January 27, 2006
Northwest MLS Brokers Report
*$33.7 Billion In Home Sales During 2005*
KIRKLAND, Wash. (Jan. 17, 2006) – It’s official: 2005 was a record-setting year for members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The broker-owned service completed more than 103,000 transactions valued at more than $33.7 billion.
Those totals include sales in two counties that joined NWMLS during 2005, Okanagan and Whatcom. Excluding closed sales in those counties, the MLS out gained 2004 totals by more than 6,300 transactions for a 6.8 percent increase.
Measured by dollar volume, the comparison of sales in the same 15 counties shows a 17.6 percent increase. Of last year’s residential sales, about 85 percent were single family homes, accounting for about 89 percent of the dollar volume. Of the condominiums that sold last year, by far the largest margin, about 65 percent, is located in King County.
Median prices rose by double digits in all but one of the 17 counties covered by Northwest MLS. Skagit County reported the largest gain: the median price of a single family home that sold there last year was $230,000, up almost 27 percent from the previous year’s median price of $181,200. Other counties reporting increases of 20 percent or more in the median price of a single family home were Mason (up 24.6 percent), Thurston (up 23.3 percent), Grays Harbor (up 22.8 percent), Kitsap (up 20.8 percent) and Pierce (up 20 percent).
Last year’s transactions included 1,521 sales of single family homes that sold for $1 million or more (up from 896 million-dollar-plus sales during 2004). Eight of every 10 of the million-dollar plus homes were in King County. Areas claiming the largest number of high-end home sales are west Bellevue, the Madison Park/Capitol Hill neighborhoods in Seattle, and Mercer Island. Topping the list were two homes that sold for $8.4 million (one on Lake Washington and one on Lake Sammamish).
High-end condominiums also showed impressive gains. A total of 623 condos fetched a half-million dollars or more. That’s up 64 percent from the 380 condos that sold for $500,000 or more during 2004. About 86 percent of the luxury condos are in King County, with the majority (58 percent) having a Seattle address, followed by Kirkland.
Eighty-four condominiums sold for $1 million or more, with 25 of these in the Belltown area of Seattle. Also in Belltown is the condo that sold for the highest price at $5.6 million.
MLS figures show wide variation in the price of a 3-bedroom home, both for pre-owned and newly built dwellings. At the low end, the survey shows a median price of $106,000 for a pre-owned (built 2003 or prior) 3-bedroom home in Grant County. The most expensive 3-bedroom homes are found in San Juan County, where pre-owned homes there sold for $482,000, and in King County, where they sold for a median price of $336,000 (about 16 percent more than a year ago).
For newly built homes, the median price for a 3-bedroom home ranged from $132,000 in Grant County to $470,000 in San Juan County. In King County, a newly built 3-bedroom home sold for a median price of $352,262.
Among other achievements highlighted in the Northwest MLS year-end report:
- During 2005, multiple listing service members added 134,462 new listings to inventory.
- August proved to be the busiest month for new listings, when members added 13,358 residential properties to inventory during that month. (That coincides with the first month of adding Okanogan and Whatcom counties to the MLS reports). In June, members added 13,228 new listings.
- On average, the MLS members represented 22,813 sellers each month. That’s about 1,200 fewer listings than the 2004 average and a sharp drop (19 percent) from the 2003 monthly average of 28,300.
- More than three of every four transactions (76.9 percent) were listed by one office and sold by a different office (a form of cooperation between brokers known as “cross-sales”).
- For the 17-county region, the ratio of selling price to listing price was 98.5 percent (based on asking price at time of sale). Six counties ended the year with a ratio greater than 100 percent, which means the properties sold for more than the asking price. In that group are King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston counties.
- Among the 17 counties in the MLS service area, San Juan claimed the highest median price for single family homes that sold last year ($465,000); King County followed at $374,000.
- In the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap), only about 12.5 percent of single family homes sold for under $200,000, down from last year’s figure of 24 percent; in King County, only 3.5 percent of detached homes sold for under $200,000, which is a drop from a year ago when the total was 9.2 percent. A slightly higher number (3.9 percent) sold for $1 million or more.
- In the 13 outlying counties in the NWMLS service area, approximately 46 percent of the sales of single family homes sold for under $200,000.
- Of the single family homes that sold during 2005, more than half (52.3 percent) had 3 bedrooms. About 5 percent had five bedrooms or more.
Average prices are up steadily since 1989 (note: NWMLS did not begin compiling year-to-date median sales prices until 2003)
This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which is based in Kirkland, WA and owned by its member brokers, encompassing approximately 2,075 member brokerages, with more than 26,000 sales associates. The MLS covers 17 counties, including most of western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state.
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Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2006
Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2006. Copyright 2006. All material contained herein is owned and protected. Any attempts to reproduce this information without the express written consent from the owner will be prosecuted.
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