NWMLS: Closed Sales Strong (For A November)

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November market stats were published by the NWMLS this morning. Here’s their press release:

Real Estate Brokers Expect No Holiday Breather
Sales Stay Strong and Supplies Remain Low

Pending sales of homes hit an all-time high for the month of November according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties around Washington state also shows the number of new listings added during the month plunged to the lowest level in 11 months, prompting MLS leaders to predict a busy winter for residential real estate as buyers compete for the smallest inventory since March.

“November’s pending sales for the four-county area of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap were the highest since 2005. There were 44 percent more pendings than new listings,” noted J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, who described market activity as a mini power surge. “Every time interest rates increase 0.5 percent we see these surges because buyers become anxious about increasing rates – but on a historical basis rates are still amazing,” he remarked.

You can always count on Lennox. Breathless as usual.


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):

November 2016 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 2,309 -23.7% +0.3%
Closed Sales 2,249 -10.5% +29.2%
SAAS (?) 0.81 -10.5% -16.0%
Pending Sales 2,224 -21.4% +4.8%
Months of Supply 1.03 -14.7% -22.4%
Median Price* $550,000 0.0% +10.0%

Pretty much all the stats moved against buyers in November. Inventory was just barely above last year’s level, but closed sales were considerably higher than a year ago. The nearly thirty percent surge in closed sales compared to a year earlier was the largest year-over-year move we’ve seen since October 2012. It is also a little strange, considering that pending sales haven’t increased more than eight percent any time in the past twelve months. I’ll be looking into that in the coming days to try to understand what’s going on there.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales fell slightly from October to November, but were up dramatically from a year ago, as mentioned earlier.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales fell twenty-one percent in November, but were still up five percent year-over-year.

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

King County SFH Inventory

Listings followed pretty much exactly the same path as last year, ending up the month just slightly above the same level as November 2015.

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

November saw the strongest move into seller’s market territory that we’ve seen in a long time for demand.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Year-over-year home price gains fell from nearly fifteen percent in October back to ten percent in November

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

October 2016: $550,000
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Here’s the article from the Seattle Times: ‘Panicking’ Seattle home buyers, spooked by rising interest rates, rush to buy

If this “interest rate panic” story sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve heard it a few times before.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Flat August to September

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to July data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were: Up less than 0.1 percent August to September Up 11.0 percent YOY. Up 6.4 percent from the July 2007 peak Over the same period last year prices were […]

NWMLS: Mostly Bad News For Buyers In October

October market stats were published by the NWMLS this morning. They haven’t posted their press release yet, so I don’t have the usual excerpt from that. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

September was a mixed bag, with some numbers moving in buyers’ favor, but October was pretty much all bad news for buyers. The only news that wasn’t pretty terrible for home buyers was that pending sales were down slightly in a month that often sees a slight increase in other years…

October Stats Preview: The Year-End Listings Decline Begins

October is done, so let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: the typical seasonal drop in listings and sales is well underway. Listings dropped quite a bit from the previous month, back into negative year-over-year territory.

Sales came in stronger than last year even though they fell from September to October. Listings dropped in both counties. Foreclosures are still at their historic lows…

Case-Shiller Tiers: Rate of Home Price Growth Slows Slightly

Let’s check out the three price tiers for the Seattle area, as measured by Case-Shiller. Remember, Case-Shiller’s “Seattle” data is based on single-family home repeat sales in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

All three tiers are up month-over-month, but the rate of increase is slowing for the low and middle tiers.

Between July and August, the low tier increased 0.7 percent, the middle tier rose 0.4 percent, and the high tier was up 0.5 percent.

Case-Shiller: Upward Summer Slog Continued in August

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

Up 0.5 percent July to August
Up 11.4 percent YOY.
Up 6.5 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.3 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 7.6 percent.

Surprising no one, Seattle home prices as measured by Case-Shiller hit another new all-time high in August.

September Reporting Roundup: “The Market Is Still Strong”

It’s time once again for the monthly 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).

To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:

Western Washington Housing Market Still Strong
It’s still a seller’s market, but some leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service think the imbalance may be easing in some areas, pointing to a slower pace of sales and moderating prices. Others aren’t convinced, citing mixed indicators…