October Stats Preview: Early Sales Dropoff Edition

Now that October behind us, let’s have a look at our monthly stats preview. 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

Sales dropped off a decent amount month-over-month, during a time when they rose a year ago, so the year-over-year growth fell off dramatically. Meanwhile inventory in both counties saw another year-over-year decline that was the biggest in two and a half years. Foreclosure notices in both counties were down slightly month-over-month and year-over-year.

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 fell 8 percent between September and October (in 2014 they rose 5 percent over the same period), and were up just 1.4 percent year-over-year. Thanks to the reversal in month-over-month compared to a year ago, that is a dramatic decline from the 15.4 percent year-over-year increase in sales in September.

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

Very similar story in Snohomish. Deeds fell 14 percent month-over-month (vs. flat in the same period last year) and were up 3.5 percent from October 2014 (vs. up 20 percent just a month ago).

Sales in both counties are drying up this year a lot earlier than they did last year.

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

Foreclosure notices in King County were down 18 percent from a year ago, and Snohomish County was down 13 percent from last year.

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 41 percent from a year ago, and down 13 percent from a month ago.

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

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Inventory fell yet again in both counties month-over-month, which is typical for this time of year. However, the year-over-year decline in each county was the largest since April/May 2013. King was down 32 percent from a year ago while Snohomish was down 19 percent.

Note that most of the charts above 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.

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.