Friday, May 9, 2014

March Seattle Region Home Sale Press Release

Seattle Region March Home Sales

Seattle-area March home sales fell short of a year earlier as an increase in both high-end activity and condo resales failed to offset an overall decline in sub-$500,000 transactions. Price appreciation showed signs of throttling back, with the median sale price rising year-over-year at the slowest pace in 22 months, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 4,367 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow during March in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area encompassing King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Seattle-area sales rose 26.1 percent from the prior month and fell 4.3 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

An increase in sales between February and March is normal for the season. On average, sales between those two months have risen 37.0 percent since 1994, when DataQuick's complete Seattle-area statistics begin.

March was the second month this year to log a year-over-year decline in total sales. In January sales fell 1.3 percent year-over-year. February sales rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier. However, condo resales have increased year-over-year for the past two months, rising 22.1 percent in February and 2.8 percent this March, when 869 condos resold - the highest for a March since 969 condos resold in March 2007.

Total March home sales were 14.0 percent below the average number of homes sold in all months of March since 1994. Sales of existing (not new) single-family detached houses were 16.5 percent below the historical March average, while condo resales were 31.2 percent above average and sales of newly built homes were 36.4 percent below the March average.

Buyers paid a median $315,000 for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the three-county Seattle area in March, up 0.3 percent from the prior month and up 6.8 percent from a year earlier. It was the lowest year-over-year gain since the median rose 6.5 percent in May 2012. Over the past year the highest monthly median was $329,000 in July 2013.

March marked the 24th consecutive month in which the Seattle region's median sale price rose on a year-over-year basis.

The $315,000 median price paid for all homes in March was 13.7 percent lower than the Seattle area's peak $365,200 median in June 2007. The $320,000 median paid for resale single-family detached houses in March was 18.9 percent below that home-type category's June 2007 peak of $394,500. The $245,265 median paid for resale condos in March was 12.4 percent lower than that category's June 2008 peak of $280,000.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. DataQuick was acquired this March by Irvine-based property information company CoreLogic.

The number of homes selling in middle and up-market price categories tended to rise or flatten in March compared with a year earlier, while sales of lower-cost homes fell. The number of sales in March below $200,000 dropped 23.1 percent year-over-year, while sales below $500,000 fell 6.9 percent. Sales above $500,000 rose 3.8 percent year-over-year, while home sales over $700,000 increased 15.5 percent.

In the Seattle region's multi-million-dollar luxury housing market, sales have generally trended higher this year, although March's 19 sales of $2 million or more matched the March 2013 tally. During the first three months of this year, however, a total of 54 homes sold for $2 million or more, up 20 percent from the same three-month period in 2013. Multi-million-dollar sales are identified based on a price or loan amount found in the public record.

Sales of distressed properties - the combination of foreclosure resales and short sales - accounted for roughly 24 percent of the Seattle area's resale market in March, down from about 28 percent the prior month and down from around 34 percent a year earlier.

Investors continue to target many of the region's distressed properties. However, the share of all homes sold to absentee buyers - the combination of investors and vacation-home buyers - has fallen on a month-to-month basis for the past two months. In March absentee buyers purchased 16.5 percent of all homes sold, down from 19.0 percent in February and down from 22.1 percent a year earlier. March's 16.5 percent was the lowest for any month since the absentee buyer share was 15.8 percent in September 2012.

To view other Seattle area March highlights, visit

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Source: DataQuick;

Copyright 2014 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

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