Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – December 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 December 2009REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

December 20, 2009

*Move-up Buyers & Extended/Expanded Tax Credits Boost Home Sales – Northwest MLS Brokers Expect Momentum to Continue in 2010*

KIRKLAND, WA, December 3, 2009Home sales continued to outperform year-ago totals and prices continued to show signs of stabilizing, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Brokers credit move-up buyers as one factor for the positive activity.

“This winter will not be ‘business as usual’ for the housing market,” proclaimed the CEO of one brokerage while expressing optimism for 2010.

Pending sales for November tapered off from October’s surge during the rush to beat a looming tax credit deadline, but compared to November 2008, home sales jumped more than 31 percent. Members notched 4,888 pending sales (mutual acceptance of an offer) last month, which compares to 3,727 pending’s for the same period a year ago.

Pat Grimm, a member of the NWMLS board of directors, said the strength of the first-time buyer market is no surprise. “What has been surprising is the strength in the move-up market,” he remarked. First-time buyers led the market recovery, according to Grimm, the designated broker of a Windermere Real Estate franchise in the Seattle, Washington area. “Move-up buyers have definitely picked up the baton,” he exclaimed.

Closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) for November outgained year-ago totals by an impressive 76 percent, rising from 2,937 completed transactions to 5,168 closings across the NWMLS service area. Last month’s total number of closings (5,168) exceeded the number of pending sales (4,888), a ratio that had not occurred since October 2008.

The median sales price area-wide was down about 7 percent from a year ago, the lowest percentage decline all year. Prices had been off every month this year by double digits until June (down 9.5 percent) and August (down about 8.8 percent), but for past three months the decline has been under 7.5 percent.

Grimm described the market within Seattle as “strong,” noting stable prices during much of the year and a brisk pace of activity. “The shift was made away from a buyer’s market early this year into a balanced market, and in some areas close to the city core, it’s a seller’s market,” he commented.

Inventory for the MLS map areas encompassing Seattle is down more than 16 percent from a year ago, while pending sales jumped about 33 percent. For single family homes (excluding condos) within the Seattle map areas, inventory declined 20.6 percent from a year ago. The median selling price of $399,995 is 3.6 percent less than twelve months ago.

Inventory area-wide is at its lowest level in nearly two years. At the end of November, brokers reported 36,266 active listings (30,084 single family homes and 6,182 condominiums) across the NWMLS market area. That’s down from 43,584 active listings in the system twelve months ago, a drop of nearly 17 percent. Not since January 2008, when brokers represented 34,950 home sellers, has inventory been that low.

(Last month, Congress passed new legislation that extends the first-time home buyer tax credit of up to $8,000 to buyers who purchase by April 30, 2010. The legislation also authorized a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified repeat home buyers.)

Holidays can be favorable time to buy or sell. Although seasonal slowdowns are typical for housing activity, industry experts say now can be a good time for both sellers and buyers. Buyers tend to encounter less competition for the most desirable homes. Also, qualified buyers can expect above-normal attention from service providers who are experiencing a slowdown in their business, including lenders, home inspectors, appraisers and title companies. Lenders may even be willing to extend very favorable mortgage terms or forgo some fees as they vie for business.

Agents are able to devote more time to clients and the smaller selection of homes on the market. Sellers can also benefit from showcasing their homes with tasteful holiday decorations, although home stagers caution them to show restraint and not overdo the décor.

Other advantages may be faster closings by lenders who are motivated to add transactions to their 2009 books, and tax deductions.

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 December 2009

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for November 2009

November 2009

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King
2571
11474
1984
2025
$415,581
$337,000
Snohomish
1128
5063
787
803
$294,649
$274,950
Pierce
1120
5471
840
802
$247,899
$222,000
Kitsap
328
1719
218
267
$273,771
$239,995
Mason
72
678
61
55
$187,179
$175,000
Skagit
146
1228
88
121
$236,525
$207,500

Grays

Harbor

149
758
75
73
$159,859
$139,000
Lewis
84
742
43
36
$176,312
$162,400
Cowlitz
101
663
50
84
$173,687
$161,000
Grant
70
664
39
63
$174,257
$152,000
Thurston
328
1668
222
277
$251,349
$225,000
San Juan
24
441
10
15
$470,660
$377,000
Island
143
1036
83
89
$285,988
$240,000
Kittitas
65
511
32
37
$256,025
$230,000
Jefferson
33
532
13
27
$333,793
$271,000
Okanogan
21
352
23
15
$181,827
$150,000
Whatcom
228
1687
195
235
$290,344
$240,250
Clark
48
285
42
59
$259,011
$225,000
Pacific
34
362
19
19
$141,688
$139,000
Ferry
1
49
1
2
$185,825
$185,825
Others
107
883
63
64
$206,682
$187,450
MLS TOTAL
6,801
36,266
4,888
5,168
$320,379
$265,000

 

 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
200932503407426253725498596355515764582557023829 

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes approximately 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 19 counties in western and central Washington. 

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 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.

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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 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.