December Stats Preview: For-sale inventory hit an all-time low

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…

Case-Shiller: Seattle home prices edged down just barely in October

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to October data that was released this week, Seattle-area home prices were:

Down 0.1 percent September to October
Up 12.7 percent year-over-year.
Up 20.0 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.1 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 10.6 percent.

Seattle still has by far the largest year-over-year price growth, despite falling off just slightly in each of the last three months of data. The only other city with double-digit price growth from a year earlier is Las Vegas at 10.2 percent.

NWMLS: Nearly everything about the Seattle-area housing market continued to tilt in sellers’ favor in October

October market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release:

Key indicators for Western Washington housing still rising, but brokers detect slowdown and uncertainty

Early seasonal snow and questions swirling around the tax plan unveiled last week by House Republicans could make the usual seasonal slowdown more pronounced, say industry leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. For October, however, key indicators trended upwards.

“The challenge for buyers actually isn’t lack of choice, it is the rapid pace of sales,” suggested Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, noted October was the “best ever for sales activity in the Puget Sound region.”

Compared to spring months, Scott expects volumes in the next few months will be at 30-to-50 percent of spring totals. “The stage is set once again for a frenzy housing market after the first of the year in the price ranges where there is a shortage of active listings for sale.”

Lennox sure likes that word “frenzy.” He seems to think that it has positive connotations. Personally I think it’s exactly the opposite. People do irrational and stupid things in a frenzy that they usually regret later. Is he saying that’s true of the current housing market? Maybe we actually agree more than I thought…

Now let’s dive into the numbers for October.

The only tiny shred of kind-of good news for buyers is that closed sales and pending sales are down slightly from a year ago. Of course, listings are down considerably more than sales, so the market overall is still trending in sellers’ favor.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Price Gains Still Strong in August

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to August data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.2 percent July to August
Up 13.2 percent year-over-year.
Up 20.4 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.4 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 11.3 percent.

Here’s an update of the chart I posted last month showing the year-over-year home price changes in all twenty Case-Shiller cities over the past year and a half…

September Stats Preview: The Last Gasp of Inventory in 2017

Let’s take a look at regular monthly “preview” charts. Now that September is in the past let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Inventory hit the highest point since a year ago in King County and were just slightly below last month’s high in Snohomish. Sales are still strong, and foreclosures are nearly non-existent.

Sadly I have nothing particularly new or interesting to share about what happened in the market in September. It’s more of the same cruddy market for buyers: Listings are scarce and sales are still strong…

Case-Shiller: Everybody get on board the Seattle real estate rocket ship!

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to July data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.6 percent June to July
Up 13.5 percent year-over-year.
Up 20.2 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.6 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 11.2 percent.

To get a sense of just how nuts it is here in Seattle compared to pretty much everywhere else, consider this chart of year-over-year home price changes in all twenty Case-Shiller cities over the past year and a half…