Northwest MLS Tallies Busy December!

Northwest MLS Tallies Busy December as First-time Buyers, Investors Return

Information and statistics compiled and reported by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service

KIRKLAND, Wash. (January 7, 2013) – Home buyers around western Washington made offers on 5,314 residences during December, outnumbering the 3,857 owners who listed their homes for sale. The imbalance helped push up prices and further thin already depleted inventory.

While the expected seasonal slowdown occurred last month, determined buyers were undaunted by sparse inventory and record-breaking rainy days, according to December statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“This is a unique housing market,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “There is nothing normal about the combination of factors fueling the current market,” he added.

MLS members reported 5,314 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums last month for a modest year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent. That volume of mutually accepted offers fell from November’s total of 6,522, but far exceeded the number of new listings, 3,857, that members added to the MLS system during December. It also marked an unprecedented fourth straight month when pending sales outnumbered new listings.

MLS members tallied 5,267 closed sales during December, outgaining the same month a year ago by 526 transactions for an increase of about 11.1 percent. The 2012 total of 64,624 closed sales was 14.8 percent higher than the volume reported for 2011.

Brokers expect the housing market rebound to continue, while cautioning sellers to refrain from becoming too greedy and expressing hope for “controlled natural growth” to sustain the recovery. They also believe distressed properties, rising rents and re-engaged investors will have an impact on activity for the foreseeable future.

“Buyers are taking note of sellers who overprice their homes,” reported Northwest MLS director Darin Stenvers. “These buyers are not wasting their time looking at that section of the market for fear of losing a “turnkey ready” home that they can buy and close on,” added Stenvers, the office managing broker at John L. Scott, Inc. in Bellingham.

Frank Wilson, another member of the Northwest MLS board of directors and the managing broker at John L. Scott’s Poulsbo’s branch, noted similar shifts in attitudes about distressed properties. He said many buyers are no longer considering short sales or bank owned property because of the uncertainty and complexity of those transactions, opting instead to focus on non-distressed listings that would likely close in a more reasonable and more predictable timeframe. “I think as time goes by the short sale and bank owned home will become more and more of an investor target,” he remarked.

Even with distressed properties (and the lower prices they usually fetch) being part of the mix of sales, median sales prices are edging up. Last month’s buyers paid more for their home than purchasers of a year ago, and the number of properties that sold for a million dollars or more jumped nearly 56 percent, rising from 68 in December 2011 to 106 last month.

The median price area-wide was $255,000, up 13.3 percent from twelve months ago when the price was $225,000. Prices rose by double digits in ten of the 21 counties in the Northwest MLS service area. Homes and condos that sold in King County commanded the highest prices at $342,000, reflecting a gain of more than 17.5 percent.

For single family homes (excluding condos), the median selling price rose $30,000 system-wide (about 12.8 percent) climbing from $235,000 a year ago to $265,000.

In King County, the median sales price of a single family home jumped nearly 18.8 percent, from $320,000 to $380,046. Within the county, the biggest increases on single family homes that sold were reported in Skyway/Bryn Mawr area (up 89.8 percent), Central Seattle (up 50.2 percent), Vashon (up 35.6 percent), Bellevue west of I-405 (up 28.6 percent) and Burien-Normandy Park (up 26.9 percent).

Prices and the number of multiple offers may be rising in part because of shrinking inventory. At the end of December, there were only 17,718 properties for sale, which compares to 26,639 active listings for the same time a year ago (down 33.5 percent). Months of supply declined to 3.3 months, down from about 5 months of supply for the same period a year ago.

In Snohomish County, year-over-year inventory was down more than 53 percent, while in King County the selection was about half the year ago levels: 3,801 listings versus 7,472.

Looking ahead, many brokers expect a strong market in 2013, with some expressing concern about “frenzied bubble growth.”

“Last year was the best year in real estate for both buyers and sellers since 2007, with better pricing for homes, lower interest rates than ever recorded in history, and best of all, the opinion the market has finally bottomed out,” said MLS director George Moorhead, branch manager at Bentley Properties in Bothell. Those factors combined to “start a buyer frenzy” from February to mid-August, he noted, but added, “We never quite got that level of excitement back for the months of September to December.”

Moorhead expects a “traditionally slow” January as buyers and sellers start to “build energy to make the next move.” He fears another “perfect storm” with double-digit appreciation will return, but prefers “controlled natural growth” as the best recipe for long term economic stabilization, “not frenzied bubble growth with no foundation for support.”

Wilson said he expects an exciting spring real estate market in Kitsap County, citing the imbalance between inventory and buyers and record low interest rates. “The numbers are lined up for a bit of a frenzy,” which he believes will lead to shortages of homes in some areas and some price ranges.

Low unemployment, less inventory, low interest rates and rising rents are among factors that will create a strong housing market in 2013, Stenvers suggested. The return of first-time buyers who find it is becoming cheaper to own than rent and the imminent multi-billion dollar settlement involving foreclosure mishandlings by 14 banks also bode well for a more balanced recovery, he noted.

“We will see a continuation of year 2012 market conditions throughout 2013,” declared Scott. “Historically low interest rates, healthy job growth, a shortage of homes for sale in many areas and price ranges, strong sales activity from both local home buyers and residential investors are creating multiple offers and price increases in areas with inventory shortages,” he noted.

Another positive indicator brokers noted is improving builder confidence. It recently rose to its highest level in more than six years, according to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo survey released last month. Although newly built homes account for only a small portion of the housing market, they are considered to be a leading revenue and job creator. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB research.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary – Dec. 2012

Single
Family
Homes
+ Condos
LISTINGS PENDING
SALES
CLOSED SALES
New
Listings
Total
Active
# Pending
Sales
#
Closings
Avg.
Price
Median
Price
King 1,378 3,801 2,056 2,188 $425,210 $342,000
Snohomish 581 1,513 872 892 $279,231 $254,975
Pierce 701 2,734 986 808 $232,956 $200,563
Kitsap 170 1,183 267 226 $261,724 $219,975
Mason 60 590 52 59 $174,834 $145,000
Skagit 86 609 97 105 $257,427 $209,000
Grays Harbor 77 644 50 72 $139,675 $132,568
Lewis 56 549 58 50 $169,263 $162,500
Cowlitz 53 401 87 69 $159,092 $139,000
Grant 40 431 37 50 $161,897 $147,500
Thurston 187 988 248 223 $220,379 $203,000
San Juan 13 270 15 17 $565,059 $300,000
Island 61 573 83 76 $312,249 $257,500
Kittitas 33 346 35 37 $350,882 $220,000
Jefferson 29 340 33 37 $353,950 $252,000
Okanogan 23 335 16 15 $162,260 $145,000
Whatcom 160 1,059 164 197 $278,378 $255,000
Clark 22 176 47 36 $234,957 $179,550
Pacific 27 298 21 20 $133,061 $125,750
Ferry 1 75 2 4 $131,216 $147,950
Clallam 44 314 47 42 $200,033 $173,400
Others 55 489 41 44 $219,863 $155,000
MLS TOTAL 3,857 17,718 5,314 5,267 $322,252 $255,000

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

We would love to help you with your real estate needs whether you are looking to buy or sell a home. For more information on Anacortes real estate, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

Facts on the 3.8% Health Care Tax

A 3.8 percent levy on certain investment income was included in healthcare legislation two years ago, and now misinformation about the tax’s application to home sales is being passed along over the Internet and e-mail, throwing some prospective home sellers into a panic. In actuality, very few owners will be affected by the new tax taking effect in 2013.

The tax will only be on investment income of upper income taxpayers. Included in the definition of investment income is capital gains from home sales above a certain amount and for households whose income is above a certain amount. This means individuals who make $200,000 a year or more, or married couples who earn at least $250,000 a year are affected. Additionally, the tax is only applied to home sales if the proceeds exceed $250,000 for an individual, or $500,000 for married couples. And there still are other income and tax particulars that are considered before the 3.8 percent tax is triggered.

The National Association of REALTORS® has published a brochure on how the tax works.  If you would like a copy of the tax brochure please email, call or text and we would be happy to send a copy to you. To determine how the tax affects you, we suggest you contact a tax professional.

For accurate real estate information for Anacortes, La Conner, Bow, or anywhere in Skagit County, sign up for our blog on our website www.AnacortesLiving.com

If you would like to have graphs on real estate statistics emailed to you including real estate sales this year vs. last year, pending home sales this year vs. last year, average price of homes sold and more for Anacortes, La Conner, Bow, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro Woolley, or any other city in Western Washington, just send us an email and we would be happy to send you charts monthly, no cost or obligation of course!

Pending Home Sales Exceed Expectations!

Pending homes sales are up according to the National Association of REALTORS as home buyers take advantage of great home values. May statistics for home sales were up higher than anticipated.

You can view home sales statistics on our website for Skagit County, La Conner, Oak Harbor, Guemes Island, Samish Island, and even Seattle on our website.http://www.cbislandliving.com/index.cfm/page/57494/Real_Estate_Market_Trends.html

Northwest MLS brokers report 51% jump in pending sales

KIRKLAND, Wash. (April 5, 2010) – Home sales around Washington state surged last month, with brokers reporting activity at levels “like we haven’t seen in a while,” according to the owner of a Seattle brokerage. Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported 8,605 pending sales during March for a 51 percent increase over the same month a year ago.Notably, while entry-level home sales have been driving the market, brokers also reported strong activity at the upper end of the price spectrum. Last month, 91 residences (76 of them in King County) sold for $1 million or more; twelve months ago only 40 homes and condos fetched $1 million or more.

Pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) in the four-county Puget Sound region rose 60 percent from twelve months ago, led by Snohomish County where the number of transactions jumped more than 77 percent.

NWMLS director Diedre Haines, regional managing broker for Coldwell Banker Bain in Snohomish County, said her network of three offices broke a nine-year old record for the most transactions in a single month. She attributes the gains to several factors, including tax incentives and the return of jumbo loan financing, but also noted an uptick in activity for parcels of land.

“We are once again representing buyers in the purchase of both raw undeveloped land and platted lots,” Haines remarked, adding, “This is the first time we have seen land purchases in over two years.” Of the buyers, she said some intend to start building now and others are buying for investment.

MLS brokers also reported year-over-year increases in the number of new listings added to inventory and in the volume of closed sales. Members added 12,994 new listings to the system last month, up 26.7 percent from the year-ago total of 10,252 new listings.

Last month’s new listings included 11,041 single family homes and 1,953 condominiums. Those additions brought the total inventory to 38,716. That compares to 39,825 total active listings at the same time a year ago, a decrease of about 2.8 percent.

Closed sales outpaced year-ago totals by a wide margin. Members reported 4,972 completed transactions during March, a gain of 1,590 sales for a 47 percent increase.

Prices for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) were down about 2 percent system wide. Since January, however, prices have inched up almost 1.8 percent.

 

 

 

Within King County, price changes from a year ago ranged from double-digit increases for homes on Mercer Island (up 26.9 percent), Central Seattle (up 14.9 percent), and Vashon (up 10 percent), to double- digit declines in some parts of South King County.Summary charts follow

Statistical Summary by Counties:

Market Activity Summary- March 2010 Single Fam. Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

King

5083

12,415

3479

2008

$425,545

$343,950

Snohomish

2002

5383

1532

813

$295,666

$268,000

Pierce

1890

5769

1416

768

$245,818

$215,000

Kitsap

568

1836

394

250

$284,798

$240,000

Mason

177

728

78

44

$199,329

$158,000

Skagit

315

1229

156

92

$255,870

$218,943

Grays Harbor

233

886

113

66

$136,922

$135,000

Lewis

166

740

77

55

$158,128

$139,000

Cowlitz

155

683

111

61

$173,036

$160,000

Grant

168

682

91

45

$178,384

$159,900

Thurston

656

1817

416

286

$240,631

$227,500

San Juan

45

435

14

14

$362,530

$350,000

Island

255

1054

124

69

$298,102

$240,000

Kittitas

116

500

52

45

$262,126

$190,550

Jefferson

117

568

47

27

$276,022

$270,000

Okanogan

58

364

23

14

$223,579

$207,500

Whatcom

588

1985

294

205

$262,960

$224,900

Clark

77

286

61

29

$222,736

$202,500

Pacific

89

403

29

28

$137,577

$125,000

Ferry

7

44

1

1

$50,000

$50,000

Clallam

48

177

30

10

$263,155

$243,000

Others

181

732

67

42

$206,617

$193,450

MLS TOTAL

12,994

38,716

8,605

4,972

$325,001

$264,475

“Homes that are positioned well – at every price range – are selling quickly,” commented NWMLS director Pat Grimm, the owner/designated broker at Windermere Real Estate/Capitol Hill, Inc. in Seattle. Among examples he cited was a Medina home that sold for its $2.35 million asking price in seven days. It drew three quick offers with escalation clauses. At the lower end of the price spectrum was a 2-bedroom Capitol Hill condo listed at $230,000. It also received multiple offers and sold for full price in three days.

Some buyers have to make offers on multiple properties before they win, but they’re still reticent about paying more than the list price, according to Grimm. He noted buyers are not waiving inspections, but said some bidders are doing pre-offer inspections.

“Sales activity is at a high level like we haven’t seen in a while, but still not the frenzy we saw a few years ago,” Grimm remarked, adding, “And that’s a good thing.”

Condo sales across the 21 counties in the MLS system showed significant improvement from a year ago. MLS members reported 1,199 pending sales last month, which compares to 645 sales for the same month a year ago for an increase of almost 86 percent.

Condo prices still lag year-ago figures. The median price for last month’s completed sales was $225,000, down about 7 percent from the year ago figure of $242,000. Within Seattle, however, prices are up. The median price for last month’s completed sales of condos in Seattle was $291,000, an increase of 5.8 percent from a year ago when the median sales price was $275,000.

“The Seattle surge has returned thanks to the opportunities that have been afforded to homeowners through the federal tax credit, historically low interest rates, and increased affordability,” observed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “As predicted, there is a surge of sales activity in the ‘more affordable’ price ranges which is causing a chain reaction of sales up the price points,” he reported. Scott said he expects the momentum to continue in the coming weeks as the April 30 expiration of the tax credit approaches.

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.

Free retrofit kits for window covers available to provide child safety

When you purchase a preowned home, you may also be purchasing pre-owned window treatments that do not meet today’s safety standards.  The Window Covering Safety Council has announced that consumers can order a free retro fit kits.  Here is the announcement from their website:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) are announcing an industry-wide voluntary corrective action plan covering roman-style shades and roll-up blinds to prevent the potential hazard of strangulation to young children. The recall involves window coverings that can form a loop and cause strangulation. According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.

Consumers can obtain free retrofit kits for roman style fabric looped and flat panel shades and roll up blinds online at http://www.windowcoverings.org/or by calling WCSC’s toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.

Parents and caregivers are being reminded of potential window-cord dangers and are urged to make the right choice and only use cordless window products in homes with young children. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.

To maximize window-cord safety when young children are present, consumers are urged to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
  • Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children.  Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall.  Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
  • Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill. 

To order free retrofit kits to make your home blinds and windowcoverings or for more information call 1-800-506-4636 or visit http://www.windowcoverings.org/.

For information on Skagit County home sales or Anacortes real estate please visit our website www.CBIslandLiving.com.

 

 

Nine Consecutive Gains for Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales have risen for nine months in a row, a first for the series of the index since its inception in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in October, increased 3.7 percent to 114.1 from 110.0 in September, and is 31.8 percent above October 2008 when it was 86.6. The rise from a year ago is the biggest annual increase ever recorded for the index, which is at the highest level since March 2006 when it was 115.2.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales are experiencing a pendulum swing. “Keep in mind that housing had been underperforming over most of the past year. Based on the demographics of our growing population, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.5 million to 6.0 million annually, but we were well below the 5-million mark before the home buyer tax credit stimulus,” he said. “This means the tax credit is helping unleash a pent-up demand from a large pool of financially qualified renters, much more than borrowing sales from the future.

The PHSI in the Northeast surged 19.9 percent to 100.2 in October and is 44.2 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 11.6 percent to 109.6 and is 36.6 percent higher than October 2008. Pending home sales in the South increased 5.4 percent to an index of 115.4, which is 31.6 percent above a year ago. In the West the index fell 11.2 percent to 127.7 but is 21.9 percent above October 2008.

Yun cautioned that home sales could dip in the months ahead. “The expanded tax credit has only been available for the past three weeks, but the time between when buyers start looking at homes until they close on a sale can take anywhere from three to five months. Given the lag time, we could see a temporary decline in closed existing-home sales from December until early spring when we get another surge, but the weak job market remains a major concern and could slow the recovery process.

“Still, as inventories continue to decline and balance is gradually restored between buyers and sellers, we should reach self-sustaining housing conditions and firming home prices in most areas around the middle of 2010. That would mean broad wealth stabilization for the vast number of middle-class families,” Yun said.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity from 2001 through 2004 parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. There is a closer relationship between annual index changes (from the same month a year earlier) and year-ago changes in sales performance than with month-to-month comparisons.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.

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NWMLS Press Release

The following statistics are furnished by the NWMLS

 

Northwest MLS brokers say housing market is recovering, but still “spongy”

 

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2009) – Most numbers are “moving in the right direction,” close-in Seattle neighborhoods are definitely coming to life and move-up buyers are re-entering the market were among observations by brokers when asked to comment on the latest activity report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

 

The report shows July’s pending sales increased from a year ago, as did closed sales, and inventory continues to shrink. Prices on sales that closed during July still lagged figures of a year-ago (down about 10 percent area-wide) and NWMLS members said last month’s record-setting temperatures “absolutely impacted showings and sales.”

 

July’s unseasonably hot weather curtailed activity for several showings and open houses, as brokers and agents said buyers and sellers postponed tours, saying it was just too hot.

 

“The hot July weather aside, the variable results we saw in July reflect what we’d typically expect from a recovering housing market – a few steps forward for some areas, a step back in others,” said Ron G. Sparks, managing vice president of Coldwell Banker Bain. Whereas comparisons to a year ago reflect some substantial gains, on a month to month basis we’re probably going to experience some “spongy” results for a while, he explained.

 

For example, brokers reported 7,279 pending sales (mutual acceptance of a purchase and sale agreement) last month, up from the year-ago total of 6,350 sales for a 14.6 percent gain. Compared with June, the volume slipped about 5.9 percent, dropping from 7,733 to 7,279 transactions.

 

In the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish), July’s pending sales of single family homes and condominiums jumped 21.2 percent from twelve months ago, but dipped 6.9 percent from the previous month. Nonetheless, last month’s 5,551 pending sales for the region marked the second-highest monthly total since August 2007.

 

Pending sales of condos (excluding single family homes) rose nearly 12.5 percent last month from a year ago. That continued June’s modest gain of 1.3 percent, when 22 months of negative year-over-year comparisons ended. Last month’s increase was the first double-digit gain since February 2007.

 

“I’m excited to see the continued increase of pending sales because these figures are the lead predictor of buyer behavior,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The rise of pending sales over the past few months is the best indication we have of what’s to come and I am encouraged by what we’re seeing,” he added.

 

Brokers say first-time buyers who are motivated by a looming deadline for the tax credit are propelling activity. “There seems to finally be a feeling of urgency to take advantage of this program before it goes away,” remarked NWMLS director Meribeth Hutchings, broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate/ Lake Stevens.

 

In an effort to keep agents and their clients focused on the time remaining for the $8,000 tax credit opportunity, Sparks said his company has a clock prominently displayed on its internal website that ticks down the days, minutes and seconds until the midnight deadline on Nov. 30. He also commented on the secondary benefits of the credit. “My daughter just closed on her first home, and she intends on using the tax credit for household items she’ll need as a new homeowner. She’s excited to buy her first lawn mower…good for her, good for housing, and good for the economy,” he stated.

 

Commenting on the tax credit, NWMLS director Dick Beeson said first time homebuyers are “getting it. All they talk about is the $8,000 tax credit and how good interest rates are.”

 

NWMLS members added 11,481 new listings to inventory during July, 1,612 fewer than during the same month a year ago. At month end, there were 42,310 active listings of single family homes and condominiums in the MLS database, down 18 percent from a year ago. Twelve of the 19 counties in the MLS reported double-digit shrinkage in inventory.

 

MLS brokers reported a system-wide total of 5,527 closed sales for the month of July, an increase of 256 transactions from a year ago for a 4.9 percent gain. The median selling price for those closings was $279,000, down 10 percent from the year-ago price of $310,000. Among the 19 counties served by NWMLS, the price changes from a year ago ranged from a 25.1 percent increase in Okanogan County to a 17.8 percent decline in Cowlitz County.

 

For the four-county Puget Sound region, the median selling price for last month’s completed sales of single family homes (excluding condos) was $314,000, about 13.5 percent less than the year-ago price of $363,000.

 

“After almost two years of relative calm, the close-in Seattle neighborhoods have definitely come to life in a major way,” remarked Mike Skahen, owner/broker at Lake & Co. Real Estate, Inc., in Seattle and a member of the NWMLS board of directors. He described open house traffic as “very strong” with a typical home drawing 20 to 50 buyers.

 

Multiple offers are once again becoming common on well-priced quality listings, according to Skahen. Although noticeable during the past few months for homes priced under $450,000, he said there are now instances of competition at higher price ranges. A recent listing of a Wallingford bungalow priced at $550,000 drew eight offers, which Skahen said is a “good indication the trade up buyers have finally decided that prices have bottomed out, so after waiting too long they are now competing for fewer listings.”

 

Skahen also said the tax credit has created such strong demand for starter homes that those sellers now realize they actually gain more by trading up in this market because they save more on their trade-up home and there is good demand for the home they’re selling.

 

Skahen also said the tax credit has created such strong demand for starter homes that those sellers now realize they actually gain more by trading up in this market because they save more on their trade-up home and there is good demand for the home they’re selling.

On a cautionary note, Skahen said there is very likely to be a shortage of homes and townhouses in some Seattle neighborhoods by next year. “New construction has almost ground to a halt because builders can’t get prices that even cover construction costs,” he reported.

Hutchings, whose office is in Snohomish County, said they’re also seeing move up buyers re-entering the market. “They understand even if their current home has lost value, their new home will also offer them a greater savings. That, along with low interest rates, make it a great time to buy up,” she emphasized.

 

Beeson said the transition from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market is occurring in, “of all places,” the foreclosure market. “Banks are pricing many homes slightly under market value and watching multiple offers come in, bidding up the price. What a change that is,” he exclaimed, while noting he hopes the next wave of foreclosure homes coming on the market later this year will finally flush out the remaining inventory and “we’ll get back to a more normal market.”

 

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, 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.

 

Summary charts follow

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary- July 2009 Single Fam. Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

King

    4261

13589

2777

2161

$431,446

$401,500

 

Snohomish

1711

5659

1164

858

$315,288

$332,500

 

Pierce

1781

6101

1251

903

$258,259

$255,000

 

Kitsap

524

2081

359

290

$295,955

$266,500

 

Mason

162

854

78

58

$214,944

$195,000

 

Skagit

256

1401

141

116

$263,866

$259,995

 

Grays Harbor

196

953

65

53

$146,772

$169,900

 

Lewis

157

779

90

63

$184,635

$189,900

 

Cowlitz

148

693

82

68

$162,200

$199,425

 

Grant

160

737

71

47

$183,073

$165,000

 

Thurston

607

1881

396

284

$275,278

$256,326

 

San Juan

47

522

23

18

$498,328

$497,500

 

Island

233

1260

112

89

$278,500

$255,200

 

Kittitas

126

678

65

41

$234,689

$218,499

 

Jefferson

105

632

32

20

$281,662

$275,000

 

Okanogan

65

411

30

26

$181,875

$130,000

 

Whatcom

513

2066

324

252

$296,557

$265,000

 

Clark

93

368

66

55

$252,763

$245,000

 

Pacific

84

438

33

29

$155,047

$144,000

 

Others

252

1217

120

96

$220,258

$188,950

 

MLS TOTAL

11,481

42,320

7,279

5,527

$334,761

$310,000

 

 

Skagit County Market Update

Please click on the graph to enlarge.  If you would like to see this chart for your price range, for a different time period, or for a different geographic area, please contact on of our Coldwell Banker Island Living real estate agents for more information.

Lots of good news about home sales!

We have seen an increase in Anacortes home sales, but more encouraging is that this increase is being felt not just in the NW or the West, but thoughout the country!

Here are just a few posts on June sales

RISMEDIA, July 24, 2009-Existing-home sales rose for the third consecutive month with inventory easing and home prices declining less sharply in June, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

ORLANDO, Fla., July 23 /PRNewswire/ — Florida’s existing home sales rose in June – the 10th consecutive month that sales activity showed gains in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR). Statewide sales in June also increased over the previous month’s sales level in both the existing home and existing condominium markets. And, for the second month in a row, the statewide median sales price for existing homes was higher than the previous month’s statewide median.

(Crain’s) — Chicago-area home sales fell almost 19% in May compared with last year but increased over the previous month for the fourth straight time, according to the Illinois Assn. of Realtors.

Columbus Board of REALTORS®
Month’s supply, key indicator of supply and demand, hits 3-year low
(July 23, 2009) More than 2,000 homes changed hands in June, the highest number in 10 months, as the market reached its most balanced levels in nearly three years, the Columbus Board of REALTORS® said today.

Coldwell Banker phones are ringing and we are seeing buyer BUY!