Around the Sound: Balance Slowly Returning

Around the Sound: Balance Slowly Returning

It’s time for us to check up on stats outside of the King/Snohomish core with our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

First up, a summary table:

November 2013 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $414,000 $309,925 $214,990 $224,900 $228,375 $257,000 $249,900 $267,250
Price YOY 7.5% 14.4% 7.5% -10.6% 3.2% -2.8% 16.2% 7.3%
Active Listings 3,820 2,108 3,141 1,273 1,115 644 695 1,053
Listings YOY 2.7% 36.8% 6.1% -5.4% -1.0% -0.9% 5.9% 3.1%
Closed Sales 1,775 692 825 243 252 96 131 178
Sales YOY -2.9% 1.3% 3.4% 8.5% 29.9% 4.3% 18.0% 5.3%
Months of Supply 1.9 2.5 3.0 4.1 3.8 6.0 4.9 5.3

Next we’ll have a look at median prices in November compared to a year earlier. The biggest price gains in November were in Skagit and Snohomish counties, while Island and Kitsap both saw prices lower than a year ago.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Listings are still down in Kitsap, Thurston, and Island, but they are now up from a year ago in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Skagit, and Whatcom. Snohomish County saw a huge 36.8% jump in listings from a year ago.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

King County was actually the only county to see sales decline from a year ago. The biggest gain in sales was in Thurston, where sales were up 29.9% from November 2012.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Finally, here’s a chart showing months of supply this November and last November. Months of supply is improving ever so slightly in most counties, but we’re still deep in seller’s market territory.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

Overall price gains seem to be moderating as supply and demand come into balance in most counties. We still appear to be on track for next year to be a much less frustrating market for buyers.

  

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.

28 comments:

  1. 1

    Using About a Million Homes in the Seattle Area

    Means closed listings are about 0.1%….dinky in my book.

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  2. 2
    doug says:

    The real estate market will quickly turn into a buyers market. but you have to question buying when prices should collapse for at least the next 5 to ten years. I would estimate this year a 30% percent drop in prices followed by 10% drops for the following 4 years. Anyone who bought recently in the last 5 years will soon be underwater. Las vegas Phoenix and all of Florida should signal the end of real estate and astronomical rents for years to come.

    But lets not forget that we are topping in a massive bubble in three markets real estate bonds stocks and gold oops thats four.

    The big cities of AmeriKa are about to become very very dangerous places

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  3. 3

    Slowly returning? Maybe if you emphasis slowly, at least for King County. I haven’t looked at Kitsap for quite a while. I wonder what’s causing the situation over there to be so weak relative to the rest of the area? Maybe the government shutdown??? ;-)

    Also, I’m not so sure things will be that much better for buyers next year. The listing situation is very similar, so what it’s like for buyers may depend on the number of buyers. I would guess there would be fewer buyers just because there were so many last year (pent-up demand), but I wouldn’t bet on that.

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  4. 4
    Blurtman says:

    RE: doug @ 2 – I keep waiting for San Diego to go “Kaboom!”

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  5. 5
    whatsmyname says:

    Tim, I’m in King County. Not looking to buy, but if I was, I don’t think 2.7% more listings, but 7.5% higher median prices would telescope “much less frustrating” for me.

    doug, d*r*i*n*k*m*o*r*e*o*v*a*l*t*i*n*e*

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  6. 6

    A couple of things stand out. One is the 36.8% increase in listings in Snohomish County, and the other is the 29.9% increase in sales in Thurston County. Anybody have any theories or explanations?

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  7. 7
    Corndogs says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6 – “A couple of things stand out. One is the 36.8% increase in listings in Snohomish County”

    Because Boeing be being bye-bye Bubba. When Puget Sound Boeing Engineers qualify for government assistance programs due to planned large scale outsourcing you need to start putting some pieces of the puzzle together for yourself, Boeing Engineering for the first time in history will NOT be concentrated in Puget Sound!. It WILL transition to Orange County California, Moscow Russia, Kiev Ukraine and various right to work states across the US. None of these place, not even California, are unionized. The work is NOT coming back. Since Aerospace Engineering jobs are among the best paying jobs anywhere, let alone in Sno County, you should expect some panic about now.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021513853_boeinglayoffsxml.html

    and when I say WILL transfer, I should IS transferring.. it’s just not going to be complete for another year.

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  8. 8
    Kmac says:

    OT…..

    FYI for the Tim, the homepage seattlebubble.com or (/blog/) does not (and hasn’t for several weeks)reflect updated posts correctly, causing me to sometimes miss all of this fine commentary :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    Kmac says:

    and “recent comments” section on each individual page reflect 2011 posts.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    Erik says:

    RE: Corndogs @ 7
    I know, it is a good deal. 2-1/2 years of unemployment and $25k in education puts me in no rush to find another job. I plan to take my last course to earn my masters degree next semester and then get my professional engineering license instead of getting another job. MSME + PE would be very powerful.

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  11. 11
    whatsmyname says:

    The listings numbers in the various MLS driven charts for Snohomish County consistently resemble the Estately numbers for Pierce County in your sidebar. And there’s a mirrored situation for the Pierce County data. Do you think you might be cross-wired in your inventory sidebar?

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  12. 12
    Erik says:

    Tim is consistently making these kinds of comments… “We still appear to be on track for year to be a much less frustrating market for buyers.” That is why I call him an inventory bull.

    Inventory is almost exactly where it was last year at this time. Within 100 houses different in king county. Why do you repeatedly predict that inventory will increase soon. I am just not able to see any indicators that inventory will increase soon. What indications are you seeing that make you predict inventory in king county will rise soon? Are you just thinking that since it is down, it will just come back up for no reason? You like when everything stays the same and follows historic trends for some reason.

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  13. 13
    Erik says:

    My goal is to get under 3000 inventory in king county. All I need is 442 more. At this pace i will have achieved my goal next month.

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  14. 14
    Jonness says:

    RE: Corndogs @ 7 – Excellent link Corndogs. Eventually, all the special perks and entitlements from having been a privileged Boeing employee will run out, and these guys will realize the true gravity of their vote. In the meantime, life is good. And in the long run, it will make for good stories to tell their coworkers when they’re wrapping hamburgers for minimum wage.

    ““Compared to what Joe Worker gets when they get laid off, our members have a pretty extensive safety net,” said Connie Kelliher, spokeswoman for the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

    The U.S. Department of Labor has approved Boeing workers — union or nonunion, production workers or engineers — laid off between April 2012 and June 2015 for a package of benefits that includes drawing unemployment pay for up to 2½ years, rather than the regular six months.

    The Labor Department ruling also means that if laid-off Boeing workers need to travel, say to California, for a job interview, the government will reimburse 90 percent of the costs.

    If they relocate for a new job, the government will pay 90 percent of their moving expenses and provide an additional lump-sum relocation allowance of up to $1,250.

    While unemployed, they’ll also get a tax credit for nearly three-quarters of their health-care premiums. And they’re eligible for a grant of up to $25,000 toward the cost of a degree.

    And for those workers over 50, if they have to take a lower-paid job after leaving Boeing, the government will provide up to $10,000 over two years in supplementary pay to make up some of the difference.”

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  15. 15
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @ 12
    I am one of those people and I am going to suck down as much free money and free education as I can. Why walk when you can stand? Why stand when you can sit? Why sit when you can lay down? That is the motto of us union folks. I will come out of this thing with a masters degree, a professional engineering license, and maybe I will even flip a few houses in the next 2-1/2 years. I will stick my hand out weekly to collect the full unemployment benefit. Monday I go sign up for this benefit. Don’t be a hater.

    Working, going to school and remodeling at the same time was extremely exhausting. Just think if I got paid for not working. I could flip one house every 3 months. Oh boy oh boy is this great! At the end of this thing, I should easily get a job since I will have a great degree and a professional engineering license. Seems like a pretty good plan to me…

    That’s the point of benefits like this dummy. We will use them to learn more and get ahead. Seriously though, too bad it is only $25k in education. I would spend my time getting a phd or an MBA at a really good school like MIT or Stanford (assuming I could get in) if the benefit was higher.

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  16. 16
    Jonness says:

    By Erik @ 13:

    RE: Jonness @ 12 – Just think if I got paid for not working. I could flip one house every 3 months. .

    Mark my words junior, the only flipping you’ll be doing in your future is hamburgers. It’s at that point, you’ll fully understand you wound up paying an extremely heavy price for having put forth so much effort to score all those “free” handouts.

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  17. 17
    Erik says:

    By Jonness @ 14:

    By Erik @ 13:
    RE: Jonness @ 12 – Just think if I got paid for not working. I could flip one house every 3 months. .

    Mark my words junior, the only flipping you’ll be doing in your future is hamburgers

    Ha ha ha. Maybe. I am focused on more education. If I had that degree, I wouldn’t have gotten laid off. I will most likely be back working again very soon.

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  18. 18
    Macro Investor says:

    By Erik @ 15:By Jonness @ 14:

    By Erik @ 13:
    RE:

    Mark my words junior, the only flipping you’ll be doing in your future is hamburgers

    1. Without a job, forget about qualifying for loans — unemployment won’t count as steady income. Oops, there goes the flips.

    2. A year or more of no work, and nobody will ever hire you again. Regardless of degrees/licenses. Your work history will be so stale you’ll be competing with new grads for entry level stuff.

    Burger flipping isn’t out of the question. Sitting around 2-1/2 years = career suicide. Sorry to hear about the layoff, but you need a real plan for the next 3-5 years of a likely recession.

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  19. 19
    Jonness says:

    RE: Erik @ 15 – Erik: I agree with the more education path. But you have to put that education to use ASAP or you’ll distance yourself from the workforce.

    When I was a kid, my friend’s dad worked in a lumber mill as a press operator. His job consisted of standing in one spot all day long and pressing two buttons. One button made the press go up, and one button made the press go down. It was a union job, and in those days, they paid those guys gobs of money for doing nothing. After he worked there for 20 years, the mill shut down. When his unemployment benefits ran out, the only thing he knew how to do was press two buttons and gripe. He eventually found work as a security guard making minimum wage, and that’s what he did until the day he retired. Unfortunately for him, the security guard gig didn’t provide a pension plan.

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  20. 20
    Jonness says:

    According to Tim’s chart, decreased inventory coupled with increased sales does not correlate with increased price.

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  21. 21
    doug says:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 16

    Was it your wife ,parents human resource manager, university professor who filled your head with that bs. .Usually when you have been out of work for long periods the reason you dont get hired is either due to this economy or hiring managers who are just so darn jealous at people who decided that my time and my life are mine and not some lousy corporations.

    Privatization outsourcing subcontracting temp labor babyboomers greed are the reasons that so many are filled with fear over the loss of ther lousy job. And thats exactly what the government and the corporations want.

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  22. 22
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Jonness @ 17 – No openings at the local nuclear missile silo?

    If the company made fabulous money, and could pay the CEO and upper management millions, even though that fellow just pushed a button, should he not have shared in the wealth?

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  23. 23
    Jonness says:

    By Blurtman @ 20:

    RE: Jonness @ 17 -If the company made fabulous money, and could pay the CEO and upper management millions, even though that fellow just pushed a button, should he not have shared in the wealth?

    Adjusted for inflation, he made $65 an hour for pushing that button. These days, a similar job barely pays above minimum wage. People can complain about it until they are blue in the face, or they can go out and find a better way to feed their families.

    Amazon has 35 pages of high paying IT job openings on its site. Working there requires getting a college degree, working hard, and continually learning new skills as the field continues to evolve. Submitting your resume is free.

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  24. 24
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Jonness @ 21 – “Amazon has 35 pages of high paying IT job openings on its site”

    Interesting. What search term are you using? For some reason I had never thought to look at their job postings…

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/jobs/ref=j_sq_btn?jobSearchKeywords=&category=*&location=US%2C+WA%2C+Seattle&x=23&y=6

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  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kmac @ 8 – Hmm I haven’t noticed any issues and the volume of comments doesn’t appear to be reduced. I wonder if there’s some sort of caching issue on your browser?

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  26. 26
    Kmac says:

    RE: The Tim @ 25

    I checked it in ie11 and Chrome – same problem, but situation seems to be fixed now.

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  27. 27

    By The Tim @ 25:

    RE: Kmac @ 8 – Hmm I haven’t noticed any issues and the volume of comments doesn’t appear to be reduced. I wonder if there’s some sort of caching issue on your browser?

    I had a problem last week using the Chrome browser on my Verizon Android device. I’ve had that problem in the past here with mobile devices. Next time it happens I’ll try tethering a Windows device to it to see if it’s Android or Verizon.

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  28. 28
    corndogs says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 22 – “If the company made fabulous money, and could pay the CEO and upper management millions, even though that fellow just pushed a button, should he not have shared in the wealth?”

    No, he gets no more than the effort he put into it. Effort includes mental creativity, initiative, problem solving etc. He deserved to die a minimum wage toadstool which he did. All is right in the world. There are millions of people who would have taken that opportunity and made more of it.

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