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Seattle Bubble Forum Archive • View topic - PI Article: Housing prices show YoY drop

PI Article: Housing prices show YoY drop

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PI Article: Housing prices show YoY drop

Postby brettro » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:31 am



Housing prices show year-to-year drop

By AUBREY COHEN
P-I REPORTER

Typical houses in Seattle and King County sold for less in December than they did a year earlier -- the first year-to-year drops in house prices since the market started slowing.

The median selling price in December was $455,975 in Seattle and $435,000 in King County, down 1.5 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, from December 2006, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The city price was down 9 percent from a high of $501,000 in August, while the county price was off 9.6 percent from a peak of $481,000 in July 2007.

The city's price was down 3.5 percent from November, while the county's was unchanged.

The median for all Seattle homes, including condos, was $416,950 in December, down 0.7 percent from a year earlier, but up 3 percent from November, thanks largely to a 5-percent monthly rise in the median condo price. The county median for all homes was $389,500, down 2.6 percent from a year earlier, but up 1 percent from November.

The number of homes on the market in December was up 70 percent in the city and 61 percent countywide from December 2006. Closed sales were down 14 percent in the city and 28 percent in the county, while pending sales, which can be a better indicator of the most-recent activity, dropped by 23 percent and 34 percent, respectively

The median home price across all 19 Washington counties in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $313,325 in December, down about half a percent from a month and year earlier. For 2007, the median price for the listing service's home was $325,000, up 5.8 percent from 2006.

In a news release accompanying the numbers, area brokers said flooding and above-normal precipitation contributed to the typical seasonal slowdown, but expressed optimism about the market.

"Traffic at open houses between Christmas and New Year's was the heaviest we've seen in a long time," said Dick Beeson, a listing-service director and broker/owner of Windermere/Commencement Associates, in Tacoma. "I believe the bottom has arrived in the Puget Sound marketplace and from here on prices will stay level or advance slightly in 2008."

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate, said several factors point to a market turnaround.

"Interest rates are down, sellers have adjusted their prices, apartments are full, job growth is strong and there is a pent-up demand of buyers coming into the market," he said.
Coffee is for closers.
brettro
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