Foreclosures Mixed in October

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

October 2013
King: 520 NTS, down 43% YOY
Snohomish: 318 NTS, down 41% YOY
Pierce: 464 NTS, down 28% YOY

The number of trustee sale notices decreased month-over-month in King County, but increased in Snohomish and Pierce. It is worth noting that September had just 20 workdays, while October had 22, so the daily rate of foreclosures was actually down across the board. Year-over-year foreclosures were down in all three counties.

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 1,595 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 868 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 677 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for September of one foreclosure for every 1,241 housing units was 21st 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.

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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
    mike says:

    Here’s an anecdotal story from my neighborhood. I have no idea how widespread this is but it has me scratching my head as to what happened.

    House down the block has been in foreclosure for about a year with the first NTS issued late last summer. First lien was a hair under $400K, with a second lien of unknown size. The missed payments and fees listed on the NTS were in the $50K range. The house is valued somewhere in the $500K-$600K range based on recent comps, Zillow says $610K.

    The owner somehow negotiated to have a friend buy the house as a primary residence, then lease it back from the friend. The kicker was the purchase price, which was exactly the amount of the outstanding first mortgage! To show how ridiculous that price is, another house down the block recently sold for the same amount and was promptly torn down to make way for a luxury home. On the surface, it looks like the friend got an amazing WAY below market price on the house and the bank and second lien holder left $100K+ on the table.


  2. 2
    joe smith says:

    The headline says “October” then the first line says the stats are for “July” then the line above the actual stats says “September”

    Say you will, say you won’t / make up your mind to night

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    RE: joe smith @ 2 – Wow, sorry about that. I’m not at 100% today and obviously wasn’t paying close enough attention this morning. Fixed now.

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    Did a quick count in King County and looks like 7% of single family homes for sale are bank owned and 14% of condos for sale are bank owned as of today.

    79% of the houses for sale that are bank owned are South of I-90. 58% of the houses for sale in total are South of I-90. So a disproportionate weighting of that 7% is South vs North.

    (required disclosure: Stats in this comment are not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    South of I-90 …… the ghetto of Bellevue. Plus those other places we won’t mention. In the spirit of “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor” how many folks south of hwy 18 thought they had hit the jackpot when they finally moved and bought in Kent/Covington, only to default? The numbers don’t surprise me- that’s where the last affordable homes in KC were to be found during the boom years. Now that the easy money is gone it’s back to drugs, hookers, and horses. Who would have thought rural Kent/Auburn would become the next airport strip?

  6. 6

    […] Seattle Bubble’s most recent analysis of area foreclosure trends (based on trustee sales notic… […]

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