Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – March 2012

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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

Contact Me


Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter March 2012REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter March 2012

March 6, 2012

*Washington Home Buyers Realizing “Market May have Reached Bottom of Cycle”*

KIRKLAND, WA, March 5, 2012 – With spring on the horizon and consumer confidence on the rise, members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service are reporting positive gains in activity. Pending sales for February increased more than 27 percent from a year ago, more sellers are listing their homes, and brokers are reporting an uptick in multiple offers.

“Buyers are beginning to realize that we may have seen the bottom of this real estate market,” remarked Frank Wilson, a branch managing real estate broker in Poulsbo, Washington and a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors. “Waiting to buy may only result in paying a higher interest rate, having fewer houses to choose from, or finding that sellers do not need to give up as much as they have in the past,” he added.

Brokers reported 7,623 pending sales during February, the highest volume since August when they notched 7,632 mutually accepted offers. Last month’s tally jumped 27.4 percent from twelve months ago, with 20 of the 21 counties in the MLS service area reporting double-digit gains.

Within King County, pending sales were particularly robust in the Lake Forest Park/Kenmore neighborhoods (up 73 percent), Kent (up 61 percent), Burien/Normandy Park (up 58 percent) and central Seattle (up 56 percent). The northeast portion of Snohomish County also experienced strong sales (up 63 percent from a year ago).

“The only thing tempering this from being a hot, thriving market are the short sales and foreclosed properties which represent about one-third of the transactions,” Wilson commented.

Buyers have fewer homes to consider compared to a year ago, with inventory down 22.5 percent area-wide. At month end, there were 25,510 active listings in the Northwest MLS database; a year ago, there were 32,922 homes and condos listed for sale.

The selection compared to twelve months ago is down sharply in both King County (off 32.3 percent) and Snohomish County (down 38.2 percent). Measured by months of supply, Snohomish has about 2.1 months while King is slightly better at 2.3 months. (Five to six months of supply is considered to be a balanced market, with less than that presumed to be a seller’s market.)

Northwest MLS brokers added 7,390 new listings to inventory during February, about 400 fewer than the same month a year ago.

Asking prices are comparable to a year ago. System-wide, the median asking price for the current inventory of single family homes and condominiums is $249,900, about $5,000 below the year-ago median figure of $254,950 (down 1.98 percent). Six counties (Ferry, Grant, King, Mason, Snohomish, and Whatcom) reported higher median listing prices in February than 12 months ago.

Northwest MLS members reported 3,846 closed sales last month, up about 25 percent from the year-ago total of 3,080 completed transactions.

Selling prices continued to slip, but the decline was under 9 percent for the first time in nearly a year. The area-wide median price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $218,944, down about 8.8 percent from the year-ago figure of $240,000.

For single family homes only (excluding condominiums), prices were down about 7.7 percent from a year ago. Last month’s closed sales fetched a median sales price of $229,000, which compares to the year-ago price of $248,000. Five counties (Clallam Ferry, Grant, Lewis and San Juan) reported year-over-year price increases.

Commenting on the market around Kitsap County, where prices dipped nearly 11 percent, Wilson said he expects prices to “stabilize and even reverse as we move further into 2012.” With 4.3 months of supply in that county, he believes the market is tilting toward sellers. “We continue to see more multiple offer situations on homes that come on the market correctly priced,” he stated.

Wilson also pointed to recently released consumer confidence numbers as a positive indicator. He noted The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index posted sizeable improvements in February, approaching levels last seen a year ago.

In a statement accompanying the latest report, Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said consumers were more optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were a month ago. “Consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation,” she declared.

Nationally, the overall direction for the housing market is positive, according to analysts with the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Its latest figures show the past few months of contract activity are the highest in more than four years outside of the home buyer tax credit impact. In comments accompanying the latest figures, NAR suggested the market isn’t as strong as it could be because of overly restrictive lending standards and contract cancellations due in part to appraised values coming in below a negotiated price.

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 March 2012

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for February 2012

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

# Closings

Avg.

Price

Median

Price

King
2832
7048
3123
1574
$340,826
$275,000
Snohomish
1126
2925
1391
698
$236,694
$220,000
Pierce
1152
4018
1234
636
$193,209
$169,450
Kitsap
368
1397
321
170
$265,910
$225,400
Mason
119
601
63
36
$134,536
$95,800
Skagit
147
799
153
64
$193,386
$169,000
Grays Harbor
125
701
100
41
$117,875
$108,000
Lewis
95
620
74
37
$126,450
$113,000
Cowlitz
100
476
78
36
$136,528
$142,400
Grant
98
481
65
30
$184,930
$171,750
Thurston
353
1307
345
154
$225,913
$211,500
San Juan
36
341
17
10
$656,300
$443,500
Island
131
735
108
53
$228,611
$220,000
Kittitas
54
389
43
26
$177,514
$157,450
Jefferson
62
425
35
25
$227,343
$203,500
Okanogan
26
318
25
13
$160,335
$140,000
Whatcom
265
1232
250
128
$235,645
$218,750
Clark
52
237
56
17
$149,833
$133,000
Pacific
52
337
32
12
$129,124
$92,500
Ferry
3
58
0
2
$70,500
$70,500
Clallam
64
364
31
27
$195,993
$184,000
Others
130
701
79
57
$184,417
$165,000
MLS TOTAL
7,390
25,510
7,623
3,846
$265,993
$218,944

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter March 2012

 

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
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299538448144197
201249216069          

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 22,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter March 2012, copyright 2012. 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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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.