Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – August 2013

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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 2013REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter August 2013

August 9, 2013

*Home Sale Prices Still Rising in Western Washington Despite Rising Interest Rates*

KIRKLAND, WA, August 6, 2013 – Rising interest rates, rising prices and rising consumer confidence are creating a “positive cyclone of home sales activity,” according to members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. A robust job market around the Greater Seattle area is also spurring sales.

Member-brokers reported 9,565 pending sales during July for an increase of more than 13.6 percent from a year ago – the highest year-over-year gain since January. Last month’s mutually accepted offers across 21 counties also marked a slight improvement on June’s total of 9,484 pending sales.

Northwest MLS director John Deely, the principal managing broker at a real estate brokerage franchise in Seattle, WA, said multiple offers are being reported in all price ranges “with properly priced new listings, and we’re still seeing a surprising number of all cash buyers.” He also noted many transactions are conditioned on the closing of a pending sale as move-up sellers enter the market to buy a new property.

The number of closed sales and the prices on those transactions both rose by double digits compared to a year ago. Members recorded 7,772 completed transactions area-wide to outgain the year-ago volume by 27.5 percent. The median price of those closed sales, which included single family homes and condominiums, was $282,363. That’s up 10.8 percent from the year-ago figure of $254,900.

MLS members added 10,860 new listings to inventory during July to boost the system-wide selection to 25,272 active listings. That is only about 5.5 percent fewer listings than a year ago when inventory stood at 26,747 active listings.

Despite improving inventory overall, supplies remained low, particularly around job centers. Area-wide there is about 2.6 months of supply, which indicates a seller’s market. (In a normal market, a healthy supply level favoring neither buyers nor sellers is around 6 months, according to industry analysts.)

Three counties have less than three months of supply. At the current pace of sales in King County, it would take just 1.5 months to sell the current supply. In Snohomish there is only 1.6 months of supply and in Thurston County the existing supply would be exhausted in about 2.9 months.

Deely said some sellers are testing the waters with aggressive pricing, but they are experiencing longer market times.

MLS director Frank Wilson, representing Kitsap County where there is 3.3 months of supply, expects the seller’s market will continue for at least the next few months. He noted 16 percent more homes in Kitsap County went under contract than the same month a year ago, crediting some of that uptick to the sense of urgency that buyers are feeling because of recent jumps in interest rates.

The average fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.37 percent last week, up from January’s rate of 3.41, according to Freddie Mac.

Buyers should be aware of interest rates now and lock in a rate, stressed Wilson, the Kitsap District manager and branch managing broker at a real estate brokerage in Poulsbo, Washington. “There is nothing more disappointing than having your offer accepted on a home, then have an interest rate jump disqualify you from the purchase,” he remarked, adding, “If you want to gamble go to Las Vegas; if you want to buy a home lock the rate.”

Brokers believe robust private sector job growth should have a positive impact on sales momentum. “Builders will have to keep up with the influx of families moving to the area for employment in order to sustain our growing need for housing,” remarked Mike Grady, president of a real estate franchise brokerage in Bellevue, WA.

Buyers searching for single family homes may have an easier time than those seeking condominiums.

Northwest MLS figures show the inventory for single family homes is down 4.6 percent from a year ago, while the selection of condo listings has declined about 13.2 percent. Prices on single family homes that closed during July were up about 9.9 percent from a year ago. Condo prices jumped more than 16.8 percent.

Prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) in King County continue to climb, with last month’s completed transactions commanding a median sales price of $434,000. That figure reflects an increase of 15.7 percent from a year ago when the median price was $375,250.

Since January, the median sales price for a single family home in King County has risen by $84,000, but the escalation hasn’t seemed to crimp activity. Through July, closed sales of single family homes sold with the county have outgained year-ago totals by nearly 17.9 percent. “This is one of the busiest summer markets I have observed in my 30 plus year real estate career,” Deely commented.

Although some economists expect weaker U.S. economic growth for the remaining months of 2013 and moderating home price increases, brokers say investors are active participants in the local housing market.

“It’s a perfect time to be an investor in Kitsap,” said Wilson. “Home price have not yet started to rise substantially and the rental vacancy rate continues to drop as more homeowners become renters due to short sales or foreclosure.”

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 2013

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for July 2013

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

MONTHS

SUPPLY

New

Listings

 

Total

Active

 

# Pending

Sales

 

#

Closings

 

Avg.

Price

 

Median

Price

 
 
King

4,051

5,728

3,788

3,293

$466,755

$398,888

1.51

Snohomish

1,578

2,359

1,470

1,141

$308,471

$291,000

1.60

Pierce

1,605

3,495

1,541

1,198

$243,623

$220,000

2.27

Kitsap

515

1,542

465

385

$287,209

$232,950

3.32

Mason

177

849

115

66

$199,365

$177,000

7.38

Skagit

262

855

214

170

$258,452

$230,250

4.00

Grays Hrbor

195

868

134

86

$142,313

$142,500

6.48

Lewis

157

744

101

79

$138,525

$146,500

7.37

Cowlitz

162

512

117

113

$187,489

$168,000

4.38

Grant

118

592

95

66

$177,192

$154,953

6.23

Thurston

486

1,268

441

340

$240,469

$228,500

2.88

San Juan

56

444

39

19

$491,142

$400,000

11.38

Island

242

899

206

152

$297,795

$250,000

4.36

Kittitas

120

503

79

62

$224,272

$198,500

6.37

Jefferson

107

535

72

43

$289,201

$244,500

7.43

Okanogan

69

503

36

36

$224,699

$166,000

13.97

Whatcom

511

1,641

365

323

$280,667

$252,000

4.50

Clark

75

190

60

41

$237,244

$215,000

3.17

Pacific

81

488

49

32

$118,981

$104,950

9.96

Ferry

10

70

4

2

$157,500

$157,500

17.50

Clallam

112

487

78

58

$187,559

$169,483

6.24

Others

171

700

96

67

$241,263

$215,600

7.29

MLS TOTAL

10,860

25,272

9,565

7,772

$348,291

$282,363

2.64

 

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter August 2013

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
2000370647785903511654905079492854324569467541263166
2001433450565722539956315568543455444040438741553430
2002429347355569543661315212552562155394577749664153
2003474652906889683771487202767371356698655249044454
2004452162848073791078888186758374646984676162285195

2005

542668338801842086108896820787847561715761884837

2006

527560328174765184118094712176926216640352924346

2007

486962397192697473116876637155804153444738962975
2008329141674520462445264765458045844445334628412432
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299538448144197
2012492160697386701572956733648963415871645351884181
20135548609574007462774373747264     

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 2013, copyright 2013. 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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