Prices of sold homes continue to climb in west Bellevue
September 3, 2010 · 3:31 PM
The prices of closed sales of single family homes continued to climb in west Bellevue in August over July while dipping a bit in east Bellevue, according to numbers released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
The median price of a closed sale of a single family home in west Bellevue was $1,250,000 in August, up from $1,079,500 in July. A total of 27 single family homes closed in August, compared with 38 in July.
In east Bellevue, the closed price in August was $427,500, compared with $472,000 in July. A total of 42 single family homes closed in August, compared with 60 in July.
Realtors said the current market is being driven by "value."
“It is solidly a buyer’s market,” said OB Jacobi, general manager of Windermere Real Estate Company. “The market is good for sellers who price their homes correctly,” he stated. “Homes that are priced right from the start, at every price range, are selling quickly and for very close to asking price."
Closed sales of condos were up in both west and east Bellevue from July to August.
In west Bellevue, a total of 16 condos closed in August at a median price of $456,125. In July there were 13 condos sold in west Bellevue at a median price of $444,000.
In east Bellevue, a total of 20 condos closed in August at a median price of $252,500. In July, there were 16 condos closed at a median price of $225,000.
In both areas, there were fewer single family homes listed in August than July. In west Bellevue, the listings declined to 54 in August from 71 in July. In east Bellevue, the listings declined to 80 from 110.
Condo listings were similar in west Bellevue with 44 listed in August compared to 42 in July. In east Bellevue, there were 49 condos listed in August compared to 61 in July.
Closed sale prices in Bellevue continue to far outpace those in King County and elsewhere in western Washington. In western Washington (Clark, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, and Thurston counties). the medial price was $275,000.
In King County itself, the medial price was $380,000. King County accounts for for more than one-third of closed sales of single family homes in August.
Windermere's Jacobi described the current pool of buyers as “value-hunters” with stable income and good credit, noting that they are taking the opportunity to purchase homes they couldn’t afford a few years ago.
J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said that prospective purchasers may not be aware of a forthcoming change in annual mortgage insurance premiums that can reduce purchasing power.
“Buyers may not be aware of plans by the Federal Housing Association to raise its annual mortgage insurance premiums by 3 percent on October 4," Scott said.
With FHA loans accounting for about half of all home loans, the change will affect a significant number of borrowers, Scott added.
“When you do the math on a $300,000 loan, the increase equates to an extra $81 a month or nearly $1,000 annually,” he noted, which “effectively represents a 3 percent loss in purchasing power."
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.