King County among top places to sell your home for a big profit

People who sold their home in King County in October reaped an average 48 percent gain over their original purchase price, a new report shows.

That profit point puts King near the top of the 127 U.S. counties analyzed by RealtyTrac, a California-based housing data provider.

Only six counties — mostly in California — surpassed King in the average increase between what homeowners bought and sold their homes for.

The average King County home seller in October reaped a $136,082 profit. That’s because of sustained price appreciation: King County median home prices were up 10 percent from a year ago in October, according to the RealtyTrac data.

“The Seattle housing market remains remarkably tight and very competitive. Buyers are still fighting over any new listing which is well priced and this has led to rapid price escalation,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market.

The 127 counties analyzed were those with at least 500 sales in October and where home price data was available both on the most recent purchase and the previous purchase.

In 15 of those counties (12 percent) home sellers on average in October sold for a lower price than what they purchased for. Counties with the biggest percentage loss were Burlington County, New Jersey in the Philadelphia metro area (13 percent loss), Kane County, Illinois in the Chicago metro (9 percent loss), Shelby County, Tennessee in the Memphis metro area (4 percent loss), Guilford County, North Carolina in the Greensboro metro area (4 percent loss), and Cook County, Illinois in the Chicago metro area (4 percent loss).

When it comes to places where home sellers were raking in a lot more than what they paid, those counties included Alameda County, California in the San Francisco metro area (75 percent gain), Santa Clara County, California in the San Jose metro area (61 percent gain), San Mateo County, California in the San Francisco metro area (58 percent gain), San Bernardino County, California in the Riverside metro area (52 percent gain), and Multnomah County, Oregon in the Portland metro area (51 percent gain).

Other counties where sellers realized hefty gains in October were Denver County, Colorado (49 percent gain), Travis County, Texas in the Austin metro area (48 percent gain), Contra Costa County, California in the San Francisco metro area (48 percent gain), King County (48 percent gain), and Orange County, California in the Los Angeles metro area (46 percent gain).

Steven Goldsmith, Puget Sound Business Journal 12-3-2015

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