NWMLS: Listings Inching Up As Sales Flatten

Get access to the full spreadsheets used to make the charts in this and other posts, as well as a variety of additional insider benefits by becoming a member of Seattle Bubble.

June market stats were published by the NWMLS this morning. The NWMLS press release hasn’t been posted yet, so we’ll cover that tomorrow. On with the stats!


NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

June 2016 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 3,177 +17.8% -7.1%
Closed Sales 2,894 +15.3% -0.3%
SAAS (?) 1.35 +5.0% +14.2%
Pending Sales 3,362 -3.9% +1.2%
Months of Supply 1.10 +2.2% -6.7%
Median Price* $573,522 +2.4% +14.7%

It’s still a bit early to say that we’re turning a corner, but while the overall level of inventory is still at all-time lows for this time of year, the rate of year-over-year change has been getting slightly better every month since December. Year-over-year inventory bottomed out at -37 percent in November of last year, and has been steadily improving ever since, to -7 percent last month. If we see another month-over-month increase in listings like we saw in June (+18 percent), we’ll be back in positive year-over-year territory by the end of this month. I’m not predicting that, but it doesn’t seem entirely unlikely.

Prices kept going up, and sales have basically flattened. Right now the most interesting movement is in inventory. That’s what I’ll be keeping an eye on over the next few months as a possible leading indicator to a cooler market.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales turned in a reasonably strong gain between May and June, but were basically flat year-over-year.

Pending sales dropped off a bit in June from the all-time high they hit in May, and were also basically flat year-over-year.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Total inventory is at its lowest June level on record, but the (sort of) good news for buyers is that the year-over-year drop in inventory was the smallest we’ve seen since November 2014.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

The blue supply line turned back up, resuming the trend it has been on since late last year toward a balanced market. Meanwhile the red demand line is right at zero, and trending up over the last couple months.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Year-over-year price growth dipped slightly from 16.4 percent in May to 14.7 percent in June.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

It’s still true: there has never been a better time to sell your home.

June 2016: $573,522
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Check back tomorrow for our monthly reporting roundup with links to the news reports on this data from other sources.

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.


  1. 1
    Dave0 says:

    How is a 15.3% MoM and an increase YoY (from negative to near zero) translate into “sales flatten”? It looks to me like sales have increased compared to this spring. Looking at your sales chart, it looks like sales typically start tapering off in June, but that didn’t happen this year.

  2. 2
    kenmorem says:

    “without the sales spin”

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    By Dave0 @ 1:

    How is a 15.3% MoM and an increase YoY (from negative to near zero) translate into “sales flatten”?

    It’s right there in your question. YOY near zero = flat.

    RE: kenmorem @ 2 – What exactly do you think I am trying to sell by suggesting that the market might possibly be showing a few early signs of softening?

  4. 4
    Doug says:

    RE: The Tim @ 3 – Maybe I haven’t been around here long enough, but I’ve always thought this site was just an objective presentation of data.

  5. 5
    Sam Hunter says:

    Tim’s inherent bias’ continue to rear their ugly head. Poor guy! Hair turning so grey!!

  6. 6
    GoHawks says:

    Hard to see a softening market with 1.10 months worth of inventory.

  7. 7
    ess says:

    Can’t expect to have virtually no inventory forever. On the other hand, inventory is still low, prices are up and rents are also up. So for homeowners, and property managers not all bad news.

    Wonder if a slight increase in a terrible inventory market may inspire hope for buyers, and bring out those who have given up looking. Sort of like employment statistics – when job prospects appear better – more job seekers hit the market and unemployment goes up because more people have appeared on the scene.

    If inventory continues to rise over the next few months, I may consider getting my Chicken Little suit out of mothballs. But not yet in light of the two following stories. Besides, I have lived through all of these ups and downs before…………



  8. 8
    Justme says:

    RE: Doug @ 4

    Does “objective presentation of data” mean “agreeing with Doug”? Is the Tim not allowed to have an opinion in the comment section?

    Subjective opinion: Wow, I can tell the bubblers are getting more than a little nervous. Cf. previous thread, too.

  9. 9
    Doug says:

    RE: Justme @ 8 – No, I’m saying that I don’t think there’s a subjective slant on anything Tim posts, article or comment section.

  10. 10
    Justme says:

    RE: Doug @ 9

    Haha, for a moment there I thought I (and other commenters) were being included in “This site” as being objective. Can’t have that, can we.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    jon says:

    The inventory number is the difference between two roughly equal numbers, so it is going to be a noisy signal. In this case, the more significant number seems to be the drop in inventory YOY. The article in Seattle Times about the Glassdoor numbers saying Seattle has the nation’s highest salaries for software engineers, adjusted for cost, means there is going to be continued high demand with limited supply. The bubble will pop, but not today.

  13. 13

    RE: The Tim @ 3
    I’m With Tim

    You know, the buyers with skin in the game and no “old money” gold spoon in their mouths rigging the system. They can just the pay what they earn [on a single income if ya got kids or daycare expenses] and qualify for on a loan. Everett was an EXCELLENT CHOICE Tim….I grew up there BTW. Cascade High School.

    No old money equity either to squander….from like deceased relatives either. That’s rigging the system against workers too…

    Wages and jobs are worsening with GLOBALISM too…did any one say grab up fore-closures? LOL

  14. 14
    resistance says:

    Ain’t no bubble here! Pass the dutchie to left! Vancouver prices or bust!

    It’s all a total fraud. If you have at least two functioning neurons you can feel it. If you have two functioning brain cells you may feel it. The sooner it ends (central bank induced asset bubble) the better.

    Keep cheerleading though. Maybe that’ll change the outcome of mathematical certainties. To the moon Alice! It’s way, way different this time! I swear! Pinky swear! Cross my heart! Haha!

  15. 15
    GoHawks says:

    Tim, would it be possible to come up with a chart that compares the relationship between months worth of supply and price appreciation/depreciation? Even if inventory goes up 100%, wouldn’t we still be in a seller’s market with appreciating prices, assuming demand stays relatively stable. I know I know…..what happens when you assume.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Ross says:

    If you have the data, I would love to see these trends discussed against population growth, increase in potential buyer take home pay (tech jobs) and increase in rental availability. My gut feeling is there will be a ceiling of home closing when the median home prices pass above $600k at the end of this year or next. At that point, many low level tech job salaries will be unable to acquire mortgages at that price and home buying will either be unaffordable or increasingly less attractive over rental prices which appear to be stabilizing. (again I would like to see data on this)

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.