I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year’s. I apologize for the extended, unannounced absence. I was out of town for a couple of weeks spending time with family and on the road, and did not have a lot of time available to get online. But now I’m back and back on a normal schedule, so let’s get back into the swing of things!
Now that the last month of 2015 is behind us, let’s have a look at our monthly stats preview. First up, here’s the snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series:
Sales actually rose in both counties month-over-month, as inventory fell to new all-time lows. Foreclosure notices are near their low points, and inched up from November in both counties.
Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:
Sales in King County increased 19 percent between November and December (in 2014 they rose 13 percent over the same period), and were up 8 percent year-over-year.
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.
Deeds in Snohomish increased 37 percent month-over-month (vs. a 21 percent increase in the same period last year) and were up 18 percent from December 2014.
Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:
Foreclosure notices in King County were down 6 percent from a year ago, but rose slightly from a month earlier. Snohomish County foreclosure notices were also down 5 percent from last year.
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.”
Trustee Deeds were down 43 percent from a year ago, and up just a bit from a month ago.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory fell dramatically again in both counties month-over-month, and both counties set a new all-time low point for standing inventory. King was down 36 percent from a year ago while Snohomish was down 31 percent.
Note that most of the charts above 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.
Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.