Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – January 2009

 

Bob's Bugle - Real Estate Newsletter

          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 2009REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

January 9, 2009

*Northwest MLS Members Expecting “Market Observers” Will Become “Market Participants*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Jan. 6, 2009) – Frigid temperatures and record snowfall brought home sales to a standstill for several days in December. The unusual weather, when coupled with the expected holiday slowdown, contributed to a 17.6 percent slide in pending sales compared to the same month a year ago, according to figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Surprising some industry observers, inventory showed stability. The number of new listings added to inventory during December (5,430) nearly matched the total from a year ago (5,543). Those figures include single family homes and condos that were added by Northwest MLS members in 19 counties.

At month-end, there were 38,089 active listings in the NWMLS database, slightly fewer than twelve months ago, when members reported 38,440 active listings (down 0.9 percent).

Pending sales, while down 695 transactions (17.6 percent) from a year ago, underscore the “all real estate is local” mantra. System-wide, members tallied 3,255 pending sales last month, which compares to 3,950 sales during December 2007. Grays Harbor County had a 30 percent jump in pending sales and Thurston County reported a 3.8 percent gain in sales, but two smaller counties – Mason and Kittitas – had drops of more than 50 percent. For a broader and deeper perspective, the four-country Puget Sound region saw December sales decline 18.2 percent from a year ago.

Commenting on the latest MLS statistics, Ron Sparks said, “The current numbers certainly reflect market attitude, as many buyers continue to be market observers rather than market participants.” Sparks, who is CBB’s managing vice president, said agents are telling him their motivated buyer clients are simply becoming weary of waiting, and are acknowledging the timing “now seems right to actively search for their next home.”

Prices system-wide were down about 9 percent from a year ago. The median price for December’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums combined was $285,000. That compares to a year-ago median price of $313,325. Single family home pries fell 11.3 percent (from $326.950 to $290,000), but condo prices increased from a year ago, rising from $252,900 to $263,474, for a 4.2 percent gain.

In King County, the median price for last month’s sales of single family homes (excluding condos) was $403,500, down about 7.2 percent from the year-ago figure of $435,000. Condo prices were nearly unchanged ($288,895 versus the year-ago figure of $290,000 for a decline of 0.38 percent).

On the sellers’ side, Sparks said savvy agents are advising their clients that this market environment demands a very disciplined and realistic approach to pricing. This is particularly true in King County, he noted, where the number of homes on the market continues to slowly increase.

The savvy buyers agent also understands that this highly competitive environment means more quality homes to choose from, and these homes can be bought at a comparative bargain over years past, according to Sparks. “Couple this with interest rates that are now very nearly irresistible and the incentive to home shop grows much stronger,” he remarked.

With mortgage rates tumbling to the lowest level in more than four years, now is a good time to secure a very attractive loan, agreed Mike Welty, a mortgage banker with Guild Mortgage Company in Bellevue. In fact, some lender backlog is already occurring as a result of the low rates, according to Welty.

Now is a great time to buy a home, Welty suggests, citing a number of factors. Among them, he noted home prices in some areas are close to 2004-2005 levels, a first-time home buyer tax credit of up to $7,500, plus the availability of low or no money down programs for many purchasers.

NWMLS director Dick Beeson, expects interest rates will remain in the low 5 percent or high 4 percent range. “This is a stimulus package we can count on and one that works. Banks are finally getting it and so are buyers as they realize their buying power has gone up,” said Beeson, a broker with Windermere Real Estate.

Sparks said many economists are now seeing the bottom of the national real estate market, and the greater Seattle area continues to be mentioned as well-placed to lead that recovery. “While no one can predict the future, I believe we can place reasonable trust and faith in the desirability and overall value of our regions real estate,” he stated, adding, “Thats good news for buyers and sellers alike!”

Check out my website(s): https://www.washingtonrealestatepage.com/ or http://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 January 2009

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for December 2008  

December 2008

Single Family

Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

#

Closings

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

1923

11636

1167

1169

$484,494

$370,700

Snohomish

802

5376

547

437

$328,613

$307,000

Pierce

1040

6315

573

528

$259,953

$235,000

Kitsap

260

2075

145

130

$260,146

$221,500

Mason

54

697

25

34

$191,859

$191,298

Skagit

175

1077

68

61

$303,273

$255,000

Grays Harbor

78

782

52

45

$184,050

$155,000

Lewis

85

726

33

29

$225,158

$192,000

Cowlitz

88

659

43

32

$178,008

$156,000

Grant

65

598

42

54

$161,632

$147,250

Thurston

216

1652

220

174

$265,158

$249,950

San Juan

21

376

7

9

$909,401

$455,000

Island

73

940

50

44

$350,498

$277,500

Kittitas

36

562

15

20

$228,597

$215,000

Jefferson

33

468

16

22

$289,513

$239,750

Okanogan

22

420

12

6

$140,083

$137,500

Whatcom

254

1665

130

133

$267,994

$250,000

Clark

71

629

40

46

$277,229

$253,500

Pacific

21

343

9

12

$208,200

$148,000

Others

113

1093

61

60

$193,190

$182,750

MLS TOTAL

5,430

38,089

3,255

3,045

$354,457

$285,000

 

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

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 28,000 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 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.

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.