Around the Sound: Sales & Listings Moderated in February

It’s time for us to check up on stats outside of the King/Snohomish core with our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

First up, a summary table:

February 2014 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $405,000 $315,000 $222,000 $234,000 $215,350 $240,000 $215,000 $225,000
Price YOY 11.0% 11.5% 11.1% 6.6% -3.1% -0.4% -3.8% -9.3%
Active Listings 3,173 1,801 2,828 1,107 1,038 534 608 926
Listings YOY 7.7% 34.3% 9.2% -1.8% 4.2% -5.0% -1.0% -1.9%
Closed Sales 1,241 544 642 217 195 74 99 136
Sales YOY -9.0% -8.4% -4.2% 15.4% 1.6% 8.8% 15.1% 8.8%
Months of Supply 2.6 3.3 4.4 5.1 5.3 7.2 6.1 6.8

Next we’ll have a look at median prices in February compared to a year earlier. The biggest price gains in February were in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, which all came in around 11 percent higher than a year ago. Prices also rose in Kitsap County, but were down year-over-year in Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Listings are increasing year-over-year in King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Thurston. Listings were down from a year ago in Kitsap, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom. Snohomish county is still way ahead of the the pack with gains over 30 percent from last year.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Closed sales fell in February in King, Snohomish, and Pierce, but were up from a year ago in all the other counties.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Here’s a chart showing months of supply this February and last February. Every county but Kitsap was more balanced this February than it was a year ago. For King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Thurston that means that months of supply went up, but are still in seller’s market territory. In Island, Skagit, and Whatcom months of supply fell, but is still in buyer’s market territory. Kitsap was balanced last year but moved into seller’s market territory this year.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

To close things out, here’s a chart comparing February’s median price to the peak price in each county. Everybody is still down between 15 percent (King) and 31 percent (Island).

Peak Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

The close-in counties (King, Snohomish, Pierce, and sometimes Thurston) are currently acting quite a bit differently than the outlying areas, with sales decreasing and listings increasing. Of course, these areas saw the most extreme frenzy last year so it is no surprise that things are beginning to settle down.

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

    Tim, I really think you’re trying to read too much into too small of changes. I would, however, agree with your point that things are different the further away you get from Seattle (recognizing the existence of the state ferry system.)

  2. 2

    Some Interesting Charts Tim

    IMO, the recent increase in active listings and simultaneous reductions in closed sales means many probable things:

    Cash buyers are retreating?
    Home buyers aren’t qualifying for mortgage loans?
    Baby Boomer downsizing can’t be put off any longer?
    Household incomes for the minority home buyer crowd is inadequate?
    Prices are just to darn high?

    etc, etc….

  3. 3
    whatsmyname says:

    Check out the newswire:
    According to WSJ, it’s prices, not weather that slowed down sales. We know this because February had the lowest number of West Coast sales in 5 years. Only problem for Seattle readers is that Tim’s chart of NWMLS data shows King County February sales higher than all but one of the last 5 years.

    Sean Keely at Curbed Seattle joins Tim in scoffing that Seattle homes sales are down because of the Seahawks. Sales in Seattle are down 5% he says. But he may have made a better case in his article of the 6th:
    “Locally in Seattle, closed sales were up 6.2% and the median price was up 9.5% from 2013.” Perhaps we are getting sloppy in defining what is Seattle. But in any event, no explanation of why sales are down carries much weight when sales are up, eh?

  4. 4
    sam says:


    I dont know where the discrepancy is. Wrote an offer last weekend with no inspection and financing contingency and 7% over list. people have bid 10% higher LP. This is on east side,for a 480K list price.

    It is f ugly out there. I hate to live in an apt, but have no choice. this going up and up is as crazy as it was in 2006/07.

  5. 5
    mike says:

    RE: sam @ 4 – Definitely happening in several places. The mid $500’s range is where I’m seeing a lot of the “$50K over asking” sales this spring. Back 2 years ago when I bought, the competitive prices were $400’s and over $600K would usually sit for a while. Now the competitive range seems to be $150K higher in just 2 short years.

  6. 6
    sam says:

    Does it make sense to track the median price per SFT along with the median price?

  7. 7
    mike says:

    RE: sam @ 6 – Only among similar properties. In areas where land values are high, an 800 sq ft shack may sell for considerably more ppsf than a renovated house double the size. In my neighborhood, the houses with the highest ppsf are torn down immediately.

  8. 8
    whatsmyname says:

    By mike @ 5:

    Back 2 years ago when I bought, the competitive prices were $400’s and over $600K would usually sit for a while. Now the competitive range seems to be $150K higher in just 2 short years.

    Aww, Mike. You had it easy. Two years ago, inventory was about 60% higher than it is today.

  9. 9
    mike says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 8 – Yes, and back then there was only around 2 weeks of inventory.

  10. 10
    ARDELL says:

    RE: sam @ 6

    That works better for homes without basements. There’s a house over by mike that is in multiple offers now that is 900 sf with only one bedroom up, but with a finished basement. My client is 6’4″ tall and his head just made it until he had to go through a mini doorway. He looked like Andre the Giant down there last night. For him it was a 900 sf house. Shorter people would include the finished basement, even though the door openings to the basement rooms was only just under 6′. I think everyone would have to duck to get into the basement, but more people would have fit through the doorways as I and his wife did.

    In an Eastside neighborhood of two story homes mostly without basements that were all built roughly around the same time, price per square foot works well. An appraiser never values basement square feet the same way that the market does. So in Seattle the price per square foot of the above ground square feet is much higher than what appears in the stats, given the mls dilutes the by adding the finished basement measurements. More of that value is up vs down in an appraisal than what appears in the average or median ppsf data

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