HouseLooks like our Seattle condo market can’t depend on bank owned properties for any help with our low inventory situation any time soon.  With Washington ranking high on the list of states that have seen the largest drop in the number of foreclosure starts,  it seems to be another indicator that condo/home owners are seeing improvement in their homes’ values and an increase in their ability to either afford their homes or sell them without needing to walk away and foreclose.  There was once thought to be a large shadow market of bank owned properties that would eventually come to the market as banks started to liquidate those distressed assets.  However, that’s been a subject of conversation for over 2-3 years now and with Washington ranking #3 in the nation for a drop in the number of foreclosures, I’m not sure if this “shadow market” will really ever show up if it hasn’t already.

This recent article in USA Today shows several states seeing the number of foreclosures drastically dropping compared to last year.  Washington’s foreclosure starts decreased by 64% compared to August of last year with the number of people actually in foreclosure dropping by 40%. 

Additionally, other factors mentioned in the article, Washington saw unemployment fall by 1.4% between July 2011 and July 2012, tied for the fifth-best improvement in the country, and home prices also increased by nearly 10% in 2012, which was the 11th-largest increase in the country.

Keep in mind these are very broad based statistics and this article isn’t specific to condos only in Seattle but I thought it was a good one to give an editorial on as it seems to give more general background on where things are and where they might be trending.  Always nice to be near the top of the list when it’s good news, right?

Click to see the full article. 

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.