Around the Sound: King County sees the biggest gains in listings

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We know that inventory is growing in King County, but let’s look at broader Puget Sound area. Now that May is over, let’s update our “Around the Sound” statistics for King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

First up, a summary table:

May 2018 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $726,275 $500,000 $355,000 $360,000 $310,000 $372,750 $350,000 $396,250
Price YOY +14.9% +11.1% +14.9% +16.1% +7.8% +15.6% +9.7% +13.2%
New Listings 4,207 1,794 2,227 659 763 279 284 485
New Listings YOY +16.9% +5.1% +5.2% +4.4% +7.5% -2.8% -2.1% -4.5%
Active Inventory 2,912 1,246 1,829 497 638 301 379 557
Inventory YOY +35.5% +11.4% +0.7% -22.0% -0.9% -21.0% +11.5% -11.3%
Closed Sales 2,474 1,127 1,450 392 471 148 185 278
Sales YOY -4.0% -1.8% -1.7% -9.5% +3.7% -5.1% +2.2% -8.3%
Months of Supply 1.2 1.1 1.3 1.3 1.4 2.0 2.0 2.0

The biggest gains in new listings and active inventory were in King County. Snohomish and Pierce also saw some decent increases, but further out it’s more of a mixed bag, with some counties still seeing declining listings and inventory.

Here’s a look at new listings across the region:

New Listings of Single-Family Homes

King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston all saw year-over-year gains in new listings, while Island, Skagit, and Whatcom continued to fall.

Next up: Active inventory.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Inventory was up sizeably from year earlier in King, Snohomish, and Skagit. It barely increased in Pierce, and barely fell in Thurston. Kitsap, Island, and Whatcom were all down double digits from a year earlier.

Here’s the chart of median prices compared to a year ago. Every county turned in a gain, with only Thurston and Skagit turning in single-digit price gains.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Six of the eight Puget Sound counties saw sales fall compared to a year ago.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

We’re still deep in sellers’ market territory, but all three of the central Puget Sound counties saw months of supply increase from a year ago.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

Finally, here’s a chart comparing the median price in May to the 2007 peak price in each county. Every Puget Sound has now exceeded the previous peak median price and is charting new territory.

Peak Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

In summary: So far the inventory surge is mainly just happening in King County, but it looks like it might be starting to gain some steam in the other counties. The closer you are to Seattle, the more inventory seems to be increasing.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

Dispatches from the Multiverse

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Yes, I finally jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. No, it’s not a real estate show. It’s an improv comedy sci-fi show called Dispatches from the Multiverse about an inventor who accidentally invents a machine that opens portals to other dimensions.

New listing absorption falls to a seven-year low

The big increase in listings is the first interesting development we’ve seen in the local real estate market in months, so here are a few alternative takes on recent home listing activity.

First up, here’s a chart of 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.

As of May, the absorption metric has dropped to 79 percent—its lowest level since June 2011. Interestingly, the rate was at its all-time highest level just last December at 162 percent. The absorption rate typically hits its lowest point of the year in June or July, so seeing it drop this low this fast is highly unusual.

NWMLS: New listings hit highest point since 2007 as inventory finally grows

May market stats have been published by the NWMLS, but their press release isn’t out yet, so let’s just dive into the numbers.

The big news in this month’s numbers is the big bump in both new listings and total on-market inventory. The last time we had more than 4,000 new single-family listings in a single month in King County was July 2007.

May Stats Preview: Sudden Listings Surge?

Yes, it has been over a month since the last update here. What is there to say when the market is the same frenzied nonsense day after day, week after week, month after month? It’s exhausting, and I’m not even in the market to buy a home. If you are, you definitely have my pity.

Even when I’m not posting here, I am still keeping my spreadsheets up to date and sharing them with those who support my ongoing work as members of Seattle Bubble.

Anyway, I’m back because there’s something definitely interesting in our regular monthly “preview” charts for May. Unless something has really broken in my data collection, it looks like we’re seeing a sudden surge of listings begin to pile up.

Case-Shiller: Seattle home prices rising fastest in the nation

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 1.7 percent January to February
Up 12.7 percent year-over-year.
Up 23.9 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 1.8 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 12.1 percent.

Seattle leads the nation in both year-over-year and month-over-month home price growth. The only other metro areas with double-digit price growth from a year earlier are Las Vegas at 11.6 percent and San Francisco at 10.1 percent.

Reader Comment: “Now all I seem to be able to afford are the meth houses!”

A reader going by the handle “JustSomeDude” left a comment this morning that is worth highlighting:

Came upon this website a couple months ago and find everyone’s perspectives interesting. I see a lot of wondering on what potential regular, non-speculating, non-investor sellers and buyers are thinking and doing. People who just want to live in a nice house.

I can’t speak for others, but I can share my thoughts / experiences recently as well as some anecdotal stories…