NWMLS: Prices & Sales Slip While Inventory Edges Up

Although they have not yet published a press release to their website, August market stats are now available from the NWMLS. Once they post a press release I’ll update this post with a brief snippet. Until then, let’s just go straight to the stats.

CAUTION

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):

August 2013 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,900 +6.9% -4.0%
Closed Sales 2,560 -3.3% +18.4%
SAAS (?) 1.31 +0.2% +0.9%
Pending Sales 2,845 -5.5% +8.5%
Months of Supply 1.72 +13.1% -11.5%
Median Price* $430,000 -0.9% +13.8%

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

Yet another uptick in inventory, while pending sales fell for the third month in a row. It looks like we’ll probably hit positive year-over-year inventory numbers for King County by next month, one month later than I predicted back in July.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

The July to August change is mixed, with some years up, some down. This year was down, but closed sales still came in at their second-highest level of the year.

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

King County SFH Inventory

We didn’t quite make YOY positive this month, but it came close. I think we’ll probably see another decent increase in inventory over the next month, driving us back well into positive territory by the end of September.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

Both lines moved closer to zero in August, indicating a slight move toward a more balanced market.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

The median sale price actually fell in August, for the first time in seven months. The decrease was very slight though—just $4,000.

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

King County SFH Prices

August 2013: $430,000
May 2006: $427,950

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.

As usual, check back tomorrow for the full reporting roundup.

[Update]
Oddly the NWMLS site still hasn’t been updated with their press release, but the Times and P-I did post their stories:

Seattle Times: King County home prices snap streak of monthly gains
Seattle P-I: Seattle-area home supply slowly increasing

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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.

18 comments:

  1. 1
    Erik says:

    People like to move every 7 years. Looking at the closed sales chart, 2008-2011 had a low amount of sales. This year and last year have been a moderate amount of sales.

    I think there is a build up of people that haven’t met their quota to buy every 7 years for whatever reason. Those people are beginning to see their credit recover and they can buy from here on out. I think there will be so many buyers that they will eat up the inventory and inventory won’t rise too much more. I can’t forsee a buyers market (over 6000sfh in king county) by next year based on the demand. When people get scared interest rates will rise again, they will buy and prices will increase once again.

  2. 2
    gxar says:

    By Erik @ 1:

    People like to move every 7 years.

    Do you have data to back up this claim?

  3. 3
    Erik says:

    RE: gxar @ 2
    It is just an estimate for conceptual purposes. This person says they learned it was 5-7 years in realtor school. Pick whatever number you want and the concept stays the same. I bunch of people wanted to buy and couldn’t for a few years. They are now hungry to buy. I think there are a gang of hungry buyers that also gave up after the super low inventory last year that still want to buy. More people will list their house for sale and more people will be in line to buy than usual.

    Here’s a link with a straight forward answer:
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_length_of_time_a_person_owns_a_home

    Other sites I looked at said 6 for condos and 10 for houses. Feel free to use any number between 6 and 10.

  4. 4
    Azucar says:

    RE: Erik @ 3RE: Erik @ 1

    Can’t you make the EXACT same argument about a lot of people who haven’t met their quota to SELL every 7 years “for whatever reason” (and actually have a reason for that, being that they owed more on their house than they could get by selling it, so if they sold it it would cost them cash… that they may not have had… out of their pockets)?

    Here is your post parrotted back but with a different bias and drawing the opposite conclusion about pricing:

    I think there is a build up of people that haven’t met their quota to sell every 7 years because they owed more than they could get for it. Those people are beginning to see the pricing recover enough that they can sell without having to short sale or pay out of their pockets from here on out. I think there will be so many sellers that they will eat up the demand and prices won’t rise too much more. I can’t forsee a sellers market (over 6000sfh in king county) by next year based on the demand to sell. As interest rates continue to rise, affordability will continue to decline and prices will have to adjust downwards.
    ———————–
    It is just an estimate for conceptual purposes. This person says they learned it was 5-7 years in realtor school. Pick whatever number you want and the concept stays the same. I bunch of people wanted to sell and couldn’t for a few years. They are now hungry to sell. I think there are a gang of hungry sellers that also gave up after the super low prices the past 5 years that still want to sell. More people will list their house for sale and more people will be in line to buy than usual. (That last sentence is one of the few that seems to be bias-free, as there is a buyer for every seller, and vice versa).

  5. 5
    Azucar says:

    oops I forgot to swap bias in the part about the sellers/buyers market… (over 6000sfh in king county) –> (under 6000sfh in king county)

  6. 6
    Jonness says:

    Is that huge run-up in 2010 closed sales due to the tax credit? Who bought a residence during this period, and are you still happy with your decision to purchase when you did?

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    RE: Azucar @ 4RE: Azucar @ 5
    Good points. Maybe it will be a wash? A lot of people are saying inventory is going up. If it is a wash, that wouldn’t be the case. I guess I just don’t see inventory increasing too much more. Sure, more people can see. At the same time i think there are buyers waiting to consume those sales so inventory won’t increase dramatically.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @ 6
    I did not buy in 2010. I bought in November 2011. I don’t think the company on this website are the kind of people that would admit if they did. These people here are in competition with one another and would not admit weakness. I wanted to buy in 2010 until i started reading this site and everyone said not to buy. I followed Tim’s lead and figured it’s pretty safe if he bought. I bought not too long after Tim bought in May 2011.

  9. 9
    sam says:

    Is there any data to project when inventory will hit 6000 SFH for King county?

  10. 10
    SG says:

    RE: Jonness @ 6

    Are you referring to the huge spike on the thin violet line in August compared to July and September? That’s from 2000. The 2010 is the thicker line (same color) bouncing along at the bottom. No?

    Well, we did buy in April 2010 and did make use of the tax credit. But it was not planned. We placed an offer on a short sale in Aug 2009 and the two dueling banks came to an agreement only by May.

  11. 11
    AxlRose says:

    I bought in 2010 during the tax credit, but I didn’t buy because of the tax credit. Of course I’m still happy with the purchase. In addition to getting a really good price in an excellent location when no one wanted to buy, I have been able to refi to 3.25% last fall, so it’s the best of both worlds, low price and low rate. According to zillow my value is up almost 20%. But again, that isn’t why I bought either. I’m not moving for a while, I have young kids and am going to be here for a while.

    Why would I be embarrassed of this Erik? You seem to think that only a purchase in 2/2012 is worthwhile. You probably don’t understand that the macro level bottom for an entire region doesn’t translate to the micro level bottom on each individual house. You probably don’t understand that when no one wants to buy can be the best time to buy. Maybe you don’t understand that that’s why I ended up in a great neighborhood with a great house, and you didn’t do either of those things. But frankly, after putting up with all your nonsense posts, it’s quite clear to myself (and based on feedback you’ve received, everyone else on the board) that there are many many things you don’t understand. If I’m embarrassed, it’s for you.

  12. 12
    Erik says:

    RE: AxlRose @ 11
    Yeah, I don’t understand areas outside of the seattle area. They all had different bottoms in different areas. I didn’t mean to upset you or say you didn’t do good.

    There are many things I don’t understand, but I’m trying to understand them. I don’t try to make them nonsense.

    My neighborhood is a major upgrade from where I use to live, so to me it’s nice. Maybe you make more money than me and have higher standards? Congratulations on liking where you live.

    I fully accept that I am wrong sometimes. It doesn’t embarrass me when I’m wrong. I just try to learn from it and get smarter. You no longer need to be embarrassed for me.

  13. 13

    RE: Erik @ 12
    Even within the Seattle area, there are drastically different markets. They influence each other, but they’re not the same.
    Right now the low tier is seeing the biggest price gains, even though it feels as though there’s a larger selection of half decent houses for sale.
    As a result of the crash, a lot of houses in south King County went down 40 or 50 percent, where Phinney Ridge or Queen Anne might’ve lost only 15%.
    I think the fact that the Skyways and Kents and Buriens and Bonney Lakes had so many foreclosures, short sales, abandoned houses, etc, that the devastation in those communities couldn’t help but have some effect on the less affected areas, drug them down a bit..
    Conversely, when things are going good for so long in a particular area, those areas that had lagged or not recovered join the party late in the game, and a rising tide carries all boats.
    That’s what’s going on now. I just read somewhere that condos in the Seattle area are seeing price gains larger than for single family houses, and that too happened in 2006, 2007.

  14. 14
    JWS says:

    I purchased in 2010 after the tax credit expired and have no regrets or embarrassment. We did not buy at the very bottom in terms of prices (I estimate our Seattle neighborhood declined another 5-10% after we purchased and has since rebounded higher). Inventory was high and our searching process was relaxed. My wife and I felt no rush to make an offer. We purchased below asking price in our #1 choice neighborhood and had very little competition. Similar to AxlRose, we were later able to refinance at 3.5% (Axl, nice job getting 3.25%!) which was a HUGE benefit.

    We also weren’t concerned with the tax credit. We were searching in a high price range and $8k was not going to impact our timeline of finding the home we wanted.
    We are happy and here to stay for a very long time.

  15. 15
    whatsmyname says:

    By sam @ 9:

    Is there any data to project when inventory will hit 6000 SFH for King county?

    If you look at the curve on the last quarter of virtually every year on the inventory graph, it would appear likely we will hit 4,000 again before we hit 6,000.

    If you were to simultaneously try the same thing with the much less consistent closed sales graph, and you believe Tim’s post that 4 -6 months is a balanced market, 6,000 in inventory won’t likely get you from a sellers market to a balanced market, let alone anything “better”.

  16. 16
    mike says:

    By AxlRose @ 11:

    I bought in 2010 during the tax credit, but I didn’t buy because of the tax credit. Of course I’m still happy with the purchase. In addition to getting a really good price in an excellent location when no one wanted to buy, I have been able to refi to 3.25% last fall, so it’s the best of both worlds, low price and low rate. According to zillow my value is up almost 20%.

    Ouch. My zillow value is up 26% since I bought 13 months ago. That’s over $100K in equity in barely a year.

    I’m starting to feel like Meshugy back in 2006.

  17. 17
    ARDELL says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 15

    Unless he’s planning to buy 6,000 houses in the 4th quarter. :)

  18. 18
    Jonness says:

    By SG @ 10:

    RE: Jonness @ 6

    Are you referring to the huge spike on the thin violet line in August compared to July and September? That’s from 2000. The 2010 is the thicker line (same color) bouncing along at the bottom. No?

    Sorry. I should have been more specific. I was talking about the huge spike in YOY closed sales. I’m not implying buying in 2010 was good or bad. At the time, most of us predicted the market would go lower, and it did. But it has since came up 13% YOY, so I’m curious how people feel about their purchase? I’m guessing most buyers see there purchase as a positive at this point.

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