[Statistic: Predicted, Actual]
Med. Closed Price (Res): $435,000, $435,000
Med. Closed Price (Condo): $260,000, $272,950
Active Listings (Res): 7,250, 7,040
Pending Sales (Res): 2,000, 1,985
As I expected, last month’s bizarre price spike was erased, as the median closed residential price returned to the level set in June. Active listings and pending sales showed little sign of slowing their respective trends of double-digit YOY percentage change, with listings up 27.7% and sales down 14.2% from November 2005. As usual, the Seattle Bubble Spreadsheet has been updated with these latest numbers.
Here is the YOY % change graph for active listings and pending sales:
The Active Listings curve is becoming just a tad less steep, but interestingly, the downward slope of (averaged) pending sales has been virtually a straight line since late 2003. If either of these trends continue—even at a reduced rate—into next year, we could see a true buyer’s market (6+ MOS) in King County by next November. I’m not necessarily predicting that, but it’s definitely the direction the numbers are headed. Could some unknown influence cause a sudden change in the buying and selling trends? Absolutely. As of right now though, it would seem that economic and psychological pressures will continue to push things in the same direction that you see in the chart above.
Prepare for positive spin and finger-pointing at the weather from our friends in the local media in three, two, one…
(NWMLS, King County Statistical Report, 11.2006)
Pending sales – transactions signed but uncompleted – were down 11 percent compared with a year earlier.
Wet weather and attention given to the mid-term election and the holidays may have affected sales, the MLS said.
“We have a little bit of a pause today,” said Chris Pauling, president of Prudential Northwest Realty. But “Jobs and the strong economy are going to keep prices from falling,” he said.
Positive spin? Check. Finger-pointing at the weather? Check. I’m 2 for 2!
Update 2: Here’s the first paragraph of the November numbers article in the Puget Sound Business Journal:
Prices for homes in Western Washington continued to rise, but the number of pending home sales slid, partly because of weather woes.
Boom—2 out of 2 again, right out of the bag! It’s almost too easy!