Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – February 2010

Bob

           Menu

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 February 2010REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

February 17, 2010

*Northwest MLS Members Report 28% Increase in Pending Sales from One Year Ago*

KIRKLAND, WA, February 4, 2010“More certainty” and “more stability” in the market contributed to a boost in activity during January, according to officials from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Brokers reported an increase of nearly 27 percent in pending sales (purchase offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) from December ’09 and a 28 percent jump from twelve months ago.

Two other indicators of activity fell — inventory and sales prices. There were 3,915 fewer active listings of single family homes and condominiums in the MLS system compared to a year ago, a drop of about 10.3 percent. Sales prices area-wide for January’s closed sales declined about 4.8 percent from year-ago figures. (The NWMLS service area covers 21 counties.)

NWMLS members added 11,206 new listings to inventory during January, including 9,269 single family homes and 1,937 condominiums. With those additions, the selection at month end totaled 34,256 listings, down more than 10 percent from a year ago. The inventory of single family homes shrunk 11.5 percent, while the condo selection declined by 3.7 percent.

Members tallied 5,579 pending sales during January, improving on the year-ago total by 1,226 transactions (up 28.2 percent). For the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish), the number of pending sales jumped nearly 35 percent, led by King County’s increase of 47.4 percent.

Currently, there is about a 6.1 months supply (ratio of houses for sale to houses sold). Economists consider a supply of 3-to-6 months to be a balanced market.

“The market has definitely picked up, with more interest and action by buyers,” reports Dick Beeson, a broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate franchise and a member of the NWMLS board of directors. “Sellers are expecting better results this year than last year, but not necessarily higher prices,” he remarked.

The median sales price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums combined was $259,903, down 4.8 percent from the year-ago price of $273,000. Compared to December, prices fell about 1.9 percent area-wide, with eight counties showing increases in sales prices. In King County, last month’s median price of $350,000 for single family home sales was unchanged from December.

Single family homes (excluding condos) sold for a median price of $262,500, which compares to the year-ago selling price of $276,000, a drop of 4.9 percent.

Short sales and tax credits may be skewing some of the data, according to industry insiders.

“The short sale inventory continues to climb yet many banks are starting to get their act together and actually making it easier for agents and buyers to get faster answers to their proposed contracts,” Beeson said. “Shorter closing times are good for everyone,” he stated, while expressing ongoing concern with the role of Appraisal Management Companies. (Beeson and the National Association of Realtors® suggest Appraisal Management Companies pose potential conflicts of interest if they’re lender-owned, and say assigning appraisers to prepare reports in areas where they lack geographic know-how can yield unreliable results.) “Sales are sometimes lost because of appraisals that don’t reflect the market,” Beeson explained.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, believes the tax credit is skewing market data. Commenting on NAR’s report of December activity, which showed a 10.9 percent jump in pending sales from December 2008 and 1.0 percent increase from November, Yun said “There are easily understood swings in contract activity as buyers respond to a tax credit that was expiring and was then extended and expanded.” Noting December was the fifth highest monthly tally in two years, Yun stated “These swings are masking the underlying trend, which is a broad improvement over year-ago levels.”

Beeson said the fast-approaching tax credit deadline is expected to boost activity in the next few months. “This year will be better than last because of more certainty in the market,” he remarked.

Buyers who have a contract in place to purchase a primary residence by April 30, 2010, have until June 30 to finalize the transaction to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers.

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 February 2010

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for January 2010

January 2010

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

4312

10679

2211

1222

$420,536

$350,000

Snohomish

1924

4901

949

495

$296,314

$267,995

Pierce

1844

5451

962

500

$226,347

$205,000

Kitsap

490

1619

259

177

$274,479

$224,000

Mason

147

628

56

48

$180,408

$161,000

Skagit

216

1143

89

62

$226,209

$208,000

Grays

Harbor

166

769

75

49

$157,479

$135,000

Lewis

158

682

54

39

$155,467

$170,000

Cowlitz

143

638

78

46

$149,033

$118,750

Grant

124

614

44

41

$169,133

$165,000

Thurston

505

1526

302

143

$239,064

$225,000

San Juan

35

395

16

8

$784,809

$671,000

Island

220

923

85

62

$288,745

$266,000

Kittitas

75

427

48

24

$289,526

$219,970

Jefferson

71

472

24

17

$368,471

$299,000

Okanogan

55

331

19

11

$162,019

$128,000

Whatcom

448

1636

189

110

$266,579

$240,500

Clark

78

262

38

37

$219,173

$214,900

Pacific

50

325

29

11

$168,586

$161,500

Ferry

3

40

0

1

$300,000

$300,000

Clallam

25

168

14

7

$175,129

$156,000

Others

117

627

38

32

$204,932

$198,500

MLS TOTAL

11,206

34,256

5,579

3,142

$316,141

$259,904

 

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
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
20104381           

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 21 counties in western and central Washington. 

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter February 2010, copyright 2010. 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.

Past Issues – Bob’s Bugle

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.