March Single Family Home Sales Supports Median Price on the Eastside Though Supply is Rampant

Recent posts on Sweet Digs:

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 The most recent NWMLS statistics released just a few days ago for the month of March show no big surprises.  Unlike the horrific “declining price” headlines that we are seeing across the country, our Seattle numbers don’t look too shabby in comparison, showing slightly more than a 1% increase in median price for all of King County, and almost a flat median price for the Eastside, compared to March of last year. However, price is only half the story, as the supply side tells a far more worrisome story for sellers.

On the Eastside, total inventory for the month of March was almost 85% up over the same time last year and the number of closed sales of both condos and single family homes (SFH) combined was down almost 37%.  The number of closed Eastside sales was comprised of one-quarter condos and three-quarters SFH, a shift in the mix from March of last year, which consisted of a greater proportion of condo sales (slightly more than one-third condos and the two-thirds SFH).  What does that mean? Well, in a nutshell, it means that the overall median price of Eastside homes is being supported by a greater proportion of higher priced SFH compared to last year; looking solely at median sales price is somewhat misleading.

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The median sales price of an Eastside SFH has declined by almost 5% (from $630K in 2007 to $600K in 2008) while the median sales price of an Eastside condo has actually declined by an even smaller amount  ( 1%). However, the picture becomes less rosy when we look at supply, which just continues to build each month. For sellers, greater supply means tougher competition. However, despite the competition, it looks as if you sellers are still hanging tough on price—what is selling, is selling at prices that are at least relatively close to last year’s sales prices. 

Let’s hear it from the people who are in the trenches–What do you think, buyers and sellers? Is this an accurate assessment of what’s going on out there? Are you, sellers, still willing to wait it out for a higher price, or are you feeling the pressure to drop and compete?