Tuesday, July 1, 2014

May Seattle Region Home Sale Press Release

Seattle Region May Home Sales

The number of homes sold in the Seattle area in May dropped below the year-ago level and fell short of the historical average as activity declined below $500,000 and the share of homes sold to cash and absentee buyers waned. The median price paid for a home rose to the highest level since late summer 2008 but price appreciation continued to throttle back, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 5,347 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow during May in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area encompassing King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Seattle-area sales rose 3.3 percent from the prior month and fell 9.0 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm, which is now owned by Irvine-based property information company CoreLogic, tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

Seattle-area sales typically rise between April and May, increasing an average of 7.2 percent between those two months since 1994, when DataQuick's complete Seattle-area statistics begin.

May was the third month this year to log a year-over-year decline in total sales. February and April saw modest annual sales gains. Of all the home-type categories, condo sales held up the best: May sales of existing (not new) condos dipped just 0.5 percent from a year earlier, and they were 33.1 percent higher than the historical May average for condo resales.

So far this year overall Seattle-area sales are running a bit lower than last year. A total of 21,512 home sold between January and May, down 2.8 percent from the same five-month period in 2013.

Total home sales in May were 5.5 percent below the average number of homes sold during all months of May since 1994. Sales of existing (not new) single-family detached houses were 5.8 percent below the historical May average, while sales of newly built homes were 34.4 percent below the May average.

Buyers paid a median $330,000 for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the three-county Seattle region in May. That's the highest since the median was $338,085 in August 2008. Last month's median rose 2.5 percent from the prior month and increased 4.1 percent from a year earlier. However, the May median's year-over-year gain was the smallest for any month since April 2012, when the region's $274,659 median rose 1.7 percent from April 2011.

May marked the 26th consecutive month in which the Seattle area's median sale price rose on a year-over-year basis. However, the May median was 9.6 percent lower than the region's peak $365,200 median in June 2007. The $339,950 median paid for resale single-family detached houses in May was 13.8 percent below that home-type category's June 2007 peak of $394,500. The $251,000 median paid for resale condos in May was 10.4 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.

The number of homes selling in the higher price ranges rose in May compared with a year earlier, while sales of lower-cost homes fell. The number of sales for less than $200,000 dropped 19.8 percent year-over-year, while May sales below $500,000 fell 12.3 percent. Sales above $500,000 rose 3.5 percent year-over-year, while home sales over $700,000 increased 8.6 percent.

In the Seattle region's multi-million-dollar luxury housing market, sales have trended higher this year. During the first five months of this year a total of 98 homes sold for $2 million or more, up 35.7 percent from the same 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 19 percent of the Seattle area's resale market in May, down from about 20 percent the prior month and down from around 28 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the share of all homes sold to absentee buyers - the combination of investors and vacation-home buyers - fell in May to 16.4 percent, which matches this March's level as the lowest since absentee buyers accounted for 15.8 percent of all sales in September 2012. Similarly, the share of homes purchased by cash buyers in May (21.3 percent) dropped to the lowest level since May 2012, when cash buyers purchased 19.5 percent of all homes sold.

To view additional Seattle area May highlights, please visit DQNews.com.

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com

Copyright 2014 DataQuick. All rights reserved.

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