Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – June 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 June 2013REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter June 2013

June 13, 2013

*Competition Among Home Buyer’s is Fierce with Rising Interest Rates Adding to Frenzy*

KIRKLAND, WA, June 5, 2013 – Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to increases in interest rates and asking prices.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported double-digit gains in several key indicators it tracks for the 21 counties in its service area. Compared to a year ago, the number of new listings climbed 16 percent, pending sales increased about 10 percent, closed sales jumped nearly 22 percent, and prices rose more than 13 percent. Despite gains in listing activity, inventory remains tight.

Commenting on the latest report, brokers said the fast pace is frustrating some buyers — and surprising sellers with unrealistic expectations. One broker cautioned against an overheated market. “We do not want a market that escalates too fast and topples again,” commented Frank Wilson, Kitsap district manager, at for a real estate brokerage franchise, and branch managing broker for its Poulsbo/Kingston office.

“Overly aggressive sellers find themselves disappointed when no or low offers are presented,” remarked Northwest MLS director Kathy Estey, the managing broker for a real estate brokerage in downtown Bellevue, Washington. 

With inventory apparently improving, some would-be buyers are staying on the sidelines. The increased inventory is “cooling some buyers,” reported George Moorhead, managing broker at a real estate brokerage in Mill Creek, WA and a member of the MLS board of directors. “We also have buyers who are stepping back as they are frustrated with current inventory and multiple offers going well above asking price,” he added.

Inventory showed signs of improving with the addition of 11,445 new listings during May, the highest number since April 2010. May’s total outgained the year-ago figure of 9,861 new listings for a 16 percent gain.

“It has been refreshing to see more listings coming on the market, but with overall inventory remaining low the competition among buyers is still fierce for homes that are priced properly,” commented Estey.

At month end, there were 21,943 total active listings in the Northwest MLS database, a drop of 4,248 from the same time a year ago for a decline of more than 16 percent. 

Buyers looking for condominiums will find slim pickings. Condos currently account for only about 10 percent of the available inventory. The area-wide selection, which numbers 2,253 listings, is down more than 26 percent from a year ago.  

Brokers reported nearly as many pending sales system-wide (10,045) as new listings (11,445). Nine counties reported year-over-year gains in pending sales that exceeded 30 percent (Clallam, Cowlitz, Ferry, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Kitsap, Lewis, and Okanogan).

Most metro area counties had more modest gains in pending sales: King (up 6 percent) Snohomish (down 5.8 percent) and Pierce (up 10.6 percent).

Closed sales continue to track well ahead of a year ago. During May, members tallied 7,349 completed transactions, outpacing the year ago total of 6,027 by nearly 22 percent. 

Prices jumped 13.4 percent from twelve months ago, rising from an area-wide median selling price of $242,500 to last month’s price of $275,000. The median price for homes and condos that sold in both King County and San Juan County was $375,000 ($100,000 higher than the area-wide figure). In King County, that represented a gain of 15.4 percent, while for San Juan County prices edged up only about 1.8 percent compared to a year ago.

“We’re seeing the trajectory of home prices beginning to soften and the number of days on the market decline,” observed Mike Grady, president and COO of a large Washington State real estate brokerage franchise, adding, “The trends suggest inventory levels are slightly more sustainable, but we’re still clearly in a seller’s market. For the foreseeable future, buyers will continue to pay more the longer they wait to purchase a home.”

Frank Wilson, who is also a board member for Northwest MLS, said recent market activity is affecting home values. In Kitsap County, where his office is located, brokers added 575 new listings to inventory during May, improving on the year-ago total of 515. During the same period, MLS members reported 567 pending sales to soar past the year ago figure of 414 sales for an increase of nearly 40 percent. Median selling prices in Kitsap County rose 5.3 percent, from the year-ago figure of $228,000 to $240,000. 

“Slow and steady is the key here,” Wilson cautioned, while also raising concern about low appraisals, which he described as the “inchworm effect” of the market. “As prices begin to appreciate we will continue to see challenges with low appraisals,” he predicted.   

Moorhead said increased activity is very noticeable, with mixed outcomes. “We are seeing multiple offers at 5-to-12 percent over list price in highly sought-after areas,” he reported, but also noted “there are other homes on the market that are not selling with no real reason why.”

Some brokers also commented on rising interest rates.

Wilson said the biggest effect of the upswing in the real estate market has been the erosion of a buyer’s buying power. In May alone, interest rates jumped almost 0.75 percent, he noted, which reduces a buyer’s ability to purchase a $350,000 home by almost $31,000. Coupled with an increase in price, he said it “creates a compounding affect, which will frustrate buyers in today’s market.”  

Estey said interest rate increases are “adding fury to the already frenzied buyers who must finance their purchase.”  A one-half percentage point increase in interest rates reduces buying power by 5 percent, she explained, adding, “so as prices increase about a percentage a month, the feeling of urgency mounts too.” 

Commenting on the challenges buyers are encountering, Estey said, “The joy of buying a home in today’s market is in the long-term result of settling in, but the competitive process is sometimes not so joyful! Hiring the right broker who can add some fun elements and insights while wisely guiding buyers through the decision process can make a huge difference,” she suggests.

Federal officials are downplaying rising interest rates. In a recent interview, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, commented on the latest rise that marked three consecutive weeks of increases. “While this may slow some of the refinance momentum, rates are nonetheless low and home-buyer affordability high, which should further aid home sales and construction in coming weeks,” he remarked, adding, “The rates are also lower today than they were a year ago at this time.”

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 2013

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for May 2013

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

MONTHS

SUPPLY

New

Listings

 

Total

Active

 

# Pending

Sales

 

#

Closings

 

Avg.

Price

 

Median

Price

 
 
King

4,352

4,832

4,041

3,122

$457,903

$375,000

1.20

Snohomish

1,564

1,777

1,487

1,131

$309,112

$285,000

1.20

Pierce

1,576

3,025

1,648

1,116

$234,875

$210,000

1.84

Kitsap

575

1,426

567

345

$286,870

$240,000

2.51

Mason

206

759

94

71

$178,045

$149,900

8.07

Skagit

245

785

226

149

$238,902

$220,020

3.47

Grays Hrbor

165

807

114

68

$143,411

$139,000

7.08

Lewis

187

700

90

74

$150,977

$134,500

7.78

Cowlitz

164

455

134

83

$174,330

$169,000

3.40

Grant

145

547

92

76

$169,412

$157,840

5.95

Thurston

506

1,121

482

332

$241,093

$225,500

2.33

San Juan

67

415

25

19

$519,047

$375,000

16.60

Island

279

834

199

117

$281,624

$240,000

4.19

Kittitas

150

447

66

60

$285,393

$217,995

6.77

Jefferson

123

466

53

40

$308,200

$298,750

8.79

Okanogan

114

447

48

28

$193,686

$147,950

9.31

Whatcom

552

1,448

398

279

$290,196

$250,000

3.64

Clark

83

149

69

54

$255,812

$229,000

2.16

Pacific

91

436

36

27

$136,736

$121,000

12.11

Ferry

11

76

4

5

$139,600

$151,000

19.00

Clallam

104

415

68

62

$191,923

$181,000

6.10

Others

186

576

104

91

$217,902

$179,900

5.54

MLS TOTAL

11,445

21,943

10,045

7,349

$343,639

$275,000

2.18

  

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter June 2013

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
2000370647785903511654905079492854324569467541263166
2001433450565722539956315568543455444040438741553430
2002429347355569543661315212552562155394577749664153
2003474652906889683771487202767371356698655249044454
2004452162848073791078888186758374646984676162285195

2005

542668338801842086108896820787847561715761884837

2006

527560328174765184118094712176926216640352924346

2007

486962397192697473116876637155804153444738962975
2008329141674520462445264765458045844445334628412432
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299538448144197
2012492160697386701572956733648963415871645351884181
201355486095740074627743

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 June 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.