Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – January 2013

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 2013REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2013

January 19, 2013

*Northwest MLS Tallies Busy December with First Time Home Buyers & the Return of Investors*

KIRKLAND, WA, January 7, 2013 Home buyers around western Washington made offers on 5,314 residences during December, outnumbering the 3,857 owners who listed their homes for sale. The imbalance helped push up prices and further thin already depleted inventory.

While the expected seasonal slowdown occurred last month, determined buyers were undaunted by sparse inventory and record-breaking rainy days, according to December statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

MLS members reported 5,314 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums last month for a modest year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent. That volume of mutually accepted offers fell from November’s total of 6,522, but far exceeded the number of new listings, 3,857, that members added to the MLS system during December. It also marked an unprecedented fourth straight month when pending sales outnumbered new listings.

MLS members tallied 5,267 closed sales during December, outgaining the same month a year ago by 526 transactions for an increase of about 11.1 percent. The 2012 total of 64,624 closed sales was 14.8 percent higher than the volume reported for 2011.

Brokers expect the housing market rebound to continue, while cautioning sellers to refrain from becoming too greedy and expressing hope for “controlled natural growth” to sustain the recovery. They also believe distressed properties, rising rents and re-engaged investors will have an impact on activity for the foreseeable future.

“Buyers are taking note of sellers who overprice their homes,” reported Northwest MLS director Darin Stenvers. “These buyers are not wasting their time looking at that section of the market for fear of losing a “turnkey ready” home that they can buy and close on,” added Stenvers, the real estate office managing broker at in Bellingham, WA.

Frank Wilson, another member of the Northwest MLS board of directors and the managing broker at a real estate franchise office in Poulsbo, Washington, noted similar shifts in attitudes about distressed properties. He said many buyers are no longer considering short sales or bank owned property because of the uncertainty and complexity of those transactions, opting instead to focus on non-distressed listings that would likely close in a more reasonable and more predictable timeframe. “I think as time goes by the short sale and bank owned home will become more and more of an investor target,” he remarked.

Even with distressed properties (and the lower prices they usually fetch) being part of the mix of sales, median sales prices are edging up. Last month’s buyers paid more for their home than purchasers of a year ago, and the number of properties that sold for a million dollars or more jumped nearly 56 percent, rising from 68 in December 2011 to 106 last month.

The median price area-wide was $255,000, up 13.3 percent from twelve months ago when the price was $225,000. Prices rose by double digits in ten of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS service area. Homes and condos that sold in King County commanded the highest prices at $342,000, reflecting a gain of more than 17.5 percent.

For single family homes (excluding condos), the median selling price rose $30,000 system-wide (about 12.8 percent) climbing from $235,000 a year ago to $265,000.

In King County, the median sales price of a single family home jumped nearly 18.8 percent, from $320,000 to $380,046. Within the county, the biggest increases on single family homes that sold were reported in Skyway/Bryn Mawr area (up 89.8 percent), Central Seattle (up 50.2 percent), Vashon (up 35.6 percent), Bellevue west of I-405 (up 28.6 percent) and Burien-Normandy Park (up 26.9 percent).

Prices and the number of multiple offers may be rising in part because of shrinking inventory. At the end of December, there were only 17,718 properties for sale, which compares to 26,639 active listings for the same time a year ago (down 33.5 percent). Months of supply declined to 3.3 months, down from about 5 months of supply for the same period a year ago.

In Snohomish County, year-over-year inventory was down more than 53 percent, while in King County the selection was about half the year ago levels: 3,801 listings versus 7,472.

Looking ahead, many brokers expect a strong market in 2013, with some expressing concern about “frenzied bubble growth.”

“Last year was the best year in real estate for both buyers and sellers since 2007, with better pricing for homes, lower interest rates than ever recorded in history, and best of all, the opinion the market has finally bottomed out,” said MLS director George Moorhead, branch manager at real estate office in Bothell, WA. Those factors combined to “start a buyer frenzy” from February to mid-August, he noted, but added, “We never quite got that level of excitement back for the months of September to December.”

Moorhead expects a “traditionally slow” January as buyers and sellers start to “build energy to make the next move.” He fears another “perfect storm” with double-digit appreciation will return, but prefers “controlled natural growth” as the best recipe for long term economic stabilization, “not frenzied bubble growth with no foundation for support.”

Wilson said he expects an exciting spring real estate market in Kitsap County, citing the imbalance between inventory and buyers and record low interest rates. “The numbers are lined up for a bit of a frenzy,” which he believes will lead to shortages of homes in some areas and some price ranges.

Low unemployment, less inventory, low interest rates and rising rents are among factors that will create a strong housing market in 2013, Stenvers suggested. The return of first-time buyers who find it is becoming cheaper to own than rent and the imminent multi-billion dollar settlement involving foreclosure mishandlings by 14 banks also bode well for a more balanced recovery, he noted.  

Another positive indicator brokers noted is improving builder confidence. It recently rose to its highest level in more than six years, according to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo survey released last month. Although newly built homes account for only a small portion of the housing market, they are considered to be a leading revenue and job creator. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB research

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 January 2013

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for December 2012

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

#

Closings

Avg.

Price

Median

Price

King

1,378

3,801

2,056

2,188

$425,210

$342,000

Snohomish

581

1,513

872

892

$279,231

$254,975

Pierce

701

2,734

986

808

$232,956

$200,563

Kitsap

170

1,183

267

226

$261,724

$219,975

Mason

60

590

52

59

$174,834

$145,000

Skagit

86

609

97

105

$257,427

$209,000

Grays Harbor

77

644

50

72

$139,675

$132,568

Lewis

56

549

58

50

$169,263

$162,500

Cowlitz

53

401

87

69

$159,092

$139,000

Grant

40

431

37

50

$161,897

$147,500

Thurston

187

988

248

223

$220,379

$203,000

San Juan

13

270

15

17

$565,059

$300,000

Island

61

573

83

76

$312,249

$257,500

Kittitas

33

346

35

37

$350,882

$220,000

Jefferson

29

340

33

37

$353,950

$252,000

Okanogan

23

335

16

15

$162,260

$145,000

Whatcom

160

1,059

164

197

$278,378

$255,000

Clark

22

176

47

36

$234,957

$179,550

Pacific

27

298

21

20

$133,061

$125,750

Ferry

1

75

2

4

$131,216

$147,950

Clallam

44

314

47

42

$200,033

$173,400

Others

55

489

41

44

$219,863

$155,000

MLS TOTAL

3,857

17,718

5,314

5,267

$322,252

$255,000

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2013

 

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

3346

2841

2432

2009

3250

3407

4262

5372

5498

5963

5551

5764

5825

5702

3829

3440

2010

4381

5211

6821

7368

4058

4239

4306

4520

4350

4376

3938

3474

2011

4272

4767

6049

5732

5963

5868

5657

5944

5299

5384

4814

4197

2012

4921

6069

7386

701572956733648963415871645351884181

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter January 2013, copyright 2013. 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.

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 use the navigation bar at the LEFT of the page or CLICK on one of the “City“, “County” or “State” Link pages above to locate Snohomish County Washington real estate. These will quickly take you to the specific information that your Snohomish County real estate search requires.

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.