Sunday Night Stats – Housing Market is “Stimulated”

As you can see from the graphs below, there has been a 50% increase in the number of properties going pending in the last 7 days, compared to the week of 2/7 to 2/14 before the $8,000 “first time” homebuyer credit passed.

427 sales went pending in the first week in March. That’s a 50% increase over the 286 that went pending in the 2nd week in February.

The second graph shows the increase in the number of homes that are selling in 30 days or less.  Not sure if that increase is “normal”  for January through the first week in March though.  Still, worth reporting the positive trend upward.
I combined condos with single family homes in King County. I think it’s fair to say that the credit stimulated home sales.  It’s also fair to say that people waiting for the credit, depressed home sales in the previous period.  So the real stimulus may lie somewhere in between.
On a side note, I am hearing of a few pending sales falling out, because the owner/seller is now eligible for the new assistance that came out on 3/4, and may not “have to” sell after all.
King County Condo and Home Sales Improved by 50%

King County Condo and Home Sales Improved by 50%

% of homes and condos sold in 30 days or less improving

% of homes and condos sold in 30 days or less improving

 Statistics are not compiled or posted by NWMLS

46 thoughts on “Sunday Night Stats – Housing Market is “Stimulated”

  1. My first thought was these these numbers while “positive” really don’t say much without knowing how they compare historically. As you said:

    ‘Not sure if that increase is “normal

  2. gene,

    I was referring only to the 2nd graph of % sold in 30 days or less, with regard to may be “normal”. My recollection as to % sold in less than 30 is that we are back to before the 4th quarter slide on those numbers. 1/3 is somewhat equivalent to last year’s spring bounce period.

    The 1st graph is anything but “normal”. But you can’t go backward when it comes to pendings for 7 day intervals.

    I am noticing that many closings, even on regular sales, are no longer consistently 30 days. More like 30 to 45 days. So 1,363 sales going pending in 4 weeks may not show as one month of solds as in 761 – Jan, 856 – Feb, 1,363 – March.

    We’ll see how the numbers play out, but my 3 pendings will close 3/11, 4/6 and 4/15…NONE at month end, which is quite a change. We’ll have to adapt our expectations to incorporate closings of longer than 30 days as the norm soon, I think.

  3. I am not surprised that after a couple of months with the worst activity in the history, we are seeing some uptick particularly given that there is some added stimulus from the government.

    I do think though that this is just a fool’s bottom. This is just seasonal spring upswing. Referring to Seattlebubble. The values of closed sales for Jan/Feb and March 2008 were ~1000 1148, 1503. As you can see, it is natural for the March numbers to be much higher than Feb numbers. The current sales we are seeing are inline with the March upswing we saw last year. This year there might be more difference between Feb and March numbers because Feb numbers this year came in lower than Jan unlike last year.

    If you look at the overall economic situation, thre is nothing that would even suggest that we are on path to a recovery. I don’t see why you’d call it a bottom.

  4. Interesting. I took a quick peek at historical averages and March is typically up ~25% over February in terms of pending volumes so this looks much better than that.

    However, as Tim has pointed out a few times – the conversion from “pending” to “sold” seems to have hit a wall. Ratio of Pending:sold for 2000:2007 was 95%, last quarter that dropped to 72%

    Will be interesting to see of that changes.

  5. WaileaKid,

    I’m working on numbers of a closing statement, so didn’t check. But I don’t recall using the word “bottom” anywhere in this post last night. Can you quote where I said that in this post please? Thanks.

  6. Ardell,

    Didn’t you call bottom some time last month? That’s what I was referring to. Are you saying that we have bounced off the bottom already and are on our ways to new highs? 🙂

  7. Deejayoh,

    Seems to me 50% increase is correct, since the 286 pending number would have equal % fallout to the 427…so fallout ratio is irrelevant to this post.

    I think some “fallout” will affect inventory in a positive way, as more people take advantage of the 3/4/09 stimulus, which may depress inventory coming on market, and reduce some of those on market as well.

    Looks like higher sales and few for sale will be the net effect of the total stimulus plans to date, incorporating the $8,000 homebuyer credit with the save your home 2nd leg of the package.

  8. WaileaKid,

    This post has nothing to do with what you are talking about, as my “bottom” call last month is about prices being at bottom at 20% under peak for non-distressed sales, and 37% under peak for distressed sales.

    This post has nothing at all to do with prices. The first chart is volume and the second chart is rate of sale…no mention of prices in this post at all.

  9. WaileaKid,

    I can’t do “prices” in a post about Pendings, as sold prices are an unknown factor when dealing with Pending Sales. Have to wait for April and May to see any positive effects on pricing. The market can’t go up though (in any significant way)…it can only go flat due to lenders tightening up on Appraisals.

    So calling bottom does not equal “recovery” unless you call getting flatter a “recovery”.

    What does your “recovery” look like? I don’t see “recovery” until 2016. There will many sales above “bottom” during Spring Bounce, and then we have to see if the last quarter is flat or up as to “bottom”.

    For Seattle Area I expect bottom to just drag along for quite some time.

  10. Sorry,

    One more before I have to go. The stimulus package is to provide stability for the housing market, not to bring back peak pricing. But most owners aren’t “getting” that part. Stopping at 20% to 37% down is the goal, not bringing back what their home was once worth. That won’t happen before 2016, if ever.

  11. When the birds are singing, homebuyers will come out. Maybe I’m an optimist- but I’ve been through a whole lot of these housing downturns.

    Home prices have gotten down to a bit more reasonable levels- as have mortgage rates. There are some very nice homes on the market- Example: A very well-built NorthWest Contemporary on Mercer Island that I know well- having redone it a few years ago. It’s on a lovely wooded ravine on Mercer Island.

  12. Prices are clearly trending down so I do think a flat is recovery. What I meant in my email is that that the upswing is mostly just seasonal and would not impact the prices.

    Generally RE prices are in lockstep with the inflation, so if we see high inflation in near future the prices may go up a bit but in real terms they will always be much much below of what we saw a couple of years ago.

    I am surprised people never talk about real prices when talking about home prices. It’s kinda misleading.

  13. deejayoh,

    It’s like B.C. and A.D. we don’t compare to before 7/07 anymore 🙂 Do you have this period in 2008 as to fallout rate of pendings? THAT is what I’m asking and that would be worth noting.

  14. WaileaKid,

    “I am surprised people never talk about real prices when talking about home prices. It’s kinda misleading.”

    Who is talking about prices that aren’t “real”. I don’t understand.

    “the upswing is mostly just seasonal and would not impact the prices.”

    Upswing in prices doesn’t impact prices? Sorry, I’m not following you at all.

  15. “the upswing is mostly just seasonal and would not impact the prices”
    “the upswing in activity is mostly just seasonal and would not impact the prices”

  16. Thank you. Yes, I agree they are not necessarily related. It depends on who is selling between now and end of November. If only the people with marginal properties are selling, then you will be correct. If the best of homes come on market during Spring Bump, then prices will go up.

    In this market environment one would think those with the homes that might sell for top dollar, will wait for a better time to sell. Time will tell. What % of homes for sale are stress sales vs. “regular” sales, will determine where prices go.

    My guess is only those who HAVE to sell, will be selling…or mostly “only”. That will keep prices low even during higher volume time.

  17. Jerry #12,

    Thanks for sending that to me by email, but from what I can see, that property was taken off market back in mid January.

    You said “There are some very nice homes on the market- Example:”

    That one isn’t “on the market” far as I can tell.

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