Monthly Archives: September 2014

Foreclosure Rate Rises in August but Still Well Below Last Year

Source: RISMedia

The latest data from the U.S. Foreclosure Market Report( compiled by RealtyTrac) indicate that foreclosure filings
in August rose 7% from July, but are still at a level that
is down 9% from 2013.

“The August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although
the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business
of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust
continues in many markets. The annual increase in foreclosure
auctions–the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked
the foreclosure industry back in late 2010–indicates that
mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new paradigms
for proper foreclosure that have been implemented in many states,
whether by legislation, litigation, or both,” said
Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Naionally, the ten states with the highest foreclosure rates,
listed from highest to lowest, are: Florida, Nevada, Maryland,
New Jersey, Georgia, Delaware, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and South Carolina.

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Local Housing Market Continues Steady Growth in Sales and Prices

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (Sept. 4, 2014) – “Stability” seemed to characterize the direction of Western Washington’s housing market during August, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Both the volume of sales and prices rose slightly from a year ago, although both indicators slipped somewhat from July. MLS members also reported a modest year-over-year increase in inventory, but the number of new listings added to the selection during August was the smallest since April.

“What we are seeing now with the market is a moderated growth in appreciation, a normalizing of sales volume, and continued health overall,” declared MLS director George Moorhead, the owner and designated broker at Bentley Properties in Bothell. “It is not a call for alarm,” Moorhead emphasized, describing it as “just a balancing and adjusting of a healthy market.”

MLS members reported 9,342 pending sales across the 21 counties served by the Kirkland-based organization. That marks a 3.1 percent gain over the year-ago total of 9,065 mutually accepted offers. Eleven counties reported increases in pending sales during August compared to the same month a year ago.

Commenting on inventory, MLS board member Dick Beeson said the pace of activity in the South Sound has slowed, “and that means buyers have to keep a keen eye out for good bargains in areas they have been scouting.” Beeson, a principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma who oversees offices in four counties, said sellers are more in the driver’s seat than they were earlier in the year. “It’s not a mad-rush sellers’ market,” he reported, but added, “buyers are realizing they must act in a timely manner to compete.”

At month-end buyers could choose from 27,060 active listings – about 2.4 percent more than the inventory of a year ago when there were 26,433 properties in the MLS system. The total at the end of August included 10,054 new listings that were added during the month, down slightly from the year-ago figure of 10,172. Last month’s total number of new listings was the smallest total since April.

System-wide, there is just under 3.5 months of supply, but that average varies widely among the counties served by Northwest MLS. King County, with only about two months of supply, has the tightest inventory. Four-to-six months of supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

“We continue to have a shortage of homes for sale in King County – one of the best housing markets in the nation,” noted J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. He credited “fantastic job growth, foreign buyers and very favorable interest rates” as factors in creating a backlog of buyers.