Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – September 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 September 2010REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter September 2010

September 13, 2010

*”Value-Hunters” Buying More Affordable Homes in Central & Western Washington State*

KIRKLAND, WA, September 3, 2010 – Value is what’s selling in the current housing market, according to members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  Commenting on the MLS report summarizing August activity, directors agree conditions continue to favor buyers, although one industry official cautioned a looming change in mortgage insurance premiums could erode purchasing power.

Members reported 6,037 pending sales last month, the highest volume of mutually accepted offers since April when buyers scrambled to beat a tax incentive deadline.  Last month’s volume was down nearly 20 percent from the same month a year ago when members reported 7,539 pending sales, but the total was up 8.4 percent from the number of transactions (5,571) notched during July. 

“It is solidly a buyer’s market,” observed NWMLS director OB Jacobi, general manager of Windermere Real Estate Company.  “The market is good for sellers who price their homes correctly,” he stated. “Homes that are priced right from the start, at every price range, are selling quickly and for very close to asking price. In this market, it’s critical to price a home well from day one. If sellers plan to start high and gradually go lower, they’ll price themselves out of the market.”

Prices on last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) were down slightly (2.35 percent) from a year ago.  The median sales price for last month’s 4,211 completed transactions across the 21 counties in the MLS system was $269,450. That compares to a year-ago median price of $275,945. 

For single family homes (excluding condos) the median price was $275,000, down 3.5 percent from a year ago.  Prices increased from 12 months ago in nine counties (Clark, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Mason, San Juan, Skagit, and Thurston), led by San Juan (up 23.8 percent) and Mason (up 20.8 percent).

In King County, which accounted for more than one-third of last month’s closed sales of single family homes, the median price was $380,000, an increase of 1.3 percent from the year-ago figure of $375,000.

Along with lower prices and record low mortgage interest rates, buyers have abundant inventory to consider, further bolstering their bargaining position.

NWMLS members added 9,533 new listings to inventory last month. The mix included 8,172 single family homes and 1,361 condominiums.  With these additions, the number of active listings at month end totaled 44,186, an increase of 6.4 percent from a year ago.   Sixteen counties reported larger inventories than twelve months ago.

“The active listings inventory and the influx of new listings are still very strong for the buyers,” said NWMLS director Darin Stenvers, a managing broker in Bellingham, Washington.  The extremely low mortgage rates are enabling today’s purchasers to buy more home, but he said he believes buyers are learning from the past and seem to be buying the home they can afford, rather than the home they thought they could afford.  Stenvers also noted the relatively flat prices, together with the large number of foreclosed and short sales transactions, are reflective of a buyers’ market.  

Jacobi described the current pool of buyers as “value-hunters” with stable income and good credit. They’re taking the opportunity to purchase homes they couldn’t afford a few years ago, according to Jacobi, who noted this pool includes first-time buyers as well as move-up buyers with strong equity in their existing home.

Looking ahead, brokers and housing analysts expect a long, slow recovery of the housing market. Commenting on the latest activity report, MLS director Stenvers said, “I believe we are going to see this same type of market through the end of the year and into first quarter 2011.”

In a statement accompanying a National Association of Realtors® report on existing home sales for July, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economists said the recovery looks to be a long process. “Home sales will remain soft in the months ahead, but improved affordability conditions should help with a recovery,” he stated, adding, “Home buyers over the past year got a great deal, and buyers for the balance of this year have an edge over sellers. For those who bought at or near the peak several years ago, particularly in markets experiencing big bubbles, it may take over a decade to fully recover lost equity.”

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 2010

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for August 2010

August 2010

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING

SALES

CLOSED SALES

New

Listings

Total

Active

#Pending

Sales

# Closings

 

Average

Price

Median

Price

King

3524

14217

2240

1654

$436,370

$349,450

Snohomish

1457

5989

906

642

$296,216

$260,000

Pierce

1450

6386

1085

660

$261,010

$221,500

Kitsap

436

2062

289

198

$310,604

$268,950

Mason

143

945

74

42

$213,276

$194,500

Skagit

225

1393

113

98

$274,722

$229,860

GraysHarbor

211

1103

77

63

$145,223

$139,000

Lewis

156

895

71

35

$153,164

$139,900

Cowlitz

155

716

69

43

$161,007

$155,000

Grant

139

723

75

41

$170,749

$157,000

Thurston

478

2046

344

246

$256,619

$239,950

San Juan

32

524

18

9

$613,500

$512,500

Island

187

1173

115

81

$299,349

$250,000

Kittitas

97

617

70

29

$275,124

$237,500

Jefferson

74

701

40

24

$291,908

$250,000

Okanogan

53

482

29

20

$200,200

$135,000

Whatcom

394

2189

251

189

$278,040

$251,490

Clark

70

325

41

20

$215,056

$213,500

Pacific

62

514

28

21

$142,752

$124,500

Ferry

5

59

2

0

0

0

Clallam

74

507

39

46

$236,767

$226,000

Others

111

620

61

50

$186,901

$174,950

MLS TOTAL

9,533

44,186

6,037

4,211

$332,932

$269,450

 

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

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter September 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
201043815211682173684058423943064520    

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.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter September 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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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.