Puget Sound Counties Interactive August Update

The time has come for our regularly-scheduled late-month check on NWMLS statistics from around the sound. As usual, courtesy Tableau Software, the Around the Sound update is rocking exclusive interactive data visualizations.

Feel free to download the old charts in Excel 2007 and Excel 2003 format. To get specific info about a certain point on any graph in the post below, float your mouse pointer over the data.

Before we get to the cool stuff, here’s the usual table of YOY stats for each of our seven covered counties as of August 2009.

(Note: Keep in mind that certain NWMLS definitions were modified beginning July 2008 that affect the reported number of active listings and pending sales (and therefore the “months of supply”). The net result of this change is that active listings post 07/08 will appear lower, pending sales higher, and months of supply lower than prior to 07/08. See this post for more details.)

August 2009 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price 11.5 11.8% 8.8% 12.5% 3.8% 5.3% 13.7% 0.5%
Listings 20.6% 25.9% 24.0% 27.4% 17.2% 5.0% 0.8% 10.5%
Closed Sales 5.0% 8.1% 5.2% 4.7% 12.2% 2.4% 7.1% 10.3%
Months of Supply 4.1 4.6 4.4 5.2 4.6 11.3 8.4 6.1

Hit the jump for this month’s interactive charts.


Around the Sound

The visualization below is comparable to our previous chart of closed sales in each county in August 2008 and August 2009:

Closed Sales

Closed Sales Graph

The YOY closed sales spikes that we saw last month in Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap were all tamed in August, with only Thurston County marking a double-digit gain in sales from August 2008.

Here’s our comparison of median prices in each county at their respective peaks and in August 2009:

Change from Peak

Change from Peak Graph

Same holding pattern we’ve seen all summer for the most part. A bit of fluctuation up north in Whatcom, but that is likely due more to low sales volume than actual price increases.

Months of Supply

Months of Supply Graph

Lower months of supply across the board than a year ago. Not too surprising, since many people are reluctant to list their homes in the present market, which is keeping down supply.

With pending sales having increased across the board an average of 20% from 2008 since April, it is quite telling that actual closed sales are still hovering in the single digits across most of the sound. Lots of deals falling through out there.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    AMS says:

    The Tim-

    Is that first chart based on YoY?

  2. 2
    Anon. says:

    I’m definitely missing the case-shiller graph by tier.. When does that one come out? I think it’s the most valuable metric for monitoring the progress home values.

  3. 3
    AMS says:

    RE: Anon. @ 2

    C-S data is released on the last Tuesday of every month.

  4. 4

    Let’s Put this Rosy King County YOY Closed Sales Upbeat in Perspective

    Archive Fall 2008 Times article in part:

    “….While pending and closed sales of single-family houses were down about 20 percent overall in King County in October [now up 5.0%], the drop was more severe — about 30 percent — on the Eastside. In the county’s easternmost reaches — including Sammamish, Snoqualmie and North Bend — sales activity was off nearly 40 percent….”

    The rest of the URL:


    It makes the King County 5% YOY uptick look like a joke, doesn’t it; especially for the eastside’s Sammamish Microsoft market collapse since 2007…LOL

    Couple this cheery rude awakenning for King County with a concurrent YOY 12% price drop [IMO, that figure is totally debatable BTW] and you have Great Depression II.

  5. 5
    AMS says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4 – When sales are near zero, a 5% increase in the number doesn’t amount to much. Total gross volume in dollars still has downward pressure, and thus liquidity continues to be an issue.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.