November Stats Preview: 25% Off Sale(s) Edition

Another month in the rear view mirror, so that must mean it’s time for another monthly stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

I love how January through June, 2010’s blue bars are quite a bit higher than the 2009 red bars. Then all of a sudden in July, something happens, pushing the blue bars far below the red bars. Who could have possibly predicted such a dramatic and sudden turn of events! The number of Warranty Deeds filed in November were down 26% from a year ago, so we can likely expect to see another similar drop in SFH sales over the same period. Based on this data, I suspect we’ll see NWMLS-reported SFH closed sales for November get a sudden boost of late-reported sales, coming in at around 1,100. No doubt this will easily be the second-lowest November on record, only beaten by November 2008, when the whole world was in a major financial panic.

Here’s a long-range view of King County Warranty Deeds, to give you a little more context:

King County Warranty Deeds

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanillla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Deeds in Snohomish County fell yet again month to month and year over year. Last month a 15% YOY drop in Deeds corresponded to a 25% drop on SFH sales. A similar relationship between the two this month would lead to a 26% YOY drop in SFH sales in November.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Big month over month drop in King County, but still up 14% year over year. Could this be the result of the “foreclosure freeze” we had a couple months ago? If so, expect to see foreclosures jump back up again next month.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Notable month to month drop there too, but still coming in higher than a year ago.

Lastly, here’s an approximate guess at where the month-end inventory was, based on our sidebar inventory tracker (powered by Estately):

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Not falling as fast as I would expect for this time of year. Perhaps an indication of more “must-sell” inventory than in past years? I suppose bank-owned inventory is less likely to be pulled off the market for the winter as well, so that could be another possible explanation.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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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

    ” I love how January through June, 2009’s red bars are quite a bit higher than the 2010 blue bars.”.
    No they’re not. I think you mean the other ” higher”, also known as ” lower”?

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 1 – *slaps forehead*

    Doh, that’s what I get for writing a dry stats post at the end of a long day.

  3. 3

    Active Listings Increase YOY for the Last Half of 2010

    Irrespective of King or Snohomish Counties. Interesting data Tim, albeit it also tells me the sellers were too late this year jumping in to try and sell. Why?


    There’s a plethora of possibilities:

    1. The ’08-’10 price decreases were shrugged off by over zealous sellers as “lagging indicators” to the real estate pundits’ heralded of bottoming out of prices that never fabricated, irrespective of drunken sailor deficit money and tax credits thrown in to boost prices.

    2. The unemployment rate is attacking home owners too and they’re throwing more homes on the market to bail out, before foreclosure, if they can.

    3. The sellers are just plain stupid/greedy and should have taken SB’s advice and sold years ago…LOL

  4. 4

    […] a link to the Seattle Bubble website with the November statistics. SB continues to be a great resource for buyers and sellers and also […]

  5. 5
    Sparsecus says:

    I don’t see why anyone wants to go back to the 00’s.

    The Seattle economy was overheated, so it’s good that it’s cooling down and running at a more efficient pace.

    As population here dwindles, it will restore itself to being the good place to live that it was in 1990.

    Now, if only we could get rid of the tunnel and transit crowd who want to bankrupt the middle class…

  6. 6
    HappyRenter says:

    Why is it that sales data for October went up at national level?

  7. 7

    […] TrendBy The Tim on December 17, 2010 | Leave a responseIt’s time once again to expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at November’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First […]

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