Around the Sound: Inventory Increases Across Most Counties

It’s time for us to check up on stats outside of the King/Snohomish core with our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

First up, a summary table:

December 2013 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $419,825 $306,000 $213,000 $235,000 $225,000 $249,500 $235,000 $268,750
Price YOY 10.5% 11.0% 3.9% 7.3% 8.4% -4.0% 10.0% 3.7%
Active Listings 3,127 1,830 2,860 1,120 1,004 551 604 900
Listings YOY 6.2% 36.5% 13.9% -0.2% 6.1% 0.0% 6.5% -0.3%
Closed Sales 1,794 725 841 242 275 108 151 170
Sales YOY 3.0% 0.1% 11.5% 13.1% 29.7% 44.0% 54.1% -1.2%
Months of Supply 2.0 2.6 3.5 4.6 3.8 6.3 4.7 6.1

Next we’ll have a look at median prices in December compared to a year earlier. The biggest price gains in December were in King, Snohomish, and Skagit counties, while Island saw prices lower than a year ago.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Listings are increasing year-over-year in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, and Skagit. They were flat in Island, and still down in Kitsap and Whatcom. Snohomish county continues to post the largest gains with home listings up 36.5% there from December 2012.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Sales were up to varying degrees in December everywhere but Whatcom county.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Finally, here’s a chart showing months of supply this December and last December. Months of supply is improving in the close-in counties but falling in Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

Price gains are still strong, but moderating for the most part. Listings are increasing most in the closer-in counties, home to Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia. 2014 is likely to be better for buyers than 2013 was, in terms of market balance, although interest rates will almost certainly not be as low.

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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.

8 comments:

  1. 1

    I’m Beginning to Believe

    The worse time to buy is when the price is going up…..this logic sure applied to gold, as its price quickly plummetted right after a few years of big price growth. The gold buyers of 2010 are stuck holding a lost investment commodity now.

  2. 2

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – Absent new news or changing conditions, when prices are high, they are more likely to go down, and when prices are low, they are more likely to go up. That’s just simple logic, and the basis for the expression: “There’s no where to go from here but up.”

    That said, there is the psychology of people, what I call the herd mentality, where if something reaches a new high, they will want to join in on the fun and buy, driving the price even higher. The same thing can happen on the way down if the new low goes back far enough. But even that type of behavior doesn’t continue forever, as is evidenced by the gold example.

  3. 3
    sam says:

    Last year, the inventory rose on average by 6.1% between Jan and Sep (month with most inventory). Funny that 6.1% is the same YoY growth in Dec 2013. If we add 1% higher inventory growth, by September we should be at 5748 SFH active listings in king county. At 6.1%, the inventory would be around 5300. Still short of 6000+. I do see the high end homes sitting on the market for a longer time.

  4. 4
    mike says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – What *seems* to be different this time is even though prices have appreciated substantially in the past 2 years, flips abound, and money is again being made off homes I am not hearing the extreme “buy now or be priced out forever” rhetoric, nor is everybody and their barber professing the wisdom of owning real estate.

    What gives? Where are the cheerleaders? I expected quite a bit more social validation of my decision to buy 2 years ago!

  5. 5
    ARDELL says:

    RE: mike @ 4

    There are still a lot of wounds being licked. It usually takes at least 7 or 8 years after the beginning of a recovery for people to forget the blood in the streets, sometimes longer. With all the publicity this time around it will likely take even longer than that. Even if current market conditions become exactly the same as peak, and in some places they are pretty close, the rhetoric won’t be the same coming of a crash as it was coming off a flat to modestly up market.

    I was very surprised when I arrived here 10 years ago to hear a lot of people saying real estate NEVER goes down. I was even more surprised that they actually believed that. No one can say that again…for at least 10 or more years when people start to forget again. It took about 15 years last time for them to forget, just as it took 15 years or longer for them to forget that you don’t stack all of your miscellaneous debt into your mortgage.

  6. 6

    By mike @ 4:

    What gives? Where are the cheerleaders? I expected quite a bit more social validation of my decision to buy 2 years ago!

    You’re on the wrong site for that. This site is predominantly bears, so they’d have to admit that they were wrong two years ago. Not going to happen.

    As to the agents here, I think they’re happier with a relatively stable market rather than a very hot market (based on price).

    So today is different than 7 years ago, when you had people who had bought any time in the past 20 years happy to see prices rising. That created a large group of cheerleaders.

  7. 7

    By ARDELL @ 5:

    There are still a lot of wounds being licked. It usually takes at least 7 or 8 years after the beginning of a recovery for people to forget the blood in the streets, sometimes longer. With all the publicity this time around it will likely take even longer than that..

    I remember my parents being leery of stocks back in the 60s because of what happened in during the Great Depression. If it’s really really bad, people remember a long time.

  8. 8
    Erik says:

    RE: mike @ 4
    Hooray!!! Ra ra mike! Good job on buying 2 years ago.

    You haven’t made anything until you sell. I bought 11/11 for $92.7k and sold 12/13 for $233k. I took my earnings and now I’m gonna rent until this market dumps again. Turn that theoretical money into actual money and you will get more praise. If you keep your house, I have a feeling you may lose that theoretical money just as fast as you made it.

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