Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – March 2007

 

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Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter March 2007REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

March 12, 2007

*Housing Activity “Rejuvenating” Around Western Washington*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Mar. 7, 2007) – February housing activity began to show signs of a rejuvenating market, according to observations from brokers and the latest numbers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Figures for February show system-wide gains in both pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) and sales prices compared to a year ago. Results were mixed among the 19 counties in the MLS service area, but together they reported a 4.8 percent increase in year-over-year pending sales for February.

Prices for last month’s closed sales of single-family homes and condominiums jumped 14.4 percent from twelve months ago. The median price for last month’s completed transactions was $324,000. That was $40,800 more than at this time last year.

The condominium market shows continued strength, with pending sales rising 13.7 percent from a year ago. Prices for condo sales that closed last month were 20 percent higher than twelve months ago.

Inventory also rose from year-ago levels, climbing more than 40 percent, but brokers are not convinced the buildup means a tilt to a buyer’s market. In many counties, the month’s supply ratio is less than five months (a supply of six months or greater is generally considered to be a buyer’s market).

In King County there is currently a 2.6 month’s supply of single family homes and only about a two month’s supply of condominiums (see chart).

NWMLS director Ken Bacon, a broker at Windermere Real Estate, said the market is changing from one that slightly favored sellers to a strong seller’s market. “We are now seeing multiple offers on many of our listings,” he reports, adding second quarter inventory will not be able to keep pace with demand. As a result, Bacon said they have resumed training agents on both buyer and seller strategies in multiple offer situations.  

MLS members notched 8,043 pending sales last month, up from 7,673 a year ago and the largest volume since October. Condo sales surged 13.7 percent from a year ago.

“The news is good and getting better,” commented NWMLS director Dick Beeson, also a broker at Windermere Real Estate. He said the market is settling in, adding “it is as balanced as I have seen since 2000.”

Inventory continues to build in Pierce County, Beeson reported, with condos accounting for a growing share of inventory in Pierce County. Condo listings are up 66 percent from a year ago, while prices for condos that sold there last month rose 19.5 percent. For last month’s closed sales of single family homes in Pierce County, prices rose 12.5 percent.

Beeson noted buyers are waiting to see what’s new on the market, but then are paying close to list price. His office reports lighter traffic at open houses, but attributes it to growing numbers of buyers who shop online for preliminary information before touring.

Last month’s closed sales lagged year-ago totals, reflecting the slower activity during the past few months when the region was battered by flooding, windstorms and snow.

Prices on last month’s completed transactions showed considerable variation, ranging from double-digit gains (in eight counties) to double-digit declines (in two counties).

Mason County reported a 23 percent jump in the sales price of single family home sales (excluding condominiums) last month, the highest percentage increase among the 19 counties in the MLS system. Homes in that county fetched a median selling price of $192,400. That compares to a median sales price of almost $430,000 for single family home sales that closed in King County last month, where prices were up 9.4 percent.

Condominium prices in King County jumped 24.6 percent from a year ago. The median sales prices for last month’s closed sales was $285,250, which compares to the year-ago figure of $228,950. Area-wide, the median price for condos that sold last month was $252,000, up $42,000 (20 percent) from a year ago.

Low interest rates and job growth will continue to sustain a healthy housing economy throughout the Puget Sound region.

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 March 2007

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for February 2007

Feb 2007 Single Fam. Homes + Condos
LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

King Co.

4068

7908

3272

2116

$462,575

$393,250

Snohomish

1756

4200

1361

906

$366,016

$334,700

Pierce

2000

6082

1219

892

$317,205

$282,000

Kitsap

533

1898

387

229

$372,781

$285,000

Mason

125

616

84

51

$224,399

$192,400

Skagit

247

949

168

113

$297,124

$255,000

Grays Harbor

175

700

102

55

$167,569

$155,000

Lewis

142

615

77

51

$193,085

$165,000

Cowlitz

128

541

96

62

$214,844

$178,700

Grant

91

360

79

65

$167,825

$140,000

Thurston

576

1716

410

295

$275,919

$250,000

San Juan

39

215

15

13

$477,577

$450,000

Island

184

793

122

82

$335,348

$283,250

Kittitas

105

378

47

23

$232,930

$225,000

Jefferson

66

355

35

29

$325,103

$306,500

Okanogan

132

329

33

21

$197,631

$154,000

Whatcom

485

1951

301

196

$305,871

$269,900

Clark

273

982

157

108

$319,089

$258,000

Pacific

47

268

26

24

$215,906

$182,250

Others

161

802

52

50

$254,969

$227,500

MLS TOTAL

11,333

31,658

8,043

5,381

$374,173

$324,000

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inventory – Months Supply (4-county Puget Sound region) – (Feb. 2007)

Months supply

Res + Condo (combined)

Res (SFH) only

Condo only

County

Total Active

Pending

Months Supply

Total Active

Pending

Months Supply

Total Active

Pending

Months Supply

King

7908

3272

2.42

6124

2375

2.58

1784

897

1.99

Snoh.

4200

1361

3.08

3655

1124

3.25

545

237

2.30

Pierce

6082

1219

4.99

5450

1119

4.87

632

100

6.32

Kitsap

1898

387

4.90

1632

352

4.64

266

35

7.60

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 26,000 sales associates. Together, they serve 17 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 March 2007, copyright 2007. 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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