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Kitsap County Home Sales for April 2012 with 18 Months of Data. Prices and Trends are Increasing

Graph of Kitsap County Home Sales, Prices & Trends for April 2012 w/18 mo. of Data

Graph of Kitsap County Home Sales, Prices & Trends for April 2012 w/18 mo. of Data

{Note: In the event you got to this article from an older link, here is a link to the newest data for this category of monthly home sales in Kitsap County}

April was a good month for home sales and prices in Kitsap County, with the average selling price increasing 5.9% from the previous month, a trend which has been running since the beginning of the year.  Interestingly, however; the number of homes that closed for the month was actually a bit less than the total sales in March.

The Median Home Price in Kitsap County has been bouncing around a range centered at $222,835.  It dropped to $215,000 in March, a month with nearly 37% of the sales comprised of distressed properties (Reo Bank Owned Foreclosures and Short Sales), and then rose 9.3% in April to $234,900.  Why the rise? Distressed home sales only comprised 26.8% of the total homes Sold in April.  This is again compelling data correlating the negative impact distressed home sales have on home prices.

Why was there a decrease in the number of homes sold for April in the County as a whole, while Bainbridge Island saw a 52% increase from the previous month?  I think answer is linked to the number of Short Sales that are under contract, but not closing.  This is also contributing to a higher than normal number of home sales that flip and end up back on the market.

Currently there are 728 homes in the County that are “Pending Sale”, but 138 of these are Short Sales.  The delays and challenges in getting many of these Short Sales to close in a timely manner is adversely affecting the sales totals, by having sales that would normally be added to the Sold data, but instead, they remain “Pending”and are keeping buyers tied up in a waiting game.  Looking back over the previous 12 months, the monthly average number of Short Sales that close County-wide is 17.  With the current number that are Pending, there are 8.11 months of Pending Short Sales inventory and more adding to the number each month.  So, we are either going to start seeing more Short Sales close, or we are going to see more of them flip back to Active and those Buyers look for something they can actually buy and close in a reasonable time frame.

I predict that unless lenders, the Big Banks in America, reduce the time required to get decisions and get Short Sales Closed in a timely manner; that as the market continues to improve, buyers who have been perpetually waiting for a Short Sale are going to fear missing the market and will look for a home they can actually buy with some certainty.  Interest in Short Sale properties will decline unless the process in general can be significantly expedited.

There is positive news in the data.  Sales are strong, prices are increasing and there are currently 590 Pending home sales in Kitsap County which, when considering a 30-45 day average closing time, means we should be seeing increases in the total number of homes sold for at least the next couple of months.  Combined with the increasing activity I am seeing in our business, I think the market is improving month-over-month and will continue to show improvement for many months ahead.

Thank you for visiting our blog.  We hope you found useful information.  If you have questions or comments, please click the “Leave a comment” link in the section blow, or contact us.

Brian Wilson, Broker
John L. Scott Real Estate
19723 10th Ave NE; suite 200
Poulsbo, WA 98370

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