Median Price Dips on Eastside, Climbs in South King

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 September data:

  • low end: $229,000-$395,985
  • mid range: $330,000-$608,500
  • high end: $474,000-$1,300,000

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 low and middle tiers rose between November and December, while the high tier saw a slight decrease. The low tier rose 7.4% in the month, the middle tier increased 6.6%, and the high tier lost 8.0%. Meanwhile, the median price in the high tier regions is actually down slightly from a year earlier, while the middle tier regions barely turned in a gain. Here’s how the median prices changed year-over-year. Low tier: +11.8%, middle tier: +0.1%, high tier: -1.0%.

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 Eastside held fairly steady in December, while Seattle dipped and South King surged.

As of December 2013, 32.4% of sales were in the low end regions, 32.9% in the mid range, and 34.7% in the high end. A year ago the split was tilted slightly less toward the mid range: In December 2012 the low end made up 33.7% of the sales, the mid range was 30.6%, and the high end was 35.7%.

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 with the big spike up in low end sales in December, we’re still in rather unusual territory. If the low-end regions continue to see a sales surge relative to the rest of the county while also showing the strongest price gains, we’ll probably see the overall county-wide median price continue to increase for a while.

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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:

    Sold just in time!

    Corndogs once said dumb money figures it out last. I would say that South King is about to get theirs.

  2. 2

    RE: Erik @ 1

    Lord Only Knows How Our Property Tax Assessments are Estimated

    Mine went down for last year by about 30%….its climbing back up for 2014. Its suppose to be a 3 year average with growth limits; if that’s the case, they ignore both in their calculations.

  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – I know there’s something on the King County website that says they use a 3 year average, but I’ve yet to see any support for that in either the statute or practice.

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