Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – June 2011

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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 2011REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter June 2011

June 20, 2011

*Momentum Building as Homebuyers Respond to Lower Prices & Favorable Interest Rates*

KIRKLAND, WA, June 6, 2011 – Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported a 43 percent increase in pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during May compared to the same month a year ago. Sellers accepted offers from 7,509 buyers last month, up from the year-ago total of 5,242 pending sales.

Year-to-date pending sales are slightly under the total for the first five months of 2010 when sales were boosted by a federal tax credit. Through May 2010, Northwest MLS members had reported 35,454 mutually accepted offers; this year’s total for five months is 33,612 (down about 5.5 percent).

“We’re seeing a definite shift in the market – especially in the areas closer to Seattle and Bellevue,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate and a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors. “Homes that are priced aggressively are seeing a lot of competition and we’re even getting reports of some homes selling before buyers can act,” he stated.

Members reported 5,015 closed sales during May, about 5 percent fewer than the year-ago total of 5,290 completed transactions. For the first five months of this year, a total of 20,473 transactions have closed, which compares to 21,861 for the same five months of 2010 (down about 6.8 percent).

For the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties), pending sales through five months are at 97.6 percent of year-ago levels, while closed sales are at 95.6 percent of year-to-date totals for 2010.

Northwest MLS reports both pending sales (mutually accepted offers) as a barometer of the most recent sales activity, and closed sales (completed transactions).

Matt Deasy, the general manager of Windermere Real Estate/East, considers the small differences between year-to-date figures for 2011 and the “tax incentive fueled market” of 2010 to be “good news.”

Mike Grady, president and COO of a real estate brokerage in the greater Seattle, Washington area, was also upbeat in his comments about the current market. “The substantial jump in pending home sales reported today won’t be surprising to the brokers working in the core urban markets of Seattle and West Bellevue,” observed Grady. He also noted the increasingly strong demand for homes and falling inventory “is making for a very competitive market in those areas, with multiple offers on the best properties becoming more common.”

Members added 10,293 new listings to inventory during May, about 900 more than the same month a year ago for a 9.7 percent increase. Despite those additions, the selection is smaller than 12 months ago. At month end, there were 36,261 active listings of single family homes and condos in the MLS system. That’s about 5,400 fewer than a year ago when inventory totaled 41,690 listings, a shrinkage of 13 percent.

“On King County’s Eastside, we are seeing a decrease in the number of listings that are short sales or bank-owned properties,” said Kathy Estey, a managing broker in Bellevue, WA. “Inventory of quality homes in median price ranges is low and we see multiple offers in most price ranges, including homes in the higher prices ranges. Some of the old, stale inventory has sold. However, the majority of homes are still selling for less than full price.”

Jacobi said a recent review of Windermere’s sales data shows that 40 percent of homes in the median price range are selling at list price and many of these buyers are paying cash. “With that being said, the market is still very price sensitive, so sellers need to continue to be realistic about the value of their home,” he stated.

The median price for last month’s sales system-wide was $239,999, about 11 percent less than a year ago when it was $269,950. Brokers attribute much of that price decline to the fairly high ratio (estimated at 30-40 percent in many markets) of foreclosed homes and short sales that are being sold at deep discounts.

In King County, prices slipped 8.4 percent, from $346,000 a year ago to $316,750 for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums. For single family homes only (excluding condominiums), the median selling price was $345,000, down about 9 percent from the May 2010 figure of $379,000.

Grady is encouraged by the momentum. “The last few years, home sales haven’t sustained much momentum without government support,” he noted, adding, “This year, however, the momentum is continuing to build naturally, as we would normally expect in the spring and summer months. Remember, by this time last year we had already experienced all of the benefit of the homebuyer tax credit, and sales began to wane after that credit had expired. We see an entirely different dynamic this year.”

It’s obvious not all local markets are improving equally, Grady acknowledged, suggesting, “It’s also obvious that the basic market forces of low supply and high demand are beginning to shift buyer or seller attitudes in many neighborhoods. That’s good news for sellers, and perhaps a cautionary message to buyers as well.”

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 June 2011

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for May 2011

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

3,786

11,030

3,113

2,104

$387,566

$316,750

Snohomish

1,388

4,621

1,315

820

$256,065

$230,000

Pierce

1,579

5,501

1,223

796

$217,376

$194,000

Kitsap

466

1,770

312

207

$271,851

$237,000

Mason

201

850

70

52

$154,670

$138,572

Skagit

233

1,123

141

103

$266,177

$199,990

GraysHarbor

210

943

85

58

$139,011

$121,500

Lewis

117

749

73

64

$137,002

$124,950

Cowlitz

136

588

101

71

$160,002

$136,000

Grant

136

620

71

53

$170,127

$153,000

Thurston

495

1,720

338

255

$232,451

$218,900

San Juan

89

477

13

12

$537,796

$395,000

Island

242

1,009

96

73

$308,393

$265,950

Kittitas

136

539

42

37

$213,929

$176,000

Jefferson

127

578

36

16

$281,341

$272,500

Okanogan

88

416

23

8

$148,688

$158,750

Whatcom

441

1,807

259

161

$273,674

$244,000

Clark

68

276

62

32

$217,863

$184,000

Pacific

83

422

26

15

$133,008

$144,400

Ferry

12

56

5

5

$100,200

$68,000

Clallam

92

463

35

31

$217,615

$205,000

Others

168

703

70

42

$202,115

$176,525

MLS TOTAL

10,293

36,261

7,509

5,015

$297,881

$239,999

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter June 2011

 

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
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
201142724767604957325963       

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.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter June 2011, copyright 2011. 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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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.