Foreclosure activity across the nation fell to a 42 month low in the month of May according to the foreclosure tracking site, RealtyTrac. This equates to a 2 percent drop from April and 33 percent drop from the same time last year.
This is a continuation of great news on this front. It means that fewer homes are entering the foreclosure and subsequently bank owned (REO) pipeline. Combine this reality with the significant reduction in new home inventory and we should start to see quite simply, fewer homes of any kind on the market.
In other words we are continuing to trend towards more of a balanced market. As previous posts have indicated we’re already seeing signs of balance in certain areas. All indicators are pointing to a continuation of that trend. Add in historically low interest rates, early 2000′s home prices and our local demographics trends and all of a sudden home ownership is starting to look pretty good.
A while back I blogged about an opportunity to own a Frank Lloyd Wright home that was on the market. Well it turns out there is an organization dedicated to the preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. The website is: www.savewright.org.
The goal is to connect current owners with buyers who share the passion for Wright’s work. Here’s an excerpt from their mission statement: “to facilitate the preservation and maintenance of the remaining structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright through education, advocacy, preservation easements and technical services.” Now that’s an endeavor that I can support. Speaking of support, they are a non-profit and are currently accepting donations. Click on the link to check them out.
I was surprised to find out that there are 17 homes designed by Wright currently on the market. Click here to see these incredible homes & find out more. I’ll leave you with this,
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Commandment:
Love is the virtue of the Heart
Sincerity the virtue of the Mind
Courage the virtue of the Spirit
Decision the virtue of the Will
The Third Annual Taste of Snoqualmie kicks off tomorrow up at Snoqualmie Ridge. This is a great opportunity to tour this award winning northwest community and it’s builders. Several local restaurants will be featured including, Mabel’s on the Ridge, Tom Douglas Catering, Mix it up, Finaghty’s and Brunello’s. And if this isn’t enough to entice you; there will be prizes. These same restaurants will be giving away $100 gift certificates!
The builder’s up at Snoqualmie Ridge have always been a who’s who of Seattle area homebuilders. The current group of builder’s consists of Pulte Homes (formerly Centex), CamWest, The Burnsteads, DR Horton and Quadrant Homes. If you’ve been considering a new home on the Eastside then this is a really good way to spend a Saturday! Check out the Snoqualmie Ridge web-site for all the details: http://sridge.com/
Every month the NWMLS releases statistics on home sales in a press release w/quotes from the same group of brokers and owners of old style traditional brokerages. Funny how they always manage to find the silver lining. This month – there actually is some positive news for a change.
Remember that tax credit thing the government did last year and the year before? Well it ended about a year ago & so did the housing market (figuratively speaking of course). This has made the press releases for 2011 more challenging for the PR machine that is the MLS. Statistics this year have lagged behind those of last year ever so slightly. So, on the surface, the market looks worse but let us not forget, last years sales activity was fueled by the tax credit. And that is essentially the disclaimer that’s been at the end of every press release from the NWMLS this year.
This month we begin to get beyond the comparison to last years tax credit fueled market. This is very evident when looking at how dramatically pending home sales begin to tail off in May of 2010. For example Pending home sales in King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties were 7,368 in April of 2010 and 4,058 in May of 2010. That’s a 45% drop! In one month! If we look at those same counties and two months this year; pending home sales in April are 5,732 and 5,963 in May. More importantly this number has been consistent all year long. This means the market is standing on it’s own and doing well, thank you very much!
In addition to a year over year increase in pending home sales, the NWMLS is reporting that system-wide, inventory of active listings for May of 2011 is down 13% over May of 2010.
So to summarize: more sales activity + less inventory = time to make a move before prices go up!!
Perhaps it’s a good sign that they don’t have one for Seattle. They do have one for Tacoma however & perhaps Seattle isn’t too far behind. This tool just launched and it’s a Beta version but it’s pretty darn cool.
Trulia is aggregating crime data from various sources and has created interactive heat maps. Buyers can search for crime data right down to individual zip codes. When looking at the heat map, users can drill down to obtain individual crime data and see the number of each type of crime in the zip code – handy! Check it out – here’s the link: http://www.trulia.com/crime/#
OK, OK it is just one month to month data point and it’s only .7 percent but….it is the first monthly increase since the tax credit expired last year. That’s a pretty big deal. Yes, I know we’re still down year over year but perhaps this is the turning of the corner, the softening of the bottom, wait that didn’t come out right.
It’s a glimmer of hope in what has been a pretty gloomy year. The data is compiled by CoreLogic and was reported by Inman News.
This jibes with what I’ve been seeing recently out in the field. I currently have a buyer looking on the Eastside in the Redmond and Kirkland areas looking in the $700K range. We’ve been looking primarily at new homes. Anything that’s finished and move-in ready has been disappearing. Favorite number one, gone, number two multiple offers, number three, multiple offers & I can count the remaining finished homes in these areas on my hand. Inventory is dwindling, the market’s picking up, rates are very, very low – next logical step (could it even be possible) price increases. All I can say is don’t doddle if you want a completed home at today’s great values!