A Humorous Take on Foreign Buyers Driving Up Prices

Over in the New Yorker (where the issue of foreign buyers is more substantial than a few vague anecdotes):

Stop Complaining That I, Zathbog of Planet Cibwarv, Am Inflating U.S. Housing Prices

I’m told there’s a familiar narrative that unfolds whenever you try to buy property in a cosmopolitan American city these days. You find a place that you like, put in a bid that’s well above the asking price (just to be safe), and prepare to celebrate, even though the place itself isn’t very nice. It actually pretty much sucks. But it’s a place, and it’s sort of within walking distance of some stuff, so you’re excited. Then you get a call from your broker, who says that you’ve been outbid. “Don’t tell me,” you say. “Yup,” she replies. “It’s yet another alien gazillionaire parking cash in American real estate as a hedge against the volatile economy of his home planet.” This story must be getting old, but you have to stop complaining. It’s simply how the intergalactic economic system works now.

I understand your frustration—really, I do. Because of alien magnates like me, you can’t afford to own property (or even part of a floor of a property) in the city where you work and live. And it’s not like you’re middle-class or anything. You and your spouse make a lot of money at the corporate jobs you took so that you could afford to live in neighborhoods full of competing chain pharmacies and consumer banks. You’ll just have to come to grips with the fact that you’re not rich enough. You could look into the interstellar mining industry, where I made my gazillions, but—oh, wait, I forgot, your spaceships are awful and can’t even get to the star systems with valuable deposits. Never mind.

Read the rest…

  

The Shadow Inventory Myth is Dead

A little over a year ago, I wrote a series of posts in which I argued that “shadow inventory” (foreclosed homes held off the market by the banks) was nearly non-existent. "Shadow Inventory" Conspiracy Theories Are Nonsense Shadow Inventory Gut Feelings, Rumors, & Anecdotes Undocumented Shadow Inventory Scarce in King County Despite all of the […]

Foreclosures Almost Back to Pre-Bust Levels

Foreclosures Almost Back to Pre-Bust Levels

It’s time for our detailed look at December foreclosure stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, the Notice of Trustee Sale summary: December 2014 King: 322 NTS, down 36% YOY Snohomish: 195 NTS, down 27% YOY Pierce: 298 NTS, down 21% YOY The number of trustee sale notices was down big yet again […]

How-To: Turn a 1,475 sqft Lot Into a Half-Million-Dollar Home

How-To: Turn a 1,475 sqft Lot Into a Half-Million-Dollar Home

This was spotted by a user over on Reddit’s /r/Seattle. The images below are of 3941 South Brandon Street on Google Street View. 2008: Empty 1,475 square foot lot. 2011: Foundation 2014: 1,687 sqft, 3-bed, 2.5-bath modern home The resulting home sold last June for just under half a million dollars. Here’s the listing description: […]

Cheapest Homes: January 2015 Edition

Cheapest Homes: January 2015 Edition

Let’s check in again on the cheapest homes around Seattle proper. Here’s our methodology: I search the listings for the cheapest homes currently on the market, excluding short sales, in the city of Seattle proper. Any properties that are in obvious states of extreme disrepair based on listing photos and descriptions will be excluded. This […]

Eastside Prices Hit Another All-Time High in December

Eastside Prices Hit Another All-Time High in December

It’s time once again to take an updated look at how King County’s sales are shifting between the different regions around the county, since geographic shifts can and do affect the median price. In order to explore this concept, we break King County down into three regions, based on the NWMLS-defined “areas”: low end: South […]