Seattle Sales Melt But Prices Rise?
In This Post
A look past the headlines for Seattle and King County
It seems like the Seattle Times headline writer was trying to make two puns involving the July statistics for home sales in King County and the City of Seattle. Our temps today are only in the 50's. So little is melting, including sales numbers if you look at them with the proper perspective.
On August 6, 2010 the Seattle Times reported that King County Home Sales Melt in July, but Prices Rise. The article goes on the compare this month with last month and this year with last year. I think it would be more prudent to look at who is buying and at what is being sold.
On April 30th, 2010, the first time buyer credit of $8,000 expired. It's only natural that there would have been a rush of homes sold so that first time buyers could qualify for that credit. These homes closed during May and June. And what homes do first time buyers usually buy? Well, entry level homes, the lowest priced homes on the market. So, it follows that the median price of homes sold would be lower.
Who's buying now? The normal cross-section of people in the market. That's why prices are higher. For people that are in a position to move because of life changes, they can put their well prepared home on the market and get an offer, and they can search current inventory and buy the home they are looking for. No incentives. Just normal business.
In the years to come I think it will be noted that 2010 was an uneventful year in the history of Seattle and King County real estate. There was not a feeding frenzy, but homes sold and life went on. How refreshing.