March is behind us, so let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Despite listings 20 to 30 percent lower than last year, sales are coming in at or above where they were last year. Looks like spring is shaping up to be a ridiculous homebuying frenzy.
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 shot up nearly 40 percent between February and March in both counties. Listings also increased month-over-month, but by far less.
Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:
Sales in King County rose 39 percent between February and March (a year ago they rose 38 percent over the same period), and were up just slightly 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 also rose 39 percent month-over-month (vs. a 30 percent increase in the same period last year) and were up seven percent from March 2016.
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 32 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 28 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. Still basically bouncing along the bottom.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory rose 20 percent between February and March in King County, but was still down 20 percent from a year earlier.
In Snohomish County it was the same basic story: Listings up 6 percent month-over-month but down 30 percent year-over-year.
At least it’s not another new record low.
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.