NWMLS: Sales Slip, Inventory Increases, Prices Gain

June market stats were published by the NWMLS this afternoon. Here’s a snippet from their press release: Northwest MLS brokers say market stays "extremely competitive;" some industry experts believe "housing affordability may never be better".

Current market conditions — including rising mortgage rates, tight inventory and declining unemployment — are driving even more buyers into what is already an “extremely competitive housing market,” reported OB Jacobi, a member of the board of directors for Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“We desperately need more properties to sell to satisfy the current demand,” said Mike Gain, president and CEO of Prudential Northwest Realty Associates. Despite shortages, Gain said “on-the-fence” buyers are jumping into the market now to lock into today’s low interest rates at today’s prices before they rise further,” which is expected. “Today’s buyers may never see a better time to purchase a home,” he added.

Housing affordability will NEVER be better! Get in now before you’re priced out FOREVER! Gee, that sentiment sounds familiar…


I photographed that sign at a local brokerage office in August 2006.

Conveniently absent from today’s release are the facts that:

Things are hot, but they’re definitely cooling over the last few months. So obviously, it’s time to crank the hype machine up to eleven!

All righty, on with our usual monthly stats.


NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

June 2013 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,203 +11.8% -17.4%
Closed Sales 2,422 -3.7% +14.4%
SAAS (?) 1.42 +8.7% -1.7%
Pending Sales 3,092 -4.4% +11.4%
Months of Supply 1.36 +17.0% -25.9%
Median Price* $427,500 +2.4% +12.5%

Feel free to download the updated Seattle Bubble Spreadsheet (Excel 2003 format), but keep in mind the caution above.

As predicted Monday in our stats preview, inventory increased again between May and June.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Most years see an increase in sales between May and June. This year’s four percent drop definitely points to a softening market.

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Still the lowest June on record, but heading for better days soon.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. In place of the now-unreliable measure of pending sales, the “demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade.

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

Both measures heading back toward zero… A balanced market is on the horizon.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Another bump up as the median home price gained $10,000 in a single month.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994.

King County SFH Prices

June 2013: $427,500
May 2006: $429,950

I haven’t seen any articles about the numbers yet at the Times and P-I, but I’ll update this post when they’re posted.

Update: Here they are:

Seattle Times: King County median home price up 12.5 percent from June 2012
Seattle P-I: Buyers fighting for homes as mortgage rates rise

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
    Erik says:

    Next month all the people that didn’t buy last month will buy. This will drive down inventory and drive up prices. Hooray!

  2. 2
    corndogs says:

    “Housing affordability will NEVER be better! Get in now before you’re priced out FOREVER! Gee, that sentiment sounds familiar…”

    It does sound familiar, Corndog told bubble bloggers they’d be priced out 2 years ago when prices hit bottom, and he was right…… although maybe not forever, certainly some people are priced out for the foreseeable future. Where is all that shadow inventory boys?

    If you thought you were going to live on Lake Washington, there’s been a change of plans. You’d better talk to Erik and get his condo while you can…. bring a paintbrush.

  3. 3

    You Word Things Very Pragmatically Tim

    I’d add, whether you’re continuing to rent or purchasing a home soon; there’s a plethora of personal reasons to go either direction.

    The 20,000 government folks in the Seattle area getting furloughed next week aren’t in the market, that’s a given….I imagine they’ve hunkered down on all purchases this year [knowing of possible furloughs all along]. I can’t blame them.

    The Lewis-McChord area, south of Tacoma, is probably a good place to go home shopping now….


  4. 4
    ChrisM says:

    It would be extremely interesting to see local mortgage application data to back up the assertion that the housing market is hot. From the press release itself:

    “In Kitsap we are seeing buyers who are in contract and did not or could not lock loans that are now not able to qualify for the house they want to buy,”

    I was under the impression that nationally, mortgage applications declined significantly. However, I don’t know if the local Seattle market is bucking that trend.

  5. 5
    Erik says:

    RE: corndogs @ 2
    Buy before you get priced out of the market everybody! Hurry before it’s too late! Your next home will never cost less than it does today!

    I’ll cut whoever wants to buy my place a deal. I won’t be undersold!

    How does 2X fair market value sound? Time is running out! This investment in your future won’t be around much longer.

  6. 6
    corndogs says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3
    “The Lewis-McChord area, south of Tacoma, is probably a good place to go home shopping now….”

    The fact that you think it is time to buy in Pierce County has Corndog very concerned for prices now.

    Corndog, also just lost two renters to home purchase in consecutive months in Pierce County, Corndog has not lost a renter to home purchase since 2005/6. Since these people can not possibly be successful in life, Corndog must assume that prices will crash now in the not too distant future. This is a major negative indicator. (thanks for nothing SWE!)


  7. 7
    Nick says:

    If “affordability” means “payments” it is likely that they are correct. It is unlikely for rates to go lower in the foreseeable future. It is unlikely that prices will go substantially lower.

    We are coming out of a deflationary recession. Such economic events are very rare.

  8. 8
    erik says:

    Do you see what I mean though? Generally housing sales increase in June. For some reason the number of sales decreased in June this year. My guess is that those sales will be added to July sales. This could decrease inventory and further drive up prices.

    Corndogs- Please consider using your name with an “s” as it reads on this site when you refer to yourself yourself in third person. You like using third person predicate, I get it. You sound like a Neanderthal. Corndog like rock. Corndog make fire.

  9. 9
    Erin says:

    RE: Erik @ 5 – how many bedrooms does your condo have? How big is it?

  10. 10
    whatsmyname says:

    “Most years see an increase in sales between May and June. ”
    Yeah, the last time you saw a decrease was 2003; and we know what happened after that!

    “Conveniently absent from today’s release are the facts that:……”
    Tim, that’s just inadvertent; like when you forget to mention that your green/ red indicators have been uniformly favoring sellers for the last two years, or if you miss a front page article in the Seattle times on the rents elevator (Going up).

  11. 11
    Ron says:

    King County Home Prices:
    June 2013: $427,500
    May 2006: $429,950

    Considering the world just went through the worst financial crisis in modern history that wiped out more than a quarter of Americans collective net worth, I would say that residents of King County have fared pretty well….so far, but it ain’t over. Let’s see where we’re at when QE ends and interest rates return to normal levels.

  12. 12
    Matthew says:

    Unforutunately Cornhole will be long gone from this site by the time the air is let out of this echo bubble.

    Just like Meshugy and all the other trolls of bubble past, once the market takes a turn for the worst the bubble deniers dissapear like a fart in the wind.

    The market is slowing, the top is near, and your time on SB is limited, Cornhole.

  13. 13
    erik says:

    RE: Erin @ 9
    My condo has 2 bedrooms and it is 1054 square feet.

  14. 14
    corndogs says:

    RE: Matthew @ 12 – “Unforutunately Cornhole will be long gone from this site by the time the air is let out of this echo bubble.”

    HAHA…Corndog is a bubble denier? Try again Maddy! Corndog understood the bubble in a way that you were unable to, he called the bottom precisely. You are angry now because you feel foolish, you missed your opportunity. Yes prices will come down a bit, there will be a bit of oscillation, but one thing is for sure, nothing good is coming your way, you’re out. You’re not holding out hope that you’re gonna get another chance are you? Jesus that’s sad…. Did you know Matthew is Jewish for ‘he who zigged when he should have zagged” Your parents took one look at you when you were born and could tell what your future would be. They nailed it. Hey, I heard rents were going up too…. good luck with that. It’s working out good for ole Corndog, I just raised the rent on all Democrats by 50 buck..

  15. 15
    Ron says:

    RE: corndogs @ 14

    “It’s working out good for ole Corndog, I just raised the rent on all Democrats by 50 buck.”

    Cornhole – this statement proves what is already known – you are a dishonest person who lacks character but you are probably proud of that fact.

  16. 16
    corndogs says:

    RE: Ron @ 15 – “Cornhole – this statement proves what is already known – you are a dishonest person who lacks character but you are probably proud of that fact.”

    Dishonest? Already known? Oh really Ronnie? How is Corndog dishonest? Corndog’s seen this many times before. My experience with people like you who are unsuccessful in life is you want to look at the successful guy and assume he had to shaft somebody in order to get where he is. People like you need to think that, because it makes you feel better to think that you are unsuccessful only because you have taken the moral high ground. The fact is you are unsuccessful because you don’t know how to be successful, that’s all. Calling people like you out when you say something stupid and wrong is a very moral thing to do in my opinion. In that regard, Corndog is a Saint.

  17. 17
    Matthew says:

    Oh my dear Cornholio, you should have cashed out like I did on my Kirkland rental. Sold that badboy during the recent run up.

    You are going to be one of the bag holders. You didn’t think B-52 Ben had your interests in mind did you? No sorry, only the major headgefunds had insider info, that’s why they are dumping their properties left and right. Cornholio is going to be left singing Soprano on the deck of the titanic.

  18. 18
    Doug says:

    I bought at the bottom of the market, then refinanced at a lower rate (3.375%) now with a decent amount of apparent equity, we’re well-poised for a number of plans, but I seem to have the paralysis of choice.

    With interest rates going up, it seems like the correct play, to me, is to save like nuts for the next 5-7 years to put down 10-20% on a second house, in order to rent out our first house at a profit. Our payment will be locked in at $1480 plus some slight increases for property tax, so even with a property manager, we should be able to turn a monthly profit of a couple hundred bucks a month.

    Is this the smart course of action, or should we upgrade our house now, using our equity (~$80,000) to put down 20% on a nicer house in a better location?

  19. 19
    Erik says:

    RE: Doug @ 18
    Good question. Yeah, my guess is that you played things right so far.

    If I were you, I would start looking now in your spare time. If you find an awesome deal, you should put an offer in, refinance and buy it I think. Most likely you will need more housing inventory to find a great deal, which supports waiting til later.

  20. 20
    corndogs says:

    RE: Matthew @ 17 – “Oh my dear Cornholio, you should have cashed out like I did on my Kirkland rental.”

    So you had ONE rental and you sold it and you think you’re a mogul?. Corndog paid mostly cash for his rentals years ago. If you actually had any money to worry about, you’d realize that the key is to stay diversified. Corndog has substantial income without working. What do you have Maddy? All I get from your post is that you are a worker bee. What are you going to invest your paltry 20K profit in? Renewable energy? Unless you think the world is coming to an end and there will be no one to rent then Corndog is sitting where you want to be. No changes in the market (real estate or financial) has made any significant impact on Corndogs world. Rentals are a long term hold, all that matters is consistently collecting the dough.

    Regarding rental property pricing. My properties are right in line where they should be based on incomes as I’m sure yours was when you sold it, no one paid you top dollar at this point so your ‘recent runup’ certainly didn’t amount to much cash in your pocket did it? Anyone who buys a rental and treats it as a flip, doesn’t have a clue what they are doing. They are just a person that was scared and jumped ship wasting their money and time.

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