Monday, December 27, 2010

November Real Estate Report

Madison Park hangs tough

We’ve seen a fair amount of gloomy commentary in recent weeks about the state of the Puget Sound real estate market. An email we received from Redfin earlier this month, for example, described sales volume in Seattle as “dead as a doornail” during November. That’s harsh, but not entirely inaccurate. The number of closed sales in November was down 32% from the same month a year ago, and in our part of town (Capitol Hill are the surrounding neighborhoods), sales actually plunged 41%. Pending sales were also down from 2009 levels.

The market here in Madison Park, however, hasn’t shown quite the same degree of year-over-year decline, perhaps because it was not as impacted by the now-expired home-buying tax credit that is being blamed for the falloff in the overall market. In November, there were eight residential sales in Madison Park, which, though a 20% decrease from the ten sales recorded in November 2009, was still very much in line with sales levels of the past few months. At least through November, the market here in the neighborhood could be characterized as slow but steady.

There were five house sales during the month, two of which were under $1 million. The median sales price was $1,260,000 and the median square footage was 2,900, which works out to an average price per square foot of about $434. Three condos also sold in November, with a median sales price of $325,000. The average square footage was 1,351, and the average price per square foot was $365.

The market continues to be characterized by long sales times (219 days on average for condo sales and 343 days for house sales, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service [MLS]). And sellers continue to accept significant discounts from their original listing prices: 11% for condo sellers and a whopping 18% for house sellers during November, according to the MLS. The numbers are admittedly skewed by the sale of one Washington Park house originally listed at $3,295,000, which sold 624 days later at $2,050,000. Another house sold after 482 days on the market, but with only a 9% discount.

Real estate agents always point to pending sales as the hope for the future, and at mid month there were ten homes in Madison Park on the pending list. At this same time last year there were nine pendings, and December 2009 turned out to be a fairly good month for sales.

Inventory levels continue to be low, but not out of line with the typical seasonal patterns. Some sellers take their houses off the market during the holidays and many potential sellers decide to wait to list their houses until the New Year. Madison Park’s current inventory of 76 residences is actually up from the 70 houses and condos listed at this time last year.

Here’s an overview of the Madison Park market (Broadmoor and Washington Park included) using data from Redfin:


Listings: 52
Median List Price: $1,786,000
Median Sq. Ft.: 3,900
Median Price per Sq. Ft.: $458
Average Days on Market: 180
Percentage with Price Reductions: 40%
Pending Sales: 7
New Listings: 3


Listings: 24
Median List Price: $635,000
Median Sq. Ft.: 1,262
Median Price per Sq. Ft.: $503
Average Days on Market: 216
Percentage with Price Reductions: 46%
Pending Sales: 3
New Listings: 2

Currently, the most expensive home on the market is this 1931 Broadmoor estate, listed at $11,950,000. It boasts slightly more than an acre of property and over 10,000 sq. ft. of living space. Note: “seller financing available.” At the other end of scale, the least expensive ticket to Madison Park is a 643 sq. ft. condo in Washington Park Tower, listed at $269,000.

Finally, one of the most interesting buying opportunities is this “probably uninhabitable” 1948 brick rambler in Canterbury, listed at $1,800,000:

There’s over a half acre of waterfront property here, and the new owner will get a front-row view of the construction of the new SR-520 floating bridge.

[Photo at top: This house at 2341 McGilvra Blvd. E. was on the market at $940,000 in November but was one of the Madison Park homes withdrawn from the market in December.]

Thanks, as always, to Wendy Skerritt of Windermere Real Estate/Capitol Hill for her assistance with market statistics .

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