December is done, so let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Record-low inventory and sales falling just slightly.
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:
Sales came in weaker than last year, and also fell from November to December. Listings dropped to new all-time lows in both counties. Foreclosures are still at 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 fell four percent between November and December (a year ago they rose 19 percent over the same period), and were down one percent year-over-year.
Both counties saw wild swings in the year-over-year sales numbers, from huge double digit gains in November to down slightly in December.
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 fell five percent month-over-month (vs. a 37 percent increase in the same period last year) and were down five percent from December 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 28 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 34 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 10 percent from a year ago. They’re basically bouncing along the bottom at this point.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory fell 26 percent between November and December in King County, and was down 7 percent from a year ago.
In Snohomish County it was the same story: Listings down 27 percent month-over-month and down 23 percent year-over-year.
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.