November Stats Preview: Record Low Inventory Edition

Now that November 2012 is no more, let’s have a look at our 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, here’s the summary snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series:

King & Snhomish County Stats Preview

Summary: Foreclosures inched down, sales began their usual seasonal slide, and inventory hit a new low point. Hit the jump for the full suite of our usual monthly charts.

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Salse in King County fell 9% from October to November, which is on par with what you would expect for this time of year. Even with the dip, November sales volume came in higher than September.

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

Deeds in Snohomish actually increased a bit month-over-month and came in 9.4% above last November’s level.

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

Month to month decreases in both counties, although it was barely a decline in Snohomish, where notices dropped from 537 in October to 535 in November.

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

Trustee deeds moved up, hitting their highest point since last December. This spike is just what we would expect, coming a few months after the July spike in Notices of Trustee Sale.

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

As predicted last month, November saw a new low for inventory in both counties. Expect more of the same next month.

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.

23 comments:

  1. 1

    I remember thinking only 5000 active listings was bad.

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  2. 2
    Marc says:

    “Trustee deeds moved up, hitting their highest point since last December. This spike is just what we would expect”

    I’m not sure that 283 trustee’s deeds constitutes much of a “spike” as it’s pretty similar to the tallies for January (275), August (279), and September (277).

    Comparing the relative number of NOTS filed 3 to 4 months prior to these respective months suggests a notably higher percentage of the NOTS with November auction dates didn’t come to fruition for one reason or another.

    More short sales and loan mods? More people curing their defaults? Or just banks kicking the can?

    In any event, these kinds of numbers of completed foreclosures will not be near enough to satiate demand when they make it back to market as REOs. They’re going to have to pick up considerably and, at this point, it doesn’t look like the trend is accelerating enough to get there, IMO.

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  3. 3

    By Marc @ 2:

    �Comparing the relative number of NOTS filed 3 to 4 months prior to these respective months suggests a notably higher percentage of the NOTS with November auction dates didn�t come to fruition for one reason or another.

    More short sales and loan mods? More people curing their defaults? Or just banks kicking the can?.

    Banks actually doing something to comply with the Bain v. Mers decision and having to refile the notice.

    Okay, okay, okay. I was just kidding. I know it’s absurd to suggest the banks would actually alter what they do in response to a Washington State Supreme Court decision. ;-)

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  4. 4
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    Seattle Wall of Reality time.

    House for rent on beautiful sunny Southhampton Long Island…

    This is a Single-Family Home located at 5 High Street, Southampton NY. 5 High St has 3 beds, 2 baths, and approximately 1,560 square feet. The property has a lot size of 0.3 acres and was built in 1997.

    Rent: $1200 per month!

    http://hotpads.com/search#lat=40.892015381303594&lon=-72.39944100379944&zoom=20&previewId=1sdum6rvt8cb5&previewType=listing&detailsOpen=true&dupeGrouping=building&listingTypes=rental,sublet,room,corporate&highPrice=1300&includeVaguePricing=false&loan=30,0.04,0&resultsPerQuad=24

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  5. 5
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: Marc @ 2 – Banks modifying loans BIG TIME! Pays very well to have been a Bubble Buyer. Deals of a Lifetime that would make your headspin with the amount of principle being wiped away.

    Seeing much more inventory at Trustee Sales with VERY HIGH bidding. Liquidity is everywhere and the banks are beautifully mastering the slow release to the market and the long drawn out modifications so not to flood the market. Then you add the Mediation BONUS Washington State Upside Downhomeowners get and the astute just keep hamster wheeling their way through XMAS this year and at the current pace NEXT YEAR as well!

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  6. 6
    2kt says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 5

    They are all coming back, Raymundo, at a higher price.

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  7. 7
    ray pepper says:

    RE: 2kt @ 6 – coming back at a higher price? higher then what price? definitely NOT the defaulted amount.

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  8. 8
    wreckingbull says:

    By Ray Pepper @ 5:

    Deals of a Lifetime that would make your headspin with the amount of principle being wiped away..

    Ray, I think you finally used the word principle correctly!

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  9. 9
    ARDELL says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 8

    :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    corndogs says:

    RE: Marc @ 2 – “In any event, these kinds of numbers of completed foreclosures will not be near enough to satiate demand when they make it back to market as REOs.
    RE: Ray Pepper @ 5 – “banks are beautifully mastering the slow release to the market and the long drawn out modifications so not to flood the market.”

    There’s no evidence in the data above that foreclosures have ever ‘flooded’ the market. Peak inventory preceded all the heavy foreclosure activity… Nope. if the bank has the homes, they are pedaling them. It would be especially stupid of the banks to hold houses in the West where the inventories are so low that they are actually having a negative impact on sales volume. There is NO shadow inventory! At least nothing that will have a significant impact on real inventory anytime soon. The only thing that will bring inventory back in the near term is significantly higher prices.

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  11. 11

    By corndogs @ 10:

    There’s no evidence in the data above that foreclosures have ever ‘flooded’ the market. Peak inventory preceded all the heavy foreclosure activity….

    While I mainly agree with your post, the peak inventory was likely caused by very high prices. More people wanted to sell at those prices, and some of those wanted to sell at prices higher than FMV, which further inflated inventory levels.

    Also, while I don’t record this data, my recollection is that REO sales seldom (if ever) made up more than about 25% of sales, so hardly a flood. I’ll have to see if I can look those numbers up.

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  12. 12
    ray pepper says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 8

    principle principal….does it really matter? all that really matters is that you read my posts because they are ALWAYS filled with TOP INTELLECTUAL thought and content! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqyixwqiCag

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  13. 13
    ray pepper says:

    and the hamster wheel keeps trucking along: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57556892/fannie-freddie-halt-foreclosures-for-the-holidays/

    They should also halt for all other holidays especially Thanksgiving. Would be bad for a “family” to be carving into the turkey and getting the knock at the door. I would also suggest halting for Halloween, MLK Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, and of Course..the greatest day of all Aug 12..

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  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:

    It Would Be Interesting to Compare This Low Inventory Going On In Seattle Recently

    To another similar low inventory period in Seattle the last few decades….I come up nada BTW. But assuming even this is very likely the first time this has happenned in Seattle, the recent MASS flurry of “underwater” loans crimping inventory [they can’t afford to sell] is also a very likely historical first.

    What does this mean for making house price predictions [either up, down or flat] in the future then? A CLEAR mixed up unknown mess. Its like trying to win on a slot machine.

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  15. 15

    By ray pepper @ 13:

    and the hamster wheel keeps trucking along: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57556892/fannie-freddie-halt-foreclosures-for-the-holidays/

    They should also halt for all other holidays especially Thanksgiving. Would be bad for a “family” to be carving into the turkey and getting the knock at the door. I would also suggest halting for Halloween, MLK Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, and of Course..the greatest day of all Aug 12..

    August 12th of course being the birthday of our savior, Ray Pepper?

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  16. 16
    2kt says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 7
    they will come back at higher than last year’s price and next year it will be higher than this year’s price, Raymundo, the gloomer-doomer.

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  17. 17
    ray pepper says:

    RE: 2kt @ 16 – the higher they go the more I smile! the lower they go…the more I smile…..just dont give me a long flat line baby!

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  18. 18
    corndogs says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 14 – “the recent MASS flurry of “underwater” loans crimping inventory [they can’t afford to sell] is also a very likely historical first.”

    You mean the homes that have been underwater since 2009?. How does this qualify as a recent mass flurry. There are less people underwater than there were 3 months ago.

    21% of King county homes sold in the last 3 months were short sales. That’s not far off what would be expected with the current mix of underwater homes. You might want to give it up with the “can’t afford to sell” concept. You have no idea why people are or are not selling. There are many zip codes in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond that are approaching 10% underwater mark… underwater home buyers are not causing a lack of inventory. People interested in buying cheap houses at 4% interest are certainly contributing to a lack of inventory. Did you miss the fact that sales are up 30% over last year?

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  19. 19

    By corndogs @ 18:

    You might want to give it up with the “can’t afford to sell” concept. You have no idea why people are or are not selling.

    Surprisingly, not everyone follows the real estate market that closely! Most people have no idea what the market is like at any given time. Most people (incredibly) don’t even know what Seattlebubble.com is! ;-)

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  20. 20
    mahesh says:

    I just started reading this site. I am looking for home in 98052/98053 area and found that home builders are not ready to provide any credit towards upgrades or come down on sales price and I have seen a builder increasing price of the home by 5k overnight. Is the market that good?

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  21. 21
    ARDELL says:

    RE: mahesh @ 20

    It depends on the builder. I just finished one with a monster credit in august or September. But there is one builder that is always stubborn as a mule…and who also gets away with it. :) But yes, it has been and continues to be a strong market in 98052. Not sure about new construction in 98053, but resale there was pretty strong a couple of months ago.

    Usually builders are a bit more flexible this time of year, but as I said and I can’t name names given I am an agent, one particular builder never budges.

    Also in 98052 there were only 2 houses worth looking at to compete with new construction single family homes. That makes their position somewhat reasonable even though it is December.

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  22. 22

    RE: mahesh @ 20 – Builders are always going to be reluctant on the gross price. Car dealers would be reluctant to come down on price too if their sales prices were public record. Reduce the gross price on one, and you’ll end up reducing it on almost every property left. They have to hide their price reductions.

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  23. 23

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

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