Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Website for King and Snohomish County Real Estate Statistics

We've been working hard on a new website and we are proud to announce that its up and running!

Our new site will feature much better display of statistical graphs, our blog information and enhanced home searches as well as consumer information.

Head on over and check it out!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

King County Real Estate Market: The Sweet and Sour with Hot Sauce


Today we will look at 3 fundamentals in the King County real estate market.  We will cover the "Sweet Spot" first.  This is sales volume.  Sales volume has hit a sweet spot, meaning we are near average norms in terms of the number of home selling each month.  Looking back 15 years, we can see that during typical selling seasons, between 1,500 - 2,000 homes sell each month.  We can also see during the "bubble" years sales were artifically high and during the "bubble burst" sales volumes were unusually low.

The chart below shows us we've been in the "sweet spot" for sales volume for the last 2 years.


Today's lack of available homes for sale is the "Sour Spot".  King County home prices are rising rapidly due to supply and demand.  Lack of supply and strong demand.  We did see an increase of homes for sale in April, but not enough to bring us into a healthy level of inventory.  We really need to have another 1,000 homes come on the market to meet demand and cool down rising prices.


Prices are rising rapidly.  Buyers are losing out on multiple offers.  We are seeing homes being bid up $10,000 - $100,000 over asking price!

King County average home prices are up 42% since they bottomed out February 2012, just two short years ago! The average home price then was $376,716, today it is up to $535,438.  Average days on the market has also dropped nearly 50% from 84 days to 44 days.

At this point making any predictions for the housing market is setting yourself up.  But we can say what we need to see happen... more inventory!  We did see a net rise of 283 listings for April, lets hope the trend continues!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Seattle Housing Crunch Continues as Home Prices Escalate

Have you been out home shopping lately?  If you have, you understand the challenges facing home buyers in the Seattle real estate market.  While the media keeps saying inventory is rising,  the numbers do not support this reality.

As a matter of fact in March for King County there was only a net increase of 85 new listings to choose from and in Snohomish County only 21.

This is doing nothing to help alleviate the serious shortage of available homes to buy.  A healthy inventory should be between 4,000 - 8,000 listings.  However, we remain at an anemic level 3,258.  We need at least another 1,000 listings to come on the market to get to a healthy supply level.

Home prices are heavily influenced by supply and demand.  While the spring home buying season heats up and demand grows watch for prices to continue their rise.

Monday, February 24, 2014

King County Home Sales Continue to Out-Pace New Listings as Critical Housing Shortage Worsens

We noticed an alarming trend in the Seattle real estate market over a year ago in October of 2012.  For 12 months in a row, home sales had exceeded new inventory coming on the market.

It then continued for 17 straight months until April 2013.  However the net gain of inventory for that month was only a measly 9 listings.  In our blog titled 
Housing Shortage on the Horizon in Seattle we predicted that if the trend of home sales continue to outpace new listing inventory coming on the market we would be headed for significant price increases.

That was 28 months ago.  And the trend continues:

From January 2012 through January 2014 there was a net inventory reduction of 3,040 homes. Last summer new inventory started coming on the market, but those homes were quickly snatched up by home buyers and did little to nothing to give the real estate market a healthy supply of homes to meet the current demand.

Available inventory is still at historic lows.  In the pre-bubble years of the early 2000's, available homes for sale each month varied between 6,000 - 8,000.  Today we only have about 3,000.

We have no reason to believe there will be any significant changes to this trend anytime soon.

While interest rates remain low and home buyer demand exceeds any new supply of homes, look for home prices to continue their rise.  Home prices were up 4% for 2012 and 12% for 2013.   We expect that 2014 prices will reach and/or exceed the 4% appreciation trend line as shown in the chart below.

So what does all this tell us?  It tells us that inventory is too low to meet demand which will continue to put upward pressure on home prices.  Home buyers will continue to be frustrated by lack of homes to choose from and getting involved in multiple offer situations.... memories of the Real Estate Bubble days.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Real Estate Market Update and 2014 Forecast For King and Snohomish County

2013 brought lots of good changes in our local real estate market.  Prices and  sales volumes have risen, and foreclosures have dropped dramatically.  Along with historic low interest rates, the local real estate market continues to heal from the pains of the implosion of the real estate bubble.  This is all great news as we move into 2014 and the real estate market continues to improve.

Current homeowners will see their home values continue to rise and recoup the losses over the last 5 years.


For the second year in a row,  prices are up in both counties.  Average home prices are up 10% in Snohomish County and 12% in King County.

As we predicted exactly a year ago, lack of inventory is influencing the market.  This caused a heated spring and summer market with rapidly rising home prices and multiple offer situations the caused plenty of frustration for homebuyers.

Until April of 2013, for 18 consecutive months prior, sales outpaced new listings. That brought fear that we just might complete run out of inventory altogether!  But that trend started to reverse itself by summer and inventory continues to slowly increase. 

This chart really shows just how much active inventory has been shrinking over the past few years.  We can also see in this chart the dramatic decline in distressed properties.  Short sales and foreclosure continue to decline which also helps the market to stabilize.

For 2014 we expect inventory to continue to increase slowly.  With interest rates still remaining at historic lows we expect the market to be brisk again during the spring and summer months.

2014 will be a good market.  While interest rates remain at historic lows, it will still be an excellent market for first time homebuyers.  For those looking to sell and move to a new home, it will be a great time to take advantage of improved home prices and low interest rates!