Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – August 2012

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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 August 2012REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter August 2012

August 13, 2012

*Multiple Offers for Homes Stimulated by Reduced Inventory and Favorable “Low” Interest Rates*

KIRKLAND, WA, August 6, 2012 Brokers around western Washington reported brisk activity during July with home buyers scrambling to take advantage of attractive financing while encountering shrinking inventory and, in some areas, rising prices.

One broker remarked now is the “best buying opportunity,” she has witnessed in nearly 20 years.

Pending sales jumped more than 17 percent from a year ago, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Nineteen of the 21 counties in its service area reported double-digit increases in the volume of mutually accepted offers.

Prices are also rising in many areas. The median sales price for single family homes and condominiums (combined) that closed area-wide last month was $254,900, up more than 7 percent from the year ago figure of $237,975. Three counties, Clallam, San Juan and Snohomish, reported double-digit gains.

July’s closed sales outgained year ago volumes by 918 transactions. Last month, brokers completed sales for 6,098 buyers and sellers for a year-over-year increase of 17.7 percent. That total marked the third consecutive month when closings topped the 6,000 mark. Prior to May 2012, the last time sales reached the 6,000-plus level was September 2007 when brokers tallied 6,262 closed sales.

Single family homes that sold last month had a median selling price of $269,900, up more than 10 percent from the year-ago figure of $245,000. San Juan County led the price surge with a gain of 21.3 percent, followed by Snohomish County at 13.5 percent. In King County, which accounted for 40 percent of the single family sales, prices were up 7.2 percent.

For condominiums, closed sales soared 26.5 percent, but prices were mostly flat. The median price on last month’s completed transactions was $179,331, down slightly from the year-ago figure of $180,000.

Northwest MLS statistics show the number of pending sales of single family homes and condos (8,416) nearly matched the number new listings (8,632). Pending sales outpaced new listings in Clark, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, resulting in inventory shortages and bidding wars in some price ranges.

The selection, including the combined inventory of single family homes and condominiums, totaled 26,747 listings at month end. That volume represents a decline of 28.6 percent from a year ago, when MLS brokers reported 37,465 active listings. Snohomish County experienced the sharpest decline, with inventory at about half the year-ago levels (2,277 total active listings at month end versus a total of 4,546 at end of July 2011).

“Counter to the historic yearly pattern of increasing inventory from January to late summer, this year we have seen inventory levels shrink month over month,” observed Joe Spencer, area director for the Northwest Region of a large real estate brokerage franchise. “This pattern of shrinking inventory, historically low interest rates and higher consumer confidence clearly signals that the market is on the rebound,” he added.

A check of the Northwest MLS database indicates the current selection of homes with asking prices under $300,000 is very limited in parts of King County, notably within Seattle and on the Eastside. Only about one of every five single family homes (21.5 percent) in Seattle is listed at $300,000 or less, while on the Eastside only about seven percent of the single family homes are priced under $300,000.

Northwest MLS directors in Kitsap and Pierce counties also reported robust activity.

In Kitsap County, pending sales surged 31 percent. “Kitsap continues to see multiple offer situations as our average market time drops,” said Frank Wilson, who noted the supply has dipped below four months. By only a small number, the volume of new listings (451) outgained the number of homes that went under contract (402). “This naturally leads to shortages in some price ranges,” stated Wilson, the branch managing broker at real estate brokerage in Poulsbo, Washington.

Wilson also commented on price increases and new construction activity, comparing Kitsap to other counties in the MLS market area. “Unlike some counties, we have a good representation of new construction in the $200,000 price range in both Silverdale and Poulsbo.” He also spoke favorably of Kitsap County’s moderate changes in prices compared to other markets that tend to experience sharper declines or increases. “Our modest but positive 1.46 percent increase in median price will serve our area well over the long haul.”

In Pierce County, there is a competitive seller’s market in the first-time home buyer price range, yet prices have not yet noticeably increased, according to Bobbie Chipman, principal managing broker at a real estate brokerage firm in Puyallup, WA. Anchoring prices is the significant number of short sales which she noted is reportedly as high as 50 percent in some areas.

“The good news for buyers is that the median price in Pierce County is down almost 2.6 percent,” Chipman said. She believes the current scenario offers buyers “the best buying opportunity seen in nearly 20 years.”

On the flip side, lower inventory is good news for sellers, Chipman suggests. “Those who price their homes properly and have great market exposure are almost guaranteed a sale,” she explained.

In general, the Northwest MLS directors are optimistic about the rebounding housing market.

“Simple economics is at play, with an imbalance in supply and demand that is positively influencing both valuations and the ability for banks to efficiently dispose of the remaining distressed property inventory. All of this bodes well for a sustainable housing recovery,” said Spencer.

Wilson is somewhat more guarded for the short-term, saying he expects interest rates to remain low through fall elections. “Kitsap County is in the middle of its annual market flow. Typically in August you will see buyers take a breath as they squeeze in the last trip or vacation of the summer,” Wilson explained, adding, “We often see open house attendance drop off a bit and activity slow the first part of September. Once school starts, the market again picks up until late in November.”

I am a Short Sale specialist for Seller’s needing to list their home for sale or Buyer’s wanting to obtain a Great deal by Buying a Short Sale home!

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 August 2012

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for July 2012

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

#

Closings

Avg.

Price

Median

Price

King

3,163

6,437

3,301

2,641

$410,726

$340,000

Snohomish

1,146

2,277

1,400

1,029

$268,208

$251,111

Pierce

1,277

3,786

1,386

860

$218,296

$190,000

Kitsap

451

1,593

402

285

$295,919

$242,500

Mason

152

846

95

61

$185,001

$150,000

Skagit

216

1,013

152

121

$232,866

$197,845

Grays Harbor

168

926

89

49

$126,569

$126,000

Lewis

140

729

86

39

$146,902

$142,000

Cowlitz

124

579

114

72

$127,327

$124,325

Grant

125

612

85

48

$153,521

$142,750

Thurston

420

1,350

389

282

$238,276

$224,997

San Juan

33

470

22

15

$625,133

$485,000

Island

204

972

155

94

$267,900

$243,500

Kittitas

96

532

79

42

$224,980

$188,995

Jefferson

94

581

52

36

$215,564

$202,500

Okanogan

67

457

29

23

$171,174

$162,500

Whatcom

399

1,634

321

224

$285,148

$254,800

Clark

66

230

78

53

$224,465

$182,500

Pacific

57

462

37

14

$90,993

$90,000

Ferry

9

76

2

2

$135,000

$135,000

Clallam

81

481

44

34

$221,966

$214,500

Others

144

704

98

74

$216,309

$196,250

MLS TOTAL

8,632

26,747

8,416

6,098

$315,592

$254,900

 

4-County Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)
(Totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter August 2012

 

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

3346

2841

2432

2009

3250

3407

4262

5372

5498

5963

5551

5764

5825

5702

3829

3440

2010

4381

5211

6821

7368

4058

4239

4306

4520

4350

4376

3938

3474

2011

4272

4767

6049

5732

5963

5868

5657

5944

5299

5384

4814

4197

2012

4921

6069

7386

7015729567336489     

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter August 2012, copyright 2012. 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.

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

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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.