Comparing January Sales Rates Across Western WA

Let’s take a slightly geographically broader look at home sales than we usually restrict ourselves to.

In the Tableau viz below, you’re looking at all the NWMLS data on the number of closed single-family sales in Western Washington for every January since 2000. The “heat” number is simply the number of closed SFH sales divided by the OFM population estimate for the previous year, then multiplied by 100,000 so it will display as a number above 1. Drag the year slider below the map left and right to view the data for different years.

2005 was the hottest year for January sales in most counties, with Island County topping the charts that January with 116 closed sales for a population of just 74,800.

Update 2: I have updated the data to include the RMLS sales stats for Clark County. With this change, Clark actually has one of the “warmest” sales rates for 2009 and 2010.

What I find especially interesting is how depressed sales are down in Clark County. It’s the fourth-most populous county in Western Washington, and yet in January it had the third-fewest closed sales. Just 34 sales vs. a population in excess of 431,000. Ouch. Not a good time to be selling a home in Clark County.

Update: Jim from Redfin drops by with an explanation for the apparent ultra-depressed state of sales in Clark County: Market fragmentation across multiple MLSes.

The large majority of listings in Clark county are actually on Portland’s MLS system (RMLS.com) and not the NWMLS. That probably explains the low reported sales figure for that county.

Thanks, Jim!


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.

7 comments:

  1. 1
    Jim says:

    The large majority of listings in Clark county are actually on Portland’s MLS system (RMLS.com) and not the NWMLS. That probably explains the low reported sales figure for that county

  2. 2
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    FYI. Can’t see the chart(s): “Session expired. Please refresh.” from Tableau. I get this regularly lately. Firefox 3.5.8 @ Win7.

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    RE: Lake Hills Renter @ 2 – Is your browser rejecting 3rd party cookies? Try the steps I outlined here.

  4. 4
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    By The Tim @ 3:

    RE: Lake Hills Renter @ 2 – Is your browser rejecting 3rd party cookies? Try the steps I outlined here.

    Yes, I block 3rd party cookies because I block all cookies from sites other than those in my Exceptions list (opt in), and the 3rd party checkbox is grayed out unless you accept all cookies (opt out). Not willing to do that, but I did find that allowing session cookies explicitly for “tableausoftware.com” in the Exceptions list works. Thanks.

  5. 5
    AMS says:

    RMLS puts out a monthly “Market Action” which is usually released near the 15th of the month. Most of Clark County is covered, but sales and selling prices have been down from the peak.

    According to RMLS data as published in the December “Market Action” (Released around January 15, 2010), for December 2009 there were 422 Closed sales with an average price of $244,400; median price $211,600. Closed sales were up 48.1% from December 2008, average price was down 5.2% from December 2008, and median price was down 8.9% from December 2008.

  6. 6
    AMS says:

    After all the discussion regarding average time to stay in a home, and from all the discussion on “sales being down,” it may be time to start tracking annualized sales per household. While this might include renters, it will give a basic measure of the velocity that homes are selling. In a “hot” market, the sales per households would be higher than in a cool market, or so my theory goes. It would be a basic measure of how liquid the market is. Fewer sales per household suggests lower liquidity. This would be a tool to compare one market area from another.

  7. 7
    Bill says:

    Check out King 5 right now. There was a segment were they labeled Alki Beach as the “Bermuda Triangle”: Massive amounts of condo properties sit for an extended amount of time (one for 1.5 years).

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.