NWMLS: Home prices back in black, snow storm freezes out pending sales

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I’ve gotten way behind recently as life and other projects have gotten busy, and I apologize.

Let’s play some catchup and take a look at February market stats from the NWMLS. The King County median price of single-family homes was basically flat year-over-year in February, inventory was way up from a year ago but not by as much as it has been, and pending sales slipped thanks to the nasty weather.

Before we get into our detailed monthly stats, here’s a quick look at their press release.

Heavy Snowfall Ices February Housing Activity Around Western Washington
Seattle’s snowiest month in 50 years had an obvious chilling effect on February’s housing activity, agreed officials with Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Statistics for last month show pending sales dropped nearly 14 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

“The winter weather brought the market to a halt,” stated John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. He said last month’s series of snowstorms and frigid temperatures had a negative impact on the typical momentum that builds at the beginning of the year.

For once the used home salespeople actually have a good excuse. The once-a-decade snow storm in February definitely caused an unusual decline in the pending sales numbers. That will probably carry forward to March closed sales numbers.

CAUTION

NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

February 2019 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 2,850 +1.1% +109.7%
Closed Sales 1,417 +15.8% +1.0%
SAAS (?) 1.07 -8.5% -6.5%
Pending Sales 1,790 -6.0% -5.5%
Months of Supply 2.01 -12.7% +107.6%
Median Price* $655,000 +7.4% +0.8%

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory was basically flat January to February, but thanks to the big gains in 2018 it was up 110 percent from last year. Sales seem to be starting to bounce back so I’m not sure we’ll see another year of big inventory gains in 2019. I hope we do.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings fell between January and February, and was down six percent from a year ago. I imagine that might be due to the snow storm as well. Hopefully we see the typical big spike in the March numbers.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales rose 16 percent between January and February, and turned in their first year-over-year gain since April 2018.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales fell six percent month-over-month and five percent year-over-year, but again that was probably mostly due to the two-week snow storm.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

It looks like the peak growth in inventory might be behind us now.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

I did say last month that “I doubt we’ll see this continue to fall.” And sure enough, it ticked back into the black in February.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

February 2019: $655,000
February 2018: $649,950
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Here’s the article about these numbers from the Seattle Times: Market turnaround? King County home prices take biggest one-month jump ever

And here’s another good recent article from the Seattle Times that’s worth a read: With King County home prices picking up, are we in for another brutal spring for buyers? Maybe not

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NWMLS: Home prices are falling and inventory is soaring, but pending sales are bouncing back

January market stats were published by the NWMLS yesterday. The King County median price of single-family homes fell year-over-year for the first time since March of 2012. Inventory is way up from a year ago, but pending sales started increasing year-over-year, so buyers may be coming back.

January Stats Preview: Inventory starts off 2019 with a three-month head start over 2018

Let’s take a look at our early January housing stats. Better late than never, right?

Overall the story is still improving for buyers. Inventory in January was comparable to April or May of last year, a huge increase. Sales were down from a year ago, and foreclosures are still nearly non-existent…

NWMLS: Home price gains vanish as sales continue to slip

December market stats have been published by the NWMLS this afternoon. Year-over-year home price gains dropped to their lowest level since March 2012 as inventory skyrocketed, despite the fewest new listings ever in a month. The end of 2018 definitely set up 2019 to be an interesting year in the housing market…

December Stats Preview: Highest December listings since 2013

Now that 2018 is completely over, let’s take our first look at the December housing market stats for King and Snohomish counties.

It’s pretty much the same story we’ve seen the past few months, which is good news for buyers: The number of home sales is falling and the number of homes on the market is climbing quite a bit. Foreclosures are still very rare…

NWMLS: Home listing inventory skyrocketed in November as sales and prices both fell further

November market stats were published by the NWMLS this morning. Home prices slipped to their lowest level since January, and inventory is declining seasonally but hit its highest November level since 2011. Both pending and closed sales continued to slip from last year as well. November’s year-over-year listing growth was an all-time record at a whopping 114 percent.

November Stats Preview: Double the inventory, double the fun

It’s pretty much the same story as last month: Home sales volume was down considerably from a year ago and the number of homes on the market is up dramatically, nearly doubling from a year ago. Foreclosures are still very rare, although the number of notices did tick up a bit month-over-month.