With the close of December, all of 2017 is now in the books. Today we’ll look at our regular monthly “preview” charts, and the rest of this month we’ll update as many of our stats as possible to look at how the whole of 2017 played out.
Short story for December: Inventory hit a new all-time low point in both counties. Foreclosures are still basically zero, and sales were surprisingly strong given how low the inventory is.
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:
Here’s hoping that the market might turn a corner for buyers in 2018.
Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:
Sales in King County decreased four percent between November and December (a year ago they also fell four percent over the same period), and were up less than one percent year-over-year.
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 decreased one percent month-over-month (vs. a five percent decrease in the same period last year) and were down two percent from a year earlier.
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 62 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 65 percent from last year. The few dozen foreclosure notices going out in each county is as close as the number ever gets to zero.
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 75 percent from a year ago. Just two dozen homes were foreclosed on in King County last month.
Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous months’ inventory data from the NWMLS.
Inventory fell 37 percent between November and December in King County, and was down 28 percent from a year earlier.
In Snohomish County listings were down 35 percent month-over-month and down 32 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.