Saturday, November 27, 2010

October Real Estate Report

There’s no getting around the fact that it’s just not over. The decline in activity in the local real estate market, that is. The October numbers released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for our area of town show sales, pending sales, and median sales values all down for the month, compared to October a year ago. And 2009 was hardly considered a good year in the local market.

For MLS’s Statistical Area 390 (which includes Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Madrona, and Montlake) inventory levels remained steady, but closed sales declined by 19% and pending sales were down by 24% year-over-year. This performance was better, however, than for Seattle as a whole, where closed sales declined by 32% and pendings were off by 26%.

Comparing monthly sales data for a market as small as Madison Park’s doesn’t make at lot of sense, however. Where total monthly sales range from only 5 to 11, a couple of extra sales (or a couple fewer) can seriously skew the data. The best way to analyze the numbers for our neighborhood is to look at longer-term trends. At the end of the year we will compare 2010 to 2009 and to previous years in order to put our market into better perspective. Just for the record, October’s numbers for Madison Park are almost level with those for the same month a year ago. Madison Park actually seems to be doing a bit better than the rest of town.

Here are the October market data for Madison Park (Broadmoor and Washington Park included), as reported by the MLS:


Sales: 3
Median Sale Price: $1,640,000
Average Sq. Ft.: 4,867
Average Price per Sq. Ft.: $572
Average Days on Market: 103
Average Discount from Original List Price: 14.7%


Sales: 2
Median Sale Price: $1,120,000
Average Sq. Ft.: 1,557
Average Price per Sq. Ft.: $646
Average Days on Market: 125
Average Discount from Original List Price: 4.7%

Additionally, however, the King County Assessor’s office reported two sales in Madison Park that were not apparently handled through the MLS. Both sales were under $1 million, and if included the above totals would reduce the median sale price for single-family homes to $1,150,000.

The October total of seven sales was slightly down from the eight home sales recorded in October 2009 and in line with the seven sales reported in Madison Park last month. The homes that sold did so relatively quickly, but the sellers of single-family homes took fairly deep discounts from their original list prices in order to get the sale: almost 15% on average. Condo sellers did much better, with an average discount of under 5%. Both condos that sold during the month were in the Washington Park Tower (1620 43rd Avenue). The most expensive home sold was the Washington Park waterfront estate of Joel Diamond, which we featured in our Summer Real Estate Report. Originally listed at $7,880,000, it sold for $6,700,000.

Here’s the current state of our real estate market, as reported by Redfin:


Listings: 62
Median List Price: $1,786,000
Median Sq. Ft.: 3,900
Median Price per Sq. Ft.: $458
Average Days on Market: 156
Proportion with Price Reductions: 34%

Condos & Townhouses

Listings: 31
Median List Price: $519,000
Median Sq. Ft.: 1,262
Median Price per Sq. Ft.: $411
Average Days on Market: 199
Proportion with Price Reductions: 45%

There are eight houses and five condos currently pending sale. Inventory levels, meanwhile, seem to be holding steady at around 100 listings. Many realtors advise prospective sellers to refrain from entering the market during the holiday season, since many potential buyers are focused on other things. This is not a universally held view, apparently. There were 12 new listings on the market during the last 30 days.

[Photo: This 2,100 sq. ft. one-story home, built in 1941 but recently remodeled, sits in the heart of Madison Park at 2060 McGilvra Boulevard. It has been on the market for one month and is a listing of Evan Wyman, Windermere Real Estate. Thanks, as always, to Wendy Skerritt of Windermere Real Estate for her help in compiling market data used in this report.]


  1. Yeah, at this point it's pretty much resign yourself to holding for the next few years. Or pray hard ;)

  2. Perhaps it's just me, but I find your blog layout white on black very difficult to read. I guess it's okay since I mainly read it on google reader which is black on white. Just a note in case you wanted to know. Thanks for the news anyway.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.