Foreclosures Still Shrinking Around Seattle

It’s time for our detailed look at April’s foreclosure stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, the Notice of Trustee Sale summary:

April 2013
King: 746 NTS, up 69% YOY
Snohomish: 420 NTS, up 53% YOY
Pierce: 598 NTS, up 124% YOY

Same story as most of this year: still above last year’s levels but down month-over-month across the board.

Here’s your interactive Tableau dashboard updated with the latest foreclosure data:

The percentage of households in the chart above is determined using OFM population estimates and household sizes from the 2000 Census. King County came in at 1 NTS per 1,108 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 655 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 524 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for April of one foreclosure for every 878 housing units was 14th highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Note that RealtyTrac’s definition of “in foreclosure” is much broader than what we are using, and includes Notice of Default, Lis Pendens, Notice of Trustee Sale, and Real Estate Owned.

Hit the jump for a larger version of the chart that shows the percentage of households in each county receiving a foreclosure notice each month:

Note: The graphs above are derived from monthly Notice of Trustee Sale counts gathered at King, Snohomish, and Pierce County records. For a longer-term picture of King County foreclosures back to 1979, hit this chart and drag the date slider to its full range. For the full legal definition of what a Notice of Trustee Sale is and how it fits into the foreclosure process, check out RCW 61.24.040. The short version is that it is the notice sent to delinquent borrowers that their home will be repossessed in 90 days.

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
    3rd Generation says:

    Dear real estate professional (housecleaners and bus drivers apply),

    Does this mean It’s a Great Time to Buy ?

  2. 2
    Matthew says:


    Have you covered in any of your posts recently “all cash” buyers in the Seattle area market? I saw some interesting data on Dr. Housing Bubble and Calculated Risk in regards to the percentage of all cash buyers in various markets. I’m not sure if the data is available or not for Seattle but it would be interesting to see how much of the inventory is being sucked up by all cash buyers (which tend to be investors). In SoCal last month it was 35% of all purchases and in the more speculative markets (Phoenix/Las Vegas) it was around 50% of all purchases. Even the Mid-Atlantic region was at 20%. It would be very interesting to see what the percentage is in the PNW.

  3. 3
    Plymster says:

    RE: Matthew @ 2 – Yes. With all the recent speculation about low interest rates (particularly jumbo loans) helping prices soar to dizzying new heights, it would be interesting to know how many of the multiple bids in the area are losing to all cash offers, and how that stacks up historically, assuming the data is available.

  4. 4
    David Losh says:

    RE: 3rd Generation @ 1

    You know, just because we have cash flow from one of the many businesses that I’ve owned, operated, sold, or consulted with doesn’t mean I’m stupid about Real Estate.

    I personally like Real Estate, and would probably buy outside of the United States. We just came back fro Merida Mexico It has some really nice houses that would be great projects, that would be of some interest to me if the price was right. I lie the idea of the hotel business, and have spent some time researching, and learning it. Some of those houses would be great for vacation rentals.

    We looked at Mexico City, but it is a very dangerous place. It’s the biggest city I have ever seen, and I’ve been a lot of places. There are some nice sections, that are over run by buyers, and players with much deeper pockets than mine.

    The United States is over run by some of the same very wealthy Real Estate buyers that are looking for a safe, appreciating market to invest profits. When you see the wealth that the global community has, like even in Mexico, you get a better sense that we’re just being toyed with here about our little home buying strategies.

    If you want to build a portfolio you certainly can, it would take time, and money. I would rather have a greater return, for much higher profits right now by providing jobs.

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: Matthew @ 2 – It’s been a while since I posted data here but the numbers are something around 35%-40% for the Seattle area. I’ll put it on the list to run an update.

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