NWMLS: Inventory up big from 2017, sales slip

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October market stats were published by the NWMLS today. Home prices were basically flat from September, and inventory dropped a bit but was up dramatically from 2017. Sales continued to slip from last year as well. September’s year-over-year listing growth was an all-time record at 68 percent, but October’s 86 percent blew that out of the water.

The NWMLS hasn’t published their press release yet so let’s just get right to the data.

CAUTION

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):

October 2018 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,873 -6.5% +86.1%
Closed Sales 2,052 +11.9% -15.9%
SAAS (?) 1.29 -25.5% +24.8%
Pending Sales 2,295 +2.3% -16.8%
Months of Supply 2.37 -16.5% +121.3%
Median Price* $670,999 +0.4% +6.5%

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

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory fell seven percent from September to October, and was up 86 percent from last year. Before this year, the highest year-over-year inventory gain was 61.3 percent way back in February 2008. The number of homes on the market was at its highest October level since 2011.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings were up five percent from a year ago, but began the usual seasonal decline month-over-month.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales rose 12 percent between September and October. Last year over the same period closed sales dropped three percent. Year-over-year closed sales were down 16 percent.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales were up two percent from September to October, and were down 17 percent year-over-year.

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

For the last few months we’ve been charting new territory in year-over-year inventory growth.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Year-over-year home price changes edged down from September to October.

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

October 2018: $670,999
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

The Seattle Times hasn’t posted their story yet. I’ll probably update this post when they do.

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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.

521 comments:

  1. 501
    Blurtman says:

    By Joe @ 481:

    RE: QA Observer @ 476

    I predict those houses will be worth less than 70% of today’s asking price in three years. If anybody bought one of those, they should be factoring in the probability of a $500k or more market value loss.

    Price out the lumber, materials, and finishes, and you’ll see they are worth no more than $300,000. A rational person would pay no more than $300,000 for the postage lot. This means they are asking about $1.1M for three months labor from a three person construction team. The cost of that team is no more than $300k, so they are bucking for $800k profit. Reduce the price at least $500k and you get to a more realistic profit the property deserves.

    Making an argument based on fundamental value is jousting at windmills.

  2. 502
    Blurtman says:

    By QA Observer @ 476:

    A developer/realtor bought a larger lot and built 2 houses in lieu of 1 in its place. I was aghast when they listed both of them for what they did, so I decided to tour one. Unimpressed with the finishes I let the realtor that they were asking too much. They laughed and said I was out of touch with the market.
    60 days later I continue to chuckle. May be I should offer $500k.

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/2217-3rd-Ave-W-98119/home/132608?utm_source=ios_share&utm_medium=share&utm_campaign=copy_link&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link

    Don’t underestimate the wicker chairs on porch feature, easily worth $200k.

  3. 503
    Eddiemaster says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 500 – we are much less export dependent than China is, so Trump is leveraging up (along with other countries according to your WSJ article) to get China to negotiate more fair and transparent terms. China won’t be able to get out of this one. As for Boeing, China already slapped tariff on Boeing’s end of life 737, but none since. They are aware that this can hurt them a lot more. This most likely ends in 2019.

    That’s the logical explanation. From the money side, investors are becoming more optimistic as well. There, I have checked myself~ if you don’t believe it, you can short Boeing.

  4. 504

    RE: Blurtman @ 501
    Yes Blurtman

    When illegal aliens were doing all the Issaquah framing and sheet rock and the homes were getting slapped together for FAR less labor….their prices kept going up and up anyway….what good are illegal aliens to Americans in general then? They just steal our jobs.

  5. 505

    RE: Eddiemaster @ 503
    Bringing Aluminum back to America with tariffs helps Boeing to keep jobs in Seattle too….their materials ship shorter distances…but will Boeing ever break its addiction to Japanese stealing its life cycle intellectual property?

  6. 506
    Eddiemaster says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 505 – it might still cost Boeing more now than before the trade war on aluminum anyway. I do agree that Trade War if continues and worsens wouldn’t be good for Boeing and others, but I still think it ends in 19’.

    In the meantime, US 10 year yield drops back down to mid September level. How dare it not increase perpetually?? Just kidding, another monthly round of balance sheet unwind is out soon so about time to short the 10 yr.

  7. 507

    RE: Eddiemaster @ 506
    Yes Eddiemaster

    Boeing has a Defense Contract Buffet with Trump too….but I seriously doubt they’ll be using a 737 Japanese Manufacturing life cycle plan [that’s 90% of the cost of an American program BTW all going to Japan with our tax bucks] on refurbished 737 commercial A/C, especially the 737 P-8. It will be all American Manufacturing or nothing with Trump, he’s already mentioned China stealing 737 P-8 IP too.

  8. 508
    uwp says:

    By Justme @ 455:

    Weekend Update, graphical edition:

    Weekend active inventory update, King County, graphical edition. As always, click on link, then click once more for enlarged view.

    King County SFH active for-sale inventory 2017-versus-2018 on 2018-11-17

    Wow, look at those upward streaks. Bring your laptop and show’em off if you meet any bubble-mongers or sellers or buyers this weekend.

    What is a normal market to you?
    2017? 2014? 2008?

    This is why your 2017-2018 comparisons aren’t actually that enlightening.

    I don’t think anyone would say 2015-2017 Seattle housing was normal/healthy. 15 bids for the single house that is available in your target neighborhood is not good.

    If you compare to any other year, current SFH inventory is not scary (in fact, it’s sort of low).

  9. 509

    I was looking at new construction yesterday, three different contractors. One of the three apparently didn’t hire a very good sub to install the siding. I’d be very concerned what that siding will look like in 3-4 years. I would expect significant cracking.

    One actually used metal for the roof valleys. That’s always been my preference, but I did recently see a situation where that really would have been a huge advantage (although a different gutter design would have probably been better).

    And not one I saw, but the inspector I was with on Saturday said the new construction he had just come from the windows were installed upside down (weep holes on top).

  10. 510

    Is the Recent High Tech Stock Degradation Led By Face Book Zuckerberg’s Data Security Issues?

    About a decade ago I warned the Bubbleheads don’t sign up with Face Book, its a security nightmare; I estimated the risk was high then, imagine now.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/19/facebook-is-on-track-to-post-its-longest-losing-streak-ever.html

    No wonder the Russians and Chinese have all our personal information now and are influencing elections on FB [collusion]. Hold a vampire cross to Zuckerberg’s lame promises. Its the data leak.

  11. 511

    By uwp @ 508:

    What is a normal market to you?
    2017? 2014? 2008?

    The first half of 2012 was pretty normal, or at least returning to normal. Few people recognized it back then.

    This is why your [Justme’s] 2017-2018 comparisons aren’t actually that enlightening.

    They aren’t enlightening due to obvious bias and agenda.

  12. 512

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 509
    LOL Kary

    Installed the Windows Upside Down?

    Hey my brother in law bought a new home in 1999 and the copper plumbing use temporary plastic elbows as permanent in the walls….the Olympia location inspectors missed it too [or were paid bribes to miss it?] and the home was water destroyed with the “organized crime” building contractor gone and hiding out with McAfee’s criminal mob in Central America….LOL

    I think the home insurance paid for the damage, have to ask my brother in law if that was possible.

    I still have my original modular windows from 1999 and they all seal water tight still today.

    The fun goes on and on….

  13. 513

    Speaking of new construction, one thing we haven’t really focused on much is how much it is impacting the market (DOM, Median, etc.). Currently new construction makes up about 20% of the active listings and about 15% of the YTD sold listings. And unlike a couple of years ago, they are often selling after completion, as opposed to after the pouring of the foundation. And now you see price reductions rather than price increases on new construction.

    I don’t typically track new construction but seemingly when you have a single year of construction making up such a significant portion of the market that’s going to have an impact.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

  14. 514
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 511:

    The first half of 2012 was pretty normal, or at least returning to normal. Few people recognized it back then.

    Yeah, I made a little chart for myself and decided 2003-2004 and 2013 were normalish. I could make a graph for Justme, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t understand it.

    We still have less SFH inventory than 12 of the last 18 years.

  15. 515

    LOL….Seattle Real Estate Perhaps Suffering Severe Mental Consequences From Too Much Screen Time on iPhones?

    Last I read it kills creativity in kids and is degrading IQs. Adults too? Now its depressing all us too….do what SWE does, just use a cheap $8/mo 3G and limited screen time laptop instead….throw away the mind destructive addictive organized crime “drug like” iPhones? A fried egg in a pan….your mind on iPhone screen time drugs…..LOL

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-study-claims-facebook-instagram-and-snapchat-are-linked-to-depression-2018-11-09

  16. 516
    Eddiemaster says:

    RE: uwp @ 514 – short term we should be bearish side on stock, bond, and local housing. I don’t think we have much to go in higher growth rate than we have had since the recession, and as monetary policies normalize, we should get to a slow growth state overall. Long term Seattle area will remain a tech hub with mix of corporations and startups, and population growth will stay modest.
    I think investors chasing yield will be concentrated more on China going forward and USD will start to lose its luster.
    I argue with Joe and Justme because their opinions are highly one-sided, which to me is not true. But I’m not denying that we are in for bearish sentiment. I’ve moved out of my long positions from AMZN, AAPL, NVDA, TWTR on 10/8 to gold and swing trading US bond.

  17. 517
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 509:

    And not one I saw, but the inspector I was with on Saturday said the new construction he had just come from the windows were installed upside down (weep holes on top).

    Those “weep holes” are actually engineered air leaks, Kary, and they are now required by code because the homes are built so air-tight.

  18. 518

    RE: Eddiemaster @ 516
    I Like Your Plan Except Longterm Bonds During Interest Rate Hikes

    I’d go long term CDs or MMs instead.

  19. 519

    By redmondjp @ 517:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 509:

    And not one I saw, but the inspector I was with on Saturday said the new construction he had just come from the windows were installed upside down (weep holes on top).

    Those “weep holes” are actually engineered air leaks, Kary, and they are now required by code because the homes are built so air-tight.

    Those are something different, and larger, and they are typically at the top of the window. But note I did not see what that inspector saw. I did see the weep holes in the windows at the house being inspected.

  20. 520

    RE: redmondjp @ 517
    Yes Redmonddjp

    Except upside down weep holes mean rain in the house? My manufactured modular is so airtight they had to add many 3 inch circular carbon filter breath holes to the surrounding walls. Allergy sufferers can empathize with me….energy air tight efficiency is a joke too, as breathable air vs energy efficiency are foes…so old leaky windows are good for your health? LOL

  21. 521

    By uwp @ 514:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 511:

    The first half of 2012 was pretty normal, or at least returning to normal. Few people recognized it back then.

    Yeah, I made a little chart for myself and decided 2003-2004 and 2013 were normalish. I could make a graph for Justme, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t understand it.

    We still have less SFH inventory than 12 of the last 18 years.

    Yep, and here’s a graph showing that for those willing to actually understand facts as opposed to having an agenda. This is the 7th lowest year for inventory, and if only slightly lower it would have been the 4th lowest. But sellers are rushing to the exits! ;-)

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/KingCoSFHInventory_2018-10.png

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