For the News-Housing category

King County home sales up, median price down 8% from year ago

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Buyers closed on 37% more houses in King County in September than in the same month last year, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Last month’s sales were down 2% from September 2009 — a month when the tax credit helped fuel sales — but up 12% from September 2008.

Fewer houses sold in September than August, but that is the typical seasonal pattern.

The median price of all King County houses that sold last month was $349,550, down 8 percent from the same month in 2010, but almost unchanged from August.

The median price has hovered between $345,000 and $350,000 since March. It fell to that level as sales of lower-priced “distressed” properties — bank-repossessed homes and “short sales” for less than the seller owes lenders — began to increase.

About one in five houses sold in King County in September was bank-owned, according to an analysis of listing-service data done for Washington Property Solutions, a short-sale negotiating firm.

Another one in 10 sales was a short sale.

But the stability in median prices since spring is a positive sign and shouldn’t expect another big drop anytime soon.

In September sales increased — and prices fell — most precipitously year-over-year in Southwest and Southeast King County, where distressed properties are most prevalent.

Both areas saw double-digit declines in the median single-family home-sale price from September 2010. In Seattle and on the Eastside, in contrast, the drop was less than 5 percent.

The number of single-family listings was down 24 percent from last September countywide. “It’s the sellers that are sitting on the sidelines, thinking it may make more sense to wait,” Gardner said.

Inventory fell more steeply in Seattle and North King County, less steeply in Southwest King County, Southeast King County and on the Eastside.

In Seattle, the priciest neighborhoods — Queen Anne, Magnolia, Madison Park, Capitol Hill — also saw the steepest year-over-year drops in the number of listings. Lack of inventory is influencing the market in such close-in neighborhoods, brokers say.

On Queen Anne, “the price point between $600,000 and $700,000 — that price point seems to just absolutely fly off the shelf if the home has been priced right,” said Chris Cooley, a broker at Windermere Real Estate’s Queen Anne office.

“We’ve even seen multiple offers in that price range.”

King County condo sales were up 33 percent from the same month last year, according to the listing service. But the median sale price, $195,000, was down nearly 19 percent year-over-year.

Single-family home sales in Snohomish County also rose nearly 30 percent in September from September 2010. The median price was $242,310, down 11 percent.

Contracts to buy homes fell 1.2% in August

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The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its index of sales agreements fell 1.2 percent last month to a reading of 88.6

A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The last time the index reached that level was in April 2010, the final month that buyers could qualify for a federal tax credit that has since expired.

Contract signings are usually a reliable indicator of where the housing market is headed. There’s typically a one- to two-month lag between a contract and a completed deal.

The pace of sales for previously occupied homes is slightly above last year’s 4.91 million sold, the fewest since 1997. In a healthy economy, Americans would buy roughly 6 million homes each year.

In August, sales of new homes fell for a fourth straight month. This year is shaping up to be the worst for new-home sales on records dating to 1963.

Even so, homes are the most affordable they’ve been in decades. Mortgage rates are at six-decade lows. Prices in some metro areas have been cut in half. Still, sales in most areas remain weak.

The number of people signing home contracts rose in both May and June. But those increases didn’t make up for a huge drop-off in April, when signings fell more than 11 percent. Over the past two months, signings have declined 2.5 percent.

Contract signings fell across most of the country. July’s index fell 5.8 percent in the Northeast, 3.7 percent in the Midwest and 2.4 percent in the West. It rose 2.6 percent in the South.

Home sales jump 7.7% as foreclosures rise

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The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that home sales rose 7.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million homes. That’s below the 6 million that economists say is consistent with a healthy housing market.

Last month’s pace was slightly ahead of the 4.91 million sold in 2010, the worst sales level in 13 years.

Homes at risk of foreclosure made up 31% of sales. That’s up from 29% in July. Many are being bought by investors.

At the same time, activity among first-time buyers made up only 32% of sales, matching the July level. They normally make up 50% of home sales in healthy markets.

The median sales price dropped roughly to $168,300 in August from July. A key reason was the rise in foreclosures and short sales. Those homes sell at an average discount of 20 percent.

Investors are taking advantage of the discounts. Their purchases made up 22% of all sales last month, up from 18% in July.

The high rate of foreclosures has made re-sold homes much cheaper than new homes. The median price of a new home is roughly 30% higher than the price for a previously occupied home — twice the normal markup.

Contracts were cancelled at a higher rate in August, with 18% of Realtors saying they had at least one contract scuttled. That’s up from 16% in July.

August home building fell 5%, slide continues

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The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 571,000 homes last month, a 5% decline from July and a three-month low. That’s less than half the 1.2 million that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets.

Single-family homes, which represent roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4%. Apartment building plunged 12.4%.

Building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 3.2%.

Home construction is down nearly 6% over the past year. But permits are up nearly 8%. That suggests builders aren’t working on new homes, but may be preparing to start dormant projects when the economy improves.

Builders typically begin construction on single-family homes six months after getting a permit. With apartment projects, the lag time can be up to a year.

Construction fell to its lowest levels in 50 years in 2009, when builders began work on just 554,000 homes. Last year was not much better and this year is shaping up to be just bad.

New-home sales fell in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the weakest pace in five months. This year is shaping up to be the worst for sales on records dating back a half-century.

US home builder outlook worsens in September

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The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that its index of builder sentiment in September fell to 14 from 15. The index has been below 20 for all but one month during the past two years.

Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. It hasn’t reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

Last year, the number of people who bought new homes fell to its lowest level dating back nearly a half-century. Sales this year haven’t fared much better.


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Nevada, California, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Utah.


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S&P: 西雅图地区6月份房价上涨0.7%

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根据S&P Case-Shiller星期二发布的房价指数显示,西雅图地区的房价6月份连续第二个月上涨,幅度为0.7%。但是与2010年同期相比,则下跌6.4%。

Spring buying boosts home prices in US cities

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Spring buying pushed home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. But the housing market remains shaky, and further price declines are expected this year.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index showed Tuesday that prices increased in June from May in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. Prices rose 3.6 percent in the April-June quarter from the previous quarter. Neither of those numbers is adjusted for seasonal factors.

Over the past 12 months, home prices have declined in all 20 cities.

Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington and Boston posted the biggest monthly increases. Metro areas hit hardest by the housing crisis, including Las Vegas and Phoenix, reported small seasonal increases.

Analysts say home prices have stabilized in coastal cities over the past six months. Seasonally adjusted prices have fallen a modest 1 percent over the past six months, according to the index. That’s less than a third of the decline from the previous six months.

But this year, home prices in many cities have reached their lowest points since the housing market went bust more than four years ago. Prices in Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa are at 2000 levels.

“These shifts suggest that we are back to regional housing markets, rather than a national housing market where everything rose and fell together,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee.

The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The June data is the latest available.

Home prices are certain to fall further once banks resume millions of foreclosures, which have been delayed because of a government investigation into mortgage lending practices. If the U.S. economy slips back into another recession, prices could drop even further.

“There’s no theoretical floor for prices. If the economy worsens, housing will get into a vicious cycle of falling prices and foreclosures,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “When prices fall, confidence wanes.”

Last year, a homebuyer tax credit helped boost prices temporarily. But prices began to fall shortly after the tax credit expired. They tumbled in big metro areas in March to their lowest level since 2002.

As prices have declined, so too have sales.

The pace of sales for previously occupied homes is trailing last year’s 4.91 million sold, the fewest since 1997. In a healthy economy, people buy roughly 6 million homes each year.

Sales of new homes dropped in July for third straight month. This year is shaping up to be the worst for sales of new homes on records dating back to 1963.

Foreclosures and short sales — when a lender agrees to sell for less than what is owed on a mortgage — made up about 30 percent of all home sales last month, up from about 10 percent in past years. About 1.7 million potential foreclosures are being held up, according to real estate firm CoreLogic, either by backlogged courts or lenders awaiting state and federal probes into troubled foreclosure practices.

NAR: 7月份购房合同下跌1.3%

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根据National Association of Realtors星期一发布的指数,7月份购房合同减少了1.3%,指数值为89.7。指数值100为健康水平。指数值最低点是在2010年6月份创造的,为75.9。



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据RealtyTrac Inc.星期四发表的数据显示,2011年第二季度,4月份到6月份的法拍屋销售量占了市场总销售量的31%,比第一季度的36%稍微有所降低。这个比例在两年前最高点时曾达37.4%。

法拍屋 (bank-owned) 的售价在第二季度比房屋平均售价少了40%。前一季度这一比例是36%,一年前则是34%。

速售屋 (short sale) 的价格则比平均售价少了21%。

FHFA: 6月份全美房价攀升0.9%

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据Federal Housing Finance Agency星期三公布的指数显示,经季节调整后的6月份房价攀升了0.9%,但是与去年同期相比仍然下跌4.3%。

在全国9个地区中有7个地区的房价都有所上涨,唯一下跌的两个地区分别是Pacific (-0.8%) 和 New England (-0.4%)。


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Miami Beach的一家公寓楼的HOA起诉JPMorgan Chase & Co.成功,收回了一个长达4年断供的公寓单位。起诉书说银行故意拖延收回法拍单位,致使公寓楼的HOA收入减少。因为受到法拍单位的影响,也让其他住户无法出售自己的单位。



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Commerce Department星期二说,7月份新房销售下跌近1%,经季节调整后的年率为298,000,远低于正常市场状况下的700,000。




NAR: 7月份房屋销售下跌3.5%

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据National Association of Realtors星期四数据显示,7月份成屋销售量比上月跌了3.5%,经过季节调整后的全年销售量为4.67 million,远低于正常市场状况下的6 million。这个数字甚至低于去年全年的4.91 million。去年的销售量是13年以来的最低点。






2010年7月-2011年7月 Merce Island房价示意图

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根据NWMLS的销售数据整理出来的Merce Island一年以来的房屋中间价格示意图:

2010年7月-2011年7月 Kirkland房价示意图

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2010年7月-2011年7月 Bellevue西区房价示意图

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2010年7月-2011年7月 Bellevue东区房价示意图

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2010年7月-2011年7月 Sammamish房价示意图

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2010年7月-2011年7月 Redmond房价示意图

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7月份,华州有3,602间房屋(占总数1/171)进入法拍程序,比去年同期下降37%,比上月下降19%。其中,King County有1,229间,比一年前下降32%。



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据RealtyTrac Inc.星期4报道,7月份的法拍屋或者进入法拍程序的房屋数量有所下降。59,516所房屋第一次收到了法拍的通知单,比6月份下降7%,比2010年同期则下降39%。与2009年4月份的最高峰时相比,则下跌了58%。
7月份银行总共收回了67,928个房屋,预期全年将收回800,000到900,000个单位,比去年的1 million有所降低。到目前为止,银行手中共有大约850,000个单位已经在市场上流通,还有大约1.1 million个单位正在回收过程当中。


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King County七月份成交量为1,678,比一年前上涨14%。Snohomish County成交量706栋,比去年同期上涨12.5%。Pierce County上涨幅度最大,达25.5%,成交量792栋。

但是,三郡的房屋中间价均大幅下跌。Snohomish County跌幅最大,达15.8%,中间价跌至$239,949。King County下跌12.5%,中间价从2010年的$399,000跌至七月份的$350,000。Pierce County则下跌11.6%,中间价跌至$198,950。


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据商业部星期一数据显示,6月份,办公楼、商业中心和旅馆的建造推动了建筑业连续3个月的增长。6月份的建筑业花费增加了0.2%,达到年率$772.3 billion。但是,这个数字还不到正常经济情况下的一半水平。正常状况下,年率应该是$1.5 trillion。

Single-family home building增长了0.3%,apartment building则下跌了2.8%。商业建筑成长了1.8%。政府承建项目下跌了0.7%。


Bank of America对付法拍屋的新办法:推土机

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截至6月份为止,至少有1.7 million的房屋处于法律拍卖过程中。上个月,Bank of America在Detroit和Chicago分别推倒了100个和150个房屋。BOA还计划在另外10个城市中执行同样的计划。

加入BOA行列的还有Wells Fargo和Fannie Mae。自2009年开始,Wells Fargo捐赠或推倒了至少800多个房屋。2010年,Fannie Mae捐赠或推倒了200个。


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Alan Wilson签了一个$319,500的买房合同,但估价师的估价只有$292,000。由于卖主不愿降低价格,致使交易流产。
据National Association of Realtors报告显示,去年有10%至12%的买卖交易中出现估价低于卖价的情况,致使交易延迟甚至取消。


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据National Association of Realtors报告显示,六月份的成屋签约量持续第二个月成长,成长幅度为2.4%。五月份的成长率高达8.2%。当然,这样的成长还不足以标志着市场的恢复。



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据RealtyTrac的报告显示,六月份全美有1.7 million个房屋进入了法律拍卖的程序。如果将所有的法拍屋加起来,总数超过了6百万。与此相比,六月份的新房供应量只有16万。大量的法拍屋一直在给市场托后腿,致使房价下跌。


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拥有一套属于自己的房屋曾几何时是多少人的美国梦,多少人视之为成功的标志。现在这个美国梦正在迅速褪色。据Morgan Stanley的报导,全美房屋拥有率跌到了59.7%,是Census Bureau 1965年有纪录以来的最低点。



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