NWMLS: Prices Sag as Sales Stay Strong

October market stats were published by the NWMLS today. They haven’t published their press release to its typical location yet, so let’s just dive right into our usual monthly stats.


NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

October 2014 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,504 -9.2% -1.6%
Closed Sales 2,238 +5.9% +2.3%
SAAS (?) 1.15 -13.3% +2.6%
Pending Sales 2,640 +0.9% +2.4%
Months of Supply 2.01 -14.2% -3.8%
Median Price* $447,250 -2.8% +5.0%

Feel free to download the updated Seattle Bubble Spreadsheet (Excel 2003 format), but keep in mind the caution above.

Closed sales bumped up in October, which is not as uncommon as you might think. Similar increases were seen between September and October in 2012, 2010, and 2009. Prices dipped back down a bit (once again most likely due to more shifts in the geographic mix). Meanwhile listings continued to decrease as they do at this time every year.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales bumped up in the month, which is somewhat odd for this time of year, but not unprecedented. Between 2000 and 2013, sales fell an average of 6.7% between September and October, versus a gain of 5.9% this year. Sales increased in October in three other recent years: +10.2% in 2012, +13.0% in 2010, and +8.7% in 2009.

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory continued its annual slide with a another monthly dip.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

The size of the change on this chart was small, but it did totally flip directions back to a seller’s market, with increasing sales and decreasing listings.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

The year-over-year growth in median price fell back down last month to its second-lowest point in 29 months.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

Although prices fell from September, last month set a new record for the highest median price ever for an October, beating out the previous high of $443,950 set in 2007.

October 2014: $447,250
October 2007: $443,950

Here are the articles from the Seattle Times and P-I:

Seattle Times: Region’s October home prices dip slightly, but still up for year
Seattle P-I: Area house prices, sales up; inventory down

Check back tomorrow for the full reporting roundup.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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
    Deerhawke says:

    The headline says “NWMLS: Prices Sag as Sales Stay Strong” but later on we read “Although prices fell from September, last month set a new record for the highest median price ever for an October, beating out the previous high of $443,950 set in 2007.” A bit of a disconnect there, no?

    Looking at the chart of King County Home Prices, maybe the headline should be something like ” Home Prices Exceed 2007 Peak Level for Second Month in a Row. Start of a Trend?”

    It would really be helpful to have the same kinds of data chart for the Seattle Market. Does the NWMLS break this out?

    Pulling Seattle Data from the Times and PI articles, it seems that the median price is at $515K up a healthy 8.3% YOY. While completed sales and closings are basically flat, listings are down 13.4%.

    Maybe that inventory figure is a 1-month aberration, but a double digit drop in inventory is a big deal.

    This is the time of year when the market should normally go to sleep. But at least in the Seattle market, it is really active. Agents that I deal with have plenty of buyers but say there is little new to show them and almost every deal is a multiple offer situation.

  2. 2

    Too Much Verbal Allegations Not Enough “Tim Charts”

    Albeit, even charting available data has holes in its logic too, when other data shows much more stock. Allegations of multiple offers on most of the available stock is like a massively leaky bucket trying to hold water. How about a few stupid investors trying to lead sheeple down the path to the wolf?

  3. 3
    Jonness says:

    “Although prices fell from September, last month set a new record for the highest median price ever for an October, beating out the previous high of $443,950 set in 2007.”

    That’s amazing.

    Perhaps the fire underneath Seattle will eventually reach the outskirts. But for now, the rural areas remain in the toilet.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.