Median Price Fell Across King County in September

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: $228,500-$370,000
  • mid range: $329,475-$658,000
  • high end: $470,000-$1,602,500

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 all three tiers fell between August and September. The low tier dropped 3.2% in the month, the middle tier fell 4.9%, and the high tier lost 2.3%. All three tiers are of course still up year-over-year. Low tier: +18.1%, middle tier: +11.8%, high tier: +7.2%.

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 fell slightly last month, while sales share in the cheap parts of the county increased.

As of September 2013, 31.5% of sales were in the low end regions, 34.2% in the mid range, and 34.3% in the high end. A year ago the low end regions had more of the share and the mid range less: In September 2012 the low end made up 32.5% of the sales, the mid range was 32.0%, and the high end was 35.4%.

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

Even after the dip in high tier sales share this month, the expensive regions still had the most sales, which is a relatively rare situation.

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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
    ARDELL says:

    I wrote this on August 23rd
    which somewhat correlates to what you are saying.

    But it seems to me that often if not always the very best of homes tend to time their sales to be between Jan and July and often between April and July, which is what creates “Spring Bump”.

    So we are back to is it the market…or the mix? Possibly a little of each, but I’m leaning toward it’s the mix more than the market. I say that because great houses are still coming on and getting multiple offers and bidding up over asking. The difference is during Spring Bump those represent more of the market at say 4 great houses to 1 “bad” one and this time of year the mix reverses to 4 “bad” ones to 1 great one.

    I never know if I’m being too anecdotal because I am in the thick of it. I can’t help but superimpose my anectodal-based opinion. Your take on that?

    A heads up BTW that there are new changes coming that will delay closings in 2014 unless the entire escrow system converts more to an East Coast process. We may see 30 day closings become pretty much impossible with most all being 45 day and not just government insured and government guaranteed loans being the “may need more than 30” transactions. There is a new 3 day rule being perfected that will require HUD 1’s to be done much earlier and possibly repeatedly, with pretty much the same standard they imposed last year or the year before on GFE’s. This is going to create some turmoil, closing date extensions and possibly throw off the MOM stats in 2014.

    It’s still in the process and involves escrow more than the lender this time around. Will be interesting to see how they handle it.

  2. 2
    Corndogs says:

    Late October and sale/list ratio is still over 100% for Seattle. Median Sale $/sq ft is still going up and inventory is heading south………. Matthewwwww!!!! you have some ‘splaining to do!!! You said you were going to be the ”AIR apparent’ when things tanked in July/August. HaHaHa …. I guess we can now call you the ‘Error apparent’? or ‘HEIR head’ or maybe the ‘AIR Apheirant’ Where’s all that condescending duncery? That smug lack of oxygen? That egotistical brainfartery? That vainglorious bedsh!tting? It’s almost like Corndog reached up your back and shut your pie-hole like a hand-puppet!

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    Oh Matthew, you got served a fat slice of humble pie by Corndogs. Last time I heard from you, you were saying that your prophecy of a major housing market crash would still happen, but not overnight. You said to sell now in July/August because after that it would be too late. It looks like the market is only dropping as much as normal for seasonal adjustments. I am going to show you conclusively that it was a better choice to sell my condo at at later date to avoid capital gains tax. So far you are wrong, but it’s not over until i sell my Juanita Condo in your face during the winter and walk away with $100k earnings as opposed to $85k earnings. Taking your advice I think I would have lost out on $15k, which is a lot of money in my opinion.

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    I want to meet Corndogs in the worst way. You are a sharp cookie Corndogs. You are too mean at times…but dumb?…NOT!

  5. 5

    Low Inventory Cheer Leaders

    Can smirk now, but all the Seattle area unsold stock will end up up on the listing block, sooner or later.

    Then we’ll get a true picture of what your house is really worth in an open market.

    For now, the tea leaves we read are limited and hazy.

  6. 6

    RE: softwarengineer @ 5
    And How Did the Recent Government Shutdown Impact Keeping Low Inventory Seattle Area West Coast Home Prices from Going Much Higher?

    The heydays of if you can breath, you’ll get accepted for a loan are over….new “harsher” regulations protecting bank assets and our federal budget go in affect this January. Trick or Treat anyone?

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 5
    I have been smirking as I watch inventory drop again this winter. Hurray!

    Remember that Losh character that use to come on here and make fun of me and tell me Juanita is a dump that will be bulldozed. He said the Juanita area will never demand very much as far as price. I saw this listing and was surprised myself. $1.35M for a 2bd 2.5ba in Juanita. This is much nicer, but only a few blocks from my place.

    Hasn’t sold, but I was very surprised this area could demand this much. Especially after Losh called Juanita the armpit of Washington.

  8. 9
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 8
    Hilarious. Okay, you are right. Tim says it won’t drop more than last year. Well last year, it dropped like a rock, so I would be surprised myself if it dropped that much too. I did think that Tim thought inventory would increase this winter until he told me he only thought year over year inventory would rise. Well, we aren’t in disagreement here on that either.

    I was commenting on declining inventory because I use to get lots of thumbs down when i stated I wanted less inventory. There is no thumbs down, so I wanted to cheer for low inventory without getting beaten up by wrecking bull and the goon squad. It feels good to be liberated from that pesky thumbs down button.

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