Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seattle Market is UP not down!

Trulia came out with a report today that ASKING PRICES for Seattle homes are down year over year for April by 6.4%. Does this mean that the SOLD PRICES of homes in Seattle are down as well? Is the Seattle housing market still trending down? Keep in mind that every city, but especially Seattle, is made up of neighborhoods - or mini-housing markets, if you will. Some neighborhoods will see more foreclosures and distress sales than others. Some neighborhoods will be more desirable than others. Also keep in mind that ASKING prices are not the same as SOLD prices - what did the homes on the market actually sell for? Let's take a look at the hottest zipcode for real estate transactions in Seattle, 98115 which encompasses neighborhoods like Ravenna, Wedgwood and Maple Leaf, neighborhoods close to freeways and to the University of Washington. And let's look at sales of three-bedroom homes in this zipcode for both April 2011 and for 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 median 3BR home in April 2011 sold for $412,000 as compared to the same home in 2012 which sold for $457,500. Of course, your money would have bought you more house in 2011. The price per square foot of house sold in 2011 was $196.19, and in 2012 $256.30, an increase of 31%! I will repeat my assertion, that in the high demand neighborhoods of Seattle, where there are fewer distress property sales, prices are on the rise. If you are trying to time the market, you would have done better to buy a year ago, that is, if you were hoping to buy a nice home in a high-demand Seattle neighborhood....

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