximate) median price (actually the median of the medians for each area within the region).

Median Price of Single Family Homes Sold

The median price in the mid range regions fell between July and August, losing 0.9% month-over-month, but was still up 17.8% year-over-year. The low tier was up 1.3% MOM and 19.6% YOY, while expensive homes on the eastside gained the most month-over-month, up 3.3% between July and August. The high tier was up 13.9% YOY.

Next up, the percentage of each month’s closed sales that took place in each of the three regions. The dotted line is a four-month rolling average.

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area

The share of sales that are taking place in the most expensive parts of the county has been surging over the last four months, rising from 32.6% in April to 35.1% in August. Over the same period, the share of sales in the low end regions has fallen from 34.7% to 30.6%.

As of August 2013, 30.6% of sales were in the low end regions, 34.3% in the mid range, and 35.1% in the high end. A year ago the low end regions had more of the share and the mid range less: In August 2012 the low end made up 32.9% of the sales, the mid range was 31.5%, and the high end was 35.5%.

Here’s that information in a visual format:

Bank-Owned: Share of Total Sales - King County Single-Family

Finally, here’s an updated look at the percentage of sales data all the way back through 2000:

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area since 2000

Since January 2000, the high tier has only accounted for the largest share of sales as it did in August in 22 of 176 months (12.5% of the time).

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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
    Erik says:

    Great, the Eastside is out of control. Maybe I will be able to retire early after I offload my Eastside condo.

  2. 2
    corndogs says:


    What was that guys name who said prices were going to tank following July/August? Matthew? Yeah, it was Matthew! Hey Matthew, talk to me dummy. Why does Redfin show King/Pierce/Snoh prices continuing to escalate into September? Weren’t we supposed to mark your words? Looks like you got some ‘splaining to do! I see the sale/list ratio is still around 100% and inventories are making their seasonal drops. What’s going on Maddy? Is there an explanation for this or are you just the latest SeattleBubble tard to get Corndogs boot in the a$$.

    Even Corndog expects some seasonal corrections but this is ridiculous. This September out-performing last September!? Do you have a new prediction date for the Armageddon Maddy? I’m starting to think that you’re a Jehovahs witness. If you are let me give you a hint for your next Sermon. The book of Matthew is no longer valid!

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    I said this…
    “RE: David Losh @ 11 –
    Do you see this curve?

    It seem very probable to me that the median home price will catch up to the affordable home price as it has in the past. This means a temporary accelerated housing price increase. After the median home price catches up with the affordable home price, housing prices should increase as they have in the past.

    You are getting caught up in the fear and suggesting the these rules have changed permanently and people will no longer buy what they can afford in the future. That doesn’t make any sense to me and I don’t see how you can come to a different conclusion.

    The affordable home price line will perhaps slightly decrease in slope, but nothing like you are claiming it will. I heard about 1% a year of increased interest rates. That shouldn’t have a large effect on housing prices.

    You asked for it and I just proved you wrong. There is not absolute proof, but that seems to be a very likely scenario. Much more likely than you claiming economics have suddenly changed and this is not longer valid.”

    I got 0 thumbs up and 6 thumbs down.

    Matthew said this…

    That might have been the biggest epic fail of a conclusion ever. This entire market is only hanging on because the Fed has provided liquidity. There is no real recovery in the economy, stock market, or housing. This is all part of an echo bubble created by the Fed in one final attempt to make the banks whole before the final bag holders are hung out to dry. If there was a real recovery why would the equity markets fall so dramatically just on the mere thought the Fed may begin tapering its asset purchases?

    If you think the current situation remotely resembles anything in the past 50 years you are going to be in for a rude awakening.

    The top is in my friend GTFO of this market while you still can.”

    Matthew got 7 thumbs up and 1 thumb down from readers.

    He made another similar comment about “the top being in, sell now!” He got 12 thumbs up and no thumbs down.

    The people that rate these comments are morons. Corndogs always gets same amount of thumbs up and thumbs down no matter what he says. Corndogs is correct so far and Matthew is wrong.


    I don’t expect anyone to change their ways, but this is pretty conclusive evidence that the thumbs up go to dumb people and thumbs down go to smart people.

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    RE: corndogs @ 2 – You should ask your realtor and mortgage loan friends, and they probably will tell you that they’re afraid of losing their jobs soon! Most of them have been enjoying their free time for more than a month already.

  5. 5
    whatsmyname says:

    Ira, Are you afraid of losing your job soon? That seems so weird in a year where each month’s sales have been better than the same month in any of the previous 5 years. Except August, of course, where they were better than the last 6 years.

  6. 6
    whatsmyname says:

    Instead of two graphs that show the % of King County SFR sales by nwmls area, wouldn’t it add more value to have one of those graphs show the # of King County SFR sales by nwmls area?

  7. 7
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Does it make sense to look at total price?

    Most people base their decision on payment…and that reflects interest rates as well as principal.

  8. 8

    By whatsmyname @ 5:

    Ira, Are you afraid of losing your job soon? That seems so weird in a year where each month’s sales have been better than the same month in any of the previous 5 years. Except August, of course, where they were better than the last 6 years.

    I’m not worried about losing my job soon, but that has very little to do with the real estate market.
    When things are booming, there are a lot more real estate agents, and when the real estate market crashes, real estate agents leave the industry and go and get real jobs. But very few of them ” get fired”. The large brokerages like Windermere and John L Scott do fire agents, because those brokerages spend a lot of money and need agents to deliver results, which is why they have agents telemarket. But many brokerages don’t spend anywhere near the money that the biggies do. They charge a certain amount per month from their agents, so while they would prefer agents who made lots of money, they get most of their expenses covered by the monthly fees the agents pay. If things are going that badly, the agent will leave the industry or affiliate with a less expensive brokerage.
    And then I always seem to do the opposite of what the industry is doing. At the top of the market six years ago, very little business was coming my way. Partly because everybody and their uncle was a real estate agent. My best year was 2011, the bottom of the market. Maybe because a lot of agents had already dropped out?
    In any event, I think I read somewhere that 20% of the agents do 90% of the business. It doesn’t make them good agents or bad agent, just agents with more business.

  9. 9
    Blurtman says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 8:

    By whatsmyname @ 5:

    “And then I always seem to do the opposite of what the industry is doing. At the top of the market six years ago, very little business was coming my way.”

    I heard that CNBC was using the Ira indicator as a contra-indictor of the RE market. So how about some inside info? Is it skiing in Gstaad this winter, or touring the fast food scene in Seatac?

  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    What the heck, it’s Saturday morning, and I’ve got our last outdoor project being completed, and I have to wait around to pay the guys, so I’ll just say that:

    2011 was the top of the market, the market began to cool, again, so the Fed forced a situation where interest rates took a 1% drop. That started the stampede of the sheeple to lock in massive debt, and a low interest rate.

    It’s like the Rent to Own places telling you you have 0% interest, but that couch costs $3K.

    The consumer, who is already heavily in debt from so many things that cost more, but you get less, is now signing up for what used to be a long term appreciating asset, and getting a rent to own deal that is still costing twice the price in interest payments on an inflated price.

    We are a consumer based economy, but the consumer is having difficult financial choices. Every time you think you are getting ahead prices jump on things like gas, or beef, or clothing, cars, Real Estate….

    At some point the consumer has to figure out how do get rid of the massive debt. Will that be in the form of further savings, better investment strategy, or cutting back, and getting onto a budget? Because for sure the prospects of getting a better job, or a second part time job, are fading.

    Something’s gotta give, and it seems that housing is an obvious choice.

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