Seattle condo and single family home prices: non-distressed bouncing sideways while bank-owned and short sales continue to drop

In my last blog post I demonstrated how the longer term trend for the quarterly median sale price of non-distressed Seattle single family homes showed prices were just bouncing sideways since 2009. While the current short term trend has Seattle home prices going up, in the bigger picture they are just bouncing within and a high and low zone. But what about Seattle condo prices plus are Seattle bank-owned homes and Seattle short sale home prices trending differently compared to non-distressed homes?

I looked at the trending median sale price of both distressed and non-distressed Seattle single family homes and Seattle condos. Note that the median sale price is the price at which half the homes sold for above that price and half the homes for below that price. All charts are based on data from the NWMLS. Note that data for short sales and bank-owned homes is only available from 2008 onward.

First up, distressed condo and single family home sales (bank-owned and short sales):

 As can be seen in the above two charts, the monthly median sale price for both Seattle short sale condos and Seattle bank-owned condos has continued to trend downwards. Price is actually channeling downward withing a “zone”. It has been bouncing off a higher price slope and and then bounces off a lower priced slope and then back up again. I added the purple trend lines to each plot based on a purely eye-ball approximation. Regardless, the trend is clearly downward. There are stretches where prices appears to be going up but they are just short term trends withing the broader downward trend. The trend for short sale condos goes from Dec ’09 through Aug ’12 and the trend for bank-owned condos is from Apr ’09 through Aug ’12 (most recent data st the time of wring this post).


And now for the non-distressed Seattle single family homes and condos:

 As can be seen above for the 7 year quarterly median sale price trend charts for non-distressed single family homes and condos prices have essentially just been bouncing sideways for the past few years between two arbitrary upper and lower prices lines I have drawn on the charts (purple lines). There are short periods of prices rising but is then followed by prices going back down again. The range between the upper  and lower prices ranges bars that I added is approximately $30,000 and for Seattle single family homes and about $40,000 for Seattle condos.

Agreed, this is not a highly scientific data crunching exercise and more of a visual assessment of the data. However, there is clear and continuous downward trend for Seattle short sales and Seattle bank-owned home prices, whereas non distressed home appears to be retaining their value for the past 3 years or more (within the plus or minus limits of the sideways price zone). We will have to wait an see if these trends continue.

Moral of the story: Ignore the month to month media-hyped data analysis and just focus on the longer term trends.

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