Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – June 2008

 

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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 June 2008REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

June 10, 2008

*Northwest MLS Brokers Report Buyers Slow to Take Advantage of Market Conditions*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (June 5, 2008) – “If you’re a buyer, this is the time to take advantage of unique market conditions.” That’s the message one industry leader offered in reviewing the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service summarizing housing activity for the month of May.

NWMLS figures show inventory remains plentiful (up nearly 22 percent from the same month a year ago, and up about 5.4 percent from April), with thirteen of the nineteen counties in its service area reporting double-digit increases from twelve months ago. At month end, the selection included 43,546 single family homes and 8,271 condominiums – with one of every five of those listings classified as newly built.

“There are such great opportunities for buyers right now to position themselves for the future,” remarked an NWMLS board member. “Interest rates are historically low, there’s a healthy inventory of homes to choose from, and the new, higher conforming loan limits have increased housing affordability,” he noted, adding, “If you’re a buyer, this is the time to take advantage of these unique market conditions.”

Prices area-wide are showing moderate fluctuation. While median selling prices in most counties served by NWMLS are down from a year ago, many areas are showing stability and even increases. In 30 “sub-areas” the MLS tracks within King County, for example, 21 areas reported higher prices in May compared to April. 

NWMLS director Diedre Haines, said that office had twice as many multiple offer transactions in May compared to April (rising from six to 12). Last month, agents in that office wrote the highest volume of transactions since August, she reported. “I’ve stopped reading the papers,” she remarked, adding, “We’re seeing good increases in activity.”

Pending sales are down from a year ago, but nearly kept pace with April’s volume (down about 2 percent). NWMLS members reported 6,085 pending sales area-wide during May. That compares to 9,743 pending transactions of a year ago and 6,208 for April.

Pending sales of single family homes declined about 3.8 percent from April, while the volume of pending sales of condominiums rose nearly 8 percent from April to May.

“We still haven’t had summer hit us yet as the weather remains cool, wet and cloudy. I expect both temperatures and the market to heat up as summer approaches,” commented Dick Beeson, a Windermere broker in Tacoma. “Open house traffic is picking up and buyers are coming off the sidelines to make buying decisions. Buyers are realizing that interest rates may creep up and they would be in a worse position if rates went up 1 percent than if prices fell 5 percent, he stated.

NWMLS director Mike Skahen believes the price drop has “already happened.” “It’s a great time to negotiate with sellers.” He reports a noticeable pickup in activity in the close-in Seattle markets where sellers are pricing competitively.

“We didn’t have a spring selling season this year,” he observed. When the press gets less negative, Skahen believes “It’s going to push buyers off the fence and they’ll regret having waited.”

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 June 2008

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for May 2008

May 2008

Single Family Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Average Price

Median Price

King

5,473

16,435

2,414

2,081

$494,868

$399,950

Snohomish

2,254

7,472

883

775

$357,363

$329,950

Pierce

2,092

8,548

971

759

$293,118

$259,739

Kitsap

639

2,834

258

225

$310,534

$263,000

Mason

209

956

78

67

$245,259

$188,000

Skagit

255

1,392

136

131

$300,925

$273,578

Grays Harbor

260

1,026

77

75

$172,208

$150,000

Lewis

196

814

46

37

$194,292

$185,000

Cowlitz

169

833

69

62

$171,623

$157,000

Grant

179

744

82

66

$185,578

$168,500

Thurston

629

2,248

361

297

$292,806

$264,000

San Juan

79

437

12

11

$1,076,273

$569,000

Island

232

1,229

91

74

$323,927

$302,500

Kittitas

159

737

33

26

$280,913

$258,450

Jefferson

91

566

24

19

$360,147

$325,000

Okanogan

68

466

43

17

$217,653

$180,700

Whatcom

622

2,351

268

238

$280,872

$255,000

Clark

167

870

92

60

$288,504

$266,950

Pacific

82

452

32

29

$187,849

$170,000

Others

321

1,407

115

109

$237,000

$209,000

MLS TOTAL

14,176

51,817

6,085

5,158

$378,835

$312,000



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


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 31,000 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 June 2008, copyright 2008. 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.

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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.