Cheap South King County Sales Slipping

It’s been a few months since we updated our look at how King County’s sales are shifting between the different regions around the county. This data is interesting to keep tabs on 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 May data:

  • low end: $260,000-$418,900
  • mid range: $375,000-$802,000
  • high end: $539,000-$1,914,000

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-median in the Eastside regions hit an all-time high of $703,000 back in December, but has since retreated to $687,500. Similarly, the mid-tier regions had hit an all-time high of $502,000 in April, but fell back to $472,981 in May. Month-over-month, the median price in the low tier fell 4.2 percent, the middle tier decreased 5.8 percent, and the high tier gained 1.4 percent.

Twenty-five of the twenty-nine NWMLS regions in King County with single-family home sales in May had a higher median price than a year ago, while fourteen had a month-over-month increase in the median price.

Here’s how the median prices changed year-over-year. Low tier: up 8.9 percent, middle tier: up 17.8 percent, high tier: up 11.7 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

Sales in all three regions spiked up dramatically between April and May, and month-to-month the mix shifted slightly away from the Eastside high tier and into the South King and Seattle regions. Month-over-month sales were up 15.7 percent in the low tier, up 16.1 percent in the middle tier, and up 10.3 percent in the high tier.

Year-over-year sales increased in all three tiers as well. Compared to a year ago, sales increased 23.1 percent in the low tier, rose 16.2 percent in the middle tier, and increased 6.9 percent in the high tier.

As of May 2015, 34.1 percent of sales were in the low end regions (up from 32.0 percent a year ago), 35.5 percent in the mid range (compared to 35.2 percent a year ago), and 30.4 percent in the high end (down from 32.8 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

Between late last year and March of this year the share of homes sold in the cheap parts of King County shot up dramatically to nearly 40 percent—a level comparable what we saw during the last housing bubble. However, in April and May the share of sales in South King County fell back down to below the mid-tier regions. This sharp decrease in sales in the cheap regions in the past two months is most likely a big part of why the county-wide median price shot up from $440,000 in March to $480,000 in April and May.

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.