Adding to the recent stellar news regarding Seattle’s real estate market, this month’s stats show another big median price increase compared to last year, and a continuing surge of home sales. The median home price in Seattle rose 11.1 percent year-over-year in June, to $425,000. Sales, at the same time, were up 13.2 percent compared to June of 2011.
Attention should be paid to the median price statistic, but this stat has to be taken with a grain of salt. Your home’s value did not increase by 11.1% in the past year if you live in Seattle. I emphasize this point, because it’s easy to take any metric and broadly apply it without a lot of analysis.
Median home price increases certainly signal some gains in the value of an overall market but, in a recovery phase, they also have much to do with the category of homes being purchased. To put it simply, people buy smaller, cheaper, less-risky homes in a downturn. This pushes the median home price lower, not just because values are decreasing, but also because the “average home” being sold is just smaller.
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