2013 NWMLS Activity

Looking back, members of the Northwest MLS reported 75,517 closed sales (65,122 single family homes and 10,395 condominiums) during 2013, beating the 2012 numbers by roughly 11,000 transactions… an increase of about 17 percent. Last year’s volume was nearly $25.5 billion in sales which outperformed 2012 by over $5.5 billion. This was the best performance we’ve seen since 2007 when members reported 82,197 sales with a volume of $32.3 billion.

Last year’s median price for single family homes and condominiums as reported by the nearly 21,000 members in the 21 Counties served by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service came in at $270,000; compared to $245,000 reported in 2012 (an increase of 10.2 percent). The median price for single family homes alone increased from $255,000 to $281,000 (up 10.2 percent) and condominiums increased from $175,200 to $202,000 (up 15.3 percent).

While we had the addition of over 104,000 new listings to inventory last year compared to 91,359 in 2012 (up 13.8 percent), the rise in sales brought our average inventory count down from 24,604 in 2012 to 21,946 in 2013 (down about 11 percent). Inventory area-wide as measured by month’s supply ranged anywhere from 1.95 months in March to 3.68 in December; King and Snohomish County always seemed to lean toward the shorter end.

High-end sales showed an awesome recovery as members reported 1,621 sales of single family homes priced at $1 million or above (compared to 1,116 in 2012…up more than 45.2 percent); and 137 sales of condos priced at or above $1 million (almost equal to 2012’s 138). The highest price single family home sale was in Medina weighing in at $9.75 million while the highest condominium price was for a Penthouse in downtown Seattle at $6.2 million.

The housing recovery is underway and as rates and prices are expected to rise with jobs continuing to recover, this may be the perfect time to make a move. We here at The Expert Real Estate Group are always happy to help…please let us know how we can be of service!!

December 2013 NWMLS Activity

Now that 2013 is in the rear view mirror, let’s take a look back to see how we did and what may lie ahead?

Northwest MLS members added 4,333 new listing to inventory in December, outpacing the year ago number by 476 listings; a gain of 12.3 percent. We also ended 2013 with 19,214 listings compared to 17,718 at the end of 2012; the best year-over-year improvement of inventory with a gain of 8.4 percent. Snohomish County showed the biggest increase in supply compared to a year ago; up 43.6 percent (condo inventory nearly doubled…up from 172 to 342).

December’s pending sales of 5,224 was 1.7 percent lower than December of 2012 when we logged 5,314; in the 4-County Puget Sound region (King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap) we closed out December with 3,957 pending sales compared to 4,181 at the same time a year ago (down 5.4 percent). We are seeing less than a 4-month supply of inventory in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties.

Brokers reported 5,710 closed sales last month; a gain of 443 transactions, or 8.4 percent from the same time a year ago. For all of 2013, there were 75,517 closed sales system-wide; out-gaining the 64,624 total of 2012 by nearly 16.9 percent. Looking at the high-end market (homes from $1 million and up), Brokers reported nearly 500 more sales in 2013 than in 2012; a gain of about 40 percent.

Single family homes made up 86 percent of the closed sales last month with a median selling price of $285,000; up roughly 7.6 percent from December of 2012 ($265,000). Using the same data, King County’s median selling price was up 10.5 percent from $380,046 to $419,825. Condo prices were up 18.6 percent area-wide from $177,000 to $209,900; and in King County, they climbed 21.4 percent ($206,000 to $250,000).

The Median price for single family homes and condominiums combined in December was $275,000 compared to $255,000 in December of 2012; up 7.8 percent. In King County, the median price was up 9.9 percent ($375,900 compared to $342,000). Snohomish County prices climbed 13.7 percent.

All-in-all, it looks like 2014 will be an exciting year for real estate. As long as inventory levels stay consistent, price increases remain at supportable levels, unemployment continues to fall and interest rates stay in the 4’s (an affordability index of fewer than 24 percent), we should be able to continue the recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about the opportunities to buy and/or sell in this market, feel free to contact The Expert Real Estate Group. We’re always here to help!

$0.00 Down USDA Update

This is hot off the press from the National Office in Washington DC:

Status Update on Proposed Changes to Eligibility Areas Based on 2010 Census Data

As January 15, 2014 approaches, many are wondering whether Rural Development will be implementing the Future Eligibility maps based on the 2010 Census data.   At present, the eligible areas remain unchanged and we continue in a “holding pattern” until either an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution is passed.  Notification will be sent pertaining to changes to this status.

Moral to the story: USDA eligability areas have not changed and with any luck, maybe they won’t?

Let’s Keep the 777 in Puget Sound

Today members of Boeing’s largest union in Washington state are voting on the company’s latest contract proposal. If approved, the contract will keep 20,000 current 777 jobs in Puget Sound where they belong, and provide jobs for generations of Machinists to come over the 30-year life cycle of the plane. Boeing officials have warned it’s the last chance to guarantee a major new assembly line worth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to stay in the Puget Sound region.