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.

34 responses to “Housing Bubble Time Warp”

  1. Matthew

    if this isn’t a wake up call to Meshugy and the other Seattle housing bulls, I don’t know what is.

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  2. meshugy

    Hi Tim…that’s an interesting look at other markets. However, your model is flawed because you only cherry picked markets that have declined. Plenty of markets are doing stellar right now:

    Idaho (average 17.5 percent gain), Utah (17.4 percent), Oregon (16.9 percent) and Arizona (16.4percent).

    Fort Lauderdale (10.3 percent annualized quarterly gain), Naples, Fla. (10.8 percent), Los Angeles (7.4 percent), metropolitan Washington, D.C. (3 percent), Seattle (14.8 percent) and San Antonio (9.9 percent).

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  3. The Tim

    What can I say? You caught me dude. I cherry-picked the entire nation as a whole in order to make an obviously invalid point.

    Clearly, your list of random states and cities that have appreciated in the last year invalidates my entire post.

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  4. Grivetti

    However, given the theory that the housing market in the Northwest lags California (or the nation as a whole) by about a year, I think it’s an interesting comparison.

    Do you even read the blog at all Meshugy? or do you just skim it and fire off nonesense?… Its not about the Idaho/Oregon/Arizon-Washington dynamic, its about he California-Washington dynamic… Equity from Cali is settling in WA, driving up Real Estate… that was the point!!!

    Dude, you’re infuriating because you’re the worst cherry picker of Real Estate data… so hypocritical

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  5. AndyMiamiBeach

    using Ft Lauderdale and Naples as appreciating markets is a grave mistake. Ask folks in those cities that have had homes on the market since last year. Look at invetory levels vs. last year. Prices in those markets will fall by 40% over the next two years.

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  6. Grivetti

    The fact that Meshugy ONLY looks at YOY median appreciation speaks to his inability/ignorance or incuriousity regarding the affects of the Greenspan credit-bubble…

    So when he sees spiking YOY medians, he automatically assumes that its a healthy market, but if he were to bother doing a single ounce of investigation, he’d find places like D.C. and Arizona in a virtual housing freefall…

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  7. MisterBubble

    There’s a time-honored rule for dealing with trolls: starve them, and they die.

    Actually, Meshugy is such a self-parody at this point that there isn’t much benefit to addressing him. He re-hashes the same three or four talking points, and then disappears when someone calls him on his crap. The net result is that other people read this blog, see us having “debates” with him, and assume that he has some sort of valid insight.

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  8. john_law_the_II

    good job.

    what this post shows shug, is that the sky can be sunny and suddenly a storm can come out of nowhere.

    the fundies were looking good in many areas, we were assured that everything was adjusting but stable, yet look what happened.

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  9. seattle_slow

    “Actually, Meshugy is such a self-parody at this point that there isn’t much benefit to addressing him.”

    Well, he’s more of a parody of a parody if you ask me.

    Actually, once Shug capitulated and purchased in Ballard, he’s found himself in a position of needing to defend his decision to buy. Cognitive dissonance theory would predict this type of behavior.

    I actually enjoy the shugster. Seriously. He gets everyone all fired up and occasionly he’ll add some value from the other side. No harm, no foul.

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  10. Wanderer

    Inddeed, the shug rarely says anything that is just flat wrong and cherry picks only slightly more than people on the other side. What I found the most entertaining in this thread was “accusing” him of using YOY median stats when he is normally slammed for using MOM figures.
    I happen to think he is wrong about the future trends, but it is hard to get mad at a guy that is right FOR THE MOMENT. I have always been impressed with the strong responses that he gets and I have never been able to put my finger on it fully. I think it has to do with how he starts off all of his posts with a nice greeting. Is it a genuine kindness that just seems out of place … or is it a patronizing and sarcastic jab? Either way, it seems to really get under people’s skins. That is fascinating.

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  11. MisterBubble

    “it is hard to get mad at a guy that is right FOR THE MOMENT”

    It’s easy to be right “for the moment” when your only argument is that things haven’t changed “yet”….and that’s all that Meshugy does.

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  12. Grivetti

    but it is hard to get mad at a guy that is right FOR THE MOMENT.

    A broken clock is right twice a day…

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  13. meshugy

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been very busy these days, so I can’t answer all my fan mail. Sorry about that….I know you’d all love to discuss housing till the sun comes up. But unfortunately I only have time for a post or two a day.

    It is funny though that people now are criticizing me for not posting more….for months people criticized me for posting too much. I guess you can’t win…

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  14. MisterBubble

    Meshugy, it’s OK. In fact, take more time off. We’ll understand.

    After all….it’s hard to sell homes during a slowing market!

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  15. SeattleMoose

    You just gotta love Baby Blue….I would find the board dull without him.

    Too many bears can be boring without some bull (er I mean a bull).

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  16. seattle long term owner

    Shugy is a homeowner and he’s backing his views with his monetary future… have to respect that…

    I think he’s too smart to be in denial… but denial is a very powerful force… can’t be underestimated…

    Anyway, when shugy lists his house for sale, then you know the roof is caving in tomorrow…

    A real investor can only watch the numbers fall so far before reality sinks in…

    We’ll see which one shug is…

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  17. Anonymous

    I Just wonder if Shug didn’t spew his regurgitated, repetitious manutia, how many posts would there be each day with valid points.
    I don’t think there would be much to read.

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  18. rentalbliss

    Why does it feel like this is the beginning of the end of shugy posts. Now everyone is just saying there final parting words.

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  19. Nolaguy

    All of the markets that Meshugy quoted as “doing steller right now” have not had any price appreciation in 6 months.

    That’s right. All of the appreciation in the current YoY gains happened in the first 6 months of 2006. Seattle is included in that trend.

    So while Meshugy is technically correct (there is YoY appreciation) – the trend does not really show that “markets are doing stellar right now”.

    Check it out for youself:

    http://www.housingtracker.net/

    It uses MLS data.

    So I would have to ask Meshugy: How would you describe a market that is flat or slightly declining for the last 6 straight months?

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  20. Nolaguy

    One correction: HousingTracker is for *asking* prices.

    If the markets were “stellar”, wouldn’t people ask for more?

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  21. The Tim

    Nolaguy,

    To be fair, that describes a normal market most years. The argument I’ve been making is based on sales and inventory, since (as evidenced by other markets) median price is the last thing to change.

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  22. stephen

    A real investor can only watch the numbers fall so far before reality sinks in…

    This attitude is why the credit bubble trashed the housing market.

    A house is not an investment, it is your home.

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  23. Peter Taylor

    Regarding Michael/Meshugy – I think it’s good to have dissenting voices and he does do his research. So, please keep posting Michael.

    Thanks for posting those trends Tim! My wife and I were discussing our timeline for buying a house last night as our current lease is up in August. We were bemoaning our situation because we would like to have our own space that we can design however we like, but looking at that data it looks like this could possibly be one of the worst times in history to buy.

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  24. john_law_the_II

    Los Angeles slowed down to a 2.6% YOY gains.

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  25. Slinky

    Meshugy et al,

    Take the San Diego newspaper comments from year ago, the Seattle (or wherever outside so-cal) newspaper comments from now, and line them up with newspaper comments from the early 1980s regarding housing markets being overblown.

    You’ll find them to be remarkably similar. Apologies since I’m sure some of y’all have seen this before:

    http://njrereport.com/80sbubble.htm

    This all happened 20 years ago. If you randomly pick two of those headlines from each year and substitute “Seattle” or “Washington DC” or “San Diego” for “New York” or “New Jersey” in those headlines would probably sound just the same as the ones The Tim just posted. I’m guessing that we’re at the equivalent of 1987.

    Especially interesting are the following:
    * “‘Investment; Japanese Plunge into US Realty’ with ‘Japanese firms will continue to buy in this country for the simple reason that there is such an absolute scarcity of available property in Japan.’ ” November 23, 1986 Swap “Japanese” and “US” for “California” and “Seattle” and what do you have?

    *”The Windfall Profits in Insider Flips” August 30, 1987 La plus ca change….

    * “Battle over Condo Conversions Heats Up,” September 8 1988

    So: The market response that characterized the housing crash in the late 1980s looks eerily like what we’re seeing now, with California leading the party. I concur with Matthew that if this isn’t a huge waving red flag in the toreador’s hand for the housing bulls, I don’t know what would be.

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  26. seattlechix

    Wow, you guys here are thoroughly infected by a serious troll in Meshugy.

    Why are Seattle men such limp wristed beings? Why not tell Meshugy to take a dam@ hike!

    To the people who enjoy Meshugy’s posts…get a life…trolls suck…Mesugy is a troll…therefore….he ________.

    I wish men up here would be MEN and tell it like it is. Anywhere else and a troll like this would be booted from the board.

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  27. mydquin

    [Meshugy] re-hashes the same three or four talking points, and then disappears when someone calls him on his crap.

    ….as opposed to meshugy’s detractors who have only one talking point… ad hominem attacks? If you have facts or analyses, post them. If not, then please avoid cluttering the debate.

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  28. mydquin

    Since we are playing the “then & now” quotation game, here is another relevant comparison.

    October 20, 2006: “Since real estate trends in the Northwest are said to lag California by six months to a year,…”

    Dec 13, 2006: “However, given the theory that the housing market in the Northwest lags California (or the nation as a whole) by about a year, I think it’s an interesting comparison”

    Are we slipping and sliding? At this rate, we should be lagging California 1 year to 18 months by March. Heck, if you just keep extending that lag, then the bursting bubble predictions will eventually be right. I keep hearing this “Seattle Lag” assumption, but I have not seen substantive analyses to support that view. Would someone care to map Seattle RE prices onto Calfifornia & national RE prices for the last 25 years or so? A proper time series regression analysis would also be helpful.

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  29. seattlechix

    mydquin, another Meshugy defender -pathetic. People like you are why he exists.

    And, why don’t you map your own #’s.

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  30. Anonymous

    Mydquin says “Heck, if you just keep extending that lag, then the bursting bubble predictions will eventually be right.”

    So you admit that we are in a housing bubble and it is eventually going to burst. I agree with you completely.

    It’s the fundamentals! The bubble is bursting across the country in “bubble-proof” areas like Boston, LA, SF, but not in Seattle because “we are different”.

    As I continue to rent and save my money, I can wait a couple of years for this to play out and buy your house at a greatly reduced price after your suicide loan adjusts.

    p.s. I really like granite and travertine.

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  31. The Tim

    mydquin,

    You’re really stretching if you’re trying to say that “six months to a year” is substantially different than “about a year.” Last I checked, “about a year” falls in the range of “six months to a year.”

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  32. Seattle Bubble » Blog Archive » Seattle Just Maybe "Behind the Cycle"

    [...] Housing Bubble Time Warp [...]

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  33. Seattle Bubble » Blog Archive » Seattle Home Price Appreciation Continues to Deteriorate

    [...] Housing Bubble Time Warp [...]

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  34. sf_boomerang

    Hey Tim!

    I’t s been about a year since there was much discussion on this thread. How about an end-of-2007 retrospective?

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