Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – April 2007

 

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Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2007REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

April 12, 2007

*Last Month’ s Pending Sales Surpassed February by 16 Percent*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Apr. 5, 2007) – With warmer temperatures, the residential real estate market seems to be heating up around Western Washington, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures released today show its members reported 9,340 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during March, the highest volume since August 2006, when brokers notched 10,022 pending sales.

Inventory continues to rise – and so are prices.

Brokers added 12,073 news listings of single family homes and 2,208 new listings of condominiums to the NWMLS inventory during March, bringing the total number of active listings to 34,463. Even though the selection is almost 1.5 times larger than a year ago when inventory totaled 23,533 listings, both asking and selling prices continue to rise.

NWMLS figures show the median price for sales of single family homes that closed last month across its 19-county market area was $345,000, up more than 13 percent from a year ago. Condominiums that sold and closed last month fetched a median price of $252,000, for an increase of 10.7 percent compared to twelve months ago.

In the four-county Puget Sound region, Snohomish County experienced the sharpest price hikes. The median price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes (excluding condos) was $382,500, up about 16 percent from the same month a year ago; condo prices jumped 25.7 percent, rising from $189,970 to $238,796.

Pending sales area-wide lagged the year-ago total of 10,289 transactions, but compared to February, there were about 1,300 more pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) for a 16 percent gain. ”

My agents are busy, busy, busy,” reports D’ Ann Jackson, a real estate broker on Mercer Island. Noting the year was slower to kick off because of snow and windstorms, Jackson, the immediate past president of the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors®, said things now “are moving along very nicely.” Anything that is priced right and well marketed is moving quickly – “even in the 1.5 million dollar-plus price ranges,” she added.

NWMLS director Dick Beeson, a broker/owner in Tacoma, echoed Jackson’s comments, while emphasizing the importance of realistic pricing. “It just feels like a normal market with well priced homes seeing offers in 30 days or less and sellers of overpriced properties having a gut check and a motivation check to see if they really are serious about selling,” he observed.

The steam is beginning to build, according to Beeson, who said the expectation of buyers is now starting to change to one of “don’t miss this opportunity to get the best price and low interest rates.”

In Seattle, the market for single family homes in close-in neighborhoods is actually “hotter right now than it was at this time last year,” according to NWMLS director Mike Skahen. Skahen said it’s rare for homes not to have multiple offers and not to go over the list price, but it is occurring in virtually every price range. Among recent examples, he cited a Green Lake house listed for $895,000 that drew multiple offers and sold for $925,000, and a Northgate listing at $485,000 that sold for $520,000. He also noted Green Lake is fast becoming a million dollar neighborhood with several new homes being built in the $1.5-to-$2 million price range.

Brokers agreed the widely-reported subprime lending problems are having little discernible impact on the local market so far.

“It’s important to keep the subprime lending problem in perspective,” said Erik Hand, a mortgage broker. “It’s literally a percentage of a percentage of the market that is being impacted,” according to Hand, who noted, “We’ve been fairly protected from the subprime problem in the Puget Sound region because of our healthy economy and strong housing appreciation. Furthermore, our local buyer demographic tends to be slightly more conservative when it comes to lending; therefore as a region, we have far fewer subprime loans as compared to other parts of the country.”

David Lereah, senior vice president and chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®, said continued volatility in the mortgage markets is expected over the next several months. He said NAR is working diligently to propose and pursue appropriate solutions “so future homebuyers can finance their homes with safe, fair and affordable mortgages.”

Among the resources NAR offers through its members are a series of consumer education brochures, some designed for homebuyers with less-than-perfect credit. The “Shopping for a Mortgage? Do Your Homework First” brochures explain the risks and advantages of various types of mortgages and how to avoid predatory lending.

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 2007

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for March 2007

Mar 2007

Single Fam. Homes + Condos
LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

King Co.

5093

8700

3772

3175

$499,470

$399,500

Snohomish

2333

4673

1542

1269

$393,981

$359,950

Pierce

2392

6554

1456

1199

$310,739

$274,950

Kitsap

650

1995

422

357

$345,990

$285,000

Mason

204

655

103

90

$239,194

$206,750

Skagit

306

965

227

189

$320,186

$256,568

Grays Harbor

175

729

107

86

$167,592

$159,950

Lewis

153

624

91

81

$218,414

$195,000

Cowlitz

205

602

113

98

$203,538

$175,500

Grant

140

372

110

64

$175,426

$120,000

Thurston

720

1851

465

397

$268,596

$249,900

San Juan

74

267

16

10

$620,150

$452,500

Island

263

871

128

109

$341,388

$290,000

Kittitas

141

435

55

50

$308,983

$255,925

Jefferson

103

400

37

34

$380,151

$325,500

Okanogan

38

330

31

29

$209,326

$196,400

Whatcom

638

2116

349

271

$307,988

$271,000

Clark

342

1082

170

149

$303,214

$270,000

Pacific

66

296

32

34

$222,585

$183,750

Others

245

946

114

79

$271,675

$222,500

MLS TOTAL

14,281

34,463

9,340

7,770

$395,027

$325,000

 

4-county Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)

(totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2000

3706

4778

5903

5116

5490

5079

4928

5432

4569

4675

4126

3166

2001

4334

5056

5722

5399

5631

5568

5434

5544

4040

4387

4155

3430

2002

4293

4735

5569

5436

6131

5212

5525

6215

5394

5777

4966

4153

2003

4746

5290

6889

6837

7148

7202

7673

7135

6698

6552

4904

4454

2004

4521

6284

8073

7910

7888

8186

7583

7464

6984

6761

6228

5195

2005

5426

6833

8801

8420

8610

8896

8207

8784

7561

7157

6188

4837

2006

5275

6032

8174

7651

8411

8094

7121

7692

6216

6403

5292

4346

2007

4869

6239

7192

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Based in Kirkland and owned by its member brokers, it currently encompasses more than 2,100 companies with approximately 26,000 sales associates. Together, they serve 17 counties, mostly in western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state. NWMLS recently added service to Clark County with the opening of an office in Vancouver.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2007, copyright 2007. 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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Please visit the links pages in the navigation bar. There you will find links to:  Snohomish County & Washington State School Districts information which includes the official websites of School Districts in Snohomish County and Washington State; The official Washington State government website, Snohomish County & City government websites and Valuable Real Estate Informational and Resource links.