Affordability Index Falls To Early 2005 Levels

With all of the first quarter behind us, and the question of whether or not we’re in another real estate bubble here in Seattle on everyone’s minds, let’s take an updated look at our affordability index charts for the counties around Puget Sound.

As of March, affordability has now fallen to its lowest level since November 2008, and as has been the case for quite a while, it would be considerably worse if not for the current absurdly low interest rates.

Median home prices have already begun their annual spring bump, while interest rates have ticked up slightly. The affordability index for King County currently sits at 90.7.

NWMLS: Median Price Surges As Pending Sales Slip

February market stats have been published by the NWMLS this week…

For the second month in a row, the only “good news” for buyers in this month’s numbers is the year-over-year decline in pending sales. Interestingly, although pending sales have been down year-over-year for two months in a row now, closed sales continued to increase year-over-year…

March Stats Preview: Sales Just As Strong As Last Year

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.

Sales shot up nearly 40 percent between February and March in both counties. Listings also increased month-over-month, but by far less.

Case-Shiller Tiers: January Sets Up Another Strong Year

It is a little late for this but it’s been a few months so I wanted to make sure we posted the update on Case-Shiller’s three price tiers.

Let’s check out the three price tiers for the Seattle area, as measured by Case-Shiller. Remember, Case-Shiller’s “Seattle” data is based on single-family home repeat sales in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

Note that the tiers are determined by sale volume. In other words, 1/3 of all sales fall into each tier. For more details on the tier methodologies, hit the full methodology pdf. Here are the current tier breakpoints:

  • Low Tier: < $334,320 (down 0.2%)
  • Mid Tier: $334,320 – $532,269
  • Hi Tier: > $532,269 (down 0.1%)

All three tiers are increasing month-over-month, and look to be setting up another year of big price increases.

Between December and January, the low tier increased 0.5 percent, the middle tier rose 0.5 percent, and the high tier was up 0.5 percent. Somehow this translates to an overall increase of 0.6 percent.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Up, Up, Up In January

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to November data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.6 percent December to January
Up 11.3 percent year-over-year.
Up 7.9 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period a year earlier prices were up 0.1 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 10.5 percent.

Seattle home prices as measured by Case-Shiller inched up yet again to a new all-time high in January.

NWMLS: Record Low For Listings, Sales Slip Slightly

February market stats have been published by the NWMLS this week. Here’s their press release.

Housing Inventory Reaches Record Low

Home buyers are in a spring mood, but sellers are still hibernating, suggested one broker while commenting about the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures for February and feedback from brokers indicate record-low inventory is spurring multiple offers, rising prices, fewer sales, and frustrated house-hunters.

“Our robust market has created extreme conditions, and we’re seeing frenzy hot activity on each new listing coming on the market,” reported J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott. “We’re also experiencing some of the lowest inventory levels on record,” he noted.

Frenzy hot! Mad hot! Crazy hot! Hot hot HOT!

February Stats Preview: Still No Relief In Sight For Buyers

With February in the books, let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: If home buyers were hoping things might start to look better for them, they were disappointed. There is still almost no supply and plenty of demand. Here’s the snapshot of all the data as far […]