Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – July 2014

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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 2014REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 2014

July 11, 2014

*No Summer Slow Down in Western Washington Real Estate Market as Brokers Expect Brisk Activity*  

Kirkland, WA – July 3, 2014 – Listing activity perked up during June, but strong job growth in the Seattle/King County region has brokers predicting brisk sales with competitive bidding throughout the summer.

Figures just released by Northwest Multiple Listing Service for June activity show gains from a year ago on several key indicators, including inventory, pending sales, closed sales, and prices:

  • Brokers added 735 more new listings during June than during the same month a year ago, an increase of 6.8 percent;
  • Inventory (total active listings) rose 7.5 percent compared to twelve months ago;
  • Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) are up about 4.5 percent year-over-year;
  • Closed sales rose 3.3 percent from a year ago;
  • Prices for sales of single family homes and condominiums climbed 6.9 percent from same period last year, reaching the highest level since August 2008.

“We are still suffering from low inventory in parts of Snohomish County, and we’re still seeing multiple offers on the majority of new listings,” reported Diedre Haines, regional managing broker in Snohomish County for franchise real estate brokerage and a director with Northwest MLS. She described the market as “strange,” adding, “We are not feeling or sensing the onset of a typical summer slowdown.”

Even though figures for Snohomish County show sizable gains in the number of listings in many areas, Haines said good quality listings in the most desirable areas are “greatly needed as buyers, sellers, and agents all long for a more balanced market.” New listings that are of high quality and priced correctly are attracting multiple offers, she reported.

Supply, as measured by the ratio between listings and sales, remains tight across many of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS system. King County shows only 1.8 months of inventory, with Snohomish slightly better with about 2.8 months of supply. Area-wide, there is 3.35 months of inventory. Many industry experts consider 4-to-6 months to be the barometer for a balanced market.

Northwest MLS chairman Darin Stenvers said “not all sellers are feeling movement in their markets,” noting in some northern parts of the state the summer selling season got a late start. In Whatcom County, where his office is located, inventory rose about 4.5 percent in June compared to a year ago, while pending sales jumped 17 percent. Prices are up more than 9 percent in that county.

Stenvers, the office managing broker at a real estate brokerage in Bellingham, Washington, said buyers would be “well advised” to monitor interest rates, since they have a tendency to move up as summer winds down. “This is a very good time for real estate investing with confidence and value,” he stated.

New home starts and a higher demand for employees will help keep the outlook optimistic, Stenvers believes – a view shared by other brokers.

John Deely, principal managing broker at a real estate franchise in Seattle, WA, expects the brisk market to continue into fall, citing low interest rates, increasing prices and inventory, and high demand as drivers of the positive activity.

“Brokers in the Seattle market are keeping busy as multiple offers and cash buyers dominate new, well priced listings in most markets,” commented Deely, a director with Northwest MLS. The market for homes priced at $1 million and up around Seattle is experiencing pending sales volume at levels not seen since 2007, according to his analysis.

Haines also commented on all-cash activity, saying investors paying all cash or with very large down payments are “still major players.”

Deely has also noticed a “marked increase in the number of contingent offers being written and accepted.” He spoke of one listing that drew four offers, with two of them contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home, and the other two cash. The seller elected to accept one of the contingent offers because of more favorable terms, as well as because the buyers already lived in the neighborhood and the seller was confident that neighbor’s home would sell quickly due to activity in the surrounding area.

Brokers reported 9,909 pending sales during June, outgaining a year ago by 425 transactions for an increase of nearly 4.5 percent. Ten counties reported double-digit increases. Last month’s pending sales, although up from 12 months ago, declined compared to May (down about 4.5 percent).

Low appraisals are still a concern as a potential deal-killer on some pending sales, Haines reported. “We are experiencing an increase in low appraisals,” she stated, explaining sometimes the difference between the sale price and appraised price can be as little as $1,500. “In most low appraisal situations, the buyers are willing and able to make up the difference by increasing their down payment.”

June’s closed sales (completed transactions) climbed about 3.3 percent from a year ago. Brokers reported 7,558 closings during June, surpassing May’s mark by 371 transactions for a gain of nearly 5.2 percent.

The median price system-wide was just under $300,000 ($299,335), which represents an increase of more than 6.9 percent from a year ago. The last time the median price topped $300,000 for the overall area was August 2008 when it was $302,500.

King County continues to report the highest median price for single family homes and condos (combined) at $410,000. That’s up 7 percent from a year ago. For single family homes (excluding condos) the county-wide price jumped more than 6 percent compared to a year ago, rising from $427,500 to $453,500.

Deely said the steady increase in prices appears to be incentivizing otherwise dormant sellers to make their move to buy and sell.

Commenting on the competition between buyers, Stenvers encouraged buyers to take advantage of technology. “Buyers that want fast, accurate data should work with a real estate professional to have a home search set up so results can be emailed directly to them,” he suggested. “This will allow them first shot at all the new listings and reduce the chance of missing hot new inventory.”

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 July 2014

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for June 2014

Single Fam. Homes + CondosLISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES *Months of Inventory
New ListingsTotal Active# Pending Sales# ClosingsAvgerage PriceMedian PriceThis monthSame mo., year ago
King4,2285,6093,9533,109$511,181$410,0001.801.73
Snohomish1,7102,7641,5451,220$339,040$313,3752.271.75
Pierce1,6993,8151,5551,085$254,897$229,9503.522.89
Kitsap5991,462493409$312,665$250,0003.573.85
Mason20677412782$179,768$167,3009.4413.38
Skagit247823231153$277,771$230,0005.384.75
Grays Harbor19782310384$137,635$131,9009.8012.53
Lewis16164311666$155,916$145,0009.7413.60
Cowlitz17254813079$182,357$170,0006.945.10
Grant1265369284$178,546$159,5446.388.55
Thurston5931,402481355$248,856$236,0003.953.54
San Juan724342523$409,946$329,00018.8742.60
Island210785196142$308,854$258,2505.537.11
Kittitas1415148660$309,422$222,4508.577.82
Jefferson954405151$275,159$230,0008.6311.13
Okanogan975154524$233,583$168,25021.4621.55
Whatcom5061,617377290$304,840$270,6255.585.63
Clark791665764$300,118$234,2502.592.90
Pacific844585724$161,445$143,50019.0818.76
Ferry167314$163,875$156,75018.2536.50
Clallam1044456851$214,421$210,0008.738.70
Others19969612099$263,266$217,0007.037.89
MLS TOTAL11,541 25,342 9,909 7,558 $376,397$299,3353.353.22

*Months of inventory are calculated using active listings divided by closed sales.

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter July 2014

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
2000370647785903511654905079492854324569467541263166
2001433450565722539956315568543455444040438741553430
2002429347355569543661315212552562155394577749664153
2003474652906889683771487202767371356698655249044454
2004452162848073791078888186758374646984676162285195
2005542668338801842086108896820787847561715761884837
2006527560328174765184118094712176926216640352924346
2007486962397192697473116876637155804153444738962975
2008329141674520462445264765458045844445334628412432
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299538448144197
2012492160697386701572956733648963415871645351884181
2013554860957400746277437374726469165951622250833957
2014540655877099732580557546     

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 July 2014, copyright 2014. 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.

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