If you are searching for a home, in process of presenting an offer on a home, or have have made offers on homes then more than likely the conversation of multiple offers has arose. Multiple offers can happen for many reasons: the property is so well priced, the property is located in a low turnover highly desirable area, the property is priced competitively and is extremely well taken care off, its located in a specific school district and a great neighborhood, or it’s near Applebee’s. Whatever the case maybe, multiple offers is a factor which buyer’s are having too navigate.
Since early February, buyers have had to compete in multiple offer situations, typically in the price ranges of $120k – $160k’s. These homes are extremely well priced, sometimes have new carpet and paint, come with appliances, and are in good locations. It can be frustrating especially when the news outlets have touted a buyer’s market which isn’t exactly what’s happening.
I explored the idea of Snohomish County becoming a sellers market place in June 2011 when inventory levels really started to decline – keep mind there has been no appreciation which is indicative to a seller’s market. Nonetheless, and to my surprise, inventory levels have continued to trend downward and as of February 2012 inventory levels are down too 2.7 months. That is nowhere near a stable market. It’s completely one-sided in the seller’s favor yet don’t expect prices to rally due to the decreased supply.
Download: Inventory PDF
One contributing factor to low inventory levels is the slow down in the bank owned foreclosure market. Why is that? Aren’t bank still foreclosing at the same rate? Not according to ForeclosureRadar.com. When comparing foreclosure filings of February 2011 to filings in February 2012 the rate is down an astounding 52.6%. The decrease in foreclosure filings leads me to believe banks are now more willing to work with underwater homeowners to negotiate a short sale rather than foreclose.
53061 – Foreclosure Filings
Being there is less foreclosure filings, it is safe to presume that there will be less bank owned homes in the foreseeable future and we are getting to the bottom. Another item that points to short sales becoming the norm is the downward trend of properties reverting back to the bank as an REO.
On the flip side, Snohomish County is seeing less foreclosure cancellations. Meaning, if a property does receive an auction date the less likelihood a auction date will be postponed due to a home receiving a short sale offer.
53061 – Foreclosure Outcomes
All this leads me to believe that the Snohomish County real estate market is traveling in the right direction yet with the impending elections I see real estate inventory remaining low through the summer months and after November. Only after elections, which puts us into 2013, and if the government stops artificially bolstering the real estate market with incentives, will the market truly stabilize.