Friday, November 9, 2007

Christmas Ship schedule

If you like to plan your holiday activities well in advance, you might want to make note of the dates and times that the Christmas Ships will make their annual pilgrimages to West Seattle. Saturday, Dec. 8, 5:15PM-5:35 Seacrest Marina, 8:50PM-9:10 Lowman Beach, and 9:40PM-10:00 Alki Beach. Sunday, Dec. 9 7:10PM-7:30 Don Armeni.

If you've heard about this annual event, but don't know what it's all about, visit the Argosy Cruise website: http://www.argosycruises.com/themecruises/xmasSchedule.cfm

Land Use Updates

The Alki News Beacon has begun publishing a list of land use updates for projects proposed in the Alki area of West Seattle. This is a nice service for residents who would like to stay up-to-date on such issues. After all, how many of us actually take the time to stop and read those big black and white signs erected at proposed building sites?

If you can't get your hands on a copy of the Beacon, you can also go to the City of Seattle website: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/luib/Bulletins.aspx to get the information.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thumbs up for "Bat Boy The Musical"

Okay, so this is not actually real-estate-related (although I did hear about the play from another Realtor), but I feel compelled to put in a good word for Arts West's current production, Bat Boy The Musical. In a word, it is fantastic! Even after reading a favorable review in the Seattle Times, I wasn't confident that I would enjoy the show. Happily, my skepticism was unrewarded. I enjoyed everything about this production! One scene in particular -- which I will not attempt to describe -- made me laugh louder and longer than I remember laughing at any other play or movie I have ever seen.

Do yourself a favor, and GO SEE THIS PLAY!

Are housing prices going down?

As I stated in my earlier post (Is it time to buy?), the average home price in King County has declined slightly (approx. .003%) for each of the last two months. Here are the figures:

Average Sales Price of Homes in King County, 2007
March: $478,728 April: $483,814 May: $493,226 June: $496,258 July: $501,689 August: $504,036 September: $502,381 October: $500,800

You may have noticed a lot of homes with price reductions recently. Most of these reductions are on homes that have been on the market 90 days or more, indicating that they were overpriced from the get-go. Homes coming on the market now (i.e. in the last few weeks) are being listed at more moderate price points, forcing the older listings to reduce their prices in order to be competitive. What remains to be seen is whether or not the more recently listed homes eventually sell for close to their original list price, or end up reducing their prices as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is it time to buy?

"Home prices down again -- is it time to buy?" http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/338526_housing07.html is the headline on the front page of Wednesday morning's P-I. It's a fair question and the article does a good job of presenting lots of statistics There are, however, a couple of aspects of the article that I find to be potentially misleading.

First, is the practice of quoting statistics relating to median prices rather than average prices. I suspect that many people confuse these two terms. Median price, as you know, refers to the price point at which half of the homes on the market fall above and half fall below. Average price, on the other hand, is calculated by adding the sales prices of all the homes sold and then dividing that figure by the total number of homes sold (during a particular period). The average price is therefore closer to the amount the "average" consumer (i.e. the largest percentage) can expect to pay, which is why I think it is a more useful figure. The median sales price will typically be lower than the average sales price.

Related to this is the practice of comparing median prices from last year to median prices for this year. If more lower priced homes (e.g. townhomes and condos, which typically sell for less than single-family homes) are sold this year as compared to last year (and there were), the median price will necessarily go down. That is not the same as prices going down.

On the other hand, the average sales price in King County has declined slightly (approx. .003%)for each of the last two months. Here are the figures:

Average Sales Price of Homes in King County, 2007

March: $478,728 April: $483,814 May: $493,226 June: $496,258 July: $501,689 August: $504,036 September: $502,381 October: $500,800