Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

11 responses to “No Family? No Equity? You’re Screwed.”

  1. Mikhail

    I can’t help but laugh at how the pundits spin a declining market as being “bad” for prospective first time buyers. Buyers can’t count on the annual 20% price increases…

    But wouldn’t it be better to just buy the house for 20% off in the first place, rather than gambling it will keep rising in value into infinity?

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  2. Anonymous

    Fed is raising the rate on may 10th. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens then.

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  3. emcityjill

    Not totally screwed! Here’s why:

    Who doesn’t love Robert Shiller? You know, that Irrational Exuberance guy who nailed the dot-com bust and has been wagging his Yale-employed finger while insisting the housing bubble really does exist and it’s preparing to pop? His latest endeavor has made it possible to begin trading futures contracts based on real estate indexes in ten metropolitan areas around the country (the list does not currently include Seattle, which fails to surprise, since we always seem to be late to the party). Those of us who might invest in the stock market rather than real estate can now choose to SHORT the RE market at will! I think this is great, even though I don’t really invest apart from my retirement accounts. It’s just nice to see more options available to those of us who’d rather dip a foot in the pool for a while before deciding if the water’s fine. It also gives me time to find a husband and get knocked up so I can finally afford that 350K 2 bedroom townhouse in Des Moines, Tukwila, or Burien.

    Read more about how to hedge your RE bets at the New Yorker or the Boston Globe.

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  4. Anonymous

    But as mortgage rates rise – up to 6.61 percent on a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage in Washington last week – homeowners are finding adjustable-rate mortgages or interest-only products less and less attractive, he said.

    this is a howler, completely upside down from the way it should be. ARM’s are meant to be used in times of inlfated interest rates, because when those rates eventually go down, your monthly’s go down, not in REVERSE!!! They’re meant to be attractive in high-interest time’s because of they’re tied to the prime…

    Bizarro world

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  5. S Crow

    Hmmmm eating a sandwich for lunch and hitting the Blogs…..

    Stumbled over this doozy.

    National Mortgage News reports from Freddie Mac:

    Freddie: Cash-Out Refi % Hits 16-Year High In the first quarter, 88% of the homeowners who refinanced their homes got a mortgage at least 5% larger than the original loan, the highest such percentage since the third quarter of 1990, according to Freddie Mac.


    Folks, this statement runs parallel with my posts for months. People are not reducing their debt loads, they are increasing it, and using the house as an ATM. 88%? That’s a number that makes me pale, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff.

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  6. seattle price drop

    S Crow:

    Thankyou SO much for your contributions to this blog.

    Please keep it up- often!

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  7. meshugy

    I bought a house in April of last year. The mortgage brokers I dealt with didn’t try to sell us on anything exotic. We actually were turned away at first because I run my own business. They won’t even look at business owners until you’ve been open for at least two years. So we had to wait, and even then they were pretty conservative about our options. We ended up with a fixed rate, 30 year at 6.125%.

    I guess that’s unusual, because apparently everyone is signing up for negative amortization suicide ARMs. Really scary…

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  8. Dukes

    Here’s today’s 24 Hour Market Cycle from NWest MLS:

    New Listings 773
    Back on Market 128
    Price Increases 87
    Price Reductions 322
    Contingents 34
    Pendings 564
    Solds 735
    Expireds 135
    Inactives 180

    New listings matched with Solds, but again 322 Price Reductions while 135 Expireds and 180 Inactives. So we can see that the lemmings are still biting albeit at prices that are reducing.

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  9. Anonymous

    Thanks for the update Dukes!

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  10. meshugy

    thanks for the #’s dukes….

    I’ll be curious to see what the median price for April is. The MLS #’s come out on Friday.

    Do you think the median is going down?

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  11. meshugy

    Uh oh:

    California Foreclosure Activity Up

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