Here's a compilation of what your local press (aka real estate advertisers) had to say about last month's home sales data from the NWMLS. It's depressing to think that these sources are where most people get their news of the market from...
Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times:
King County home prices keep rising, bucking national trend
Buying a home here: You'll pay even more
"Overall, people have been getting worn out paying what in their opinion is an inflated price," Martin said.Mrs. Rhodes' article is riddled with inaccurate assertions such as a claim that decreasing sales are "explained" by increasing inventory (huh?), and a quote that sales activity is "improving" and "at a faster pace than last year." She also says "Whether April will be the strongest month remains to be seen," when in fact it is already known that March experienced both more sales and larger price increases than April. Take home lesson: When reality isn't as rosey as you'd prefer, just pretend that it is!
Plus there are significantly more properties to choose from compared with a year ago.
Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I:
Home sales in city shoot up 14% in April
Anshul and Christine Pandhi were in their second week of seeing what they could get for $500,000 to $700,000 if they moved from Tacoma to Seattle.Aubrey's article was much more even-handed than we've come to expect. I was floored by the quotes he managed to get out of recent home buyers.
"It's expensive," Anshul Pandhi said. "In our price range, the pickings are pretty slim."
John and Sahrah Marcantonio sold their Woodinville house in November and have been renting in Seattle while looking for a house in the city.
Sahrah Marcantonio was pessimistic about the market, but didn't care.
"I think it's a bubble, we're at the peak of the bubble, and yet, I want a house now," she said. "It's for the long term."
Devona Wells, Tacoma News Tribune:
Housing market still shows signs of slowing
The jump in the number of Pierce County houses and condos for sale puts the county at a six-month supply, generally considered the point a market moves from one favoring sellers to one favoring buyers, said Dick Beeson, a Windermere real estate broker and MLS director.Apparently the market just south of us is a bit harder to spin in a positive light. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't trying...
"The news is, pay attention, sellers, you’re not going to have the spring and summer you usually have," he said.
...though sales have slowed, [John L. Scott agent David Gala] said Tacoma homes under $400,000 remain hot. Two of his listings priced at $250,000 and $210,000 sold in the last week after multiple offers, Gala said.Mike Benbow, Everett Herald:
But agents say three to six months tends to be the time it takes to sell a home today. As recently as two years ago, homes often sold in a few days.
Buyers drive up condo sales
While Snohomish County houses are less expensive than in King County, they're still out of reach for many people in the market, especially with the tightening of loan qualifications that has followed the recent increase in home foreclosures.Those buyers had better get into any type of home they can possibly afford, because as everyone knows, if they don't buy now, they'll be (you guessed it) priced out FOREVER!
That has attracted more people to condos and their much lower price range.
Rolf Boone, The Olympian:
Condos sustain housing market
The pace of new South Sound loan applications has so far been strong this year, said Jeff Devlin, a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant. Devlin said he doesn't sense the "doom and gloom" today that hung over the real estate market a year ago.Hmm. Year over year pending (res + condo) sales down 15%, listings up 50%. SFH median up 9% vs 23% (April '05-'06). But the market is in better shape today than a year ago. Yeah.
Just for kicks, here are a couple of stories from a little further out in Western Washington than we usually focus on.
Dave Gallagher, Bellingham Herald:
Home sales slowing as supply rises
Evan Caldwell, Longview Daily News:
Region's home sales bucking U.S. trend
(Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 05.08.2007)
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I, 05.08.2007)
(Devona Wells, Tacoma News Tribune, 05.08.2007)
(Mike Benbow, Everett Herald, 05.08.2007)
(Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 05.08.2007)