March Stats Preview: Slumping Sales Edition

With March now behind us, let’s have a look at our monthly stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, here’s the snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series:

King & Snhomish County Stats Preview

Listings were once again up from a year ago in both counties, still much more in Snohomish than in King, although King County is nearing double-digit gains. Sales fell from last year’s levels in both counties again as well, with the size of the decrease growing larger. Foreclosure starts and completions both continued to drop.

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Sales in King County rose 28 percent between February and March (in 2013 they rose 34 percent over the same period), but were down 6.3 percent year-over-year.

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanilla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Deeds in Snohomish rose 21 percent month-over-month but were down 5.1 percent from March 2013.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Foreclosures in both counties are still down considerably from a year ago, though not by as much as they have been in recent months. Month-over-month foreclosures rose in both Snohomish and King. King was down 45 percent from last year, and Snohomish fell 38 percent.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Trustee Deeds were down 52 percent from a year ago, and hit their lowest point since August 2008.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with the inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Still very little month-over-month change in inventory in either county, but stronger performance than a year ago, leading to increasing year-over-year gains. King is currently up 8.5 percent from last year, while Snohomish is up 40 percent.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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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
    The Tim says:

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  2. 2
    eponym says:

    Hey! META tells me that I should build a Wearable Hand-Crafted Spandex 3-D Printer! I’ll get right to work on that — could really shake things up at the office, on so many levels. Thanks, The Tim!

  3. 3
    Mud Baby says:

    Are the Trustee Deeds stats in the table to the right of the King and Snohomish Counties graphs monthly data?

    Is there a source for comparable data for the City of Seattle?

    Do you know how many foreclosures (expressed as Trustee Deed sales) have occurred in Seattle between January 2000 and present?

    Data sources would be greatly appreciated.

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