With April 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:
Inventory is still extremely low, but in King County the month-over-month increase was the largest (in percentage terms) that we have ever seen. Snohomish also saw a good sized month-over-month gain, but both counties are still below last year’s inventory level. Meanwhile sales were down from a year earlier in both counties, and foreclosures continued to be 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 7 percent between March and April (a year ago they rose 14 percent over the same period), and were down 5 percent year-over-year. Are we beginning to reach a saturation point on home prices? Perhaps buyers are starting to balk, which would manifest in decreased sales and increasing standing inventory…
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 4 percent month-over-month (vs. a 20 percent increase in the same period last year) and were down 8 percent from April 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 24 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 23 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 2 percent from a year ago.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory shot up 19 percent between March and April in King County, the largest month-over-month percentage increase on record (since 2000). We’re still down 14 percent from a year ago, but this is a big change from being down 21 percent just a month earlier. In Snohomish County it’s a similar story: Listings were up 14 percent from March, but still down 22 percent from a year ago.
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.