Monday, May 28, 2012

Market Prices in Seattle

Both Zillow and the National Association of Realtors are announcing housing prices inching upwards in a number of major markets. But what does that mean for buyers in Seattle?

Every housing market is made up of sub-markets. I have been having discussions with my clients about the increase in housing prices in Seattle for some time. Median home price in Seattle in April 2011 was $385,000; in April 2012, the median price was $425,000.

The picture was not quite as rosy for King County, although we are beginning to see the turnaround there as well. Nor is it true for outlying areas beyond Seattle.

But even within the City limits of Seattle, there can be very different realities on housing prices. Let's examine two zipcodes for comparison: 98115 in North Seattle, and 98118 in South Seattle.

The stats on 3BR home sales in the 98115 zip code in April 2011 as compared to April 2012. Both years had almost exactly the same number of transactions (23/22), but prices of the median home were up by 11% in 2012 over 2011.

The price per square foot of house sold in 2011 was $196.19, and in 2012 $256.30, an increase of 31%.

Of all sales within a mile of the Brighton neighborhood in April 2011, the median home sold for $212,000; but only $204,000 in 2012. The days on market increased in 2012 from 82 to 94. And the price per square foot dropped by 8% in 2012 over 2011 to just $111/sf.

So it pays to know your specific market, and the more specific the better. Housing prices are going up in some, but not all Seattle markets.

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