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Originally published Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Median King County house price falls below $400,000

King County home price fell to $392,000, the first time below $400,000 since early 2006, according to October sales figures from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Seattle Times business reporter

House prices in King County dropped below the $400,000 threshold last month for the first time in more than 2 ½ years.

The median price of a single-family home that sold in October was $392,000, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said today. That's down from $415,000 in September and $443,950 in October 2007.

The 11.7 percent year-over-year decline in median price was the steepest since the subprime mortgage crisis sent national and local real-estate markets into reverse last year.

The last time the median price of a single-family home in King County was below $400,000 was in February 2006, MLS records show.

Closed sales numbers declined sharply for houses (down 20.5 percent) and condos (down 42.4 percent). Pending single-family home sales — deals that had been accepted but hadn't closed — were down 24 percent from September and 22 percent from October 2007. Pending condo sales plunged nearly 39 percent.

Local real-estate industry leaders attributed last month's slowdown in part to the stock market's turmoil and other well-publicized economic crises that gave buyers and sellers pause.

"Uncertainty is not a good thing when making one of life's most important decisions," Ron Sparks, managing vice president of Coldwell Banker Bain in Bellevue, said in a statement.

The median condo price in King County held up better last month than that of single-family homes, dipping 1.8 percent below the October 2007 level, to $275,000.

But pending condo sales plunged nearly 39 percent.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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