Eastside Saw Biggest Drop in August Sales

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: $251,900-$375,000
  • mid range: $325,000-$689,888
  • high end: $460,000-$1,672,500

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 the low and middle tiers fell for the second month in a row between July and August. Meanwhile the high tier (Eastside) continued rising. The low tier fell 4.3 percent in the month, the middle tier decreased 8.8 percent, and the high tier gained 2.3 percent.

After just two months of declines, the median price in the low and middle tiers is now down year-over-year. Nineteen of the twenty-nine NWMLS regions in King County with single-family home sales in August had a higher median price than a year ago, while just eleven had a month-over-month increase in the median price.

Here’s how the median prices changed year-over-year. Low tier: down 1.8 percent, middle tier: down 6.9 percent, high tier: up 11.0 percent.

Next up, the percentage of each month’s closed sales that took place in each of the three regions.

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area

The share of sales in the low and middle tiers of South King and Seattle both gained ground in August, while Eastside sales dipped. This alone is enough to explain the dramatic month-over-month dip in the county-wide median price. Year-over-year sales were down in all three tiers. Compared to a year ago, sales decreased 1.5 percent in the low tier, fell 9.6 percent in the middle tier, and dropped 8.9 percent in the high tier.

As of August 2014, 32.3 percent of sales were in the low end regions (up from 30.6 percent a year ago), 33.3 percent in the mid range (down from 34.3 percent a year ago), and 34.4 percent in the high end (down from 35.1 percent a year ago).

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

Last month I pointed out that “much of the big spike in the county-wide median price last month can likely be attributed to a shift in sales toward the more expensive neighborhoods on the Eastside.” This month with those expensive sales falling off, the big decline in the median can also be pinned on a sales shift.

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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.