Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – July 2010

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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

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Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 2010REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 2010

July 9, 2010

*Housing Activity: Not as Bad as Some Think – Not as Good as Some Would Like*

KIRKLAND, WA, July 6, 2010Not even the lowest interest rates in decades could entice wary house-hunters last month. Home sales around Western and Central Washington remained sluggish with pending sales lagging year-ago levels, but not all the numbers were down.

June’s pending sales (mutually accepted offers) outgained the total for May by 5.8 percent. Closed sales were up from both a year ago and the previous month. Brokers also applauded congressional approval of legislation to extend the tax credit deadline on contracts signed by the April 30 deadline. That measure, which President Obama signed on July 2, pushes the deadline to Sept. 30.

“In general consumers seem to be stuck in uncertainty surrounding the world’s economic concerns, our lack of jobs and the rollercoaster of the stock market. They seem to be hunkering down despite the lowest interest rates in years,” said NWMLS director Frank Wilson, a managing broker in Poulsbo, Washington. 

On a more upbeat note, Wilson said the deadline extension for the tax credit is good news. “Congress has acknowledged the length of time it is taking banks to close a transaction by passing this extension,” he remarked. Without the extension, the National Association of Realtors estimates as many as 180,000 buyers wouldn’t have qualified for a tax credit of up to $8,000 because they couldn’t meet the June 30 deadline to close on their purchase.

The latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows mixed news across its 21-county market area, with arrows going in both directions. 

“The current market is not as bad as some people think, and not as good as some people would like it to be,” observed NWMLS director Pat Grimm, a managing broker with Windermere Rea Estate in the Seattle, WA area. He also said the combination of low interest rates and affordable prices are the best he’s seen in his 25 years of experience in real estate.

The MLS summary statistics for June show:

  • Pending sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) fell 28 percent from a year ago, but rose 5.8 percent from May.
  • Year-to-date (through June), pending sales are up 12.4 percent compared to midyear 2009.
  • Closed sales for June outgained the same month a year ago by 617 transactions (up 12 percent), and rose 8.9 percent from May’s total.
  • The median price for last month’s completed transactions is down about 7 percent from twelve months ago. 
  • Four counties (Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific) reported price increases from a year ago, while eight other counties had declines of less than 5 percent.

NWMLS director Wilson surmised the drop in pending sales could be just a dip as kids get out of school “and we rush to embrace summer” or a “hangover from the tax credit,” but cautioned, “It’s too early to tell.”

“The economy is still recovering and that makes some consumers hesitant to buy,” Grimm stated, adding, “On the other hand, with prices down and mortgage rates at their lowest in 50 years, homes are more affordable now than they were before the tax credit went into effect.”

Grimm said the market has created its own incentive for buyers who missed out on the most recent tax credit.  “Lower prices and lower interest rates more than offset the benefit of the tax credit. Homes are actually more affordable than they were three months ago, and that factors in the tax credit,” he emphasized. To illustrate his point, he said the purchaser of a $500,000 property this month with a $400,000 mortgage would save more than $250 per month as a result of the interest rate drop. “Do the math and you can see you are way ahead if you stay in the property for more than three years.”

House-hunters have plenty of choices. Brokers added 10,354 new listings to inventory last month, bringing the selection to 42,940 residences being offered for sale system-wide. That’s up about 4 percent from a year ago.  Included in the current listings are 36,027 single family homes priced from $8,500 to $25 million, and 6,913 condominiums priced from $20,000 to $15.6 million.

Asked if now is the right time to buy, Grimm replied, “You can’t time the real estate market any more than you can time the stock market,” but added, “If you want to buy a home, and can afford it, I haven’t seen a better convergence of affordable prices and low interest rates in the 25 years I’ve been working in real estate.”

Last week’s benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.75 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. That’s the lowest rate for the 30-year fixed in the nearly 25-year history of Bankrate’s weekly survey. Freddie Mac reported an average of 4.58 percent, the lowest level in more than five decades.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said economists at that California-based firm see a U-shaped recovery, similar to the 2000 recession, but with a longer, more pronounced bottom. Because of various factors at play, including the expiration of the tax incentives and various mortgage modification programs affecting distressed properties, he expects the real estate market to “sag through the summer and slower cooler months,” but believes it will eventually grow in line with economic and income growth “as we put the great recession further behind us.”

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 July 2010

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for June 2010

June 2010

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

3,986

13,793

2,219

2,348

$447,150

$348,725

Snohomish

1,497

5,813

821

898

$289,385

$267,750

Pierce

1,494

6,336

946

925

$245,510

$219,950

Kitsap

520

2,046

253

285

$290,544

$236,680

Mason

155

896

48

55

$177,784

$147,000

Skagit

292

1,313

115

123

$278,556

$240,000

GraysHarbor

170

948

82

68

$140,676

$124,400

Lewis

149

841

66

60

$169,489

$168,750

Cowlitz

127

680

75

74

$184,620

$161,400

Grant

100

651

60

91

$167,847

$162,000

Thurston

525

1,973

303

296

$252,888

$235,000

San Juan

56

503

18

11

$427,182

$270,000

Island

203

1,195

101

86

$305,605

$246,000

Kittitas

109

604

41

43

$242,390

$179,990

Jefferson

102

696

32

27

$254,611

$207,000

Okanogan

57

461

18

27

$250,963

$160,000

Whatcom

416

2,177

224

222

$274,988

$238,500

Clark

75

319

40

25

$266,816

$203,000

Pacific

87

493

27

21

$192,019

$149,900

Ferry

8

50

2

2

$169,750

$169,750

Clallam

38

216

13

21

$178,919

$155,000

Others

188

936

43

55

$231,770

$202,757

MLS TOTAL

10,354

42,940

5,547

5,763

$335,050

$265,000

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 2010

 

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
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2010438152116821736840584239      

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.  Ferry and Clallam counties are now included in the monthly statistical reports.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 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.