Seattle Sales Increase on Lower Median Price

July home sales in the Seattle region increase year-over-year for the first time in three years, led by an increase of transactions on homes below $300,000. The growth of sales in lower house prices also contributed to a drop in the median sales price, ending a three-month-long streak of month-to-month gains, according to MDA DataQuick. There were 4,221 sales of new and resale houses and condos in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan statistical area (MSA) encompassing King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. That’s an increase of 8.8% from July 2008 and 2.5% from June 2009. It’s the highest sales total in the region for any month since October 2007 and ended a 37-month-long streak of year-over-year declines. It marks the second-lowest July total since 1994, when MDA DataQuick began compiling statistics on the region. Last month, 48.9% of existing home sales were for less than $300,000, up from 46.5% in June and 37.6% in July 2008. The median price dropped to $300,160, down 3.8% from $312,000 in June 2009 and down 11.7% from July 2008. Foreclosure resales represented 16.9% of all resale activity in July, steady from June 2009, but up 5.8% from July 2008. Foreclosure resales peaked in January this year at 23.9%. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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