Stats Preview: Sales dipped in June as listings increase shrank further

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This is the last post in today’s data catch-up marathon. I’ll also update a few more of the spreadsheets for members, and if the NWMLS posts their June data today I’ll try to get that up as well.

For now, let’s have a look at our “early” view on June stats.

In summary: Listings are still up from a year ago, but not by as much as they have been. Sales are down, but only just a bit.

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:

King & Snohomish County Stats Preview

First up, let’s look at our inventory charts, updated with previous month’s inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

The number of homes on the market in King County rose less than one percent from May to June, and year-over-year listings are up 22 percent from June 2018. If this were any other year I’d say that was a huge gain, but it’s the smallest year-over-year increase we’ve seen since April 2018.

In Snohomish County inventory fell 4 percent month-over-month, and the year-over-year growth was a measly 3.9 percent. This is the smallest year-over-year inventory increase in Snohomish County since it flipped into the black back in May 2018.

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Sales in King County fell 3.6 percent between May and June (a year ago they rose 3.6 percent over the same period), and fell 6.8 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.

Snohomish County Deeds

Deeds in Snohomish fell 0.5 percent month-over-month (in the same period last year they were up 5.6 percent) and were down 11.8 percent from a year earlier.

Hit the jump for the foreclosure charts.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Foreclosure notices in King County were down 13 percent from a year ago and Snohomish County foreclosure notices were down 16 percent from last year. Since the numbers are so low, recent changes can appear large in percentage terms, but we’re talking about changes of just a few dozen month to month and compared to the prior 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.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Trustee Deeds were up 52 percent from a year ago.

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.

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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.


  1. 1
    TheBenBernank says:

    While the inventory and closed unit numbers look favorable, CDOM/DOM and just the eye test while going out to reasonably priced properties show me that there is still a ton of demand / fervor out there. Just not as ridiculous as years prior.

    To buy, or not to buy… that is the question

  2. 2
    Brendan says:

    My question is: what about new condo construction?

    Every year I read some article that condo construction is about to rebound, but it hasn’t seemed to happen yet.

    This year the legislature even revised the condominium act to make to make it less likely that developers will get sued… Will that finally turn things around, or have developers just given up on condos?

  3. 3
    ohd1122 says:

    I actively follow listings in a few areas for trending as I eye a potential Fall 2020 bid (house purchase…see what I did there? Yuk yuk)

    I am a bit surprised by the number of listings I see pop up that have offer review dates. Is this still a thing? For the agents out there that have seen these recently…do they motivate buyers? Is there a critical mass of offers by the review date?

  4. 4
    TheBenBernank says:

    RE: ohd1122 @ 3 – I have also seen the offer review dates on a good number of listings.

    But let’s face it, isn’t that the exact same thing as going on to a website and it says “SALE ONLY through such and such date”… creating false buyer urgency….. FREE SHIPPING TODAY ONLY

  5. 5

    By ohd1122 @ 3:

    I am a bit surprised by the number of listings I see pop up that have offer review dates. Is this still a thing? For the agents out there that have seen these recently…do they motivate buyers? Is there a critical mass of offers by the review date?

    The point of the review date is to ensure that the property is on the market a minimum amount of time. That is necessary to make sure you let buyers see the property and have time to make an offer, which hopefully will get you a higher offer. With the median CDOM for sold listings still being only 9 days, inadequate exposure to the market is still a concern. (And FWIW, apparently the Department of Licensing was once concerned about inadequate exposure to the market.)

    We have only have had one listing with a review date because IMHO it’s a stupid solution to the problem, but in the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” world of real estate, that’s what caught on. The problem with review dates from the seller’s side (which was apparent only trying it once) is that buyers hold back their offers until a time close to the review date, which allows insufficient time to review offers, buyers, lenders, etc. It only works if you think that the way to pick the best offer is to look for the highest price.

    What we do instead, and have done since before review dates became a thing, is to ask for two business days on the offer expiration date. That allows market exposure (particularly if you list on a Thursday or Friday) and time to review offers. It also applies for the duration of the listing, not just the first week.

  6. 6
    ohd1122 says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    Very informative. Thank you.

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