The first month of 2016 is now behind us, so 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:
A glimmer of hope for buyers in King County: Inventory actually increased slightly from December to January! Unfortunately for Snohomish County buyers the same is not true there. Meanwhile, sales were down big from December but up slightly from a year ago in both counties, and foreclosure notices were down just slightly from last year as well.
Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:
Sales in King County slipped 36 percent between December and January (a year ago they fell 33 percent over the same period), and were up 3 percent year-over-year. I do not expect to see large year-over-year increases in sales this year unless inventory dramatically picks up from its current levels.
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 fell 34 percent month-over-month (vs. a 25 percent drop in the same period last year) and were up 5 percent from January 2015.
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 dpwn 1 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were 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 34 percent from a year ago, and down 10 percent from a month ago. Frankly in this market it is amazing that anyone is still losing their home to foreclosure.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory edged up 8 percent month-over-month in King County—the first increase since July—but is still down dramatically from a year earlier. In Snohomish County though, inventory was down 5 percent from December to January, and still down big from a year earlier as well.
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.