Something new this year is the iPhone App version of the report, which gives you the data from past years back to 2008 on the go.You don't get all the charts and extra info i the app, though. I imagine in future years they'll have an iPad version will all the info along with how to videos and references too.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price index which was published today shows that Seattle and Atlanta tied for the third best monthly increases (1.6%) of the 20 metropolitan markets used in their 20-City Composite Index. Washington DC and San Francisco were the only two other cities with more of an increase with a 3.0% and 1.7% April-over-March change. The table below shows the results for April 2011. The overall national statistics are not so good with some markets like Detroit and Chicago still dropping dramatically. Washington DC is the only market where you see a strong trend of 4.0% increase over the last year. But this still represents the first month-over-month increase using this index in 8 months.
This is by no means enough data to call it a trend. Still, with all the negative economic data on the news these days, I thought it was worth pointing out this ray of hope for our own local market. Let's see if it lasts, and hopefully accelerates.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) today reported a 43 percent increase in pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during May compared to the same month a year ago. However there were about 5 percent fewer year-to-date transactions than in 2010.
Why the wide discrepancy? During the first five months of 2010 sales were boosted by a federal tax credit. So through May 2010, the NWMLS reported 35,454 mutually accepted offers; this year's total for five months is 33,612 (down about 5.5 percent).
However there is no denying that activity and sales have picked up, which is reflected in the dramatic increase in pending sales. My business is way up and other Brokers I have spoken to have expressed the same thing. Moving forward you should see less skewed data. We should be seeing more apple-to-apple comparisons from now on making it easier to interpret how the market is really doing.
I just uploaded the Seattle home sales statistics by neighborhood for December 2009 to my website for clients to access, so I thought I would share them on my blog as well. I have broken out single family residences and condos by neighborhood for analysis. The Talon Title Group compiles this data for me and I find it helpful when counseling buyers and sellers about the current market conditions. Most title companies can only create this data by zip code. But having it by actual neighborhood is much easier to use (unless you are a postal worker🙂
Some neighborhoods don't have enough transactions to give you an accurate picture of the market. So it might make sense to analyze nearby neighborhood data as well to get a better idea what's really happening.This December year we had fairly significant drops in values in most parts of the city. This may be partly due to the tax credit pushing first time buyers to close by the end of November in order to qualify for the credit, leaving a lack of buyers for the month of December. Since that has been extended we have seen increased activity in the market again.
On a related note, the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service) just published their Brokers report showing their 2009 totals. The NWMLS encompasses 19 counties and about 80% of Washington State's population, Their report shows that total single family homes and condo sales were down in 2009 about 3.7% from 2008 levels. That totals about 52,000 transactions for a combined sales value of more than $17 billion dollars.
(neighborhood data provided by the Talon Title Group. Data may or may not be accurate and no guarantees are implied. The condo year-to-date data only reflects data collected from July 2009 because it was unavailable in this format before that.)
The NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service) reported the April statistics today. The jump in sales and pending sales was pretty dramatic. More importantly, the unsold inventory has decreased to more normal market levels, signalling a probable turn in the market. The increased activity can be felt throughout the market, with mortgage , title, and escrow businesses busy as well as real estate brokerages.
Pending sales of single-family homes in King County was over 2,000 in April, the first month it has been that high since August 2007. In percentage terms, pending sales in King county were up 25 percent from March, and up nearly 15 percent from April 2008.
And it wasn't just Seattle. For the four-county Puget Sound area (King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish), there were 5,372 pending sales, the highest total since August 2007 and a jump of 26 percent from March.
To quote the press release:
Lower prices, record low mortgage interest rates, improving consumer confidence, the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit and other incentives for buyers are credited with spurring activity. Industry officials, noting activity is quite strong in the lower, more affordable price ranges, hesitate to declare a housing recovery is under way.
I know a lot of buyers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to see when the bottom of the market is reached before they jump in. I think these are strong indications that time has arrived.