September Stats Preview: Sales Cliff Edition

September is part of the past, so let’s have a look at our 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, here’s the summary snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series:

King & Snhomish County Stats Preview

Summary: Foreclosures dipped back down, sales fell, and inventory is still at or near all-time lows. Hit the jump for the full suite of our usual monthly charts.

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Big dip in sales to their lowest point since April, but still above last year’s level.

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 vanilla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Big dip in Snohomish too, even falling below last year’s level.

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

Both counties fell dramatically from the month prior, but are still up big from last year.

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

Nothing too dramatic, same slow trend we’ve seen most of the year.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with the inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Same old story all year. Inventory falling to new lows every month.

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

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.


  1. 1
    NESeattleSeller says:

    “King County Trustee Deeds
    [Graphic of King County only]
    Both counties fell dramatically from the month prior, but are still up big from last year.”

    Um – both counties? up big from last year? Is the small blue bar this year and the big red bar last year? How about “King County Trustee Deeds are little changed from last month, but down big from last year.”

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: NESeattleSeller @ 1 – Oops, sorry about that. That comment was meant to go under the Notice of Trustee sale chart. I’ve updated the post.

  3. 3
    softwarengineer says:

    Active Listings Stands Out as Most Salient YOY Plummet

    As to whether you construe this as positive or negative is a matter of opinion, IMO.

  4. 4
    SkiAddict says:

    For each of your bar graphs in this post… it would be nice to overlay them with a smoothed line that is the monthly value of each averaged over the ~1995-2005 time period (or whatever period makes sense). So the average number of King Warranty Deeds in January would be the first point on the line in the upper bar graph and so on. It would add some historical context instead of just comparing to the previous year.

    Thinking about comparing 2013 values against these strange 2012 values next year is what brought the idea to mind.

  5. 5

    RE: SkiAddict @ 4

    I do my charts a little different than the Tim… here is a chart going back to 2008 comparing the Deeds vs. Notices… hope that helps.

  6. 6
    whatsmyname says:

    Usually inventory starts dropping pretty fast this time of year. Luckily, with King County warranty deeds going off the sales cliff to only 2,751, the inventory fairy was able to replace all but 63 of them. Market equilibrium lives on.

  7. 7

    […] time once again to expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at August’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First […]

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