|Matthew Gardner has released The Gardner Report Q4 on his performance evaluations of Washington real estate. This quarterly report is exclusive to Windermere Real Estate but is made available here at no cost.
His conclusion to our Q4 market is:
As has been the case for all of 2011, an increase in sales of Washington real estate does not mean an increase in prices. The value of transacted units in our market declined by 15.5 percent from a year ago, excluding the volatile San Juan County which saw a drop of 14.8 percent. Looking at the specific counties within our survey, there were two that exhibited price growth from December of 2010, these being Island (+7.1%) and Clallam (+4.5%). Counties that saw the greatest price declines included: Jefferson (-30.1%), Kittitas (-28%), Mason (-26.4%), Grays Harbor (-20.5%), and San Juan (-20%).
There are, I believe, two reasons why we have not yet seen the price stability in Washington real estate that we are all looking for. The first of these is that the sale of distressed homes continues to make up a very large percentage of all transactions and these homes sell for substantially lower than market price. In King County, for example, distressed transactions made up 40 percent of all sales in 2011. Additionally, with such low levels of supply, we have seen a pronounced change in the make-up of sales with a disproportionate percentage of homes selling in very affordable price ranges. Both of these factors are having negative effects on home prices.
I am keeping the housing market at a “C-“ grade this quarter and am unlikely to change this until we start to see more housing choices become available and the percentage of foreclosures start to decline.
To see all of Mr. Gardner’s reports and his charts that make more graphical his analysis, click here to go to http://mikemostyn.com/windermeres-gardner-report/or use the navigation links to the left of this page for “Market Research” and click on Windermere’s Gardner Reports