April Stats Preview: Long-Term Listings Loss Edition

With April behind us, it’s time for another new stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Nearly a two-year high for sales, and the highest April since 2007, which was the last year that sales were over 3,000 before the bottom fell out.

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanilla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Snohomish was down year over year again.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Same pattern in both counties, dipping from last month’s spike and coming in near February’s level.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Actual foreclosure repossessions dropped to their lowest point since 2008.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with the inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Absolutely dismal inventory levels out there. Snohomish might possibly inch out a slight gain this month, but King County just keeps plummeting.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

  

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.

26 comments:

  1. 1

    With the continuing reduction of inventory, I would expect sales volumes to start plummeting with no inventory to buy.

    I’m putting together a new chart that will show pending sales now outpacing new listings for the first time in years. This isn’t good for a balanced market. I’m also seeing short sale closings catching up to REO closings as the banks are improving on their systems.

    We need more inventory, but that isn’t happening. It’s going to be an interesting year.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    For the near term it’s pretty clear we’re going to be seeing some upward pressure on prices, a “recovery” that’s in line with what’s going on in the rest of the economy.

    For the longer term it’s hard to see what’s around that coming bend in the road. Is it a long, inflationary hill, or a “bridge out’ sign and sudden death? Life’s an adventure- live it while you can.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3
    Trigger says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 2 – Scotsman but what happened with being frugal, living within your means? What happened to the saying that the govt cannot do anything to get out of the crisis?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Trigger @ 3

    What? I’m still more than frugal, live well within my means, . . . and don’t expect the government to survive as we know it.

    And I’m doing a lot more hiking and boating. ;-)

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  5. 5
    Elsworth says:

    Would you mind posting this graph: http://seattlebubble.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Preview_2012-04_Active-Listings.png with at least two more years of data? I’ve been using it for some conversations with my peers about what’s been happening with inventory and the data in 2009 and 2010 makes the picture even more clear. Thanks!

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  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 4 – Yes, the sun is out and the children rejoice. Here is a nearby huff-and-puffer, perhaps best attempted now in July, as there is still snow at the top in June.

    http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes-of-the-week/bandera-mountain

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  7. 7

    Rather obviously many of those charts are wrong. I remember many predicting here a couple of years ago that foreclosures would be skyrocketing by now, and that “they’re all coming back!”

    Seriously, the lack of bank owned properties is getting to the point where it’s starting to affect the median. Remember that without the bank owned and short sales the median has typically been above $400,000, and when you reduce the number of bank owned the impact on the median will be to increase it (without necessarily increasing values).

    $400,000 from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8
    badpelican says:

    Is there data available as to the number of homeowners who are 60 or 90 days late but not yet in foreclosure? I was wondering if the foreclosure rate is down just because there are fewer people defaulting or is the process being slowed down by the foreclosure fairness act of 2011.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9

    RE: badpelican @ 8 – I think Corelogic might have that type of stat, but do you really think that the Foreclosure Fairness act could be having so much impact almost a year after its effective date?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    badpelican says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9
    Other than slowing the process down by 60 days, no. I was just speculating. Even with a non-deteriorating economy (but not healthy by any means) I would have thought there would be enough defaulting going on be it strategic or otherwise to keep the foreclosure pipeline well stocked.

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  11. 11

    The inventory really is a problem. I’ve had four buyers make offers in multiple offer situations in approximately the past 2 months. Only one of those was an REO, although two of them were estate situations.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. 12
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11 – I am hearing of some absolutely insane bidding situations going on in the south Bellevue neighborhood of Somerset. I mean stuff that puts peak-bubble bidding wars to shame.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. 13

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12 – It does seem to be in all price ranges. Maybe that $3.6M condo was a bidding war! ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. 14

    RE: wreckingbull @ 12 – BTW, I’m familiar with the area. I can see why many of those houses in the $700-800k range would be popular, although part of that is because I like that era of house. I’m not that big into view property (Insert Garry Shandling reference), but that is a great neighborhood!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. 15
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    3000 feet in 3.5 miles? My daughter sent you that, right? She’s trying to kill me and collect the insurance. My last three hikes- Mt. Si, Granite Mt., and Rachael Lake/Rampart Ridge. It’s a wonder I’m here to type. Must say I haven’t done your suggestion, so on the list it goes.

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  16. 16
    badpelican says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 15
    How about 3800 feet in 2.5 miles? Thats after a brief 0.5 mile warmup with only a couple of hundred feet gain at good ol’ Mailbox Peak.
    http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mailbox-peak

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  17. 17
    Dweezil says:

    RE: badpelican @ 8 – Here is something regarding March ‘first time foreclosure notices’ increasing. Not certain if that is the 30, 60 or 90 day notice. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017960769_foreclosure12.html

    “The trend was more pronounced in the Puget Sound region: First-time foreclosure notices in March rose 70 percent in King County from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac data.”

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  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    RE: badpelican @ 16

    “Wimpy hikers, turn the page. This trail offers nothing for you but pain and heartbreak”

    Heh. Did that one in high school. 40 years ago. I’ll think about it. :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. 19
    David Losh says:

    The other thing is that we don’t have new construction houses for sale in the volumes we saw when builders, last year, were depleting inventory.

    You’ll find the Real Estate agents claiming that lack of “supply” will drive up prices.

    The truth is construction turned to rental units, and I would like to see some new construction data before we get to involved with the foreclosure sagas.

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  20. 20
    deejayoh says:

    By Dweezil @ 17:

    RE: badpelican @ 8 – Here is something regarding March ‘first time foreclosure notices’ increasing. Not certain if that is the 30, 60 or 90 day notice. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017960769_foreclosure12.html

    “The trend was more pronounced in the Puget Sound region: First-time foreclosure notices in March rose 70 percent in King County from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac data.”

    that data is two months out of date vs. Tim’s charts.

    30/60/90 day lates have been dropping for over a year. The drop in NTS was as predictable as spring following winter. And the foreclosure fairness act had almost zero impact on the rate of foreclosures.

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  21. 21

    By David Losh @ 19:

    The other thing is that we don’t have new construction houses for sale in the volumes we saw when builders, last year, were depleting inventory.
    . . .
    The truth is construction turned to rental units, and I would like to see some new construction data before we get to involved with the foreclosure sagas.

    Is there some reason you don’t actually look stuff up, and instead just make stuff up?

    Inventory of new construction in the March reports was higher this year than last, and although that stat can be deceiving, the actual sales were also higher. I don’t know (or really care) about the inventory for April, but the sales of new construction will almost certainly be higher this year than last.

    Also, I haven’t seen any new construction of SFR become rental since probably 2009.

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  22. 22

    By David Losh @ 19:

    You’ll find the Real Estate agents claiming that lack of “supply” will drive up prices..

    Actually, that would be economists making that claim. That’s the way things work. When there are shortages, prices rise.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    Dweezil says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 20 – Tim’s charts are for April, and the link is for March. I don’t see how it is two months out of date vs Tim’s charts, unless there is a hidden month between March and April. If the Seattle Times had posted April stats, I would have used that link.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    ray pepper says:

    the “excitement” of all the multiple offers has bored me and finally I’m about to close on a south tacoma flip for 55k after 17 rejected offers and many hours with banks trying to turn the crank..WHEW!…The last one I did at 52k +12k rehab sold at 103k but did no work myself. However, this time I want to do the work myself..Its been many moons since I did this (1996-1999) so it will be my May-July project. This one is smaller but with the way the mkt is moving maybe 109k !

    On the other hand the first day I hurt myself I’m DONE!!

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  25. 25
    Jon Rickey says:

    I am curious if there is any data showing how many defaults (since 2008) have not been cured as of yet. The so called “shadow inventory” that the banks are sitting on and would not show up in recent data.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. 26

    […] time once again to expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at March’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, […]

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