NWMLS: Listings and Sales Slip, Prices Edge Up in July

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July market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release

“We should be entering the summer doldrums, but I don’t see that happening,” reported Diedre Haines, principal managing broker-South Snohomish County at Coldwell Banker Bain in Lynnwood. “Inventory remains low, but prices and demand continue to increase, prompting murmurs of a looming bubble,” she commented, adding, “Some say yes, and just as many are saying no” when asked about the likelihood of a bubble.

The leap in prices may have some people crying “housing bubble,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “I still feel confident we’re not headed in that direction. Bubbles result from irresponsible lending practices, but buyers in King County have high credit scores and higher than average down payments. This area also has a high percentage of homeowners who are ‘equity rich’ which means their home is worth more than twice what they owe. For a housing bubble to occur we would expect to see far lower equity, down payments and credit quality.”

Home salespeople have a historically good record when it comes to predicting housing bubbles, so you know you can believe what OB Jacobi says. (That was meant to be read with an extremely sarcastic tone.)

Now let’s dive into the numbers for July.

CAUTION

NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

July 2017 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 2,898 +11.4% -18.5%
Closed Sales 2,727 -5.7% -2.7%
SAAS (?) 1.28 -6.4% -4.0%
Pending Sales 2,950 -13.0% -7.8%
Months of Supply 1.06 +18.1% -16.2%
Median Price* $658,000 +0.8% +18.6%

Prices keep climbing as listings are still scarce. What more is there to say? So far this year we haven’t seen any movement in the trends that point to some kind of change coming soon in the market.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales fell six percent between June and July. Last year over the same period closed sales decreased three percent. Year-over-year closed sales were down three percent.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales fell thirteen percent from June to July, and were down eight percent year-over-year.

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory rose 11 percent from June to July. Unfortunately for buyers, year-over-year inventory was still down 18 percent.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings were down fifteen percent month-over-month, and down seven percent from last year.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

No real change here. Supply and demand is still very much trending in sellers’ favor.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

July saw the highest year-over-year price increase since March 2016.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

Yet another new all-time record high.

July 2017: $658,000
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Here’s the article from the Seattle Times: King County home prices grow $100,000 in a year for first time; West Bellevue jumps 41 percent

July Stats Preview: Summer Snoozefest

Let’s take a look at regular monthly “preview” charts. Now that July is in the past let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Inventory edged up again but is still at historic lows. Sales are slipping slightly year-over-year but are still quite strong. Here’s the snapshot of […]

Redfin IPO Raises $138 Million, Share Prices Climb

Redfin’s long-awaited IPO went well for the Seattle-based technology-powered real estate brokerage this morning. They priced the IPO at $15 per share last night, raising $138 million for the company. When shares started trading on the open market this morning under the ticker symbol RDFN they opened at $19.56.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices the hottest in the nation. Again.

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to March data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 1.8 percent April to May
Up 13.3 percent year-over-year.
Up 17.7 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 1.4 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 10.7 percent.

Home price growth in Seattle as measured by Case-Shiller show no signs of slowing. Seattle leads the nation yet again in month-over-month and year-over-year home price growth. Thanks, Amazon.

King Co. SFH New Listing Absorption Rate

New Listing Absorption Dropping Rapidly From December High

By request, here are a few alternative takes on recent home listing activity. Since one of the biggest issues driving the current crazy market is a lack of enough home listings, we can get an idea of whether or not there is any relief on the horizon for buyers by looking at listing activity.

First up, here’s a chart I just created: New listing absorption. This is a simple look at the ratio of pending sales to new listings. If more homes are going pending in a month than there are being listed, this ratio goes above 100 percent, which is obviously not great for buyers.

…what’s interesting to me about this chart is that just last December we saw new listing absorption an all-time high of 159%, while as of June it has fallen to almost the lowest level since the market bottomed out in 2011. However, this is obviously a very seasonal metric, and the low point for the year usually comes in June or July, so it would not be surprising if this is the lowest level we see this year.

City of Seattle Population Growth

NWMLS Falsely Inflates Seattle’s Population Growth

It’s time once again for a reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).

For a month that saw home prices shoot up to insane new all-time highs, the quotes from home salesmen in this month’s release are surprisingly calm.

I do want to address one glaring error in the release, though:

Seattle’s growing population is another likely factor. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows Seattle is gaining about 1,100 residents per week, an “astounding” figure, said MLS director Diedre Haines.

That number is false. The most recent data available shows a growth rate of less than half that level…

NWMLS: Prices are obscene and the market is still stupidly hot, but June saw a record high monthly increase in inventory

June market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Their press release hasn’t been published yet, so maybe we’ll do a reporting roundup tomorrow and take a look at Lennox Scott’s breathless Lereah-esque bloviations.

For now, let’s just dive into the numbers for June.

New listings are coming on at a decent pace and inventory actually saw a decent increase, but buyers are still snatching up most listings very quickly. The average time on market in King County for single-family home sales that closed in June was just 17 days—an all-time low…