Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – January 2010

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 2010REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 January 9, 2010

*Western Washington Pending Homes Sales Mark Best December Since 2006*

KIRKLAND, WA, January 5, 2010“Home for the holidays” took on special meaning for 4,399 buyers whose purchase offers were accepted during December, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That volume of pending sales was up more than 35 percent from a year ago and marked the best December since 2006.

Brokers say it’s a tough market, but point to several indicators for good activity during this year’s first quarter. “The distance seems great, but the direction is a good one,” observed NWMLS director Dick Beeson.

“With what our agents already have in the pipeline, I’m optimistic about a positive first quarter,” said NWMLS director Meribeth Hutchings, the broker at Windermere RE/Lake Stevens. “We had a very strong December and the momentum seems to be there to keep things moving,” she remarked, noting three agents were in the office on New Year’s Eve writing offers.

Shrinking inventory, the extension of the first-time home buyer tax credit, and favorable interest rates are among factors brokers believe will sustain activity.

“Affordability has never been better,” said Dick Fulton, a past chairman of the NWMLS board of directors whose career spans more than two decades. Fulton, the executive vice president at a real estate franchise in the Seattle, Washington area, suggests would-be sellers list their property soon, rather than wait until spring, to take advantage of favorable conditions. With inventory much smaller than a year ago, sellers should benefit from more exposure to a good pool of buyers, he suggests.

Inventory area-wide is down about 15.6 percent from a year ago. At the end of December, brokers reported 32,152 active listings of single family homes and condominiums. For the four-county Puget Sound region, the number of active listings is down more than 18 percent, with Kitsap County reporting the biggest drop at 25.4 percent.

NWMLS members reported 4,711 closed sales during December, up 54.7 percent from the year-ago total of 3,045 when the holiday slowdown was compounded by record low temperatures and snow.

The median price for last month’s completed transactions, including single family homes and condominiums, was $265,000. That compares to a year-ago sales price of $285,000 (down about 7 percent). Compared to January, prices are down about 2.9 percent.

For single family homes (excluding condominiums), last month’s median sales price was $273,000. Twelve months ago it was $290,000, a difference of about 5.9 percent. Condo prices have dropped about 14.6 percent, from $263,475 to last month’s figure of $225,000.

Dick Beeson, a owner/broker of a Windermere Real Estate franchise in Tacoma, WA, said the market is “chugging along,” despite hurdles associated with the lending market, appraisals and foreclosures. “The hardest part of the process still remains the uncertainty of the lending market as banks continue to ratchet up the qualifications and criteria for borrowers. Appraisals are difficult because even if the value comes in at the purchase price many lenders do a second review of the appraisal and find fault with the outcome, therefore creating a problem for buyers and sellers.” He also noted the large volume of foreclosures has driven down prices – something he believes will persist throughout much of this year.

Beeson also said he does not expect much sales action as a result of expanding the tax credit to qualifying repeat buyers because many owners have little or no equity in the homes to use to move up. “First time buyers will still lead the charge in sales,” he suggests.

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 January 2010

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for December 2009

December 2009

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

1986

9652

1767

1795

$425,058

$350,000

Snohomish

935

4436

719

779

$300,708

$280,000

Pierce

1071

5106

746

786

$237,091

$215,000

Kitsap

267

1549

208

245

$291,700

$239,900

Mason

78

603

42

62

$174,786

$156,000

Skagit

132

1106

99

80

$262,053

$225,250

Grays Harbor

132

742

51

61

$136,526

$110,306

Lewis

104

681

56

67

$137,849

$159,500

Cowlitz

90

621

66

43

$161,506

$145,000

Grant

71

586

37

54

$154,350

$137,450

Thurston

326

1499

209

226

$245,603

$229,218

San Juan

25

429

8

11

$385,545

$357,000

Island

117

917

76

91

$313,016

$265,000

Kittitas

68

455

34

40

$279,911

$226,720

Jefferson

40

483

14

18

$375,411

$322,000

Okanogan

25

324

8

16

$293,831

$200,000

Whatcom

235

1509

156

203

$270,160

$235,000

Clark

29

248

37

45

$197,726

$195,000

Pacific

40

338

19

13

$190,846

$162,000

Ferry

18

178

6

15

$171,693

$161,000

Clallam

0

46

0

0

0

0

Others

84

644

41

61

$237,550

$215,000

MLS TOTAL

5,873

32,152

4,399

4,711

$321,775

$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
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440

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 January 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.