Yes, I finally jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. No, it’s not a real estate show. It’s an improv comedy sci-fi show called Dispatches from the Multiverse about an inventor who accidentally invents a machine that opens portals to other dimensions.
The big increase in listings is the first interesting development we’ve seen in the local real estate market in months, so here are a few alternative takes on recent home listing activity.
First up, here’s a chart of new listing absorption. This is a simple look at the ratio of pending sales to new listings. If more homes are going pending in a month than there are being listed, this ratio goes above 100 percent, which is obviously not great for buyers.
As of May, the absorption metric has dropped to 79 percent—its lowest level since June 2011. Interestingly, the rate was at its all-time highest level just last December at 162 percent. The absorption rate typically hits its lowest point of the year in June or July, so seeing it drop this low this fast is highly unusual.
May market stats have been published by the NWMLS, but their press release isn’t out yet, so let’s just dive into the numbers.
The big news in this month’s numbers is the big bump in both new listings and total on-market inventory. The last time we had more than 4,000 new single-family listings in a single month in King County was July 2007.
Yes, it has been over a month since the last update here. What is there to say when the market is the same frenzied nonsense day after day, week after week, month after month? It’s exhausting, and I’m not even in the market to buy a home. If you are, you definitely have my pity.
Even when I’m not posting here, I am still keeping my spreadsheets up to date and sharing them with those who support my ongoing work as members of Seattle Bubble.
Anyway, I’m back because there’s something definitely interesting in our regular monthly “preview” charts for May. Unless something has really broken in my data collection, it looks like we’re seeing a sudden surge of listings begin to pile up.
Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to February data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:
Up 1.7 percent January to February
Up 12.7 percent year-over-year.
Up 23.9 percent from the July 2007 peak
Over the same period last year prices were up 1.8 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 12.1 percent.
Seattle leads the nation in both year-over-year and month-over-month home price growth. The only other metro areas with double-digit price growth from a year earlier are Las Vegas at 11.6 percent and San Francisco at 10.1 percent.
A reader going by the handle “JustSomeDude” left a comment this morning that is worth highlighting:
Came upon this website a couple months ago and find everyone’s perspectives interesting. I see a lot of wondering on what potential regular, non-speculating, non-investor sellers and buyers are thinking and doing. People who just want to live in a nice house.
I can’t speak for others, but I can share my thoughts / experiences recently as well as some anecdotal stories…
It has been a few months since we looked at the housing stats for the broader Puget Sound area. Now that the first quarter of 2018 is over, let’s update our “Around the Sound” statistics for King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.
Prices are climbing and listings are down across the board. King County actually had the smallest listings decrease among the Puget Sound counties, and one of the largest drops in sales. Sales also dropped significantly in Kitsap, Island, and Skagit counties…