It’s time once again for the monthly reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).
To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:
"Stage is set for another good year" in real estate with year-end gains in inventory, sales, prices
Brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service ended 2013 with the best year-over-year improvement in inventory (up 8.4 percent) and a similar gain in closed sales to buoy confidence heading into the new year. December’s pending sales slipped slightly (down about 1.7 percent) compared to the same month a year ago.
“Positive job growth and the continuation of favorable low interest rates are setting the stage for another good year in real estate,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.
Friday’s narrow approval of Boeing’s contract proposal for Machinists union members bodes well for members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service and the real estate industry.
Reacting to the vote, MLS board member John Deely said, “The robust and diverse economy of the Pacific Northwest is solidified by Boeing’s continued presence in the Seattle area.” Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said the vote helps secure the region’s position as “the aerospace epicenter of the world with top-notch manufacturing jobs that support the industry.”
Boeing workers and others hoping to buy a home have a bigger selection of homes to consider than house-hunters who were looking twelve months ago â€“ especially in Snohomish County, where the number of active listings is up 43.6 percent.
I’d just like to point out again how slimy it comes across to see salesmen jumping on this Boeing story as just another way to sell more used homes. Basically on par with the smarmy car salesmen that pounced on Navy sailors as soon as they arrived back in Everett last month.
Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.
Sanjay Bhatt: King County home prices rise 10.5 percent for 2013
The median price of single-family homes sold in King County last month was $419,825, a 10.5 percent gain over the prior year, but the typical home’s value likely didn’t appreciate quite that much.
“No one should be misled into thinking the typical home in King and Snohomish County has gone up 10 percent or more over the past year,” [Associate director of research at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington Glenn] Crellin said. The typical home’s appreciation in 2013 was closer to 7 or 8 percent, he said.
Great reporting as usual from the Times, and a great quote from Glenn Crellin.
Aubrey Cohen: King County still has few homes for sale
There still isn’t very much selection for King County homebuyers, according to a new report.
“Its’ still a very tight inventory,” said Glenn Crellin, associate director of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.
Crellin said he expects more homes to hit the market soon, as builders finish new construction and as homeowners “become convinced that hte market has bailed them out of being as far underwater or underwater at all.”
More great insight from Glenn.
Tacoma News Tribune
The Pierce County housing market ended the year on a mostly positive note as sales in December rose 11 percent from last year, while price appreciation and pending sales cooled, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Monday.
Allen Realtors of Lakewood President Mike Larson said Monday that he was ready to announce that the “market was back” after a sizzling summer of home sales in 2013.
And then things slowed during the second half of the year.
Aww, pity the poor used home salesman.
Rolf Boone: Home sales, prices, listings all get better
The Thurston County housing market ended the year on a positive note in December, showing across-the-board improvement in sales, prices, pending sales, inventory levels and new listings.
Mark Kitabayashi, the immediate past president of the Washington Realtors Association, said 2013 was a year when the housing market continued to recover, with buyers who had previously been on the fence finally buying a home.
But the market also slowed during the second half of the year, he said.
Interesting how similar the sentiments are from the agent quoted in the Tacoma News Tribune and the agent quoted in The Olympian.