King Co. SFH New Listing Absorption Rate

New Listing Absorption Dropping Rapidly From December High

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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.

King Co. SFH New Listing Absorption Rate

Unfortunately we can’t really compare this metric pre-2008 and today, since the NWMLS changed how they define “pending sale,” but 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.

I suspect that one of the first signs we’ll see of the market softening is when new listing absorption starts to drop, so I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Next up: a comparison of total on-market inventory growth through June for each year:

On-Market Inventory Growth Through June

It’s interesting that last year was actually the strongest year on record for listing growth, only to be followed up by new all-time lows this year. At least the growth in the last few months is promising.

Next, here’s a yearly comparison of the total number of new listings just in the month of June:

Total New Listings in June: 2000-2017

2017 saw the largest number of new listings in a June since 2007, the year home prices peaked in the Seattle area. This is definitely a good sign, but we’re still quite a ways from what I would consider to be a “healthy” amount of new listings. We would like to see this number get above 4,000 in June for the market to be less insanely tilted against home buyers.

Finally, here’s a raw look at monthly new listings since January 2000:

New Listings 2000-Present

We’ve been on a slow and steady upward trend since listings bottomed out in 2012, but we still have a ways to go before we get back to a balanced market.

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…

June Stats Preview: Listings Inch Up, Sales Still Strong

Let’s take a look at regular monthly “preview” charts. Now that June is in the past let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Inventory bumped up slightly, but is still in the gutter. Sales are still very strong.

Listings are still very scarce, but at least they’ve bumped up quite a bit from the all-time low. Sales are strong, and hit their highest point since sometime before 2009 in Snohomish County.

Net Loss as a Percent of Revenue: Redfin and Zillow (2014-2016)

Redfin files S-1, likely to IPO later this year

News broke late this afternoon that after 13 years as a “startup,” Redfin has finally filed their S-1 with the SEC, signalling their intent to make an initial public offering (IPO) later this year.

Let’s take this opportunity to directly compare some financial and usage data between Redfin and Zillow.

Zillow stock performance during the day of the McMansion Hell threat fallout

Zillow’s asinine threat to McMansion Hell is costing them

You’ve probably heard about the asinine legal threat that Zillow lawyers sent to the architecture criticism blog McMansion Hell (currently offline), a popular blog that provides entertaining and educational commentary and criticism of the scourge of the McMansion. If you’re in the dark, allow me to summarize the events of earlier this week, with some of my own speculation and opinion thrown in (indicated in italics below)…

Case-Shiller Tiers: Prices In All Tiers Skyrocket in 2017

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 have basically been skyrocketing month-over-month since January. Not a great sign for anyone hoping for a slowdown this year.