Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – September 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 September 2009REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

 

September 13, 2009

*Northwest MLS Brokers Report Brisk Activity with Multiple Offers & Lender Delays*

KIRKLAND, Wash. (September 4, 2009) – Pending sales around Western Washington during August jumped nearly 21 percent from a year ago and inventory dropped more than 18 percent, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. MLS member-brokers say those indicators, along with signs of stabilizing prices, set the stage for brisk activity in the next few months as first-time buyers try to take advantage of the Nov. 30 deadline for tax credits.

“The typical August cool down in the market did not happen this year,” observed NWMLS director Kathy Estey, a managing broker in downtown Bellevue, WA. She said agents are busy with both first-time and move-up buyers and they’re reporting multiple offers on homes priced up to $700,000.

Brokers reported 7,539 pending sales (offers made and accepted but not yet closed) for August, up 20.7 percent from a year ago. That volume outgained July’s total by 260 transactions.

In the four-county Puget Sound region, pending sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) surged 25.7 percent from a year ago.

Within King County, pending sales activity improved 25.1 percent from a year ago, and was especially robust in the North King County area (up 38.7 percent) and on the Eastside (up nearly 36 percent). Excluding condos, two sub-areas of King County notched gains of more than 40 percent for pending sales of single family homes – Southeast King County (up 40.4 percent) and the Eastside (up 42.5 percent).

On the downside, Estey said many transactions are missing their closing date “for seemingly irrational reasons.” Last minute demands from lenders are common and final underwriting reviews are causing delays, she noted, adding, “Inexperienced appraisers are gumming up the works as well.” She urges first-time buyers who want to capture the $8,000 tax credit to plan ahead and allow for delays.

Another MLS director, Dick Beeson, a broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate in Tacoma, Washington, said stabilizing prices “bode well for the near term.”

For the 19 counties in the Northwest MLS service area, the median price for single family homes and condominiums that sold and closed last month was $$275,945, down about 8.8 percent from the year ago sales price of $302,500. Since January, however, prices area-wide have edged up about 1.1 percent, with seven of the 19 counties notching increases.

Prices for single family homes (excluding condos) that sold throughout the NWMLS area are up about 3.3 percent since January, although down about 9.2 percent from twelve months ago. In the four-county Puget Sound region, the median sales price for single family homes that closed last month was $310,000, down about 11.4 percent from twelve months ago, but back up to match January’s figure of $310,000.

Condo prices remain depressed. For last month’s completed transactions, the median sales price was $235,000, off 5 percent from the year ago figure of $247,500. Compared to January’s sales, condo prices have dropped about 6 percent

Current house-hunters have fewer listings to consider than a year ago: 41,528 active listings at the end of August compared to 50,772 for same month a year ago, a decline of 18.2 percent. Prices on current offerings, which include single family homes and condominiums, range from $13,000 to $32 million.

Northwest MLS members added 10,132 new listings to inventory during August, nearly 1,300 fewer than twelve months ago. Inventory shrunk in 16 of the 19 NWMLS counties, with twelve counties reporting double-digit drops.

Lower listing inventory is one of the building blocks of a housing recovery, according to Ron Sparks, a managing vice president of a Seattle area brokerage. “With fewer homes for sale, better affordability and buyer incentives like the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit, we are seeing supply and demand become much more balanced in many areas, and this will help support more stable prices,” he explained.

Sparks also commented on the momentum reflected in last month’s activity. “It’s very good to see that the number of pending sales is still rising in most areas, especially when we might typically expect a seasonal slowdown in demand.” He called the nearly 21 percent overall improvement in last month’s pending sales “particularly impressive.”

Open house traffic has been steady with high interest among first-time buyers being the driver, reports NWMLS director Beeson. Despite high interest, he said many potential buyers are still confused about how the tax credit program works.

On a cautionary note, Beeson expects a new round of bank owned properties to come on the market later this year and into next year. “This inventory will have to be absorbed over time and no one knows for sure just how this will influence prices,” he acknowledged, adding, “The best guess is it will be negative, although we have experienced many foreclosures already on the market. . .with no appreciable drop in prices since the beginning of the year.”

Summing up last month’s activity, Sparks of CBB, said, “A healthy, balanced market is in everyone’s best interest, and the August report tells us we’re definitely getting closer.”

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 September 2009

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for August 2009

August 2009

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

#Closings

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

3791

13145

2893

2005

$420,819

$349,995

Snohomish

1587

5559

1189

791

$313,332

$285,000

Pierce

1619

6031

1320

774

$257,747

$232,750

Kitsap

445

2029

362

256

$284,003

$242,500

Mason

134

839

100

54

$186,992

$161,000

Skagit

238

1384

153

98

$239,334

$220,000

Grays

Harbor

136

920

114

54

$159,051

$147,500

Lewis

153

792

71

61

$175,593

$155,800

Cowlitz

141

681

99

55

$192,456

$172,000

Grant

155

750

85

60

$172,832

$164,125

Thurston

503

1831

386

336

$261,956

$239,900

San Juan

33

524

18

14

$522,754

$470,000

Island

209

1263

113

84

$279,161

$271,250

Kittitas

79

671

54

39

$261,415

$205,000

Jefferson

83

653

38

21

$292,031

$253,750

Okanogan

76

421

27

22

$180,091

$165,650

Whatcom

468

2091

312

208

$312,076

$261,250

Clark

87

351

58

42

$230,710

$185,700

Pacific

49

435

34

27

$173,944

$157,500

Others

146

1158

113

85

$226,408

$195,000

MLS TOTAL

10,132

41,528

7,539

5,086

$329,377

$275,945

 

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
200932503407426253725498596355515764    

This information is from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes approximately 27,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 19 counties in western and central Washington. Together, they serve 19 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 September 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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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.