Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – January 2008

 

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 January 2008REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

January 12, 2008

*Homes Sold in 13 of 19 Counties During December in Northwest MLS System Notch Price Gains from Year Ago*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Jan. 7, 2008) –  December brought few surprises in housing activity around Western Washington, with above-normal precipitation and floods contributing to the expected seasonal slowdown, according to officials from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

As December came to  its soggy close (marked by a month with 25 days of precipitation for Seattle), brokers had an optimistic outlook, citing pent-up demand, positive job growth, stable prices, brisk activity at open houses, and other indications of an improving market.

“Traffic at open houses between Christmas and New Year’s was the heaviest we’ve seen in a long time,” reported NWMLS director Dick Beeson, a broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate in Tacoma.  “Buyers were very upbeat and ready to act,” he added.

Brokers reported 3,950 pending sales (offers made and accepted but not yet closed) system-wide during December, lagging November’s total of 5,194 transactions.  When compared to the same month a year ago, the number of pending sales dropped by about 31 percent (5,744 versus 3,950).

Prices overall were comparable to twelve months ago, with 13 of the 19 counties in the MLS market area reporting increases (including seven counties with double-digit gains).  During the month, there were 4,634 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums with an area-wide median selling price of $313,325. That’s down slightly (0.53 percent) from the year-ago median sales price of $315,000.

Comparing counties in the Northwest MLS market area, the median sales price ranged from a low of $146,500 in Grant County to a high of $594,500 in San Juan County.  For the four-county Puget Sound region, the median sales price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $342,000.

For single family homes (excluding condominiums), prices slipped less than a percentage point, from the year-ago figure of $330,000 to last month’s price of $326,950 (down 0.92 percent).  In King County, the median sales price of $435,000 matched November.

For 2007, the median price for all homes and condos sold and closed by members of Northwest MLS was $325,000, a gain of 5.8 percent compared to closed sales for 2006.

Condominium prices continued trending upward, registering a 5.4 percent increase from year-ago figures. Area-wide, last month’s condos had a median sales price of $252,900, which compares to a year-ago figure of $240,000.  In King County, which accounted for 65 percent of the volume, the median sales price for December’s closed sales of condominiums was $290,000, up more than 7.4 percent from a year ago when the median price was $269,950.

MLS members added 5,543 new listings to the inventory during December, slightly more than a year ago when they added 5,357 new listings.  With those additions, the number of active listings of single family homes and condos at month end totaled 38,440.  That’s down from November’s inventory of 44,399 active listings, but up almost 36 percent from a year ago when there were 28,307 residences offered for sale.

“I believe the bottom has arrived in the Puget Sound market place and from here on prices will stay level or advance slightly in 2008,” Beeson remarked, adding, “My agents tell me their recent conversations with buyers indicate pent-up demand that should start showing up in the marketplace this month and next.”

Beeson acknowledged uncertainty about new federal programs on subprime loans and foreclosures could restrain activity.  Despite that caveat, he expects improving numbers this year over last. Sellers are finally “getting it” and pricing their properties closer to where they should be. “Nothing substitutes for correct pricing and excellent condition for obtaining the best offer in the least amount of time,” he remarked, adding, “With interest rates remaining low, we could see some instant success with sales.”

For the first week of January, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 6.14 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.24 percent.  

“Given the positive job growth, strong regional economic outlook and the fact that buildable land is still scarce, the return of a reasonably hot market is likely, making this an optimum time to buy,” said Ron Sparks with Coldwell Banker Bain. 

Citing a report about declining home sales from a May 2001 Seattle daily newspaper, Sparks quoted a question posed to readers:  “Does it signal the end of a four year boom market that’s seen the average price of King County single family homes climb to a breath-taking $310,000?”  With the average price of a single family home that sold last month in King County nearly $535,000 (median price = $435,000), “We know the answer,” Sparks commented.    

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 January 2008

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for December 2007

December 2007

Single Family Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avgerage Price

Median Price

King

1826

10947

1488

1855

$477,087

$389,500

Snohomish

906

5468

636

682

$366,875

$339,675

Pierce

1111

7109

663

681

$298,898

$269,950

Kitsap

316

2161

188

208

$325,263

$265,500

Mason

76

681

53

47

$252,331

$222,500

Skagit

133

1131

86

105

$297,606

$262,000

Grays Harbor

87

794

40

53

$183,464

$174,000

Lewis

64

606

41

46

$195,424

$190,750

Cowlitz

71

692

48

58

$186,645

$172,750

Grant

54

565

44

63

$177,626

$165,000

Thurston

191

1739

212

263

$273,884

$254,571

San Juan

36

298

10

8

$900,000

$835,750

Island

90

948

57

55

$357,911

$325,053

Kittitas

50

525

35

40

$354,986

$290,975

Jefferson

22

448

19

18

$376,050

$345,000

Okanogan

24

361

16

24

$187,044

$192,500

Whatcom

239

1755

167

254

$297,232

$260,000

Clark

68

739

46

69

$286,407

$259,900

Pacific

27

319

17

21

$167,357

$189,500

Others

152

1154

84

84

$216,612

$184,950

MLS TOTAL

5,543

38,440

3,950

4,634

$373,671

$313,325

 

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

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Based in Kirkland and owned by its member brokers, it currently encompasses more than 2,100 companies with approximately 31,000 sales associates. Together, they serve 19 counties, mostly in western Washington, plus Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan counties in the central part of the state. NWMLS recently added service to Clark County with the opening of an office in Vancouver.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2008, copyright 2008. 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.

Washington Real Estate Page

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.