Why Foreclosed Homes Aren’t Hurting the Snoqualmie Real Estate Market

Thank you to Tony Gilbert for this guest post.  He is a Snoqualmie Ridge resident and a licensed Real Estate Broker with Windermere Real Estate. He regularly publishes information regarding the local real estate market at www.realfx.com

Are foreclosed homes still a problem in Snoqualmie? That could depend on who you ask. Of course, for homeowners who may be struggling… then “yes,” foreclosures are a BIG problem. Generally speaking however, and contrary to popular belief, foreclosures in our local real estate market are no longer negatively impacting home values.

Surprising Snoqualmie Foreclosure Statistics

So… how many foreclosures are there currently for sale in Snoqualmie? As of the date of this post, there was only one foreclosed single-family home “for sale” in all of Snoqualmie. Yes… ONE. Surprised? Most people are. As you can see in the chart below, the number of foreclosures listed for sale has dropped significantly during the past year.

In total, according to King County records, there are currently eight “bank owned” single-family homes in Snoqualmie, one of which is listed for sale. The remaining seven are homes where the foreclosure process has been completed, but the bank has not yet placed the home on the market for various reasons – primarily due to internal processing time and nationwide volume.

More importantly, at present, there are also 31 Snoqualmie homes which are at various stages of the foreclosure process – some have only been delivered foreclosure “notices,” while others have had “auction dates” set (one of the last steps before becoming a “bank owned” home). Eight of these homes are on the market, and six of those are pending sales (likely “short sales”). Thus, many of these will not actually be foreclosed; some will be sold prior to foreclosure, while others may be remedied without foreclosure.

What A Difference a Year Makes

On October 14th, there were 51 pre-owned homes “active” on the market in Snoqualmie, one of which was a foreclosure, representing only 2% of active listings. In contrast, on December 31, 2011, there were 79 pre-owned homes for sale, of which 14 were bank owned – almost 18% of all homes for sale were foreclosures!

In fact, during the last six months of 2011, foreclosed homes represented between 15% – 22% of all homes for sale in Snoqualmie at the end of each month. That was most definitely hurting the local real estate market.

With Limited Inventory & Rising Prices – Foreclosures Less of an Issue

In the past nine months, Snoqualmie has experienced an approximate increase in housing prices by about 8% – some are higher or lower depending on location, age, condition, and other various factors. As home inventory continues to decline, buyers will continue to have fewer options, and prices will likely continue to increase.

Especially when there’s less to choose from, buyers often see a foreclosed home as “hot deal” (though that’s often NOT the case – caution is advised). Thus, these homes are typically absorbed by the market very quickly. As long as home inventory remains relatively tight, and foreclosed homes continue to represent a small percentage of homes for sale, they really won’t impact the real estate market and recovery to a significant degree.

Obviously, foreclosures aren’t “good” – for the homeowners, or the neighborhood overall. For now however, they are not detrimental to the real estate market. So, while the few vacant homes you see in the area may become a bit of an eye-sore, don’t worry about them being an indication that the real estate recovery is in reverse.

If you are a homeowner who is in a possible short sale or foreclosure situation, please consult with a real estate professional as soon as possible.


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