Foreclosures Declined Dramatically in November

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

November 2014
King: 233 NTS, down 50% YOY
Snohomish: 177 NTS, down 42% YOY
Pierce: 232 NTS, down 45% YOY

The number of trustee sale notices was down big yet again both from last year and from last month. Here’s the chart of foreclosures per business day. Snohomish was flat month-over-month, while King and Pierce both fell dramatically:

Notices of Trustee Sale: Daily Rate

Here’s how the latest month’s weekday rate of foreclosures in each county compares to the 2000-2007 average and the highest level that was reached during the housing bust.

Daily Rate of Foreclosures

County Latest YOY ’00-’07 Max
King 12.9 -47% 13.4 73.4
Snohomish 9.8 -39% 7.0 37.1
Pierce 12.9 -42% 11.2 47.7

All three counties are still down double digits from last year’s levels. November’s level of foreclosures in King County was below the pre-bust average.

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 3,588 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 1,574 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 1,366 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for May of one foreclosure for every 1,267 housing units was 16th 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.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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.

21 comments:

  1. 1
    Erik says:

    I don’t see how we could have moderate 2-4% housing price increases as the “experts” claim. All of the data is pushing median home prices up. Distressed sales are down, inventory is down, and interest rates should stay pretty low in 2015. I hear all this noise from the “experts” about houses increasing with inflation, but the data isn’t suggesting that will happen. Even The Tim said that we are nearing a top for prices. This is fuzzy math… Why does the data suggest something different than what the “experts” are saying?

  2. 2

    RE: Erik @ 1
    Experts All Talk Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths Erik

    They sound like Republicans against amnesty, but sign the amnesty bill anyway.

    Someone once told me to sell my flashy Charger and make do with a pea sized electric car with a bogus crash safety record [they have tin can accordion front ends but score well anyway]. I asked him what he drove and he pointed at a small gas truck….I told him I’d buy an electric car when he did.

    If the experts could predict the future why didn’t any of them encourage 100% investment in stocks in a 23% YOY 2013? They all got it wrong Erik.

  3. 3
    Jonness says:

    RE: Erik @ 1 – The other day you claimed Tim’s brain is too small to be able to predict the future. Today you argue that your predictions must be correct, because they align with Tim’s.

    I’m left believing that we can use this evidence along with hypothetical syllogism to prove that your brain is smaller than Tim’s.

    Did you ever see the Jay Leno segment titled “Mr. Brain?” The skit featured Jay with an enormous head that housed his enormous brain. I recently looked at a picture of Tim, and I realized his head looks just like Mr. Brain’s head. I mean, how else could he have predicted the bubble in early 2005?

    Interestingly, when Jay played Mr. Brain in the skit, it was the only time his chin was proportional to the rest of his head.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFdaD2kOIJk

  4. 4
    Deerhawke says:

    “All three counties are still down double digits from last year’s levels. November’s level of foreclosures in King County was below the pre-bust average.”
    ———————
    That says it all.

    The last time I actually bought a foreclosure was in early 2012. Since that time it seems like putting the words “pre-foreclosure” or “short-sale” on a listing is just a way of making sure that there are 50 all-cash offers.

    I am going to agree with Erik here. This is one more indicator of a tight market with rising prices.

  5. 5
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @ 3
    My predictions don’t align with Tim’s today. He said we are at a top, and I pointed out the data says otherwise. I don’t understand why he says it’s a top when inventory is so low.

    If this is a brain measuring contest between Tim and me, I will lose. I read the data he posted for us and I don’t see why he thinks we are at a top. Can someone explain? If someone smarter than you says the exact opposite as you are thinking, wouldn’t you want to know why? I sure do.

  6. 6

    By Deerhawke @ 4:

    The last time I actually bought a foreclosure was in early 2012. Since that time it seems like putting the words “pre-foreclosure” or “short-sale” on a listing is just a way of making sure that there are 50 all-cash offers.

    While multiple offers can and do happen on short sales, advertising something as a short sale isn’t going to generate more interest. It is a required disclosure that will generate less interest.

    Pre-foreclosure might help, if it means there’s some urgency, and also equity such that the short sale process is not involved.

  7. 7
    pfft says:

    “Foreclosures Declined Dramatically in November”

    sounds like November is an up and coming neighborhood.

  8. 8

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6

    The Best Foreclosures to Buy Kary

    Land in your lap, before they hit the unqualified buyer bidding wars in Seattle [or court auctions] and shoot errantly up in price. Yes….all cash is the best way….saves time, even the plops in your lap ones can be snatched from under you if the low price gets out to too many investors.

    I dealt directly with the bank VP when I bought the one on my lap. Use terms like “seamless” [meaning the current tenants won’t be evicted] and yes “wired cash” is another winning code term the banks salivate over. Still….I was terrified someone would find out and buy it out from under me….move quick. You can find the good prices on foreclosures right after the old landlord goes default….the tenant friend will give you the price and lender to call. Move quick and don’t tell anyone where it is until you have the Deed in your hand.

  9. 9

    RE: pfft @ 7

    The Plops in Your Lap Cheap Ones

    Don’t have time to be counted yet, the old owner theoretically may go through years of foot dragging [court stuff?] before its final. But if you negotiate directly with the bank [who owns it]; they’ll offer like a short sell contract for the old owner to sign [at that point they’re terrified and will sign anything to keep the grim reaper off their back] and ….wallaaaa….you just made almost all the rest of the real estate buyers look like buffoons.

  10. 10
    Corndogs says:

    By Jonness @ 3:

    RE: Erik @ 1 – I mean, how else could he have predicted the bubble in early 2005?

    Tim simply cried out ‘The sky is falling!” and for a few moments it did. It is natural for people with small uninteresting lives to be baffled by those with big, full and interesting lives and hold some resentment. This is why the site was initially popular. ‘The Tim’ capped on the beautiful people who had lost a little money, other swarthy cone heads reveled in it. ‘The Tim’ struck a nerve with other ‘green with envy’ Democrats… they loved it!.. Enter Corndog! Corndog ended the revelry. Corndog called the bottom, bought at the bottom, he belittled and ridiculed the small lot of a dozen timid church mice. He predicted the future with absolute confidence and was absolutely correct. He said inventory would remain low, Case Shiller would go to 160 and plateau to grow with inflation, Corndog said there was no shadow inventory. Corndog said, you’d miss the opportunity of a life time and be priced out forever. Yes, the sky fell for a moment. The rich responded. The rich got richer. ‘The Tim’ made timid moves. ‘The Tim’s life didn’t change. It’s over now.

  11. 11
    Erik says:

    RE: Corndogs @ 10
    I have no shame. I will chant your name… Corndogs! Corndogs! Corndogs! You were right the most of anyone on here. Keep feeding me the information. These programmers write code for cash because that is often their only skill.

    In fact, I will become a republican if that will make me money. Not kidding.

  12. 12
    Deerhawke says:

    Erik and Corndogs, how about we hold off on the chest thumping and chest bumping.

    If you have a prediction for what the new year will bring, let’s hear it (and better yet– your reason why.) Will inventory stay low? Will demand continue strong? What effect will rising interest rates have? And most important of all, what will happen with prices in King County? What will happen to prices in the city of Seattle?

    Take a stand and be specific.

  13. 13
    Jonness says:

    By Corndogs @ 10:

    Corndog called the bottom, bought at the bottom, he belittled and ridiculed the small lot of a dozen timid church mice.
    … ‘The Tim’ made timid moves. ‘The Tim’s life didn’t change. It’s over now.

    BS, I recommended the entire time that stocks were a far better investment than houses. Meanwhile you and the RE agents hyped the housing market while house prices continued to fall. Tim bought a house near the bottom, as did you. But I held out and waited for the exact peak of the affordability index, and then sprung into action on a 3% 30-year fixed zero point loan. Face it, you and Tim got close, but I’m the only regular on here that nailed the “exact” bottom. Others only got close. You and Tim are good at what you do, but you both missed the exact bottom.

    If you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Brain, whose head is 3x the size of Erik’s and almost as large as Tim’s (Yeah, but Erik gets more chicks):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFdaD2kOIJk

  14. 14

    RE: Jonness @ 13

    I’m Not Haughty

    But I slopped into the general fund stock profits in 2013 [23% in 2013]….made in one year in stock profits about what I paid for my “today’s prices stagnant valued” 1999 SE King County home purchase. Thank goodness I’m a lazy investor, or I would have gotten it wrong listening to the pack of idiot investment counselors.

    2014 isn’t as good as 2013….but still, about 1/2 or 2/3s as good, we’ll see at the end of the month. DOW shot up 423 points yesterday, so December won’t decrease the high YOY investment gains. Even without a good December [and that’s unlikely], 2014 should be in the 10-15% range….I predicted this a year ago, with a caveat, even SWE doesn’t know for sure.

    What’s real estate in Seattle going to do in 2015? Assuming about 98-99% of the current total housing inventory will just sit outside the tiny listed selling group we fight over, its a waiting game for the avalanche to eventually come tumbling down the mountain for buyers. Seniors in Seattle control the inventory. People that don’t work, control the inventory too. Lucky Devil Gen X and even Millenials that inherited old Boomer money are buying in Seattle too, but IMO, when it just came to you in a silver spoon in your mouth, you just spend it as easily as you got it. My brother in law has three daughters and his ex-wife owned that Seattle marina and a million dollar mansion before she died suddenly. She gave the daughters her Seattle mansion and the marina too. Lucky Devil Millenials. That old money will run dry fast, especially when disability services suck it dry with sicknesses, that are inevitable with old age.

    Now, what’s any of the above paragraph got to do with the real world of keeping a job in this lean job market and affording the few over-priced units available with a bank approved mortgage available for sale? The rich elite are the tiny minority exception of the total Seattle population, not the rule. They totally skew the average household income figures in Seattle too, especially since almost none of them are in the market anyway. That’s why I don’t use average household incomes that are mostly outside the buyer pool [they already own a house]; the average income is a better gage, $10.92/hr and 28 hour weeks…

  15. 15
    Corndogs says:

    RE: Jonness @ – Wrongo Chongo. Bottom was Feb 2012. Corndog nailed it. Corndog never hyped housing as it was falling. Quote a post, you can’t! Regarding stocks being better, you were and still are rolling with half a brain. Imagine, 50K down on a 500K house and that house becoming worth 800K in two years. Put together a spreadsheet, add and subtract costs anyway you want…. your stocks didn’t beat that. It’s one thing to have a faulty memory, it’s another to be stupid and remain stupid, despite being shown the truth and the light…

    Do you think Teen Erik would have gotten anywhere with stock? Nope.

  16. 16

    By Erik @ :

    RE: Corndogs @ 10
    I have no shame. I will chant your name… Corndogs! Corndogs! Corndogs! You were right the most of anyone on here. Keep feeding me the information. These programmers write code for cash because that is often their only skill.

    In fact, I will become a republican if that will make me money. Not kidding.

    You got the sequence wrong. You only become a Republican after you make money.

  17. 17
    Erik says:

    RE: Corndogs @
    I confirm that I have gotten nowhere in stocks. I am putting money into fixing my condo on Alki beach.

  18. 18
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @
    I don’t really know since I just repeat what I hear. I think that inventory will stay low since demand will be high until interest rates go above 6%. Prices will keep increasing until we get to 6% interest rates. I get that because robert shiller said rising interest rates will no effect home prices when they are below 6%.

    Corndogs seems to know a lot about what will happen with real estate, so his comments may be more valuable… You just gotta accept him calling you things like “teen Erik”.

  19. 19
    boater says:

    By Erik @ :

    RE: Corndogs @
    I confirm that I have gotten nowhere in stocks. I am putting money into fixing my condo on Alki beach.

    If you have gotten nowhere in stocks in the last 5 years you had to work hard at it. The S&P 500 is up 87% in the last 5 years. The NASDAQ is up 134%. As long as you were smart enough to just buy the market vs a single stock you should have done much better than in real estate.

  20. 20
    Erik says:

    RE: boater @
    I have only had extra money for 11 months after selling that kirkland condo. My 401k has done well. I took out during the crash and went into the Russell 2000. Not that much money in there, but it is a good start.

  21. 21
    RonP says:

    http://cainapartments.com/press/ — “There are currently 18,518 units under construction, up from 14,375 last quarter and 14,737 units a year ago. Fifty-six percent of these are in the city of Seattle, 26% on the Eastside, and 9% in both Snohomish County and South King County.”

    I just keep wondering what lifestyle changes and apartment construction will do to single family home values over the next 10 years. My guess is, due to technology and transportation costs more people will be OK with hi rise muiti-family near transit.

    I would invest in that.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.