REAL ESTATE CHASE | Sales were level in 4th quarter, but inventory down

Madison Park’s real estate market ended last year on a fairly positive note, with 11 houses and condos changing hands during the month of December. That’s better than the overall 8.5 average sales per month during 2011, but it was not nearly the barn-burning performance that the market generated the previous December. 

In that month, 16 sales occurred. As it happened, however, that high year-end sales volume was not predictive of market performance in 2011. In each of the first two months of this year, there were only four sales. 

It being a new year, the market will be hard-pressed to do much better than it did last year, since the story right now is lack of inventory.

At this time last year, there were 53 houses and 22 condos on the market in Madison Park, 75 total units. 

Right now, the number of for-sale houses has fallen to only 30, and the number of available condos and townhouses is down to 17. That means there are 47 residences currently available, a 37-percent decline year-over-year. 

Based on the 2011 absorption rate (101 houses sold), the market now has only a five-and-a-half-month supply. 


Current market

Here’s a breakdown what’s currently available in Madison Park (Washington Park and Broadmoor included) as provided by Redfin, using information from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service:



Listings: 30

Median list price: $1.985 million

Median square footage: 4,190

Median price per square foot: $474

Average days on market: 91

Percentage with price reductions: 


New listings: 10

Pending sales: 5



Listings: 17

Median list price: $510,000

Median square footage: 1,041

Median price per square foot: $490

Average days on market: 179

Percentage with price reductions: 


New listings: 1

Pending sales: 0


The number of pending sales was down to only five as the year ended, compared to 15 at the beginning of the quarter. The low number of pendings obviously does not bode well for an immediate uptick in home sales. 

The real test will come, however, as we move into the spring. Some houses that were withdrawn from the market could return, and potential new sellers could decide to test the waters, increasing both inventory and market interest.


The last quarter

As has been true since the beginning of the market downturn, there was a clear distinction between the median of homes sold last quarter and the median of those that remained on the market. The houses that closed were, on the whole, much smaller (and therefore less expensive) than those that did not. 

This is what the fourth quarter looked like in terms of sales:



Sales: 22

Median sale price: $1.264 million

Average square footage: 3,215

Average price per square foot: $429

Average days on market: 129

Average discount from list price: 




Sales: 5

Median sale price: $319,000

Average square footage: 1,321

Average price per square foot: $455

Average days on market: 169

Average discount from list price: 



The median sales price of the single-family residences that changed hands, $1.2 million, was a full 36 percent lower than the almost-$2 million median list price of those that remained. 

The houses on the market right now are, in terms of the median, 30-percent larger than those sold in the fourth quarter. The largest, in fact, has more than 10,000 square feet of living space (that’s a mansion in Broadmoor), and 70 percent of the available houses have 3,000 or more square feet.

The most expensive house sold last quarter was a 3,150-square-foot waterfront teardown in Washington Park. Originally listed at $5.18 million, it sold after only 50 days on the market, but at a much-reduced $3.95 million. 

The least expensive house was a 770-square-foot, 1926 cottage located north of East Madison Street, which had been on the market for 166 days. It sold for $440,000, having originally been listed at $525,000. 

Nine of the 22 house sales were under $1 million, and only three of the sales were for $3 million or more.

Condo sales, meanwhile, were at half the level of the previous year, when 10 units sold. The most expensive condo sold in the fourth quarter was a $1.3 million unit in the Washington Park Tower. The least expensive was an 825-square-foot unit next door in Lakeview Lanai, which sold at $232,500.


‘Discounted’ homes

Finally, a note on discounts from original list price, which are currently averaging more than 10 percent for sold homes. The vast majority of condos on the market have had price reductions since inception, with about a quarter of the houses falling into that group. 

A “reduction from list” seems to be the norm, although one homeowner actually was able to score a 104-percent-of-list-price at sale during the fourth quarter, and two others received 100 percent, one of which was after the house had been almost 200 days on the market. 

At the other end of the spectrum was the unhappy Broadmoor homeowner who took a 30.7 percent discount from his original list price, selling the house for $2.07 million after 498 days on the market. 

BRYAN TAGAS writes the Madison Park blog (, from which this column was excerpted. Wendy Skerritt of Windermere Real Estate compiled the sales data.

[[In-content Ad]]