NWMLS: Huge Gap Opening Between Pending and Closed Sales

It’s time for April market statistics from the NWMLS. Here’s the NWMLS press release: Pending sales in Western Washington rise with improved affordability, buyer incentives

Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported pending sales for April surged 11.4 percent compared to twelve months ago – and rose 21.3 percent from March.

Brokers reported 6,918 pending sales during April across the 19 counties that make up the Northwest MLS market area. That’s up from the year-ago total of 6,208, and the March figure of 5,701 pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed).

For the four-county Puget Sound area (King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish), brokers notched 5,372 pending sales, the highest total since August 2007 and a jump of 26 percent from March.

What a shock that their primary focus is on the apparent positive trend in pending sales, when pending sales are rapidly becoming a totally useless measure of actual market activity.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, in a new table format with helpful arrows to show whether the direction of each indicator is positive or negative news for buyers and sellers:

April 2009 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 9,608 +0.2% -15.9%
Closed Sales 1,004 +3.7% -35.3%
SAAS (?) 2.86 +2.7% +20.3%
Pending Sales 2,114 +25.6% +14.9%
Months of Supply 4.54 -20.2% -26.8%
Median Price* $380,000 +4.4% -15.3%

The disconnect between pending sales and closed sales grows ever larger. While pending sales were up 15% from last year, closed sales were down over 30% yet again. Something is becoming extremely fishy about the pending sales data. Observe the stark difference in the two charts below:

King County SFH Pending Sales

King County SFH Closed Sales

The 33% spike from February to March in pending sales resulted in all of a whopping 4% increase in closed sales in the following month. We’ll explore more on this huge disconnect in a little more detail in a future post, but it is good to keep in mind when you start reading news reports in the coming weeks about the market supposedly picking back up. It’s an illusion.

Here is the updated Seattle Bubble Spreadsheet, and here’s a copy in Excel 2003 format. Click below for the graphs and the rest of the post.

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

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory stayed mostly flat again in April, which is not surprising. Most people that don’t need to sell are avoiding listing their homes in the current market.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. Keep in mind that “demand” in the next two charts is measured by pending sales, which are becoming increasingly unreliable as a market indicator.

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

Pending sales jumped sharply back into positive territory in April, while inventory continued its downward trend. No surprises.

Here’s the chart of supply and demand raw numbers:

King County Supply vs Demand

April’s pending sales exceeded the peak seen in 2008. Big whoop though, since 30% or more of them will apparently never turn in to actual closed sales.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Despite the nearly $20,000 spike in the median price from last month, the year-over-year change still exceeded negative 15%.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994.

King County SFH Prices

April 2009 King County median SFH price: $380,000.
July 2005 King County median SFH price: $375,000.

Our little spring bounce advanced us forward four months in 2005. It will be interesting to see if median prices stay virtually flat through the summer following the bounce, as they did last year.

Looks like we beat the Times and the P-I to the punch on these numbers yet again. I’ll update this post with news blurbs from them when they become available. As usual, check back tomorrow for the full reporting roundup.

[Update]
Seattle Times: Median home prices in King County continue to fall compared to year ago
Seattle P-I: Area home sales sprang up in April

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

117 comments:

  1. 1
    S-Crow says:

    Snohomish Co. SFH median prices continued to fall. (about 14.3% drop comparing April 2009 to 2008 to close at $299,950.) Good for buyers with the means to go shopping but not so good for homeowners trying to sell. Peak SFH prices in Snohomish Co. to April 2009 is quite the drop.

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  2. 2
    ming says:

    one possible explanation is that it takes more time to close a pending sale, say 3 months. So it is possible that we will see jump of closed sales in the near future.

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  3. 3
    mukoh says:

    I think pendings are a good indicator of that actual activity in mutually accepted offers. The solds that are posted are usually 70 days back. Pendings will take a heck of a lot of time to become solds as nearly 60% of the sales are short sales or REOs.

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  4. 4
    seattlerenter says:

    S-crow wasn’t April 2007 the peak for Sno Co.? What was the median in April 07?

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  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: mukoh @ 3 – I think a large part of the problem, as Kary has explained on here a few times, is that a pending sale that takes longer than 30 days to close is counted in the “pending sales” stats for multiple months. So, while the “closed sales” for April represents only sales that actually closed in April, the “pending sales” for April may represent a combination of sales that actually went pending in April, March, February, January, etc…

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  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    RE: seattlerenter @ 4 – SnoCo SFH median peak: $382,500 in March 2007. Current: $299,950. Total drop: 21.6%

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  7. 7
    blueskitten says:

    I was talking the other day to a friend who’s home shopping right now. They’ve already got an accepted offer on a house, but it’s a short sale and may or may not go through, and in either case it will probably be months before they will find out one way or the other. So they’re still looking and might make an offer on another place if they find something else they like.

    That makes me wonder – maybe the buyers out there are making offers on multiple short sale properties, with the expectation that one or more won’t be approved by the mortgage holder, and/or they’ll be able to break the contract on one of the properties if necessary. It could explain why the pending sales numbers appear to be improving, but closed sales are holding steady.

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  8. 8
    drshort says:

    By The Tim @ 5:

    - the “pending sales” for April may represent a combination of sales that actually went pending in April, March, February, January, etc…

    Are you sure about that? I was looking at the this data a few weeks ago and I didn’t think this is the case.

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  9. 9
    WaileaKid says:

    The_Time@5

    That makes sense. There must be a way to figure out how many went pending only in the last month. Of course only accessible to the agents. But it would be an interesting measure to track.

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  10. 10
    drshort says:

    Greg Perry posts pending stats every week or so. According to him, he measures counts of when a listing goes Pending, not the pendings outstanding. And his figures roughly balance to the MLS numbers. This is why I was thinking the MLS pending numbers were “Changed to Pending”.

    Is it possible a pending is counted when the listing changes from “Pending – Back up requested” to some other sort of Pending (or visa versa)? Or, does the pending count only include listings that have changed from Active status?

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  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    RE: drshort @ 8 – I’m basing that on what Kary said here:

    It’s not so much the pendings falling out, as their taking too long to close with short sales. They could easily be counted 3 or 4 different months, rather than 1 or 2.

    He’s an agent with direct access to the NWMLS database, so I assume he knows what he’s talking about on this.

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  12. 12
    Slumlord says:

    Tim,

    Good data sleuthing! Is there a measure of how many pending sales become closed sales? I suspect that a higher than normal percentage of pending sales are failing these days.

    As an aside, my older brother was one of the people who received a layoff notice from Microsoft today. He had recently been talking of selling his townhouse and buying a bigger place. It is safe to say that the pool of potential buyers just got a little smaller.

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  13. 13
    drshort says:

    By The Tim @ 11:

    RE: drshort @ 8 – I’m basing that on what Kary said here:

    Itâ??s not so much the pendings falling out, as their taking too long to close with short sales. They could easily be counted 3 or 4 different months, rather than 1 or 2.

    He’s an agent with direct access to the NWMLS database, so I assume he knows what he’s talking about on this.

    Here some pending stats Gregg Perry recently posted:

    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2009/05/king-county-eastside-and-metro-april-sales-ratios.html

    According to him: Pendings = All Pending statuses with a pending date within the indicated 7 day period.

    He has weekly pending numbers posted for KC SFH that pretty much add up with the NWMLS numbers released today. This is what caused me to question the notion that the MLS pending stats were a measure of outstanding pending listings rather than a count of listings that went pending during a specific time period.

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  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    RE: drshort @ 13 – If Kary is wrong, that makes this gap even more interesting, because instead of merely being a result of some sales taking longer, it really does mean that 30-40% of pending sales are simply never converting to closed sales, which is huge.

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  15. 15
    deejayoh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14 – hryk. looks to me like they are only counting new pendings in the month they occur.

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  16. 16
    mukoh says:

    I sat down with my broker friend and looked at pendings SFH + Condo new pendings in King County from 4/1/-4/30/ were 2233. Thus the number 2600 posted on NWMLS website says PENDING Sales, leads me to believe a total of 2600 sales are pending as of end of April. New Pending Sales in April are 2233.

    If their logic in keeping a total amount of pending sales as an indicator then of course there is roll over from March to April but its only 370 pendings that rolled over.

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  17. 17
    Scotsman says:

    I think open house traffic is the new pending. Only a complete walk-through can be counted as pending though, so it does retain some validity.

    While the divergence between pending and sold is interesting, in the real world only sold counts for anything.

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  18. 18
    deejayoh says:

    Are people writing offers with 60 day + closing windows? what are the agent-types seeing?

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  19. 19
    mukoh says:

    DJ,
    Talking to my friend who is a broker, he said his office has 74 closings, on average it is taking 65 days to close. The longest was 4 months.

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  20. 20
    mukoh says:

    By Slumlord @ 12:

    Tim,

    Good data sleuthing! Is there a measure of how many pending sales become closed sales? I suspect that a higher than normal percentage of pending sales are failing these days.

    As an aside, my older brother was one of the people who received a layoff notice from Microsoft today. He had recently been talking of selling his townhouse and buying a bigger place. It is safe to say that the pool of potential buyers just got a little smaller.

    Positive to see MS letting go of extras. :)

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  21. 21
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: The Tim @ 5

    Greetings from Nevada!

    Kary is correct!…Pendings WILL be way up due to the short sale time drag. I have 9 ACTIVE short sale offers for clients that are in 1 stage or another of closing. Get this …Two of my clients were allowed to move-into the home prior to closing by the bank. They are unable to collect rent so they are living there for free. I was very much against this due to the obvious reasons but our Buyers were delighted.

    We are knee deep in foreclosure offers and short sale offers. 500 Realty has never been this busy but only 2 have closed and all the rest remain PENDING. Its almost a joke but the Buyers remain patient. We warn everyone from the start what they are getting into.

    With the right attitude they may just land that GEM. I encourage them to stick to their original offer and walk if another offer arrives that is better then theirs. I advise everyone to NOT buy in any multiple offer situation. There is just too much inventory coming back this next 5 years.

    Keep the ball in your court and don’t give up the deck. This coming from a guy who just placed 7TH in the Nevada Poker Championship after 5 exhausting days. I’m waiting for my flight and I’m just plain ready to sleep and never have a buffet again.

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  22. 22
    Greg Perry says:

    I’ve been posting the pending numbers recently in the WEEK they occur:
    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2009/05/king-county-eastside-and-metro-april-sales-ratios.html

    The biggest reason for the difference between closed sales and pending sales is that we face a lag of at least 30 days between the time a sale goes pending and a sale closes. The pending sales jumped 25% in the last week of March and have generally grown each week since.

    It is important to note, (and I have made this observation many times in the last month) that the majority of pending sales are under $500k. There is little to backward improvement in the 2nd tier and high end. Sales ratios are tightening quickly in the lower price ranges.

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  23. 23
    One Eyed Man says:

    I think the MLS has a telephone number and email that will answer questions like are the pendings in the monthly stats all listings with a pending status at the end of the month or only the number of listings changed to pending during that month. Anyone with MLS access can ask. I’ve always assumed Kary was right and it’s all listings with a pending status at the end of the month.

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  24. 24
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 18

    No, outside of short sales, we’re seeing normal 4-5 week closings.

    There were fewer pending sales in Feb. and March. April pendings are much stronger. Yes, there is some fall out, but the main reason for the difference is the time lag with fewer pendings in the previous months.

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  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    By Greg Perry @ 22:

    The biggest reason for the difference between closed sales and pending sales is that we face a lag of at least 30 days between the time a sale goes pending and a sale closes. The pending sales jumped 25% in the last week of March and have generally grown each week since.

    Trouble is, even when you account for a 30-day lag, the gap between pending and closed sales is rapidly widening. See the series of posts with the ‘pending’ tag. I’ll be making another update to that series this week.

    If you’re right about pending sales not being counted multiple times in the stats, then there are only 2 explanations for this. 1) The percentage of total pending sales that take longer than 30 days to close is rapidly increasing each month, since at least Q2 last year. 2) The number of pending sales that never convert to closed sales is rapidly increasing each month.

    It could also be some combination of the two. The point is, we really have no way of knowing what’s really going on with these pendings. On the other hand, closed sales is a reliable measure of how many homes are actually selling each month.

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  26. 26
    Irene Dorang says:

    30 to 40 day for a closing is still the norm for non-short sales (used to be 30, or usually less in multiple offer situations.) For short sales much longer.

    We may see more of a divergence between sales trends for short sales and regular sales in the future, I think people are becoming more wary of tying up a lot of time and emotional energy in a home that it takes weeks to get formal mutual acceptance on – especially with interest rates so low, they’re less willing to risk waiting for months. I’m working with someone right now who just doesn’t want to ‘go there’, and the MLS just added a new field for ‘short sale’, so people can eliminate or target them much more easily. We’ll see.

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  27. 27
    The Tim says:

    By Irene Dorang @ 26:

    …and the MLS just added a new field for ‘short sale’, so people can eliminate or target them much more easily. We’ll see.

    If by “people” you mean real estate agents only, then yes. Because the new REO and ‘short sale’ fields will not be public, from what I’ve been told.

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  28. 28
    deejayoh says:

    By Greg Perry @ 24:

    RE: deejayoh @ 18

    No, outside of short sales, we’re seeing normal 4-5 week closings.

    There were fewer pending sales in Feb. and March. April pendings are much stronger. Yes, there is some fall out, but the main reason for the difference is the time lag with fewer pendings in the previous months.

    Thanks Greg. Any sense of what % of pendings are short sales?

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  29. 29
    Irene Dorang says:

    RE: The Tim @ 27 – Yes, I meant agents who are people. :)

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  30. 30
    Greg Perry says:

    I still think, and only time will tell, that the pending and closed sales will start to balance out. Feb and March pendings were very anemic. We do not often see an upward spike of 25% in a week, and then see sales steadily improve from there.

    BTW, in a spot check, there are currently 2,913 overall KC pending properties. The report I have in front of me shows 2114 for April.

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  31. 31
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 28

    Not yet. New fields in MLS will give us a sense once they get populated. From my observation, the homes that are popping right now are the non short sales.

    I’m telling ya…..the numbers to watch are the sales ratios by price range. The lower prices are absorbing everywhere. They are starting to tighten up in Metro.

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  32. 32
    patient says:

    So, we should climb to well above 2000 closings in May and June, I think I need to see that before I believe it.

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  33. 33
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: patient @ 32

    Yes, if sales continue at their current pace, I believe we’ll easily see 2000+ closing in June.

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  34. 34
    Greg Perry says:

    14 weeks of Weekly KC SFH Pending counts starting with the seven days prior to 1/29:

    317, 317, 346, 298, 357, 359, 349, 390, 401, 493, 487, 497, 532, 560

    401 to 493 is just short of a 25% increase between 9 and 10 in this string. Week 14 had 243 more pending sales than week 1.

    The definition of pending is a new pending date within said 7 day period.

    (compiled from but not published or verified by NWMLS)

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  35. 35
    patient says:

    RE: Greg Perry @ 34 – Why would they need to continue at current pace when we have more than 4000 pendings combining March and April? We should not need any new sales to reach 2000 closings in May and June if I understand you correctly.

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  36. 36
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: patient @ 35
    Well, we could (I didn’t say should) see 2000 in May. As I said, I think the biggest reason for lag is the timing. We don’t yet understand how many may be falling out due to short sale, and other reasons. We’ll know more as the new MLS fields are populated.

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  37. 37
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Greg Perry @ 30

    Greg, Just to be sure I understand you,are you saying that the difference between 2114 for residential Pendings in the April statistics and the 2913 (which I assume you totalled by adding the number for each MLS areas for King Co) listings with a Pending status as of today is evidence that Pendings counted in the MLS stats are the number of listings changed to Pending status during that month? The use of the Year to Date statistic for Pendings would also seem to indicate that the statistic is a count of listings changed to Pending status during the year.

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  38. 38
    David Losh says:

    As a completely unscientific observation there are a few houses I have been tracking that have gone pending more than once lately.

    A couple of houses have been screaming deals. One was an REO that listed for not enough, the other listed by a traditional agent and people swarmed them. Some of the houses may have needed repair and some are just OK kind of deals.

    The conclusion I’ve come to is that buyers have less concern about walking away from a deal because they know another one will come along.

    I’m very interested to see what the sales price will be compared to the asking prices.

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  39. 39
    D. says:

    It is important to note, (and I have made this observation many times in the last month) that the majority of pending sales are under $500k. There is little to backward improvement in the 2nd tier and high end. Sales ratios are tightening quickly in the lower price ranges.

    @22. That’s encouraging news because I haven’t seen anything 500k-700k that looks like a well-priced home.

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  40. 40
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 37

    Be careful. I don’t even understand myself, sometimes!

    One of these days I am going to sit down the MLS stats person have a chat re: their procedures. The only thing I know for sure is that the database is fluid. I am also reasonably certain that when they report x numbers of pendings for a month, it is the pending number generated for the month and not accumulative.

    As David Losh pointed out in 38, some houses go pending more than once (go back to active, then again pending). Some go pending, drop out and exit the market. Some go pending and close in 30 days, or 40 days, or 90 days.

    Here’s what we know for sure. Buyers are on the streets making offers. Inventory is currently absorbing — especially in lower price ranges. Others may believe differently, but it is my belief that changes in prices, whether up or down follow the supply demand ratios. I also believe we will continue to see prices fall in the upper ranges and stabilize in the lower price ranges. If the trend continues, the lower price ranges will start to rise. I believe we’ll that catch up in closed sales, as well.

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  41. 41
    patient says:

    RE: Greg Perry @ 40

    “Buyers are on the streets making offers. Inventory is currently absorbing — ”

    The inventory is shrinking but not due to higher than normal sales activity. The charts above and the nwmls numbers shows that clearly, it’s reduced listings that reduces the inventory. This is not a healthy sign instead it’s a sign of seller fear and likely foreclosures building. This is not your normal supply demand situation since supply is constricted of unhealthy reasons. Sales volume is still low both for pendings but especially for closings. Don;t be fooled.

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  42. 42
    The Tim says:

    By patient @ 41:

    The inventory is shrinking but not due to higher than normal sales activity. The charts above and the nwmls numbers shows that clearly, it’s reduced listings that reduces the inventory.

    Indeed. This chart puts that fact front and center:

    Monthly King Co. SFH New Listings

    2000-2008 average new listings in April: 3,962
    2009 new listings in April: 3,066 (-22.6%)

    This gets back to the issue of “pent-up supply” that I addressed last month.

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  43. 43
    DrShort says:

    Below is the trailing 3 month closed to pending ratio with a 1 month offset. So for April 2008 you have: (closed Feb+Mar+April) / (pending Jan+Feb+Mar). The “Conversion Rate” of closing to pending has deteriorated significantly beginning the summer 2008. It’s been going on for too many months for it to just be longer closing times. Something is either causing pendings not to close, the MLS definition of pending is flawed (somehow double counting), or people are putting contracts on more than one house at a time (short sale?).

    April-06 89.9%
    May-06 90.9%
    June-06 87.9%
    July-06 91.3%
    August-06 96.5%
    September-06 92.9%
    October-06 97.6%
    November-06 89.3%
    December-06 93.9%
    January-07 91.7%
    February-07 93.7%
    March-07 94.0%
    April-07 88.0%
    May-07 91.7%
    June-07 90.2%
    July-07 94.4%
    August-07 92.6%
    September-07 89.8%
    October-07 93.1%
    November-07 91.3%
    December-07 95.7%
    January-08 91.3%
    February-08 93.1%
    March-08 94.1%
    April-08 92.5%
    May-08 88.9%
    June-08 88.0%
    July-08 84.1%
    August-08 83.9%
    September-08 80.9%
    October-08 79.3%
    November-08 74.3%
    December-08 73.2%
    January-09 72.7%
    February-09 70.0%
    March-09 69.1%
    April-09 64.1%

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  44. 44
    John Smith says:

    Is it possible that the disparity between closed and pending is due to a large number of pending short sales. Closing on a short sale takes 3 months. Thus, pending could shoot up, while closing languish, at least for a few months. From what I’ve read about the CA housing market, the majority of sales are short sales, REO, or some other sort of default sale. I wonder if you could look back at the stats of southern california to see if a similar disparity temporarily occured down there???

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  45. 45
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: patient @ 41

    See weekly demand in comment #34 Not fooled. Demand is considerably higher. Inventory is absorbing overall, and in the lower prices, especially. and……week to week, DEMAND is accelerating.

    See what I see, and you don’t is every KC and Sno county NWMLS area by price range inventory and sales numbers for each week. In good weeks and in bad weeks.

    also see:

    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2009/05/king-county-eastside-and-metro-april-sales-ratios.html

    and

    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/market_watch/index.html (All Market watch posts)

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  46. 46
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: John Smith @ 44

    John Smith, yes this IS part of the problem. I see the biggest portion of the problem the normal 30-40 day lag between anemic and improving volume.

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  47. 47
    S-Crow says:

    Pending sales are a good litmus test for boots on the ground. Closed transactions are the bread and butter.

    While our office is far too small to be meaningful for stats for pending fallout, we have had a our fair share of pendings fail over the last couple months. We also have several short sales that are idle right now waiting for lender direction, so Pendings from my perspective are incredibly volatile to have much weight. The close ratios for refinances has been around 50% at best over the last quarter: appraisal issues, qualifying issues etc…

    One of the things I watch for is title companies hiring again. From what I see in the title and escrow circles, that is not occurring.

    We still have layoffs occurring locally and I expect to see distressed sales moving onto the market in the months ahead. For example, I have a business acquaintance that had their home on the market for almost $500K and it sat and sat for months before they took it off the market last year. They just listed it for around $300K, far below what is owed.

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  48. 48
    DrShort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 46:

    RE:

    John Smith, yes this IS part of the problem. I see the biggest portion of the problem the normal 30-40 day lag between anemic and improving volume.

    RE:

    When does a short sale go pending? If I make an offer on a short sale property at the price being asked, but not approved by the bank, does it go pending? Or do I need to wait for the bank to approve the price before it goes pending.

    And once the bank approves the sale how long does it take to close?

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  49. 49
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By WaileaKid @ 9:

    The_Time@5

    That makes sense. There must be a way to figure out how many went pending only in the last month. Of course only accessible to the agents. But it would be an interesting measure to track.

    I’ve only made it to the ninth comment, but Tim’s thoughts earlier in #5 would be my thoughts.

    Also, approximately 1300 were pending after 4/1/09. With 1000 sales and seasonal increases, that’s not a significant difference.

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  50. 50
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Greg Perry @ 30:

    BTW, in a spot check, there are currently 2,913 overall KC pending properties. The report I have in front of me shows 2114 for April.

    I don’t think the stats released include pending inspection.

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  51. 51
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: DrShort @ 48

    After the seller accepts the offer and it is sent to bank it goes pending. Times for approval are all over the board. Some institutions are actually getting their act together and they’re coming through efficiently. The long sale process can take up to 3 months for the yo yo banks. Once the bank approves the sale, it can close in a matter of days.

    It’s important to understand that there are a lot of short sales in some areas and not so much in others. We’re doing a lot of showing right now and not stumbling over them as much.

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  52. 52
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    We only have less than 300 more pendings than last year. May-August never cracked 1,600 in volume sold. I think the idea that we’d crack 2,000 this year during those months is a bit optimistic, if all you’re basing that on is the pendings, especially since most of that increase, if not more than 300, is short sales.

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  53. 53
    DrShort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 51:

    RE: DrShort @ 48

    After the seller accepts the offer and it is sent to bank it goes pending.

    Thanks.

    So a listing can go pending without mutual acceptance now (since the bank hasn’t agreed to the price). To me it would make more sense for a short sale to not go pending until the bank has approved the price. It seems like this makes the pending counts rather worthless for historical comparisons — pendings measure something completely different than they did 1 year or more ago.

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  54. 54
    Greg Perry says:

    That’s a good thing to find out. If they are not counting Pending STI, then the “reported” pending count would be considered conservative in my mind. If they are not, then it explains some of the fallout.

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  55. 55
    deejayoh says:

    By Greg Perry @ 33:

    RE: patient @ 32

    Yes, if sales continue at their current pace, I believe we’ll easily see 2000+ closing in June.

    I’d bet we’ll see closer to 1500 closings in June. Looking at the pending:closing ratio, increasing times to close. I can’t see that happening without some pretty significant trend reversals.

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  56. 56
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: DrShort @ 53
    The deal is in mutual acceptance after the seller agrees. Part of the deal agreed to by both parties is “subject to” underlying lien holder approval. I don’t see any other way they could report it.

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  57. 57
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 55

    You may be right, or I may be, but as they say, time will tell!

    I do think we are seeing a reversal in the trends starting with the pendings. FWIW, here is the a post that I did that caught the first week of the noticeable increase in pending sales. I remember being surprised at the significance of the jump at the time.

    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2009/04/king-county-residential-sales-heating-up.html

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  58. 58
    sead97 says:

    I’ve been watching two properties that went “pending inspection” a month ago. I know that one of them had an inspection disapproved, but it has never come off “pending inspection”. Since the inspection period is typically 10 days, could they be working through multiple offers. How common is it to ask for 20-30 days for inspection? Or is there something odd going on with the NWMLS system, or some reason agents would leave a property pending inspection while they continue to market (e.g. leave sign up).

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  59. 59
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    No discussion or median price? The $380,000 takes us back almost all the way to January. April should be above January, so that’s not great news by any means. But at least the large declines of recent months didn’t continue.

    Also volume. We did crack 1000. That’s after 5 consecutive months in the triple digits. Again, not great news, because it should be at least 50% higher than that for April. I continue to believe volume is the most important of the stats right now. 1,000 is pretty pathetic, but at least it’s continuing to improve.

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  60. 60
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    I’m not seeing that we can yet search for short sale/Bank owned. Have any other agents figured out how to do that?

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  61. 61
    DrShort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 56:

    RE: DrShort @ 53
    The deal is in mutual acceptance after the seller agrees. Part of the deal agreed to by both parties is “subject to” underlying lien holder approval. I don’t see any other way they could report it.

    They manage to exclude deals subject to inspection. I don’t see why subject to lien holder approval is any different. If the bank hasn’t approved the sale price, I don’t see how you can have a “sale” — only two of the three parties agree.

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  62. 62
    The Tim says:

    By Greg Perry @ 54:

    That’s a good thing to find out. If they are not counting Pending STI, then the “reported” pending count would be considered conservative in my mind. If they are not, then it explains some of the fallout.

    Okay, now we may be getting somewhere on figuring this out… Here’s what I know. Previously, “STI” listings still showed up on public search sites, and were not considered “pending.” Then in July last year, the NWMLS added some new “pending” categories that caused listings to be removed from public search sites like Redfin.

    However, quoting from February’s pending-closed post:

    I realize that last quarter there were some who theorized that this discrepancy was the result of the NWMLS rule change in July that caused homes in “Subject to Inspection” status to be pulled from the publicly-viewable listings. However, I have spoken with numerous individuals that have asked various people at the NWMLS (including their “statistician”) directly about this change, and each one has been assured that the new rule did not affect the way that the end-of-month statistics are compiled (i.e. – the definition of “pending” in the monthly reports has remained consistent, despite the rule change).

    So, if the NWMLS statistician is to be believed, then the end of month pendings do not count “Pending STI” or “Pending Feasibility” or “Pending BU Requested.”

    So Greg, are your weekly numbers counting these categories? If so, then it would seem that you’re looking at a different set of houses than the NWMLS end of month stats are.

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  63. 63
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Also, if Greg is counting Pending Inspections and other pendings on a weekly basis, wouldn’t they be getting counted twice. Once with they went Pending Inspection and once when they went Pending whatever.

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  64. 64
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By DrShort @ 61:

    By Greg Perry @ 56:
    RE: DrShort @ 53
    The deal is in mutual acceptance after the seller agrees. Part of the deal agreed to by both parties is “subject to” underlying lien holder approval. I don’t see any other way they could report it.

    They manage to exclude deals subject to inspection. I don’t see why subject to lien holder approval is any different. If the bank hasn’t approved the sale price, I don’t see how you can have a “sale” — only two of the three parties agree.

    The point of taking a property pending is so that the buyers realize it’s no longer active. I think some agents haven’t been taking short sales pending when a seller accepts, but most have been. I remember looking at the NWMLS rule once and it was not that clear on the topic. Personally I would take it pending.

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  65. 65
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    There were four NWMLS areas in King County with higher medians than last year. That compares with two such areas in March. There were also a couple that were pretty golly close.

    But remember, that’s out of about 30 areas, so that’s a pretty small number.

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  66. 66
    DrShort says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 64:

    By DrShort @ 61:
    By Greg Perry @ 56:
    RE: DrShort @ 53
    The deal is in mutual acceptance after the seller agrees. Part of the deal agreed to by both parties is “subject to” underlying lien holder approval. I don’t see any other way they could report it.

    They manage to exclude deals subject to inspection. I don’t see why subject to lien holder approval is any different. If the bank hasn’t approved the sale price, I don’t see how you can have a “sale” — only two of the three parties agree.

    The point of taking a property pending is so that the buyers realize it’s no longer active. I think some agents haven’t been taking short sales pending when a seller accepts, but most have been. I remember looking at the NWMLS rule once and it was not that clear on the topic. Personally I would take it pending.

    I agree the pending status on an unapproved short sale makes sense from an operational standpoint so other buyers know what’s going on, but from a statistical view, it’s not consistent with the past definition of “pending”.

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  67. 67
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: DrShort @ 66 – But if agents can at least search to exclude those, we’d have some idea what the potential is. That’s why I asked whether other agents have figured out how to do that.

    The rule requiring a check box selection on short sales and bank owned just went into effect, so such searches wouldn’t be terribly accurate at this point. Hopefully though we’ll be able to search that way soon.

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  68. 68

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 60

    Kary,
    Login to Locator, click the Searches menu, go to Standard and check your property type, then click the Additional Criteria tab on top. Scroll down a little ways and you can see the options for short sales/reo properties.

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  69. 69
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 68 – Thanks. I usually do custom search, and that option doesn’t appear there.

    Anyway, I’m showing about 250 pending properties (including Inspection) are either short sale or bank owned, if I did it right. Again though, that’s only going to be partially accurate at this point because not all the agents will have changed their listings yet.

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  70. 70
    Groundhogday says:

    We are seeing something very similar with regard to total inventory and listings here in Pullman, WA. The inventory has actually declined slightly relative to last year but sales are WAY down. Almost nothing is selling. Since we are in a small market, it is very easy to see what is happening–just check out the rentals. Rental inventory has exploded and what was just a few years ago a very tight market is now seeing extended vacancies and dropping rents. Pent up supply is huge, and growing. Eventually these accidental landlords will give up and sell (rents can’t cover carry costs for recently purchased homes), but it might be a year or more before all this supply comes on the market.

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  71. 71
    2kt says:

    But then again, may be there are simply more sales and less inventory.

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  72. 72
    David Losh says:

    In my Cart on the NWMLS I have 164 properties that I watch. They are a little farm of expired listings that I call from time to time. Only 1 in 10 has gone active so far this year.

    From what people tell me this activity is giving them more hope for next year. It appears this year is better than last year

    Demand is up. I look at some houses that are well priced for any market. Well built, well maintained houses on nice lots in good locations are being priced to move.

    Also remember that the economy for the next two years will have the illusion of being better than it is by the Census hiring so many people. It’s not just the people on the street, but statisticians, IT personnel, Corporate Research and Development hiring to interpret the data as it comes in all give the look of an expanding economy.

    What all of that means is that I would like to see some statistics on the expired listings, or cancelleds, to get a better idea of the phantom inventory.

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  73. 73
    Ray Pepper says:

    The simplest way to unload these California homes!

    Watch out Puyallup!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/30580830

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  74. 74
    ElPolloLoco says:

    By The Tim @ 42:
    Indeed. This chart puts that fact front and center:
    (…)
    2000-2008 average new listings in April: 3,962
    2009 new listings in April: 3,066 (-22.6%)

    Tim, why is there such a large discontinuity where the graphs wrap from December of one year to January of the next? Shouldn’t the left and right endpoints of those traces be closer together than that? Or do a zillion new listings always show up in January?

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  75. 75
    The Tim says:

    By ElPolloLoco @ 74:

    Or do a zillion new listings always show up in January?

    Yup.

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  76. 76
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: The Tim @ 75 – It’s a combination of people wanting to hit the next Spring bump and not wanting their property listed during the Christmas period.

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  77. 77
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Just looking at the numbers, the big winner is government. The excise tax revenue from King County SFR for April is about 50% higher than it was in January. It’s still only about a third of the peak, but that’s better than only being about 20% of the peak.

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  78. 78

    EVEN SEATTLE TIMES ADMITS MOSTLY LOWER PRICED HOMES ARE IN HYPED SALES FIGURES

    California saw a massive surge in sales interest too after 30-50% price drops and a deluge of foreclosed in the market. The interest was in bargain homes at bargain prices….now, its likely too their pending sales were a joke, lacking completed sales approvals too? A home sale ain’t a home sale until the fat lady escrow sings [it gets approved and signed].

    I always tell people your home isn’t worth a penny more than what the escrow papers are approved and inked with….all your other pipe dream “what my home is worth” rationales are just that.

    I hear BoA needs another $34B in bailout today to keep afloat, the American bad growth loan fun goes on and on…is there no end? Even Roubini says we can’t keep bailing the banks out for years on end, we have to walk away, like we did with Chrysler.

    Even mainstream media is questioning the validity of the bank stress results, with too much public brainwashing in their statements, per today’s AP news in part:

    “….But with the results set to be released Thursday, critics say regulators seem so intent on avoiding statements that might undermine confidence in the banks that they risk eroding trust in the stress tests themselves….”

    Rest of URL:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Public-scrutiny-blunted-bank-apf-15148777.html?sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

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  79. 79
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: sead97 @ 58

    There are 2 possibilities I can think of why a long period has gone by without the status changing from pending inspection. One is that the agent screwed up and didn’t change the status when they should have. The other is that the inspection revealed a somewhat complicated defect and the parties have continued to negotiate how to resolve the issue. For example, the inspection period may have been extended to get contractors to propose a fix and give estimates and then perhaps have the repair completed before the parties signed off to satisfy the inspection contingency.

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  80. 80
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 78 – But the increased spread between mean and median shows that the higher end is recovering too.

    Also, on the BoA thing, I read they can satisfy that capital requirement by converting the government preferred stock to voting stock. I was against government taking an equity stake in the first place, but this is just bad for a number of reasons. I suspect BoA will resist doing that, but if it has to, that will be long term bad.

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  81. 81
    One Eyed Man says:

    I sent an email to the MLS yesterday asking for some clarification on how the Pendings are counted in the monthly stats. I’ll let you know if they respond. (I’ve asked questions before that they never responded to until I called by phone but those were controversial issues and I don’t think anyone wanted to leave a written answer that might come back to haunt them.) I used to think that it was the number of listings in the “Pending” status at the end of the month, which would double count pendings that didn’t close out at the end of a month. Now I think that’s incorrect and they count of the listings that changed to pending during the month. I think the year to date category for pendings wouldn’t make sense unless it’s an actual count of listings changed to pending during the period.

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  82. 82
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: The Tim @ 62RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63

    Cary, no worries about counting twice. There is only one Pending date field, and only one.

    Tim, Yes, in my weekly report, I am very careful with my definition of pending. It goes like this:

    Pending = All pending statuses with a pending date within the previous 7 day period. This is the same standard I use week in and week out, so trends will be easy to spot.

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  83. 83
    The Tim says:

    By Greg Perry @ 82:

    Pending = All pending statuses with a pending date within the previous 7 day period. This is the same standard I use week in and week out, so trends will be easy to spot.

    That makes sense. Of course it also means that the total pendings you are counting will be larger than the total pendings reported by the NWMLS end of month stats (assuming they were only counting listings that changed from active to pending that month), since they exclude STI and the others I mentioned.

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  84. 84
    Slumlord says:

    RE: mukoh @ 20

    What’s funny is that my brother said almost the same thing. His description was something along the lines of “If I was doing the cutting I would have cut my group too.” Odds are that his next job will pay a lot less. Fortunately, in his situation that is not a disaster.

    To me, it is symptomatic of the ratcheting down of American incomes to what our real wealth is. As a whole, we have lived far beyond our means and we are discovering that our society is not as wealthy as we chose to believe.

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  85. 85
    drshort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 82:

    RE: The Tim @ 62RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63

    Cary, no worries about counting twice. There is only one Pending date field, and only one.

    Tim, Yes, in my weekly report, I am very careful with my definition of pending. It goes like this:

    Pending = All pending statuses with a pending date within the previous 7 day period. This is the same standard I use week in and week out, so trends will be easy to spot.

    Greg,

    What happens to the pending date when a property goes from “pending — STI” or “pending BU Requested” to just “pending”. Does it reset? Does it stay the same?

    Take this example of a sale. Where do you count the pending? And what would the MLS data show as of 5/20? What is the “pending date” in the MLS? 4/20 or 4/27or 5/15?

    4/15/2008 Listed
    4/20/2008 Pending STI
    4/27/2008 Pending BU Reqested
    5/15/2008 Pending
    6/1/2008 Closed

    I’m just curious how the data is being measured.

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  86. 86
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 80

    Cary, you have to be careful looking at the high end this way. The best way to tell if the high end is recovering is to look at sales ratios. From that perspective, you’ll see that that 1 to 2.5 mil price ranges are still abysmal in areas that typically support decent ratios. However, we’re seeing occasional sales in 3 million plus. Our office just had a deal at 5 million. In the 1 – 2.5 market one has to start at approx 25% off the highs and then negotiate from there.

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  87. 87
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: drshort @ 85

    There is only one pending date entered and that pending date follows the status changes.

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  88. 88
    drshort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 87:

    RE: drshort @ 85

    There is only one pending date entered and that pending date follows the status changes.

    Thanks. So If I understand you correctly, the pending data changes when we go from Pending STI or Pending BU Requested to just Pending.

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  89. 89
    deejayoh says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 80:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 78 – But the increased spread between mean and median shows that the higher end is recovering too.

    or it just means that the pricing does not follow a normal distribution.

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  90. 90
    Pegasus says:

    Spin away! The reason that pending sales is jumping up is not that there have been a huge increase in sales its because there have been massive layoffs in the industry(less people to do the job), more scrutiny on applications(better late than never), longer lead times on obtaining financing, and yes closing pre-foreclosures and shortsales. The pipeline is thus extended causing the number of pendings to jump. Increased refi’s are further clogging the channel. It is NOT proof that the housing market is turning as the irresponsible real estate industry and their complicit press would have you believe.

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  91. 91
    Greg Perry says:

    Here is a real life example:

    I had a listing that went active on 1/2/09
    We went Pending STI on 2/1/09 (30 days on market)
    It changed to Pending status on 2/11/09
    The sale closed on 3/19/09

    The official CDOM for this listing is 30 days.

    There is only one field to enter a pending date and CDOM freezes at that point. There are other pending statuses, but the original pending date entered marks the separation between an active listing and a pending listing.

    STI was created for one reason, and that is to alert showing agents that there are still issues to be worked out on the pending before it solidifies (which also helps the seller of the property). For awhile we used Active STI, but that actually gave us false readings IMO. When a sale reaches mutual acceptance, it should go Pending, because it is.

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  92. 92
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 89 – A normal distribution would be a lot higher of a spread. The spread this year has been very low because of the weakness in the high end.

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  93. 93
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 90

    So what is your take on the weekly pending counts in commnet 34? These have absolutely nothing to do with pipeline.

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  94. 94
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Pegasus @ 90:

    Spin away! The reason that pending sales is jumping up is not that there have been a huge increase in sales its because there have been massive layoffs in the industry(less people to do the job), more scrutiny on applications(better late than never), longer lead times on obtaining financing, and yes closing pre-foreclosures and shortsales. The pipeline is thus extended causing the number of pendings to jump. Increased refi’s are further clogging the channel. It is NOT proof that the housing market is turning as the irresponsible real estate industry and their complicit press would have you believe.

    Do you just make this stuff up? Financing isn’t taking significantly longer on sales. They can still close within 30 days if that’s what the parties want. Short sales and bank owned are affecting it, but that’s already been mentioned.

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  95. 95
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 92RE: deejayoh @ 89

    I agree with deejayoh here. This market is compressing and I believe medians will give us a false sense of what is really happening. Pop 1 or 2 of the mega high end. What does that tell us in the inventory choked 1 – 1.5 million dollar range?

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  96. 96
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: drshort @ 88 – Listings typically go from Pending Inspection to Pending. Sometimes they will go to Pending Backup and then to Sold (hopefully). It’s not a progression from Pending Backup to Pending. It’s really just what the seller wants. Quite frankly I don’t know why more sellers don’t want pending backup, especially on vacant properties.

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  97. 97
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Greg Perry @ 95 – That’s why I also look at the spread–it shows the compression. What it won’t show is the absorption rate, so it won’t show you that there’s a ton of high priced inventory not selling. But it will give you an idea of the mix of what is selling. The bigger the spread between the mean and median, the more high end homes are selling.

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  98. 98
    drshort says:

    By Greg Perry @ 91:

    Here is a real life example:

    I had a listing that went active on 1/2/09
    We went Pending STI on 2/1/09 (30 days on market)
    It changed to Pending status on 2/11/09
    The sale closed on 3/19/09

    The official CDOM for this listing is 30 days.

    There is only one field to enter a pending date and CDOM freezes at that point. There are other pending statuses, but the original pending date entered marks the separation between an active listing and a pending listing.

    Good example. Sounds like the MLS must be tracking an additional date behind the scenes if they’re able to exclude the Pending – STI from the monthly data they release.

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  99. 99
    The Tim says:

    After all this back and forth, it seems to me that the bottom line is that pending sales as reported by the NWMLS are not a very reliable measure of actual market activity. Too many sales are either taking forever to close or not closing at all to trust pending sales as a solid metric anymore.

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  100. 100
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: The Tim @ 99

    Tim, No question market dynamics are different. That said, I still think the pendings are a powerful to see current trends. Taking into consideration fallout, short sales, etc. , going from 400-500 in a week and increasing each subsequent week tells us the market is moving better than it was before. If you wait for closed sales only, you’re 30-45 days behind. They are the only thing that separates historians from those on the cutting edge.

    As an aside, I have good agent friends in the AZ markets and Bay area markets that are reporting a spike in their markets in April.

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  101. 101
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: The Tim @ 99 – What it does show is that there are more atypical sales compared to past years. That’s useful, but not as useful as the NWMLS actually requiring those listings to be specifically identified.

    It sort of reminds me of Aubrey’s article entitled something to the effect: “Agents Learning To Do Short Sales.” My thought was that previously it wasn’t really necessary for agents to learn that because they were a small part of the market, so only a few did. Well it’s sort of the same with the NWMLS and short sales/bank owned. Previously it wasn’t necessary to specifically identify them because they were such a small part of the market.

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  102. 102
    patient says:

    RE: The Tim @ 99

    If it something I have learnt by watching the market the last years it is that there is no need to for a month or two advanced notice of market conditions, especially if the notice isn’t reliable. You are much better served to look at closed sales and Case Shiller than to base any decisions or plans on pendings or median sale prices. Kary, the reason that there is no discussion about the median price is that it’s really not that interresting outside the agent community. So what if a few more expensive or cheaper homes sells one month. It says nothing about what people care about the value and price direction of homes. If half the homes that sells are above $300k or $400k isn’t interresting to me. If it moves to say to $100k or $800k it is more interresting. Case Shiller on the other hand is always interresting.

    iIheard the following on the radio yesterday from a large news outlet. “Prices in North Seattle shot up with 53% between March and April and 35% on the Eastside.” talk about horrible repoting. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Real estate reporting is a total mess, Seatle Bubble excluded of course.

    For agents I understand that median is of outmost interrest since it’s as close to a community salary level you can get. If median moves up the agent community income moves up.

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  103. 103
    deejayoh says:

    Interesting stats from Zillow today via Aubrey’s blog at the PI

    Seattle-area home values in the first quarter were down 14.5 percent from a year earlier, to $311,022, for a total decline of 19.0 percent from the 2007 peak, Zillow reported. It said 13.9 percent of transactions over the past 12 months were foreclosures and 12.3 percent of sales were short sales, where lenders agree to accept less than the mortgage balance because a home is worth less than the amount owed

    So if 26.2% of the volume in the past year was “distressed”, and I would bet that figure is higher more recently than it was at the beginning of the period.

    Based on that assumption I’d hazard a guess that in March/April ~20% of the pendings are short sales. So what portion of those will really close?

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  104. 104
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 103 – I don’t think Zillow really has a way of determining what percentage of sales are short sales.

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  105. 105
    deejayoh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 104 – I bet they do. They have stats on sales prices and mortgage amounts that they are pulling from county records. So if they compare sales price to previous mortgage, then short sales are where it sold for less than the mortgage amount.

    Are you suggesting they are just making it up?

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  106. 106
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    I just ran a search of current pendings for all properties, short sales and bank owned (King County SFR)

    Approximate Median and Mean:

    All properties 360 and 458

    Short Sales 329 and 418

    Bank Owned 235 and 282 (Great marketing guys!)

    All properties exc. SS and BO 365 and 466

    Data from NWMLS sources and not guaranteed. It also fluctuates a lot from day to day, and the indicated short sales and bank owned are probably only a fraction of the real number at this point in time given the new rule is only a few days old.

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  107. 107
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 105 – All they would have is original mortgages amounts, and for HELOCs they’d have absolutely no idea what was owing.

    About the only way they’d know current balances for certain would be if there was a recorded Notice of Trustee’s sale.

    Also, I’d exclude from short sales properties where the owner has the funds to pay off the bank. There’s no way they could know that either.

    Finally, they wouldn’t know closing costs.

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  108. 108
    Greg Perry says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 107

    Not to mention, that some of the mortgages that appear on sources like Realist and others who offer reports have old dead mortgages on them. In my mind, they would have to have a title company or someone on staff to verify encumberances.

    Also reverse mortgages appear for the full amount. For instance, I just had an estate sale that showed the mortgage at 250k when they really owed under 100k. On the surface, this house looked like it would be short.

    They
    would have to have sophisticated systems to have any kind of accuracy from county records. Maybe they do!?

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  109. 109
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Greg Perry @ 108 – You can determine whether deeds of trust have been reconveyed in most instances, but it’s time consuming. Sometimes they are not reconveyed of record, and there it would likely appear to be a short sale even if it wasn’t.

    This would mainly be an issue where people have refinanced a lot.

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  110. 110
    Angie says:

    By deejayoh @ 103:

    So if 26.2% of the volume in the past year was “distressed”, and I would bet that figure is higher more recently than it was at the beginning of the period.

    Over in the forums Ira graciously pulled out some numbers (from yesterday? the day before?) about how many listings had the new “short sale” or “REO” tags in the MLS database. Roughly 10% of the single family houses listed in King County had those designations (980 out of ca. 9800)–which is quite a bit lower than that 26% number.

    Wonder if that’s a sign of things to come going forward…Though as I recall Ira thought that this was an undercount since the tags are relatively new and may not be applied to all relevant listings.

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  111. 111

    RE: Angie @ 110
    It’s only been since April 29th? that agents were required to check boxes marked REO or Short Sale when inputting listings. They were also required to change any listings already on the NWMLS but not listed that way. So yes, I think the actual figure is probably a lot higher. Previously I would look for the words ” subject to lien holder approval” to find short sales, and I suspect there are still listings out there with those words in the agent remarks but not checked off in the proper box.

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  112. 112
    EconE says:

    By Angie @ 110:

    By deejayoh @ 103:
    So if 26.2% of the volume in the past year was “distressed”, and I would bet that figure is higher more recently than it was at the beginning of the period.

    Over in the forums Ira graciously pulled out some numbers (from yesterday? the day before?) about how many listings had the new “short sale” or “REO” tags in the MLS database. Roughly 10% of the single family houses listed in King County had those designations (980 out of ca. 9800)–which is quite a bit lower than that 26% number.

    Wonder if that’s a sign of things to come going forward…Though as I recall Ira thought that this was an undercount since the tags are relatively new and may not be applied to all relevant listings.

    I believe Deejayoh was referring to the percentage of transactions, not listings as Ira pulled up.

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  113. 113
    S-Crow says:

    Greg & Kary @108 & 109:

    Yep, you can probably guess correctly most of the time if a home is going to be a short sale, but unless the owner provides you with a recent mortgage statement, it’s tough to know. Obviously, the other way is to have a payoff statement ordered via escrow or the owner.

    With regards to reconveyances… actually they are pretty quick. Just plug in the recording number into the county system and any associated documents tied to the DOT will show: recon’s, substi. of trustee, assignments etc…

    Reconveyances that are not done according to RESPA can hold up sales and refi’s (AND THEY ARE) because 1) companies have gone belly up 2) a change in servicers creates long delays or 3) private DOT’s are NEVER reconveyed because the parties don’t know that it has to be done to clear title. We’ve actually done courtesy reconveyances for agents who’s sellers have old DOT’s showing on title creating problems (like if the original note holder is long dead and it was never released).

    Come work in escrow. Fun fun fun.

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  114. 114
    deejayoh says:

    RE: EconE @ 112 – yes, that is correct. Zillow was reporting transactions.

    and I don’t believe that most foreclosures involve the MLS so the 10% number is comparable only to the 12.3% zillow reported as short sales. That is pretty close.

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  115. 115
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By S-Crow @ 113:

    Greg & Kary @108 & 109:

    With regards to reconveyances… actually they are pretty quick. Just plug in the recording number into the county system and any associated documents tied to the DOT will show: recon’s, substi. of trustee, assignments etc…

    It’s quick for each DOT, but when you’re talking 1004 sales and each property perhaps having four DOTs since the selling owner bought, that woudln’t be quick.

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  116. 116
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 114 – They could determine the number of foreclosures relatively easy, or a pretty close number.

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  117. 117

    […] we finally know: Greg Perry’s 2009 prediction was just 3 years too […]

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