Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – May 2010

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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 May 2010REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter May 2010

May 15, 2010

*Brokers Cite Tax Credit and Rising Consumer Confidence with Stabilizing Housing Activity Around Washington State*

KIRKLAND, WA, May 5, 2010 – “While the tax credit has gone away, the buyers haven’t,” observed OB Jacobi, a board member of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Commenting on the MLS summary report for April, Jacobi described the tax incentives, which expired April 30, with being the “lubricant the market needed,” but credits rising consumer confidence with “driving the engine now.”

Northwest MLS member brokers reported 9,438 pending sales during April, an increase of more than 36 percent from the same month a year ago. Of these mutually accepted offers, 7,368 of them were in the four county Puget Sound region – the highest volume in this area since August 2006.

Two counties, Grant and Pacific, reported a twofold increase in the number of units sold last month versus a year ago.

MLS figures show inventory is nearly equal to year-ago levels, closed sales jumped almost 51 percent, and sales prices in many areas reflect little variation during the past six months.

“It’s exciting to see the stability of the real estate market continue to improve,” said NWMLS director Bobbie Chipman, co-managing broker in the Tacoma/Puyallup area. “The tax credit seems to have accomplished its purpose,” she added, noting, “It motivated home buyers to enter the market place, creating a synergy that should propel us through the summer months.”

Brokers were also upbeat when commenting on inventory and the pace of sales. NWMLS members added 12,664 new listings of single family homes and condominiums during April, up from 10,824 for the same period a year ago. At month’s end, with these additions, there were 39,999 active listings in the MLS database, about the same number as a year ago when inventory totaled 40,147 listings.

With pending sales outperforming a year ago (9,438 for last month compared to 6,918 for April 2009), the months’ supply (an industry indicator of sales velocity) is shrinking. System-wide, there’s about a 4.24 month supply, meaning at the current sales rate, if no other homes were put on the market it would take just over four months to exhaust the supply. For the four-county Puget Sound market, there is a supply of about 3.5 months.

Chipman said the current ratio of listings to pending sales speaks favorably to market growth. “Whereas listings were static compared to April ’09, the number of pending sales increased more than 36 percent.” That dynamic should keep buyers motivated, she stated.

NWMLS figures show big gains in the number of high-end sales. Last month, members reported 93 closed sales of homes priced at $1 million or more, improving on the year-ago total of 52 such sales. Through the first four months of 2010, the number of closed sales that fetched $1 million or more increased 65 percent from a year ago (304 versus 184 transactions).

Closed sales area-wide jumped nearly 51 percent from a year ago. Members notched 5,243 closings during April, up from the year-ago total of 3,478. Condo sales jumped nearly 74 percent last month for all counties combined. In King County, the number of condo sales nearly doubled, rising from 238 transactions to 454 closed sales.

Prices continue to show modest dips from a year ago, with the overall median price, at $261,000, down 3.3 percent from twelve months ago. Compared to January, half the counties in the MLS service area are showing increases in median prices.

In King County, the median price for last month’s sales (including single family homes and condos combined) was $340,000. That’s down $10,000 (2.86 percent) from a year ago. For single family homes, the median price on last month’s closed sales was $375,000, only $5,000 (1.32 percent) less than a year ago. The median selling price increased in MLS map areas encompassing Seattle, North King County and the Eastside.

Jacobi, the president of Windermere Real Estate Co., said the tax credit had only a moderate impact on activity during April. “We saw lots of activity among first-time buyers who knew they were not going to make the deadline for the (tax) credit, as well as an upswing in higher-end sales that did not qualify for the credits.” What that means, he says, is buyers are ready to purchase at the right price. “I can’t overemphasize the importance of pricing a home correctly,” he stated.

There are two types of homes on today’s market, according to Jacobi: Well priced homes in good condition that are selling within 30 days, and over-priced homes that will be sitting on the market a long time. He cited the example of a 2-bedroom home in Laurelhurst with a view of the lake that sold last month in two days for the asking price. “It was not an entry-level home, but it was in immaculate condition and at $717,000, was very well-priced for the neighborhood.”

Chipman echoed Jacobi’s advice. “As long as sellers remain realistic about the market value of their homes and the expectations of buyers, the strength of the market will grow.” She also reported an uptick in new construction activity as some builders have resumed buying land at reasonable prices. “If buyers want to have a variety of houses from which to choose, this is a good time for them to look,” Chipman suggested, adding, “The combination of current availability and incredibly low interest rates offers home buyers a tremendous opportunity.”

Check out my website(s): www.washingtonrealestatepage.com or www.washingtonlandandhomes.com

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 May 2010

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for April 2010

April 2010

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

5054

12986

3855

2096

$408,715

$340,000

Snohomish

1886

5357

1529

869

$297,564

$273,000

Pierce

1876

5906

1549

784

$237,767

$215,000

Kitsap

554

1924

435

263

$278,915

$228,500

Mason

193

783

80

49

$216,383

$187,000

Skagit

284

1254

177

117

$251,755

$220,000

GraysHarbor

175

923

114

81

$139,511

$128,900

Lewis

148

763

88

53

$155,353

$155,000

Cowlitz

170

657

128

62

$188,356

$180,000

Grant

149

662

140

68

$170,878

$156,700

Thurston

609

1886

456

259

$242,161

$226,850

San Juan

66

463

11

13

$476,331

$380,000

Island

245

1107

131

98

$292,660

$254,206

Kittitas

112

528

64

37

$315,321

$242,000

Jefferson

121

624

35

33

$341,682

$299,000

Okanogan

94

422

31

15

$218,560

$157,500

Whatcom

532

2036

372

203

$263,806

$240,000

Clark

70

283

60

47

$229,265

$202,000

Pacific

70

412

43

23

$164,822

$127,000

Ferry

9

44

5

0

0

0

Clallam

48

195

32

15

$194,410

$183,000

Others

199

784

103

58

$211,034

$195,450

MLS TOTAL

12,664

39,999

9,438

5,243

$317,565

$261,000

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter May 2010

 

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
20104381521168217368        

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.  Ferry and Clallam counties are now included in the monthly statistical reports.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter May 2010, copyright 2010. 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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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 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.