Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – December 2011

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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 2011REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 2011

December 11, 2011

*Home Sales Outpace Number of New Listings for First Time in Five Years*

KIRKLAND, WA, December 5, 2011 – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported 6,103 pending sales during November, marking the seventh straight month of double-digit year-over-year increases.

Last month’s total number of mutually accepted offers was 22.4 percent higher than the same month a year ago. It also marked the first month since December 2006 that the number of pending sales surpassed the number of new listings (6,043), prompting discussions of possible inventory shortages.

“As we head toward the end of the year, it’s certainly good to see a healthy number of buyers relative to the available inventory for sale,” said Mike Grady, with a large real estate brokerage in the Seattle, Washington area. “In fact,” he noted, “there are some desirable neighborhoods in urban core areas where the case could be made there are too few homes currently for sale.”

At month end, there were 30,650 residential listings in the MLS inventory across 21 counties, down nearly 17 percent from a year ago. For the listing service map areas covering Seattle, the database shows a year-over-year drop of about 32 percent.

Despite the smaller selection, the listings in the MLS database covering all counties span a wide price range: 400 homes are priced at $50,000 or less and 65 residences are listed at $5 million-plus.

For homes and condominiums that sold last month, the median selling price was $225,000, down 10 percent from the year-ago median price of $250,000. Single family home prices were off 8 percent from a year ago ($234,612 versus $255,000), while condo prices slipped more than 17 percent ($169,000 versus $204,500).

Brokers point to distressed properties, which tend to be deeply discounted, as a primary cause of lower prices.

Bank-owned homes continue to put downward pressure on pricing, reported Northwest MLS director Matt Deasy, with Windermere Real Estate.

For the four-county Puget Sound region, a check of the Northwest MLS database shows more than one-fourth (26.8 percent) of the single-family homes that sold last month were classified as distressed, up from the year-ago figure of 21.9 percent.

SFH only

Nov. 2011

Nov. 2010

 

Total

Bank

owned

% bank

owned/REO

Total

Bank

owned

% bank

owned/REO

King

1538

327

21.26%

1092

163

14.93%

Snoh

680

201

29.56%

499

138

27.66%

Pierce

710

268

37.75%

591

172

29.10%

Kitsap

191

41

21.47%

178

43

24.16%

4-co ttl

3119

837

26.84%

2360

516

21.86%

(*REO is a class of property owned by a lender – typically a bank, government

agency, or government loan insurer – after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure

auction. – Wikipedia)

For the MLS market overall (21 counties), the number of closed sales jumped 36.2 percent, rising from 3,583 completed transactions during November 2010 to last month’s total of 4,879.

“Home prices continue to get dragged down by foreclosures and short sales, which is disappointing given how strong home sales are,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “We probably won’t see drastic changes in prices until the banks work through the distressed inventory,” he noted, adding, “but we expect the pace of this process to pick up over the next several months, so hopefully by this time next year we’ll be singing a different tune.”

Kitsap County was one of the few areas to register a price gain. The median sales price edged up slightly more than 1 percent, from $230,000 to $232,500. “One month does not make a trend,” acknowledged MLS director Frank Wilson, while noting the change in direction to a positive number is encouraging.

Wilson, a managing broker in Poulsbo, WA, expects Kitsap County will benefit from last week’s surprise announcement of a contract extension between Boeing and the Machinists Union, since Kitsap often feels an echo effect of what happens on “the other side.” If ratified, he said the contract “will definitely help our area (particularly the northern part) in the long run as buyers will continue to see a significant price difference between Seattle-side real estate and what they can buy in Kitsap.” (According to Northwest MLS data, the median asking price on current listings of single family homes in Kitsap County is $289,000, while in King County it is $370,000, about 28 percent more.)

One of the sub-markets with vigorous activity is North Seattle, reported Mike Grady. The number of homes currently in escrow nearly matches the number still available for sale, a condition not seen since the boom years of 2005 and 2006, according to his analysis. He is also encouraged by the small ratio of distressed properties. Grady said fewer than 6 percent of North Seattle properties waiting to close escrow are ‘short sale’ transactions, which he said is “a positive trend our brokers will be keeping a close eye on in the weeks and months ahead.”

Northwest MLS director Wilson cautioned some of the statistics for November and December should be viewed “with a grain a salt.” Buyers and sellers tend to think more about family time and the holidays, and sellers may choose to postpone listing their home until the New Year, or take them off the market during the holiday season, he explained.

Although some sellers, buyers and brokers “check out” during the holidays, Wilson said there is an interesting dynamic that takes place. Houses that are on the market are being looked at by more motivated buyers, buyers who are very focused, he noted. “This is an interesting dynamic that happens every year,” he added.

Wilson’s observation is bolstered by findings from a Realtor.com survey, which found the vast majority of respondents, 79 percent, said more serious buyers were one of the biggest benefits of listing during the holidays. Less competition was an advantage cited by 61 percent of the survey respondents. The majority of respondents, 74 percent, said pricing a home to sell is even more important during the holidays, while an even higher number, 80 percent, said online listing photos were particularly crucial since buyers visit fewer open houses and sellers are less inclined to schedule them during the busy holiday season.

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 December 2011

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for November 2011

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

# Closings

Avg.

Price

Median

Price

King

2,236

8,790

2,486

1,944

$360,515

$290,000

Snohomish

947

3,817

1,041

806

$254,126

$229,950

Pierce

977

4,777

1,048

758

$198,562

$184,848

Kitsap

304

1,595

239

203

$277,251

$232,500

Mason

94

729

49

45

$181,448

$147,500

Skagit

130

958

112

96

$270,768

$192,500

Grays Harbor

83

771

68

57

$144,545

$115,000

Lewis

78

696

61

48

$157,580

$144,950

Cowlitz

93

506

81

62

$154,155

$131,495

Grant

67

514

59

46

$147,861

$135,220

Thurston

279

1,513

274

223

$226,563

$215,000

San Juan

17

421

14

11

$481,636

$366,000

Island

110

853

87

80

$281,137

$239,500

Kittitas

36

469

37

44

$240,545

$196,175

Jefferson

32

520

39

27

$248,544

$225,000

Okanogan

36

379

21

15

$197,456

$220,000

Whatcom

214

1,494

214

176

$234,439

$208,000

Clark

43

208

42

93

$224,098

$197,000

Pacific

39

385

24

20

$128,022

$118,250

Ferry

3

60

5

3

$171,333

$165,000

Clallam

56

421

28

35

$220,809

$185,000

Others

169

774

74

87

$191,788

$175,000

MLS TOTAL

6,043

30,650

6,103

4,879

$280,168

$225,000

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 2011

 

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
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
201142724767604957325963586856575944529953844814

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter December 2011, copyright 2011. 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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