Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – November 2013

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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 November 2013REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter November 2013

November 14, 2013

*Home Sales Slow Down with Government Shutdown*

Kirkland, WA – November 5, 2013 – Home sales “slowed” during October but prices continued to rise, according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Commenting on year-to-date totals for 2013 compared to 2012, one industry expert remarked, “I would say the real estate market is recovering nicely.”

Pending sales during October dipped 2.7 percent when compared to the same month a year ago, but rose nearly 3.2 percent from September’s volume. October’s decline was the first negative change in year-over-year comparisons since April 2011. (That drop-off was attributed in part to a frenzy during April 2010 when buyers were scrambling to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was expiring.)

Brokers point to the federal shutdown during the first two weeks of October, below-normal inventory, and shaken consumer confidence as factors in the slowdown.

MLS figures summarizing last month’s activity across the 21 counties in its service area show year-over-year improvement in inventory (up 5.5 percent), double-digit increases in the volume of closed sales (up 12.5 percent), and moderate increases in selling prices (up 7.7 percent).

Mike Gain, president of a local real estate brokerage franchise, believes the market has taken a “slight pause,” but emphasized one month’s numbers don’t indicate a trend.

“We are two years into what has been a very steady recovery. It’s okay – and actually healthy – to have a slight slowdown,” he remarked. The government shutdown “definitely hurt consumer confidence” and put many would-be buyers on the sidelines, according to Gain.

Consumer confidence “deteriorated considerably” in October as a result of the shutdown and debt ceiling squabbles, according to The Conference Board. A recent Gallup poll found some improvement in Americans’ economic confidence, but reported it is still well below mid-September, before the shutdown.

Gain said despite improving inventory the limited supply of homes for sale is also hampering sales. “Numerous buyers are looking but just can’t find the right home to fit their needs,” he reported.

Northwest MLS brokers reported 8,086 pending sales during October, down from the year-ago total of 8,312 sales, but outgaining the number of mutually accepted offers in September by 247 transactions for a 3.2 percent increase. Eleven counties had fewer pending sales last month versus a year ago.

Prices on sales that closed last month rose 7.7 percent ($19,375) from a year ago. Area-wide, the median price for single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $271,000.

Homes that sold in San Juan County last month fetched the highest median price at $384,000, up 17.2 percent from a year ago. King County prices were slightly lower at $380,000, about 11 percent more than the median price of a year ago.

For single family homes only (excluding condos), King County prices topped the list. The median price for last month’s completed sales was $426,000, or 15.1 percent higher than the year-ago selling price of $370,000. System-wide, the median price for single family homes (only) was $283,000, about 8.4 percent higher than twelve months ago when it was $261,050.

Gain said the increases reflect a healthy and stabilizing real estate market. “It is good to see the prices rising modestly, allowing the market to become more balanced,” he stated.

Northwest MLS director George Moorhead agreed, saying more moderate and balanced growth helps “mitigate huge home price fluctuations.” The slowdown is also reflected in the time it is taking listings to sell, he noted. “We are seeing inventory staying on the market longer, which will continue through the holiday season until late January to mid-February,” said Moorhead, the managing broker at real estate brokerage in Bothell, WA.

More inventory is still needed to meet demand, suggested Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at a real estate brokerage in Tacoma, Washington and a past chairman of the Northwest MLS board of directors. In Pierce County, where his office is located, inventory is about even with year-ago levels, but 2,019 more sales have closed so far this year for a jump of 25.4 percent.

Three counties – King, Pierce and Snohomish – have less than three months of supply, well below the 4-to-6 month level that is generally considered to be an indicator of a balanced market.

“It still looks like a potential housing shortage in Puget Sound come 2015 if building doesn’t increase,” Beeson commented.

At least one segment of the new construction market shows signs of rebounding: condominiums.

“Most residential developers went into hibernation during the real estate bear market of the past five years, but this past month heralded a bullish resurgence of several developments,” said John Deely, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors. Last month was like spring in the South Lake Union neighborhood, he reported.

Deely, the principal managing broker at real estate brokerage franchise office in Seattle, WA, cited the opening of sales for a new 41-story condominium community and the restart of two other major residential developments as positive indicators. The projects include a high-rise residential development near the Space Needle and the restart of a hotel-condo building in the Denny Triangle area of downtown Seattle. “This is good news as the market is starving for new condominium inventory,” he stated.

Beeson also commented on upticks in condo activity.  He said some condo developers who placed units in the rental pool during the 2008-2010 downturn are converting them back to for-sale housing and trying to sell them in today’s improved market. “The price points have still not returned to 2006-2007 levels but the chance to move some product now exists,” he commented.

MLS brokers added more than 1,000 new listings to condo inventory last month, a jump of 24.3 percent from a year ago. Total inventory is 9.1 percent higher than at this time last year. Closed sales during October jumped 15.3 percent, with prices rising about 5.3 percent.

Condos that closed during October had a median price of $200,000. In King County, which accounted for about two-thirds of those sales, the median price was $234,000.

“The real estate market has been moving in the right direction,” observed Gain, adding, “It has been a huge improvement over the past several years.” To underscore his point, he noted pending sales year-to-date are up by nearly 6,000 units (at 5,994) for a 7.3 percent increase. YTD closed sales are already up 10,167 units from a year ago for an increase of almost 19 percent (18.8), and prices are up by $27,000 for an increase of 11.1 percent. “I would say the real estate market is recovering nicely,” he concluded.

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 November 2013

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for October 2013

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

MONTHS

SUPPLY

New

Listings

Total

Active

# Pending

Sales

#

Closings

Avg.

Price

Median

Price

 
King

3,047

5,799

3,306

2,798

$461,138

$380,000

1.75

Snohomish

1,217

2,629

1,219

1,041

$293,894

$270,000

2.16

Pierce

1,217

3,571

1,324

1,014

$236,761

$217,898

2.70

Kitsap

400

1,483

373

328

$286,658

$244,975

3.98

Mason

113

710

91

75

$194,380

$165,800

7.80

Skagit

174

796

180

150

$268,572

$232,710

4.42

Grays Hbr

115

757

109

77

$121,497

$118,000

6.94

Lewis

89

696

79

54

$156,788

$148,700

8.81

Cowlitz

111

456

114

107

$172,207

$153,000

4.00

Grant

102

501

74

54

$161,476

$148,000

6.77

Thurston

380

1,276

370

302

$222,805

$203,495

3.45

San Juan

27

389

22

25

$450,260

$384,000

17.68

Island

150

757

139

112

$270,065

$255,000

5.45

Kittitas

64

440

57

60

$238,981

$201,675

7.72

Jefferson

52

428

58

38

$259,120

$267,000

7.38

Okanogan

54

482

34

23

$211,470

$128,000

14.18

Whatcom

272

1,440

276

280

$282,221

$249,000

5.22

Clark

60

207

55

36

$269,104

$239,000

3.76

Pacific

44

429

37

31

$142,745

$124,000

11.59

Ferry

8

69

2

3

$89,667

$79,000

34.50

Clallam

56

397

63

58

$216,245

$200,000

6.30

Others

142

679

104

86

$222,125

$194,500

6.53

MLS TOTAL

7,894

24,391

8,086

6,752

$339,607

$271,000

3.02

 

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter November 2013

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
2000370647785903511654905079492854324569467541263166
2001433450565722539956315568543455444040438741553430
2002429347355569543661315212552562155394577749664153
2003474652906889683771487202767371356698655249044454
2004452162848073791078888186758374646984676162285195
2005542668338801842086108896820787847561715761884837
2006527560328174765184118094712176926216640352924346
2007486962397192697473116876637155804153444738962975
2008329141674520462445264765458045844445334628412432
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299538448144197
2012492160697386701572956733648963415871645351884181
20135548609574007462774373747264691659516222 

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 November 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.

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