House prices in Seattle area had just hit the largest decline since summer 2009. Median house prices dropped in Seattle and in the whole county by about 11 percent and 10.5 percent compared to figures in 2010 — about $334,000 countywide and $355,000 in Seattle, according to a recent report by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Generally, home prices are down in the whole U.S, not just in Seattle. According to Clear Capital, house prices are still expected to fall for another 3.6% over 2011 — unstable for the whole year.
In King County, the median house prices for the month of February are the biggest decline that hit the area since July and August 2010. Local real estate brokers blamed the decline from sales of distressed or foreclosed properties, which are below original asking prices that makes up the majority of the total sales.
According to the Washington State University’s director for the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, Glenn Crellin, the dropped of house prices are not an ordinary situation, it is driven by the pre-foreclosure and foreclosure matter in the area recently.
Crellin also said that most lenders sold foreclosed properties less than their mortgage balance — the short sales to clear out their inventory.
About 37 percent of the total house sales accounted for the moth of February are from “distressed homes” sales in King County. The figure is up by about 7 percent, from 30 percent during the same period lat year — house prices for foreclosed homes is about 30 to 40 percent lower than “not-distressed” residential properties.
House prices for last month dropped 9 percent in downtown Seattle and 6.2 percent countywide compared to the figures in January.