Decline in Foreclosures Continued in November

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

November 2013
King: 465 NTS, down 47% YOY
Snohomish: 305 NTS, down 43% YOY
Pierce: 421 NTS, down 39% YOY

The number of trustee sale notices decreased month-over-month again in all three counties, while the year-over-year declines got larger across the board as well.

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 1,785 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 906 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 747 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for September of one foreclosure for every 1,331 housing units was 17th 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

    And just in time, the Seattle City Council considers doing something stupid about foreclosures:

    I wonder if it would be legal for lenders to quit lending in Seattle if they passed such a law?

    I read last week that one city considering or actually starting that type of program had its new bond issuance rejected by the market, so now they are going to have to try to borrow money at a higher rate.

  2. 2
    No Name Guy says:

    “It’s time for our detailed look at July’s foreclosure stats in King…..”

    The Tim: I hope you mean November.

    And Kary – my goodness…..the idiocy of the City of Seattle to consider such a short sighted policy boggles the mind. No sane person would ever lend again within the city limits.

    Oh, and to Alison Morrow at King 5 – it’s EMINENT domain, not “imminent” in the article.

    eminent domain
    law : a right of a government to take private property for public use

    adjective \ˈi-mə-nənt\
    : happening very soon

  3. 3

    RE: No Name Guy @ 2 – Okay, I missed both the July thing, even though my thought when I saw the post was: “I wonder if Tim made a mistake on the month again.” And I also missed the “imminent domain” thing. That’s pretty funny. Clearly I’m trying to read things too quickly.

  4. 4

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1
    Yes Kary

    And in this case they can’t blame the bank for their health problems and job layoffs [which occur continuosly and location of home is irrelevant].

    Wow, still 20% underwater in Seattle….I thought short sales [even cash savings] made a bigger dent in this percentage than that. I was too optimistic….LOL

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: No Name Guy @ 2 – Yes doh, missed that part of the template in the update. Fixed now, thanks.

  6. 6

    By softwarengineer @ 4:

    Wow, still 20% underwater in Seattle….I thought short sales [even cash savings] made a bigger dent in this percentage than that. I was too optimistic….LOL

    As I’ve said repeatedly, those numbers are nothing more than made up BS numbers created to keep some statisticians employed for a short period of time, and then to create some publicity for whoever employed them. I’d even mentioned this in a piece back in September when the City Council was being told the number was even higher!

    That said, I would guess that of the lower end (e.g. 1 bathroom) houses are probably still well below the peak value.

  7. 7
    mike says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4 – Undoubtedly false. If you look at the Case Shiller average of 16% below peak for the entire region and apply that to Seattle city for someone to be $65K-$130K underwater means they own a home purchased for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400K to over $800K! But if you look at the neighborhoods where values have not yet recovered, they’re typically places where you don’t find too many houses priced at that level.

  8. 8
    mike says:

    Unrelated, but CR linked to a table showing % of home sales to investors across major cities yesterday. Jillayne asked a question about this recently. Seattle is coming in at the low end – even below SF at 2.42%:

  9. 9

    Awesomesauce. Thanks, Mike!

    The mortgage industry better get on the EMINENT domain idea. Hasn’t this already been considered and then rejected in other cities?

  10. 10
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3 – Stupid homeowners, only banks are too big to fail! Shut up and accept your inferiority as is your proper role in life.

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