Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – April 2006

 

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Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2006REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

April 17, 2006

*Pending Home Sales for March Eclipse February Totals by 34 Percent* 

KIRKLAND , Wash. (April 6, 2006) – “Pretty decent traffic” at open houses and a brightening picture for inventory helped contribute to an active month of March for home sales in Western Washington.

Brokers reported 10,289 pending sales last month – fewer than the same month a year ago, but significantly more than the previous month, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That total, which encompasses 17 counties, was down about five percent from twelve months ago when brokers notched 10,841 pending sales. Compared to February, when there were 7,673 pending sales, the volume jumped 34 percent.

“People are taking a bit longer to decide and even with the increase in inventory, there hasn’t been a reduction on selling prices,” said NWMLS director Dick Beeson, a broker at Windermere Real Estate.

Prices system-wide were about 13.7 percent higher than a year ago, with ten of the 17 counties reporting increases of 20 percent or more. Last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums had a median selling price of $292,000, eclipsing the year-ago figure of $256,783.

In the four-county Puget Sound region, Snohomish County claimed the biggest year-over-year price hike. The selling price for last month’s closed sales (including single family homes and condos) was $209,950 — $52,375 higher than the same time a year ago for a 20.3 percent increase.

King County’s median price jumped more than $40,000 from a year ago, rising to $365,000 from $324,950. For single family homes only (excluding condominiums) the median price for sales that closed last month was $405,000. That’s almost $145,000 more than the median sales price of $260,300 for single family homes that sold last month in Pierce County.

Three other counties also reported median sales prices above $300,000 for last month’s completed sales of single family homes and condominiums. San Juan County continues to top the list, with last month’s closings having a median price of $503,250. Jefferson County’s sales had a median price of $315,900 and Snohomish County reported a median price of $309,950.

Brokers credit expanding inventory and attractive financing with fueling activity.

NWMLS members added 12,639 new listings to inventory last month, edging out the year-ago total of 11,808 new listings. The additions include 10,786 single family homes and 1,853 condominiums. With those new listings, the total inventory at month end rose to 23,533 listings. Compared to the same month a year ago, the inventory grew by 15.9 percent.

The largest gains from a year ago are in Thurston County (up 77.5 percent), Grays Harbor County (up 62.5 percent), Pierce County (up 26.7 percent) and Kitsap County (up 22.9 percent). Only four counties have fewer listings than a year ago: Cowlitz, King, Lewis and Kittitas.

“Traffic at open houses has been pretty decent,” Beeson remarked. “People are taking a bit longer to decide,” he acknowledged, but said well-priced properties are still drawing multiple offers. “All the doom and gloom predicted hasn’t arrived,” he said. In fact, he believes the abundance of people moving into the area will sustain demand and price appreciation “for some time,” but tempers his optimism by noting, “So long as rates stay under 7 percent.”

Rates on 30-year mortgages now average 6.54 percent, up from the month-ago average of 6.39 percent, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage information publisher.

“Traffic at open houses has been pretty decent,” Beeson remarked. “People are taking a bit longer to decide,” he acknowledged, but said well-priced properties are still drawing multiple offers. “All the doom and gloom predicted hasn’t arrived,” he said. In fact, he believes the abundance of people moving into the area will sustain demand and price appreciation “for some time,” but tempers his optimism by noting, “So long as rates stay under 7 percent.”

Rates on 30-year mortgages now average 6.54 percent, up from the month-ago average of 6.39 percent, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage information publisher.

Referrals are a “very” important part of my business. Please let me know of anyone that you know who may be considering Buying or Selling real estate – or please give them my name and contact information!

Thank You!

Bob Chapman,

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2006

Statistical Summary by Counties:

Market Activity Summary for March 2006PLEASE NOTE: NWMLS is implementing a new field, CDOM, which stands for Cumulative Days on Market, which will depict a more precise representation of the market time for a property. During this transition,” Days on Market” figures are deleted from these reports.

March 2006 Single Fam. Homes + Condos LISTINGS PENDING SALES CLOSED SALES
New Listings Total Active # Pending Sales # Closings Avg. Price Median Price
King Co. 4655 6359 4106 3219 $445,375 $365,000
Snohomish 2105 3242 1876 1537 $337,955 $309,950
Pierce 2191 4412 1731 1541 $283,455 $259,790
Kitsap 601 1347 461 354 $298,009 $258,700
Mason 157 426 112 90 $223,306 $172,350
Skagit 267 685 208 179 $294,128 $255,725
Grays Harbor 243 676 116 93 $148,013 $136,000
Lewis 144 365 100 92 $167,961 $154,000
Cowlitz 164 370 172 129 $173,173 $159,900
Grant 166 404 107 84 $153,604 $139,400
Thurston 684 1324 525 429 $264,980 $243,500
San Juan 73 236 11 14 $558,561 $503,250
Island 241 634 153 131 $349,875 $299,000
Kittitas 83 273 59 44 $221,728 $194,250
Jefferson 72 280 45 27 $366,272 $315,900
Others 192 653 90 80 $238,627 $235,500
Sub-total 12,03821,6869,8728,043  
Okanogan 38 181 37 25 $182,747 $154,500
Whatcom 563 1666 380 353 $299,382 $252,950
MLS TOTAL 12,639 23,533 10,289 8,421 $348,017 $292,000

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which is based in Kirkland, WA and owned by its member brokers, encompassing approximately 2,075 member brokerages, with more than 26,000 sales associates. The MLS covers 17 counties, including most of western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2006, copyright 2006. All material contained herein is owned and protected. Any attempts to reproduce this information without the express written consent from the owner will be prosecuted.

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