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.

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.

Case-Shiller: Seattle-Area Home Prices Surged In February

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

Up 1.9 percent January to February
Up 12.2 percent year-over-year.
Up 10.0 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period a year earlier prices were up 1.1 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 10.7 percent.

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

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.