April Stats Preview: Sales Slip As Inventory Shortage Drags On

NWMLS posted their stats yesterday, but I still want to share the regular monthly “preview” charts here. Now that April done let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Inventory is still almost non-existent, and it seems to be finally putting somewhat of a damper on sales.

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:

King & Snohomish County Stats Preview

Sales slipped slightly between March and April in both counties. Listings increased month-over-month, but it was a very weak gain for this time of year.

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Sales in King County dropped four percent between March and April (a year ago they rose seven percent over the same period), and were down ten 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.

Snohomish County Deeds

Deeds in Snohomish fell eight percent month-over-month (vs. a four percent increase in the same period last year) and were down six percent from April 2016.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Foreclosure notices in King County were down 36 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 23 percent from last year. It’s actually quite impressive that they are still falling considering how close we are to the all-time low levels of foreclosures. To be honest, in this market I am amazed that anyone ends up in foreclosure.

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.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Trustee Deeds were down 42 percent from a year ago. You can’t get much lower than this.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Inventory rose 11 percent between March and April in King County, but was still down 27 percent from a year earlier.

In Snohomish County it was the same basic story: Listings up 14 percent month-over-month but down 31 percent year-over-year.

Hey at least it was up month-over-month.

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.


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.

2 comments:

  1. 1

    One thing to note about active listings is that the last two months ended on a Friday. If it had been a different day, particularly a Tuesday or Wednesday, the numbers could likely have been much lower. I’m not even sure I did a search last week when it was as high as 1888.

  2. 2
    Brian P says:

    Any chance we could get similar charts for Pierce county?

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