Category Archives: Buyers

Northwest MLS brokers report more than 56,000 sales during 2011, outgaining prior year by 7.4 percent, but total dollar volume shrinks

Here is a recap of 2011 real estate activity in the Pacific Northwest areas served by the Northwest Multiple listing Service. Please contact me if you have any questions, or need guidance in buying or selling a home. Thanks! Wendy


NWMLS KIRKLAND, WA. (Jan. 23, 2012) – Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service tallied 56,290 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums during 2011, improving on 2010’s volume by 4,290 transactions for a 7.4 percent increase.

Last year’s completed sales included 48,952 single family homes (up 7 percent from 2010) and 7,338 condominiums (an increase of more than 10 percent from 2009). Together, these sales were valued at more than $16.7 billion, about $900 million less than the previous year (a decline of 5.1 percent).

Both median prices and inventory dropped compared to 2010. Prices fell 10.3 percent system wide, while the number of new listings added to inventory was down more than 13 percent. Brokers added 101,430 listings to the database during 2011, which was 15,269 fewer than the total number for 2010.

Last year’s median price for closed sales of single family homes and condos was $235,000. In 2010 the median selling price was $262,000. For the 21 counties included in the MLS report, the median price ranged from $120,000 in Grays Harbor County to $387,500 in San Juan County.

In King County, which accounted for 40 percent of last year’s sales, the median selling price was $311,748, down about 10.7 percent from the previous year’s figure of $349,000.

In its annual statistical summary report for its 20,000-plus brokers, the multiple listing service examined various indicators of activity. Among the findings:

  • Single family homes accounted for about 87 percent of the sales volume as measured by units, and about 90 percent of the dollar volume.
  • About half the homes that sold last year had 3 bedrooms, while three-fourths of condos had 2 or fewer bedrooms.
  • Prices for 3-bedroom homes built before 2009 vary widely among the counties in the Northwest MLS market area, ranging from $112,375 in Grays Harbor County up to $408,500 in San Juan County.
  • On average, Northwest MLS brokers represented 34,000 active listings each month.
  • Of 860 million-dollar-plus sales of single family homes, more than half (54.8 percent) were in Seattle’s Eastside suburbs. Of these high-end homes, 145 of them were in the MLS map area encompassing the area west of I-405, including Bellevue and the waterfront communities of Beaux Arts Village, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Medina and Yarrow Point.
  • The highest priced single family home in the MLS system that sold last year was located in the Town of Hunts Point on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, which commanded $14,750,000. The highest priced condominium, located in downtown Kirkland, fetched $3,249,000.
  • A comparison of median prices of home sales within school districts in the Northwest MLS market areas shows the most expensive homes were situated in the Mercer Island School District ($824,000), followed by Bellevue ($550,000) and Issaquah ($530,000). The least expensive homes were in the Queets-Clearwater School District in Jefferson County ($30,000), the Vader School District in Lewis County ($47,900) and the Wilson Creek School District in Grant County ($52,500).
  • Northwest MLS members reported 81,019 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during 2011. That marked an increase of about 10.5 percent from 2010 when members logged 73,349 pending sales.
  • The pace of sales as measured by “months supply” (an estimate of how long it would take for all inventory of active listings to sell at the current pace assuming no new inventory is added) showed a system-wide total of 5.02 months, improving on a figure of 6.42 months for 2010. Using this measurement, Snohomish County had the lowest supply, at 3.69 months, followed by King County at 3.75 months. (Economists consider a supply of 3-to-6 months to be a balanced market, meaning the market favors neither buyers nor sellers.)

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 20,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

2011 Statistical Review & Highlights

Copyright © Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Understanding How Real Estate Market Prices Work

I have been having lengthy discussions with a neighbor trying to explain how real estate market values work. I’ve explained things in more than one way but I can’t seem to get my point across. Really we just have to accept that our houses are worth 30% less than they were when we bought new four years ago, if they aren’t a distressed sale. I came across this article that I think will help those wrestling with reality.

Read Understanding How Real Estate Market Prices Work (NuWire Investor, April 2010)

“Building Green: Good for Planet, The Wallet, and The Bottom Line”

There was an important article that came out this week that I wanted to call to your attention. After 4 years in a Built Green Home and almost as long being certified in green housing, I’ve starting to see real meat and potato information coming out after more homes have been built/renovated, and it is being embraced by the consumer/home buyer.

Building green is getting big, better and cheaper. And it’s not just for new construction: from simple energy efficiency projects to “deep energy retrofits,” owners and leasers of existing homes and commercial buildings can join the green building boom.

Read more from

Try out our interactive home audit tool

Home Audit Tool partnered with Lowe

As a real estate professional I really focus on saving people money.
I am proud to be a part of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, which is putting an effort into their Green Leadership Initiative. Try out our interactive Home Efficiency Audit Tool, brought to you by Lowe’s. Learn how you can save money by making your home more efficient by using this online audit tool. Projects are broken out into everyday energy savers, conservation tip, weekend projects and big payoff projects. Scroll down to the “Live Green” section at the bottom of the page to learn more.

Summer is ON! High Point Farm Stand opens tomorrow

Admit it, you are jealous, just this once, that I can walk to a cool and productive garden and then go home with a canvas bag full of veggies for only ten bucks. Here’s the official announcement that came across the P-Patch list serv today from coordinator Julie Bryan:

The High Point Farm Stand officially opens Wednesday, July 13, offering fresh organic produce picked right from the High Point P-Patch Market Garden. Located at 32nd Ave. SW and SW Juneau St, the farm stand will be open every Wednesday through September from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Fresh right now is spinach, carrots, leafy vegetables, new onions, peas, turnips and radishes, to name a few.

Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens is a partnership developed with the community by the P-Patch Community Gardening Program in collaboration with the Seattle Housing Authority and P-Patch Trust to support low-income gardeners. Its mission is to establish safe, healthy communities and economic opportunity through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm stand enterprises.

For directions for the farm stand, visit the website. To learn more about the Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens, visit their website

If you want to be able to walk to a local farm stand and buy fresh vegetables when in season, click to see High Point homes for sale and then call me for a personalized and detailed tour of the wonderful Built Green Certified community of High Point in West Seattle.

Outdoor living spaces can really sell a home

There’s a reason why summer time helps sell your home – your yard is looking at its best. Curb appeal makes so much difference, you really can’t ignore it.

“Outdoor living spaces” have been a huge trend in the last 5 years. During recession time families have spent more time at home “cocooning”, so have invested time and money on making their homes and outdoors spaces more enjoyable.

An added green bonus: If you keep your gardening spaces and lawn pesticide free, this is really a selling point for families with children and pets, since lawn fertilizers and weed killers and bare feet/paws really don’t mix.

There is an article in today’s Realty Times that gives some more Summertime Selling Tips.

Also, HGTV has a great article out today,
Beautify your outdoor living space with easy-to-tackle projects that can be done in a weekend or less

If you are in the Seattle area and are looking to buy or sell a home, or RENT and need to move, please contact me at 206.686.HOME (4663) for a more personalized search experience.

Wendy Hughes-Jelen, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive
EcoBroker Certified® | Earth Advantage® Broker | Built Green® Certified Professional

SW Cycle Court in the Built Green Certified neighborhood of High Point (in West Seattle) - is reminscent of a beachside village retreat.

UPDATE: 6/17/2011
Landscape Appeal Helps Sell Homes
If you’re like many sellers, listing your home for sale creates a challenge to keep the home show-ready at all times. That can be difficult enough.
Full Story:

SOLD! A Built Green Certified townhome in High Point, and how I love those little square windows (VIDEO)

I am welcoming a new neighbor to High Point soon; one of my real estate clients is purchasing a townhome a couple of blocks from where I live in the Built Green Certified Community of High Point located in West Seattle.
In this video I briefly speak to the benefits of townhome living (I am a previos self-described “townhome hater”) and how awesome those little square windows are.