Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – December 2005


Bob's Bugle - Real Estate Newsletter


Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 2005REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

December 16, 2005

* Pending Sales Drop Slightly – But Prices for Western Washington Homes Still Rising *

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Dec. 6, 2005) – Housing activity in Western Washington showed mixed results in November, with the volume of pending sales declining slightly from 12 months ago – but prices continued to rise.

According to just-released figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service, brokers across 15 counties reported 7,649 pending sales during November — 97 fewer pending transactions (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) than the same month a year ago. That amounts to a decline of 1.25 percent, marking the first drop in pending sales since January 2004.

Nine of the 15 counties in the MLS market area experienced drops in the volume of pending sales last month. (Two other counties, Okanogan and Whatcom, became part of NWMLS earlier this year but are excluded from the year-ago comparisons.)

Other key indicators tracked by the multiple listing service showed gains compared to 12 months ago:

•MLS members added 345 more new listings of single family homes and condominiums to inventory compared to a year ago, for a 4.4 percent increase.

•A comparison of total active inventory of single family homes and condominiums shows there are 296 more listings area-wide than at this time a year ago (22,013 versus 21,717).

•Brokers reported a 4.7 increase in the number of closed sales compared to 12 months ago.

•Prices are up 16.45 percent from a year ago.

Of the six counties reporting increases in pending sales from a year ago, San Juan County claimed the largest percentage increase (35.7%), followed by Grant (27.7%), Cowlitz (14.3%) and Snohomish (9.3%).

Five counties reported double-digit improvement in inventory (Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Pierce, Skagit and Thurston); five other counties had single-digit gains and five counties had declines from a year ago.

The selection remains smaller than year-ago levels in Grant, King, Kittitas, San Juan and Snohomish counties. In King County, where about one-third of the MLS inventory is located, the number of active listings is down about 12.7 percent from a year ago.

Condominium inventory is down sharply from a year ago. At month end, there were 2,440 condo listings in the MLS system, 579 fewer offerings than a year ago (down 19.2 percent). The selection in King County is at about 70 percent of year-ago levels.

All but one county in the NWMLS system reported double-digit price jumps for homes that sold and closed last month compared to 12 months ago. In the four-county Puget Sound region, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties all reported gains of around 20 percent, while in King County prices rose around 14.7 percent.

The median price for last month’s completed sales of homes and condominiums in King County rose from $305,000 a year ago to $350,000. For single family homes only (excluding condominiums), the median selling rice was $389,000, up about $53,000 (15.8 percent) from a year ago.

Affordability continues to be a concern for local brokers. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the third quarter of 2005, only 34.7 percent of homes in Seattle that sold during that period were affordable to families earning that area’s median income of $73,000. That survey pegged the median sales price at $325,000.

Referrals are how I do business. Please tell me 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 December 2005

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which is based in Kirkland, WA and owned by its member brokers, serves 17 counties, mostly in Western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state. It encompasses more than 2,000 companies with approximately 25,000 sales associates.

Statistical Summary by Counties:

Market Activity Summary for November 2005

Nov 2005

Single Family

Homes &







# Pending








King Co. 3160 6766 3078 3181 $424,070 $350,000
Snohomish 1240 3158 1371 1358 $331,838 $300,000
Pierce 1576 4124 1385 1315 $282,602 $250,000
Kitsap 411 1313 354 336 $308,612 $250,884
Mason 98 401 84 97 $213,901 $190,000
Skagit 152 625 175 183 $290,668 $242,200
Grays Hrbr 131 570 85 96 $163,153 $146,700
Lewis 85 411 72 94 $182,065 $156,000
Cowlitz 122 426 112 129 $163,631 $147,000
Grant 86 345 83 77 $129,477 $115,000
Thurston 466 1120 349 357 $272,370 $242,000
San Juan 25 196 19 24 $653,208 $405,000
Island 169 561 142 150 $345,025 $289,475
Kittitas 36 251 52 60 $242,038 $198,725
Jefferson 45 292 44 55 $365,807 $337,500
Others 429 1454 244 174 $272,642 $225,450
SubTotal 8,23122,0137,6497,686 $289,950
Okanogan 23 190 24 26 $140,817 $139,750
Whatcom 306 1394 293 275 $308,317 $270,000
MLS TOTAL 8,560 23,597 7,966 7,987 $344,048 $286,600

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 2005, Copyright 2005. 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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