Remember, you can always get access to the Seattle Bubble spreadsheets by supporting my ongoing work as a member of Seattle Bubble.
Last month we noticed a big surge in listings in King County in our preview data for May, and in June it looks like the trend is getting stronger. On-market listings of single-family homes nearly hit their highest point in four years in June, surging 28 percent in a single month.
The overall summary for June is that sales edged up from May, but saw the biggest year-over-year decline since April 2011. Listings shot up and are starting to form a very interesting trend. Foreclosures are still few and far between.
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:
Since this is still the biggest news, let’s start with an update of the inventory charts, updated with previous month’s inventory data from the NWMLS.
The number of homes on the market in King County shot up twenty-eight percent in June. Last month I was concerned that the surge might be a data collection error, but the NWMLS official numbers confirmed it, and the trend is getting stronger. Year-over-year listings were up 43 percent from June 2017, which is the largest year-over-year listings increase since April 2008.
In Snohomish County the inventory gains were still smaller at fifteen percent, but they are picking up some steam as well.
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 four percent between May and June (a year ago they rose ten percent over the same period), but were down thirteen percent year-over-year.
It’s still far too early for buyers to throw a party to celebrate the market turning in their favor, but the increasing supply and softening demand we’ve seen in the last few months is definitely encouraging.
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 increased six percent month-over-month (vs. a eleven percent increase in the same period last year) and were down six 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 thirty-eight percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down forty-nine percent from last year. Eventually it won’t be possible for these numbers to get lower.
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 sixty-nine percent from a year ago. The only time there have been fewer trustee deeds than we’ve seen over the last few months was August through October of 2003.
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.