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January Stats Preview: Vanishing Inventory Edition

February 2nd, 2015


Now that we’re already a full month into 2015, let’s have a look at our monthly stats preview. First up, 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:

King & Snhomish County Stats Preview

Listings inventory hit another new all-time low in King County in January. Listings are still falling in Snohomish County as well, but are still slightly above their early 2013 lows. Meanwhile, sales fell dramatically month-over-month in both counties, as is fairly typical for this time of year. Year-over-year sales were up just slightly in King County, but down in Snohomish. Foreclosure notices declined from 2014 in both counties.

Next, let’s look at total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Sales in King County fell 33 percent between December and January (in 2013-2014 they fell 29 percent over the same period), and were up just 1.4 percent year-over-year.

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanilla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Deeds in Snohomish fell 25 percent month-over-month (vs. a 17 percent decrease in the same period last year) and were down 6 percent from January 2014.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Foreclosures in both counties were down from a year ago yet again, and were basically flat month-over-month in both counties. King was down 31 percent from last year, and Snohomish fell 34 percent.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Trustee Deeds were down 57 percent from a year ago, falling to their lowest point since May 2008.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with the inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Inventory inched down from December to January in King County, falling to another new low point. Snohomish county posted its second year-over-year inventory decline in a row. King is currently down 14 percent from last year, while Snohomish is down 7 percent.

Note that most of the charts above are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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