With another extra-long February in the books, 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:
Sorry buyers, the glimmer of hope we saw in last month’s numbers has completely faded. Inventory was flat month-over-month, which is not a great sign for any potential spring inventory increases. Meanwhile, sales began their usual seasonal surge, and were up slightly from last year. Foreclosures continue to remain near their historic lows.
Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:
Sales in King County increased 17 percent between January and February (a year ago they rose 15 percent over the same period), and were up 5 percent year-over-year. I still do not expect to see large year-over-year increases in sales this year unless inventory dramatically picks up from its current levels, which looks very unlikely any time soon.
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.
Deeds in Snohomish rose 9 percent month-over-month (vs. a 3 percent increase in the same period last year) and were up 11 percent from February 2015.
Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:
Foreclosure notices in King County were down 7 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were up 5 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.”
Trustee Deeds were down 23 percent from a year ago. I’m still surprised to see that around a hundred homes are being foreclosed each month in this market.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory was dead flat month-over-month King County, which means it’s down year-over-year even more than it was last month. In Snohomish County inventory was also flat from January to February, and still down big from a year earlier as well.
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.