Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – November 2009

 

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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 November 2009REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

November 25, 2009

*Tax Credit Spurs Big Surge in Western Washington Home Sales*

KIRKLAND, WA, November 5, 2009Credit the tax credit and its impending expiration deadline for a surge in home sales last month. Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported a 63 percent jump in pending sales during October compared to the same month a year ago, a gain many brokers attribute to a tax credit that is set to expire at midnight on Nov. 30.

Every county except Okanogan reported double-digit gains in pending sales (mutual acceptance of an offer). Collectively, NWMLS brokers notched 7,235 pending sales during October. A year ago, they reported 4,445 pending transactions.

The new figures from Northwest MLS show continued signs of some stability in the market and improving consumer confidence. Inventory is at its lowest level since December 2008, and the year-over-year price decline, at 7.2 percent area-wide, is the smallest drop since June 2008.

Brokers added 9,344 new listings of single family homes and condominiums to inventory during October, the fewest number since December 2008 when the area was experiencing record snow accumulations. At month end, there were 38,159 active listings in the NWMLS database, a drop of 17.4 percent from the same month a year ago. At that time, the inventory included 46,189 residences.

For the four-county Puget Sound area (King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap), inventory has shrunk 20 percent since twelve months ago. The selection of single family homes (excluding condominiums) in the four-county area is down 22 percent.

Despite a smaller selection than a year ago, there are plenty of choices across the price spectrum. The inventory includes two dozen listings priced under $30,000 and a dozen properties with asking prices of $10 million or more.

The median price on the 5,512 homes and condos that sold and closed during October throughout the NWMLS market area was $269,995, about 7.2 percent less than the year-ago figure of $291,000.

Prices vary widely across the MLS counties, both in dollar amounts and changes measured by percentages. The lowest median selling price, at $136,000 for single family homes and condos (combined) is found in Grays Harbor County. At the other end of the spectrum is San Juan County, where the median sales price for last month’s completed sales was $454,250.

A comparison of price changes measured by percentages shows a range from a decline of nearly 17 percent in Jefferson County to a gain of 15 percent in San Juan County.

The median sales price in King County for last month’s completed transactions was $349,950, down about 2.4 percent from twelve months ago when the median price was $358,500. For single family homes, the median price on last month’s closed sales in King County was $377,500.

Northwest MLS directors who commented on October activity support extension of the tax credit that allows first-time home buyers who purchase a principal residence between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2009 a credit of up to $8,000.

“I believe the $8,000 homebuyer credit set off a great chain reaction. The first-time homebuyer creates a move-up buyer,” explained MLS director Meribeth Hutchings, the broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate/Lake Stevens. “The tax credit was the engine that started driving the market again,” she remarked, adding, “It was a great October; hopefully the tax credit extension will be approved and the market will stay strong through the winter.”

NWMLS director Kathy Estey, a managing broker in Bellevue, Washington, cites a combination of factors for boosting activity, including the tax credit, stabilizing prices for entry level homes and diminished inventory. “Sales are not just fueled by the first-time buyer stimulus,” she said, noting it prompted procrastinators to jump into the market and others to bail out of short sales that had not yet been accepted by lenders, opting instead to purchase homes that are not in the “distressed” categories.

“The fourth quarter is one of the best times for buyers, so we expect the positive activity to continue,” Estey remarked, noting sales in her office were up again in October, “a month when we expect to see a slight decline.”

Estey credits soft prices for contributing to the uptick in sales for homes priced at a million dollars or more. Her office participated in 10 sales priced at over a million dollars last month, calling that volume a “great improvement” from earlier in the year. In King County, 86 homes and condos fetched prices of $1 million or more, up from the year-ago total of 62 such transactions, according to NWMLS data.

“The compression of prices has created great values in that price range, the stock market has replaced much of what was previously lost, and there is reasonable financing for jumbo loans (20 percent or more down and good credit required),” Estey observed, while voicing hope for an extension of the tax credit. Noting the lending and escrow process takes at least 25-45 days, she said “The window has probably closed for buyers hoping to get in on the [current] tax credit.”

Some builders are offering to pay the stimulus dollars to buyers who will miss the opportunity because the homes will not be completed by the expiration date of the existing tax credit, according to Estey.

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 November 2009

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for October 2009

October 2009

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

#Closings

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

3764

12321

2951

2234

$421,521

$349,950

Snohomish

1474

5171

1197

825

$304,444

$280,000

Pierce

1456

5591

1174

880

$237,553

$219,700

Kitsap

405

1795

380

266

$284,650

$248,500

Mason

123

735

70

65

$192,512

$167,500

Skagit

208

1282

140

102

$287,600

$235,495

Grays

Harbor

120

833

85

73

$149,155

$136,000

Lewis

133

763

75

49

$148,859

$138,000

Cowlitz

123

675

83

57

$167,386

$168,000

Grant

120

696

63

63

$166,629

$147,000

Thurston

437

1729

295

290

$243,430

$225,172

San Juan

25

439

20

14

$479,500

$464,250

Island

162

1087

116

101

$318,332

$280,000

Kittitas

76

550

41

33

$237,065

$218,000

Jefferson

50

577

34

32

$322,574

$284,428

Okanogan

38

379

15

21

$171,214

$150,000

Whatcom

364

1821

315

225

$278,738

$250,900

Clark

69

310

65

63

$238,726

$225,000

Pacific

51

378

27

28

$183,689

$166,000

Others

146

1027

89

91

$230,487

$205,000

MLS TOTAL

9,344

38,159

7,235

5,512

$325,245

$269,995

 

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

7192

6974

7311

6876

6371

5580

4153

4447

3896

2975

2008

3291

4167

4520

4624

4526

4765

4580

4584

4445

334628412432
20093250340742625372549859635551576458255702  

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes approximately 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 19 counties in western and central Washington. 

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter November 2009, copyright 2009. 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.