Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – April 2009

 

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Bob Chapman
Managing Broker

Windermere Real Estate
Lake Stevens, Inc.

9327 4th St. NE, Ste #3
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
USA
Ph: (425) 268-2940
Fax: (425) 335-1838

Contact Me


Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter April 2009REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

April 13, 2009

*Brokers Report Signs of Improvement in “Real-time” Housing Market*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (April 6, 2009) – Pending sales around Western Washington for the month of March reached the highest level in six months, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Compared to February, last month’s pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) surged 25 percent, rising from 4,559 transactions to 5,701. Last month’s volume was down 5.6 percent when compared to twelve months ago, but it was the highest monthly total since September when brokers reported 5,982 pending sales.

Inventory fell sharply from a year ago (down more than 14 percent), in part due to fewer new listings being added to the supply. Member brokers added 10,252 new listings during March, compared with 13,274 for the same month a year ago, for a drop of nearly 23 percent.

At month-end, there were 39,825 active listings of single family homes and condominiums in the MLS database, a decline of 14.1 percent from the year-ago total of 46,358 listings. The total includes 33,083 single family homes and 6,742 condominiums in 19 counties.

NWMLS director Dick Beeson believes continued reduction in inventory will spur buyer activity. “Well priced and well conditioned properties will generally be the first ones purchased,” Beeson, a broker/owner of a Windermere Real Estate franchise in Tacoma, predicts.

Beeson said open house traffic and calls from “for sale” signs have increased twofold in recent weeks. Buyers are scouring the Internet before calling or visiting open houses so they tend to be knowledgeable about options in their price range, he remarked, while noting they’re still seeking assistance from Realtors® in navigating the negotiation and closing process.

Prices for last month’s completed sales fell about 14 percent area-wide from a year ago, reflecting a combination of factors, including a lingering imbalance between supply (inventory) and demand (buyers), creating a favorable market for buyers. Also, although not quantified in the NWMLS report, a sizable number of foreclosed homes and short sales are included in the monthly tallies so those deeply-discounted properties tend to drag down prices overall.

“As expected, the numbers reflected in the March report continue to show year over year declines. However, these historical comparisons fail to tell the story of the real-time market, which is beginning to show true signs of improvement in many areas,” said Ron Sparks, a managing broker in Seattle, Washington.

Sparks said his company’s Tacoma regional offices reported tripling sales in March, driven in part by lower prices, exceptionally low interest rates and incentives such as the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. The incentives are also credited with spurring increased buyer activity and competition for “starter” homes in many Seattle neighborhoods.

Pending sales in the MLS map areas that make up most of Seattle surged 35.4 percent in March compared to February. The southwest part of King County also registered robust month-to-month gains – 39.3 percent — while sales on the Eastside rose more than 32 percent last month compared to February.

Seven of the 19 counties in the MLS system reported gains of 30 percent or more when comparing last month’s pending sales to February totals. Those counties were Grant, Island, Lewis, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom.

A comparison of price changes for last month’s closed sales shows a 15.4 percent drop in the median price of a single family home compared to twelve months ago and a 2.8 percent decline from February. Of the 19 counties in the MLS report, eleven reported price increases from February.

Condominium prices are down about 8 percent from a year ago and 2.5 percent from a month ago. About half the counties that reported closed sales of condominiums during March showed price increases when compared to February.

Brokers report growing awareness and use of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers, but are less certain of the impact of federal programs for helping distressed homeowners. “The congressional stimulus package for housing refinances to help distressed homeowners by reducing their mortgage interest rates has not really benefited as many as was hoped,” according to Beeson. “Few, if any, banks seem willing to participate,” he commented. 

Encouraged by some of the positive indicators in the latest MLS report, Sparks acknowledged “we’re not out of the woods quite yet, but market improvement must begin somewhere.” NWMLS director Dick Beeson agreed. “All in all, we are seeing generally increased interest at all levels of the market, high and low end. We may not soon see 2005 or 2006 levels of sales numbers, but we’re holding our own and progressing steadily in the right direction.”

Check out my website(s): www.washingtonrealestatepage.com or www.washingtonlandandhomes.com.

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 2009

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for March 2009

March 2009

Single Family

Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

#

Closings

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

4017

13069

2058

1248

$394,169

$335,000

Snohomish

1549

5739

865

485

$325,251

$304,950

Pierce

1611

6268

1043

619

$247,979

$228,375

Kitsap

470

2010

300

186

$327,620

$246,495

Mason

148

705

68

30

$140,362

$130,000

Skagit

240

1224

117

64

$254,986

$240,000

Grays Harbor

153

781

94

46

$171,079

$142,250

Lewis

141

681

72

32

$164,655

$166,000

Cowlitz

116

605

86

51

$191,225

$180,000

Grant

170

682

71

36

$176,490

$145,125

Thurston

441

1615

320

214

$262,636

$240,000

San Juan

61

417

11

4

$1,388,250

$1162,500

Island

208

981

104

70

$282,333

$248,500

Kittitas

80

515

38

25

$263,705

$206,675

Jefferson

71

502

29

21

$314,154

$238,730

Okanogan

45

311

16

3

$137,000

$110,000

Whatcom

398

1792

258

149

$287,387

$257,000

Clark

68

458

66

42

$260,070

$248,750

Pacific

62

371

17

16

$139,594

$147,000

Others

203

1099

68

41

$210,107

$186,500

MLS TOTAL

10,252

39,825

5,701

3,382

$317,443

$270,000

 

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

6974

7311

6876

6371

5580

4153

4447

3896

2975

2008

3291

4167

4520

4624

4526

4765

4580

4584

4445

334628412432
2009325034074262         

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes approximately 28,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 19 counties in western and central Washington. Together, they serve 19 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 2009, copyright 2009. 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.

Past Issues – Bob’s Bugle

Let a trained professional Windermere agent, Bob Chapman, assist you in your Snohomish County real estate home or vacant land buying or selling transaction.

This Snohomish County real estate website page also has a home loan or mortgage calculator.

Please use the navigation bar at the LEFT of the page or CLICK on one of the “City“, “County” or “State” Link pages above to locate Snohomish County Washington real estate. These will quickly take you to the specific information that your Snohomish County real estate search requires.

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.