I could be missing something here, but yesterday’s blurb in the Seattle Times about the March sales figures seems to me to be blatantly misrepresenting the facts.
Western Washington home prices continued to climb last month as 17 of 20 counties reported price increases of 20 percent or more compared with a year earlier. That’s according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which released March sales numbers today.
I honestly have no idea what sales numbers Ms. Rhodes is looking at, because as you can see for yourself (pdf), the NWMLS figures track 17 specific counties (and apparently 3 more classified under "others"), of which only 10 "reported price increases of 20 percent or more compared with a year earlier," 5 (and "others") reported price increases ranging from 2.90% to 18.09%, and 2 have not been tracked individually for an entire year. Furthermore, as I said yesterday, on the whole listings are up, and "pending sales" are down. Of the 17 counties that are individually tracked, only King, Lewis, Cowlitz, and Kittitas saw reduced inventory.
Something’s fishy about Ms. Rhodes’ blurb.
(Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 04.06.2006)