NWMLS: Listings and Sales Slip, Prices Edge Up in July

July market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Let’s dive into the numbers for July.

Prices keep climbing as listings are still scarce. What more is there to say? So far this year we haven’t seen any movement in the trends that point to some kind of change coming soon in the market.

King Co. SFH New Listing Absorption Rate

New Listing Absorption Dropping Rapidly From December High

By request, here are a few alternative takes on recent home listing activity. Since one of the biggest issues driving the current crazy market is a lack of enough home listings, we can get an idea of whether or not there is any relief on the horizon for buyers by looking at listing activity.

First up, here’s a chart I just created: New listing absorption. This is a simple look at the ratio of pending sales to new listings. If more homes are going pending in a month than there are being listed, this ratio goes above 100 percent, which is obviously not great for buyers.

…what’s interesting to me about this chart is that just last December we saw new listing absorption an all-time high of 159%, while as of June it has fallen to almost the lowest level since the market bottomed out in 2011. However, this is obviously a very seasonal metric, and the low point for the year usually comes in June or July, so it would not be surprising if this is the lowest level we see this year.

City of Seattle Population Growth

NWMLS Falsely Inflates Seattle’s Population Growth

It’s time once again for a reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).

For a month that saw home prices shoot up to insane new all-time highs, the quotes from home salesmen in this month’s release are surprisingly calm.

I do want to address one glaring error in the release, though:

Seattle’s growing population is another likely factor. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows Seattle is gaining about 1,100 residents per week, an “astounding” figure, said MLS director Diedre Haines.

That number is false. The most recent data available shows a growth rate of less than half that level…

NWMLS: Prices are obscene and the market is still stupidly hot, but June saw a record high monthly increase in inventory

June market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Their press release hasn’t been published yet, so maybe we’ll do a reporting roundup tomorrow and take a look at Lennox Scott’s breathless Lereah-esque bloviations.

For now, let’s just dive into the numbers for June.

New listings are coming on at a decent pace and inventory actually saw a decent increase, but buyers are still snatching up most listings very quickly. The average time on market in King County for single-family home sales that closed in June was just 17 days—an all-time low…

NWMLS: “May was a Grand Slam” …For Home Salespeople

May market stats have been published by the NWMLS this morning. Here’s their press release: Brokers suggest improving inventory may mean”season of opportunity” for weary house hunters

Pending sales have now been down year-over-year for four months in a row, but for three of those four months, closed sales have increased, which is certainly a bit odd. Perhaps this is indicative of a shift from last year toward fewer pending sales falling through. I’ll see if I can find anything else interesting in the data about that…

Sales Fall Off In Cheap King County Neighborhoods

It’s been a few months since we took a look at the in-county breakdown data from the NWMLS to see how the sales mix shifted around the county. I like to keep an eye on this not only to see how individual neighborhoods are doing but also to see how the sales mix shift affects the overall county-wide median price.

In order to explore this concept, we break King County down into three regions, based on the NWMLS-defined “areas”:

  • low end: South County (areas 100-130 & 300-360)
  • mid range: Seattle / North County (areas 140, 380-390, & 700-800)
  • high end: Eastside (areas 500-600)

Here’s where each region’s median prices came in as of April data:

  • low end: $330,000-$520,000
  • mid range: $559,950-$964,250
  • high end: $699,475-$2,203,000

First up, let’s have a look at each region’s (approximate) median price (actually the median of the medians for each area within the region)…

NWMLS: Home Prices Hit New Highs, Listings Still Scarce

April market stats have been published by the NWMLS yesterday. Here’s their press release: Shrinking inventory putting “stranglehold” on sales

You can practically hear OB Jacobi and J. Lennox Scott drooling over all those sweet, sweet high commissions. At least George Moorhead seems relatively level-headed, pointing out that prices might be getting a bit out of control.

Pending sales have been down year-over-year for three months in a row, and now closed sales have finally declined year-over-year as well. That said, even with the drop, closed sales in April came out higher than the April level in thirteen of the last twenty-four years. Given the continued extreme shortage of inventory, it’s no surprise then that strong demand + very low supply = surging prices.