Market Conditions in 98117>Question Details

Laura, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

When will you be updating the average sales price? Currently, you show the sales prices as of January 2009! That was a year and a half ago!

Asked by Laura, Seattle, WA Mon Aug 30, 2010

I am looking at the Seattle area. Specifically, 98117, 98107 and 98177 zip codes. The average and median sales prices currently showing are outdated. The last update is back in 2009 (january). Are you planning on showing more up to dates sales information? This info (jan 2009) is so old it has no value. Especially in a market that has been declining constantly for the past couple of years. I am looking under the "Buy" column and putting in the city of Seattle and various zip codes in this city. All of the actual sales data is OLD. Only the "listing" prices are current.

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BEST ANSWER
You're right, prices have been declining for quite some time. I write a monthly market commentary for the King County Market. If you'd like to get city or neighborhood specific, then I'd be happy to do that for you.

You can view my market commentary at http://harringtonteam.com/blog/?p=185

Sincerely,
Aaron Harrington

Get help, avoid foreclosure at http://www.EasySeattleShortSale.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 6, 2010
Ardell, great answer, and indeed accurate as you usually are:-)

Laura, speaking directly with an agent/broker vs online is a really good idea. Depending on the base of their business, their experience and references is a good place to start. Not always is "local" the key. Many brokers do business in many different areas. In fact, we are licensed to sell real estate in the entire state. I grew up in Freemont/Greenlake so as I am licensed out of Lake Stevens I practice in lots of different areas since my family is in a lot of different locations throughout the state.

Ardel is a great choice if you want an agent directly in this area-she is detailed, knowledgable and very up to date on the current market
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
Have a local agent pull all of the solds in the past 90 days in your price range, area of preference, etc. The data will be good, and will give you a clear picture very quickly of what's happening. I wouldn't rely on automated computer programs to do the work for you. A real, live, hard working, ground pounding professional is what you need to get you the fresh info!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
Laura,

You have a lot of wonderful answers form a lot of good agents below, so, no need to repeat what they already said. I agree with most of it. the main thing is to pick an agent to work with you. That will be less work for you & you will get to know the market better, and be able to save a lot of money buying just the right house at the right price.

I would suggest that as a buyer, you Google every agent that responds to your question here on Trulia, learn as much as you can about who they are online, read their client testimonials, so you know what their clients are saying about them, and then give us each a call and just ask us why we think you should work with us instead of another agent. Then, pick the best fit for you and let them go to work for you with the skill and knowledge that they have. I hope to hear from you soon.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
You should really use an agent that works in the area your looking. Anyone can pull numbers for an area. When you live and work in an area you understand the nuances no outsider can begin to comprehend. I work the area north of I90 to about 125th in Seattle. My office is in Greenlake and I live about ten blocks from my office.

Brett Frosaker
Broker
Columbia Real Estate Group
206.755.7959
Web Reference: http://Columbia-re.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
Prices are actually up in 98117 from 2009. July 2009 Median Price was $415,000 and July of 2010 was $440,000. I expect prices to get back to the 2009 level by year end. The Tax Credit pushed them up a bit.

I am not answering for Trulia and their data...I just calculated those. It's a little early to do August stats as most agents haven't posted the month end closings. Right now the median is up to $450,000, but theory for that is that most people buying the least expensive homes bought before the tax credit expired, and that is pushing up the median, but is not necessarily reflecting that home prices are up...even though the median is up.

Not sure if this link will post here (below) but it shows you that King County median prices has not been consistently down since early 2009. It's actually been flat to up. Again, I expect that to change unless they bring back a tax credit...and I am hearing some whispers that they may do that.

http://www.realtown.com/Ardell/blog/seattle-real-estate/king…
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
I can go one step further and give you a complete market analysis based on the type of property you interested and neighborhoods. Average prices can change dramatically within blocks.

Let me know if your interested in my services.

Brett. Frosaker
Broker
Columbia Real Estate Group
206.755.7858
Web Reference: http://Columbia-re.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
Hello Laura,
I susggest you find a buyers agent you would enjoy working with. Interview a few, then make a choice. A good agent will provide you with up to date informaiton in the area and your price range. Go to my web site and search for you home by usng your zip code and price range.
Then contact me at 206-356-1282 or email at rogerkinn@comcast.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 25, 2010
Hi Laura,
if you haven't got any info yet, feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to provide you with updated information. Mike Miller, Windermere 206 601 3686
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 25, 2010
In the Hendersonville NC area we discuss the sales price with our sellers every 30 days. Many times we lower the price but sometimes the home owner can not afford to go any lower. Then we suggest that they remove their home from the market!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 23, 2010
I agree, a local Realtor will be able to give you the most accurate data out there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 17, 2010
Hi Laura,

As someone who specializes in selling in Ballard to Blue Ridge (all the zipcodes you mentioned), I actually break down the data myself monthly. My stats compare this year to last year and this month to last month. Let me know if you want more info and I can get it to you. My email is cassiedaughtrey@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
Laura- You've received some good advice. Eventually you'll need an agent and they can provide all this information for you with the most up-to-date data and accuracy. If you need to recommendations for the zip code areas let me know. I've worked with several knowledgeable and reputable agents in those areas. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
I am not defending Trulia or anyones idea of data crunching, but when you look at general sales data for a zip code, or a city, it is better to include 18 months of data. The reason is to smooth out the seasonal up swings and down swings. In 18 months you will have the data include two of the same seasons. In terms of using this data to buy a house, or to see if you are getting a good deal, I agree that it is not the best number to use. In Seattle neighborhoods are very odd shape, and do not conform to a zip code boundary. Even within a neighborhood there are some houses on very busy streets which if were one block away would be worth 100k more.
Web Reference: http://danielbretzke.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
Laura, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Index, values in Seattle are "only" down by about 4% since January 2009. At that time, the Index stood at 154; the most recent report for June is just under 147.

One problem with median and average sales prices is that they are buyer-dependent: they reflect how much people are spending for homes. The Case-Shiller Index is designed to measure how home values fluctuate.

For example, it is possible for the average and median sales prices to stay constant, and the value of homes change - people spending the same amount of money, but getting more or less house due to market conditions.

In the same way, "prices" can go down, but "values" could go up - people spending less money and getting 'way less house; or "prices" could go up, and "values" could go down - people spending more money and getting 'way more house!

Point being, most of us in the real estate profession have abandoned average and median sales prices as tools for measuring the marketplace. We've moved on to something that is actually more useful to both home buyer and home seller, and I hope you'll join us, too!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
A real estate professional will be able to give you the most accurate market analysis for any neighborhood, especially the ones who specialize in the areas you are interested in. This way you will not be relying on OLD data. Any of us will be glad to help you with that.

Good luck house hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
Hi Laura, I'll update these zip code areas on average sale price in the next of days,
Is there a certain type of home you ae interested in. Such as sq. ft., number of bedrooms, bath?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
Weekly changes absolutely work with an agent who lives in the area you are looking to move into Laura - Seattle is a large city.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
Laura,

If you want a real time up to date information on local area pricing any one of us realtors/brokers can assist you. These sites are great for a lot of things, however, nothing online comes close to what an active real estate proffessional can provide you. Feel free to email, call/contact me if you would you would like specific information on this area. I'm happy to help, take care.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 30, 2010
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