NWMLS: Inventory Skyrocketing, Sales in the Gutter (Still)

February stats from the NWMLS showed up even earlier than January. When the press release with pdf links is released I’ll post it here. Here is the summary along with the usual graphs and other updates.

Update: Here’s a link to the press release. I can’t help but laugh at the title: Northwest MLS Reports Pending Sales Increase 23 Percent from Month Ago. Apparently the market is so bad that the only way they can make it seem good is to compare month-to-month stats from what is traditionally the second-slowest month of the year. Awesome.

Here’s your King County SFH summary:

February 2008
Active Listings: up 61% YOY (yet another new record)
Pending Sales: down 32% YOY
Median Closed Price*: $429,900 – down 0.01% YOY (basically flat)

Despite the extra day in February this year, sales still continued to plummet, with the year-over-year drop nearly matching December’s -33% record. Listings continued to soar, setting yet another year-over-year record. Last year it took until July to have this many listings on the market. If the current pace keeps up, there will be over 17,000 single-family homes on the market in September. The Median price has been essentially flat since November, which if the trend continues will result in over 10% YOY negative by July.

Here is the updated Seattle Bubble Spreadsheet, and here’s a copy in Excel 2003 format. Click below for the graphs and the rest of the post.

The graph below shows inventory for each year overlaid on the same chart. Not only was February 61% over last year, it was also 18% higher than the previous February record of 8,358 set in 2003.

King County SFH Inventory
Click to enlarge

Despite the monthly ritual of positive quotes in the newspaper from local agents, sales continued their slide, coming in 32% below last year and 14% below the previous February low of 1,861 set in 2001. Despite the increase in listings and decrease in sales, months of supply dipped slightly, down to 6.14. However, that still makes February the sixth straight month of MOS above 6 (considered a buyer’s market).

King County SFH Pending Sales
Click to enlarge

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. Sure enough, I had to adjust the vertical scale to allow for the skyrocketing inventory. Sales didn’t quite dip low enough to have to adjust the lower bound yet.

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY
Click to enlarge

Here’s the chart of supply and demand raw numbers:

King County Supply vs Demand
Click to enlarge

Here’s the SFH Median YOY change graph. I took out the “smoothed line” option to better show the actual movement.

King County SFH YOY Price Change
Click to enlarge

Here are excerpts from the blurbs from the Times and the P-I. Check back tomorrow for the reporting roundup.

Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times: Housing inventory continues to swell in February

Newly released February home sales numbers reinforce the prevailing sense that the Puget Sound area is solidly a buyer’s market.

Despite excellent weather last month, a bumper crop of houses and condos to choose from and low interest rates, 36 percent fewer King County properties sold last month than the previous in February. However, compared to January, sales activity was up, with 421 more houses and condos selling.

Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I: Median home price up slightly in King County

Area real estate professionals proclaimed signs of a spring surge in February market statistics released Wednesday, but it may be too soon to definitively declare a rebound.

“In March, the real estate market is set to get its mojo back,” J. Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate, said in a statement accompanying the new numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. “We’re already seeing the momentum build.”

Can I quote you on that, Lennox? Oops, I guess I just did.


About 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.

72 comments:

  1. 1
    WestSideBilly says:

    I see momentum building, but not what Mr Scott is wishing/praying for. :D

  2. 2
    TJ_98370 says:

    Woohooo! Kitsap YoY price change for SFH down 12.28% If I recall correctly, the Tim predicted Thurston or Kitsap would lead the downtrend in the Puget Sound area.

  3. 3
    patient says:

    It’s funny to see the comments from the realtors on how the market is improving. It was the same in February, reports of multiple offers and homes selling like hot cakes. Well, now when the numbers are in we can see the reality. Nothing changed, we are still seeing dismal sales numbers and a surge in inventory. I hope people read the realtor claims about the market with this in mind.

  4. 4
    singliac says:

    I just read Elizabeth Rhodes’ article again. i can’t figure out how she puts such a positive spin on everything. Every statistic that points to a slowing market is sandwiched between statements talking about how rosy everything is.

    The title of the article seems to tell us subliminally that everything is “swell” or on the up and up. It’s followed by a statement about how this is solidly a buyer’s market. What if other industries were incapable of reporting bad news? Now that would be a swell world!

    Ms. Rhodes, how about this headline: “Trying to sell a house? It certainly sucks to be you!”

    That’s catchy enought to sell some papers, right?

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    Lennie has been a broken record for a while. In five days you can see the momentum growing? Haven’t the listings been going up about 100 a day? TJ’s right, I don’t think the momentum is what Lennie’s looking for.

    Who stole Seattle’s mojo, baby?

  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    Don’t forget these Lennox gems from November:

    Well, we’re definitely in the adjustment phase of the real estate cycle. Every time you come off a frenzy market, a surge market… you do see sales pull back. Sales activities does lower about ten to fifteen percent. And right now, we’re going through the mortgage market scenario… that’s getting better every week. And, in fact, rates are just as good as they were in July.

    You’re not going to see the prices come off that much. They may come off ever so slightly off the peak.

  7. 7
    david losh says:

    The graphs show what looks to me as a normal pattern. We do see multiple offers in my office and activity seems to be brisk. The number that is way up is the number of properties that expire or get cancelled. For Sale by Owners also seem to be way up.
    Those expireds keep coming back onto the market, some with price reductions, and other without. I don’t see unsold listings as proof of a falling market. What amazes me, and some sellers I talk with, is that Real Estate agents don’t make offers on properties.
    What I hear is that properties need to be listed at ten per cent below market value to get activity. There again some properties in Green Lake, Wallingford, or Ballard sell for above market value. I went to see a house today that is listed at $550K. My Market Analysis came in at $499K. The place was crawling with agents.
    Three weeks ago it was the same with me going against this agent for another listing. I came in at the low $400Ks and he listed the place for $475K and it sold in four days.
    I would like to see that days on the market graph with price reductions. If you have a problem with data I’m happy to help.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    Was that quote all sic? Amazing.

    I think a thread should be started on the forums of the most amazingest realtor quotes EVAR!

    My favorite was in 2006 at an open house. “Don’t use that money from Mom and Dad or Grandma to pay down credit cards, buy a house. Its only going to go up, up up!” Direct quote, I kid you not. I wish I would have asked for her card…

    Just humm along to the Bud-Light tune “Real-tors of genius”

  9. 9
    laxtosnoco says:

    Hey Tim, where’s the chart for “open house traffic”? From the NWMLS press release, I understand that is the most important RE indicator.

  10. 10
    Ubersalad says:

    We’re definitely back on the rebound of things.

    Did you see the whopping 40% increase in pending sales from December? Call your agent and put in an offer before it’s too late!

  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    For comparison, here is the change in King County SFH pending sales from January to February for every year since 2000:

    2008: +31.4%
    2007: +34.5%
    2006: +17.4%
    2005: +21.9%
    2004: +47.7%
    2003: +17.7%
    2002: +18.1%
    2001: +15.7%
    2000: +36.8%

    Wow, 2008 was a real banner year.

  12. 12
    david losh says:

    What are the per centages based on? If it’s to inventory then 2008 would be pretty special.

  13. 13
    Ubersalad says:

    I said it many times before and I’ll say it again…

    who would want to hire david losh?

  14. 14
    Nolaguy says:

    3 Northwest cities make Dallas Morning News’ “Most Overvalued” list:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/030508dnbushomeprices.21114eb3.html

    MOST UNDERVALUED
    Houma, La.
    Dallas
    Houston
    Shreveport
    Lafayette
    College Station
    Fort Worth

    MOST OVERVALUED
    Bend, Ore.
    Atlantic City
    Madera, Calif.
    Longview, Wash.
    Bellingham, Wash.
    Honolulu
    Miami

    What did RCG say about a year a go? “No bubble here”?

  15. 15
    NoMoreWork says:

    %’s are based on increase from previous month (January), as in “change in King County SFH pending sales from January to February”

    Needless to say, they are not “very special” at all

  16. 16

    There really do seem to be two different worlds out there.
    The first world is the Ballard-Wallingford-Fremont-Greenlake-Phinney world, where properties just don’t stay on the market for very long at all, and price reductions, if any , have been slight.
    The second world is everywhere else in the Seattle area, where inventory is huge, properties remain unsold, and the levees are barely holding back the floodwaters.

    Does anybody out there actually regard J Lennox Scott as an expert? Or is this just some kind of mindless ritual where reporters turn to the real estate broker stooge for his sage advice?

  17. 17
    Alan says:

    who would want to hire david losh?

    Does he do children’s birthday parties?

    In related news, there were more than double the number of foreclosure filings in King County for February 2008 than February 2007.

    http://seattlebubble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1040

    But on the bright side, they were only up 5% over January 2008.

  18. 18
    Ray Pepper says:

    Personally I have 5 closings set for March. After adding up selling prices and listing prices they are 12% less on the avg..

    For February it was 16%.

    Not scientific but what do you expect from a guy who hates charts….

    Everydeal is its own entity anyway. I closed today on my 247k for 190k foreclosure in Dayton Nv. Brand New home. 5.625 i/o 5 year 20%dn mthly payment with t/i 866.00. Will rent for 1200.00. I made an offer today on another but appears 2 are ahead of me.

    Find that GEM!

    Educate Yourself WASHINGTON!

    http://www.500Realty.net

  19. 19
    Ray Pepper says:

    But you wanna know what really causes me to chafe? I did everything for that Dayton home. I found it. The agent wrote it up (1 hour). He spent an hour or so shuffling my paperwork around. And he got 5% on 190k…500 Realty is unheard of in the Reno area so the option of 75% or 66% back is taboo….

    Why do you do that in Washington? Hmmm? I don’t understand. We never do that. If only he knew what is coming down the pike…………………..

    http://www.500Realty.net

  20. 20
    The Tim says:

    Hey, we’re famous!

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/353814_housing06.html

    Over at Seattle Bubble, a blog dedicated to the proposition that Seattle has a housing bubble, the headline of a post about February’s statistics proclaimed, “Inventory Skyrocketing, Sales in the Gutter (Still).”

    “Apparently the market is so bad that the only way they can make it seem good is to compare month-to-month stats from what is traditionally the second-slowest month of the year. Awesome,” said blog editor Timothy Ellis, mocking the listing service’s news release.

    And Aubrey Cohen wins the prize for first local newspaper reporter to mention Seattle Bubble. Thanks, Aubrey.

  21. 21
    matthew says:

    It’s about time this blog got some recognition. I had a feeling that Cohen might be checking this place out… Lizzie Rhodes on the other hand, probably not.

  22. 22
    economist says:

    What I hear is that properties need to be listed at ten per cent below market value to get activity.

    That’s funny Dave, I’ve never had to ask 10% below market value to sell a stock.

    I guess RE is different.

  23. 23
    Buceri says:

    This is the denial period. “No, No, No!!!!! My neighbor sold for $X a year ago, and my house has a nicer (fill in the blank); so I am not lowering my price!!!”

    Cheap money gone….

  24. 24
    Michael says:

    Listen, there isnt that much of a bubble in Seattle. We have had 20% housing price growth over the last four or so years (not including 07-08), we never saw the 60% price growth that California saw, Arizona, or many other communities in the country, therefore our bubble was never really that big! THats why we are seeing a slowdown and not a huge drop.

    Secondly, you talk about Boeing and Microsoft’s business slowing down and that affecting us. Sorry, but Seattle is still growing (another reason rentals and housing sales are still moving), Google has moved an office here, Yahoo has moved an office in Seattle, there are many other companies that feed this area than just Boeing and Microsoft, and thats why the economy here isnt as bad as many places in the rest of the country.

    The housing markets outside and around Seattle like SNoqualmie are quite low and flat, but that is because they rely on the Seattle/East Side overflow. Seattle is doing fine, and there are many indicators that this summer will heat up, not as much as it has in the past four years, but enough so that it isnt negative numbers.

    So do not think Seattle has a bubble, remember it is a sealocked city like Boston and San Francisco, and is receiving alot of growth these last couple years, so the housing market here will always be fairly strong or better than most cities.

  25. 25
    WestSideBilly says:

    The first world is the Ballard-Wallingford-Fremont-Greenlake-Phinney world, where properties just don’t stay on the market for very long at all, and price reductions, if any , have been slight.

    There are several houses within spitting distance of me (and I live in the first world, as you define it) that are 150+ days on the market with 0 activity. Another relatively new listing that keeps getting pulled from the MLS and relisted with a $1000 reduction. The houses that I’ve seen sell were value priced (i.e. less than the area comps) and generally the better properties.

  26. 26
    Jess-Pumpkin says:

    West Side Billy – would you mind posting a few MLS links of these houses that are near you? Those of us looking for under $650 in the “first world” — it feels very much like dog eat dog. Are these houses that are sitting forever over $650K? I think it’s the upper-end Seattle houses that are experiencing the pricing pop (and I never thought I would ever talk about $650K as if it were low-end housing!). Thanks~

  27. 27
    John says:

    #24, the home prices here have certainly grown way more than 20% in the last four years. The reason why “we are seeing a slowdown and not a huge drop” is because we are just starting to drop. But I’d say the sales decline qualifies for a huge drop anyhow.

    Here is the list of the fastest growing cities in America:

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/27/real_estate/258_fastest_growing_cities/index.htm
    Many of them that are ranked higher than Seattle have already seen significant drop in their home prices.

  28. 28
    Buceri says:

    Michael said:

    “Seattle is doing fine, and there are many indicators that this summer will heat up, not as much as it has in the past four years, but enough so that it isn’t negative numbers.”

    Ouch Michael; I think you will be quoted quite a bit in the next 6 months, and not in a respectful way.

    Buddy; there is no more cheap money….and that was the only way people could buy.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    AndyC says:

    To paraphrase Michael @ #24:

    “I love pink ponies, they are sooooo special. I like combing their hair and accessorizing them!!!”

    Michael, I was very hesitant to believe it as well. I thought Seattle was immune because of geography, economy, etc. The reality is that this market is in BAD shape. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that Increased Listings + Decreased Sales + a decrease from the peak of XX% = a failing market.

    I don’t know what field you’re in, but I sure hope you aren’t investing in real estate!

  31. 31
    AndyC says:

    PS I used to argue with my brother incessantly about this… I sure hope he’s not reading today!

  32. 32
    The Tim says:

    I’ll have to email him a link to this thread.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    Oh, dear brother, I’m reading. I you said you would buy me a beer for every month-over-month decrease in mediam home prices. Your debt is growing.

  34. 34
    AndyC says:

    How about I buy you a beer for each month over month decrease, and you buy me 50 beers for each of my cars you crash!!!

  35. 35
    deejayoh says:

    Speaking of Bubbles, I think Michael has been living in one. I love it when we get a new reader who posts the same set of irrelevant “facts” that have been posted 200 times before.

    Search: so easy a caveman can do it

  36. 36
    Ubersalad says:

    How about you two kids quit peeing in the same toilet at the same time and keep your private giggles private.

  37. 37
    AndyC says:

    Ubersalad,
    I apologize most sincerely for making an irrelevant post on this EXTREMELY serious board. I will be sure to reserve all comments not directly related to the Real Estate Bubble for some other forum. I trust you will do the same?

    Best Regards

  38. 38
    Marc says:

    Lighten up. You can’t say you didn’t laugh when you read “…each of my cars you crash”

  39. 39
    Marc says:

    Before it gets too serious, I’ll admit to being a bit befuddled by this market. I’m familiar with all of the arguments for the existence of a bubble and will freely admit the macroeconomic news is only getting worse (i.e., un-abating credit crunch, interest rate volatility, escalating foreclosure rates, etc.). But then I see the median price in the area that includes my neighborhood went up 14.53% in February YOY (700, Magnolia). And I see two different clients of mine get multiple offers on their houses in Redmond, another client put in a full price back-up offer on a place in Snohomish County, another client sold a mobile home on acreage in Mason County the first weekend, etc. Talk about spring dead cat bounce. Then I remember I have other clients who haven’t had much more than a nibble.

    I’m a homeowner and a real estate attorney so I’ll also admit to being biased. I’m obviously rooting for Seattle’s real estate market to remain resilient in the face of all these negative factors. That said, I tell all my clients that there’s no telling what’s going to happen. If there selling, I tell’em to price right and make the place look great. If they’re buying, I tell’em to low ball. And low balling isn’t limited to price, it can mean early possession, delayed closing, seller carry back, contingent on sale, heck, contingent on anything. I just negotiated a lease option with terms we never would have gotten 6 months ago let alone in ’05. I suppose it’s all relative.

  40. 40
    WestSideBilly says:

    West Side Billy – would you mind posting a few MLS links of these houses that are near you? Those of us looking for under $650 in the “first world” — it feels very much like dog eat dog. Are these houses that are sitting forever over $650K? I think it’s the upper-end Seattle houses that are experiencing the pricing pop (and I never thought I would ever talk about $650K as if it were low-end housing!). Thanks~

    Jess, most of them are still well north of $650k. Those that aren’t:

    One of the ugliest houses I’ve ever seen.
    Goofy house. “Lake View” is a huge misnomer. The view is of the neighbor’s patio with a peak of the lake.
    $110k markup for new appliances and counter tops.
    Flat roof house. Too close to Aurora to be considered a good location.
    Not sure about this one. Other than the small lot it seems like a reasonable place. Has had one smallish ($8k) drop in price.

  41. 41
    b says:

    Marc –

    Median is a poor measure in a changing or declining market, so forget about it making sense until things shake out a whole lot more. Also, there are always people willing to catch the knife in any market because they are either foolishly optimistic or stupid. Many folks don’t even read the newspaper (online or off) with any regularity and are probably completely oblivious to what is going on in the real estate market, despite actively participating in it. They just have a vague notion from a few years ago that real estate is always upupup. These are the people who bought Pets.com stock at $100 because it had fallen from $150 and was a “good buy”, the shoe shine kid told them so.

    Anyway, just like the path on the way up the fall will take a very long time. I expect it to be at least 4-5 years before we reach a bottom, or level off at the bottom. The fact we continue to decline from peak shows the bubble has popped, the RE market does not “double top” like a stock index might. For some reason people expect that 5 years of huge price appreciation should be wiped away in a few months because the appreciation stopped, this isn’t the stock market and that won’t happen. Patience.

  42. 42
    The Tim says:

    Also Marc, when you look at area 700, you’re talking about no more than a few dozen sales each month. Last month specifically there were a whopping 29 closed sales. With such a small sample, it’s no surprise that the median is unpredictable. Just look at the median YOY price change for area 700 since last February:

    Feb: +14.5%
    Jan: -5.5%
    Dec: +16.1%
    Nov: +15.3%
    Oct: +14.0%
    Sep: +24.5%
    Aug: +1.9%
    Jul: -4.5%
    Jun: -2.9%
    May: -11.3%
    Apr: +11.4%
    Mar: +1.9%
    Feb: -11.3%

    All over the place. That’s why I tend to look at county-wide numbers rather than individual neighborhoods. When the sample size is larger it gives us a better idea of what’s going on in the market as a whole.

  43. 43

    I happen to be in position of having inherited enough money to get me into a house, but not in the best part of town. While its true that the best parts of town are still expensive, and I’ve seen affordable properties (under 350k, but still not great areas) sell quickly, things are only getting started. The junk is starting to be skimmed off, in that the garbage people thought they could ask market for is sitting, and people want better deals on decent fixers. I just saw a decent house listed in georgetown for 360k, drop to 320k in a week. It sold quickly, but georgetown is still a noisy place with poisoned soil.

    Plenty of boomers are watching their retirements in their stocks and property evaporate, and quickly at that. There’s plenty of homes for sale in the best parts of Seattle, just at high prices. The closer the rest of the country gets to the screaming point, and we’re headed there fast, the more Seattle will join the necktie party. When it finally sinks in to boomers that the richest generation in history is going to enjoy its golden years in the gutter, watch out below on home prices.

  44. 44
    david losh says:

    Sorry, I’ll say it. This December is one of the busiest months I can remember in the Real Estate business. Agents are putting houses on the market and getting multiple offers. The charts and per centages just don’t look that bad. I sold three properties in anticipation of a market crash that I’m not seeing. Forelosures of tract housing aren’t pushing any buttons for me. Price is a function of time so the loans being lost today will be made in a year or two.
    It’s just not unfolding as bad as I thought it would.

  45. 45
    David McManus says:

    I ask that all people grounded in reality please not respond to post #44. You will simply be feeding the animals and you all know that we’re not supposed to do that. Just let time do it’s thing and they will just go away and move on to other careers.

  46. 46
    local Realitor says:

    Mr. Losh: Where do you sell houses….in your own mind?? December was a complete DOWNER. IF December was the busiest you can remember then that probably means you dont sell houses January – November.

  47. 47
    Ubersalad says:

    david losh sells dog houses…hence the busy December.

  48. 48
    Teacher Greg says:

    Ira, why dont you do a search for 360 N 76th st. They had it on the market for over 1 1/2 years (relisting it many times) and dropped the price from $819 (I think) to the final sale price of something in the neighborhood of $720. If you have some counter examples of houses that sold quickly at or above the ORIGINAL list price (as opposed to the original list price the third time the listing expired and the price was lowered) I’d love to see them.

  49. 49
    Ubersalad says:

    david losh, david losh…why are you posting? I feel bad for those that buy anything through you, they must be as clueless as you are.

  50. 50
    Ubersalad says:

    has anyone ever tell you that you look a bit like Rocky Balboa?

  51. 51

    Teacher Greg,
    Just looked up that house, and wow is it ugly! It sold a month ago for 710, according to NWMLS. Kind of a monstrosity.
    I can look up stats, and I don’t know that homes in my “first world” are selling for higher than asking prices, all I know is from personal experience, and that my experience is that older homes in my ” first world” with intact charm, that list for under 500k sell quickly, and for very near the asking price. Whether this continues, I don’t know…But I do know that for 400k, most homes sold in Greenlake are usually ugly little dumps.

  52. 52
    Teacher Greg says:

    $710! That was it, I knew it was in that range. You make a good point about houses around 500k. That is a fairly reasonable price, imho, for an urban area. I think the Greenlake-Phinney-Fremont area though in the 800k+ range is a different story to be sure. I see the same houses come back on and off the market all the time.

  53. 53

    But even at 500k…it might be a reasonable price for an urban area, but who can afford it?
    What makes cities great is their diversity, and if 500K is a reasonable price, who is going to live there? Older folks won’t be able to live there, as their pensions won’t be able to cover property taxes, and younger folks won’t be able to live there because they won’t have had the time to accumulate, so who do you want all of your neighbors to be ?

  54. 54
    Marc says:

    b,

    I hope you’re wrong but I’m not foolish enough to declare that you’re wrong. Besides, I like a little mystery so I don’t mind waiting to find out.

    Tim,

    Volatility in median prices? Absolutely. I keep an eye on the homes that sell in Magnolia and hit the occassional open house to get a semblance of my micro-market. It’s definitely not scientific but I am amazed by some of the things I see. For instance, http://www.redfin.com/stingray/do/printable-listing?listing-id=1526563 At $458 per foot, the agent who listed this house is either the most optimistic salesman of all time or flat out crazy.

  55. 55
    Marc says:

    Here’s where my bias kicks in: I want this optimistic/crazy SOB to get every penny.

    Comp me, baby!

  56. 56
    John says:

    Ira, Manhattan is diverse even though the prices are through the roof.

  57. 57

    John,
    Manhattan is diverse, but they do have rent control, which allows for some lucky people to not spend all their income on housing.

  58. 58
    jess/pumpkin says:

    Thanks so much for the listings, WestSideBilly — I’ve seen almost all of those houses, and they are stinky (I have not seen the inside of the super small ones, though). Maybe when I have more guts I will post the addresses of the two houses that we did not get in the last two months — the Magnolia house that I’m glad I didn’t get, and the Ravenna-area house that I loved and lost to a +$50K bid. I’m reluctant now because I don’t want to take the chance of identifying myself on-line.

    We are in the final negotiations on a house in North Seattle that has everything we want (huge lot, charm, house size, etc), and thanks to all of you here, I think the final price is going to be about 15% under list (at least that will be our final counter-counter offer). Please wish us luck and hold the snarky comments.

  59. 59
    teacher_greg says:

    Ira…you bring up a good point about who can afford it and I don’t mean to be crass about it but as someone who sold my home in oct of 06 after owning it for six years and then putting the proceeds in cash (4.8% cash mutual fund) people like me can even on a teacher’s salary. Thank you Seattle Bubble!

  60. 60
    WestSideBilly says:

    Good luck getting your house, Jess!

  61. 61
    Everett_Tom says:

    Jess,

    Thanks for sharing your story on your house buying experience (hopefully!). It’s a nice reminder that while numbers and statistics are important, people are behind them. My wife and I are going though a lot of the same gyrations you’ve been, and it’s nice not to fell quite so alone.. :)

  62. 62
    Marc says:

    Jess, I know you haven’t asked my opinion but for what it’s worth, if your current deal falls through, I think you should reconsider Magnolia. I’ve lived in the U-District, Wallingford/Greenlake and Ballard and more recently a few years on Queen Anne. I enjoyed them all but, hands down, my favorite is Magnolia. It’s Mayberry two miles from downtown. My neighbors are great, the village is steps away, and the McMansions aren’t too bad. If you don’t like the prices or what you get for the prices, well, that’s a fair critique. But, there are “gems” to be had if sweat equity is a possibility.

  63. 63

    The Puget Sound implosion continues. In Snohomish County, median SFH price was off -0.28% YOY and -7.2% from the peak set in March 07. SnoCo condos held up better, up 9.9% YOY and set a new record.

    In Pierce Co, median SFH was off -7.4% YOY and -8.9% from the peak set in Aug 07. The Piece Co condo market was even worse. Median condo price was off a whopping -14.2% YOY. The condo market peaked in Feb 07, so that’s also the percentage off from the record.

    Ugly, ugly #s. I’ll try to get some figs up on my blog.

  64. 64
    Jess-Pumpkin says:

    Thanks everyone- they threw a fit over our last price and asked for more time to consider. I’m inclined to say no and walk, but my husband loves the house. It is the last offer we write for them. Who knows what will happen. Marc, I may return to Magnolia again if this doesn’t work. Magnolia has always been captured in my daily searches. Truth be told, if this offer is rejected and we walk — I’m taking a break for a few weeks. My golf game has probably tanked now since I spend every weekend touring (crap) houses.

  65. 65
    david losh says:

    OK, you’re right, I’m a lousy real estate agent. The people who work with me are interested in real estate for the purpose of building wealth or financial security. Many of you seem confused about market value. Market Value is what a reasonable buyer is willing to pay, at that moment, for a property.
    No matter what your take is on the current economy there is a straight line of appreciation by rolling back housing prices to 2005, appoximately 20% in Seattle, 50% in Miami.
    The fact is, at this point, that may or may not happen here in Seattle. The Real Estate market in Seattle is stronger than I thought.
    So, in my opinion, I was wrong to sell my properties. I should have held out because it’s looking like the market crash I feared is not materializing.

  66. 66
    jess says:

    Hi everyone- we finally got mutual agreement this morning (they really did NOT want to concede a falling Market). Thanks for all of your help the last 10 months. Bon chance et merci! Jess

  67. 67

    David Losh,
    You may be crazy, and your predictive powers may be wrong now as well as in the past, but i bet you’re actually a pretty good real estate agent.

  68. 68
    Angie says:

    Hey, Jess, congrats!! I hope the rest of the transaction goes smoothly and the place is wonderful for your family.

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    TJ_98370 says:

    An e-mail I sent to the editor of the Kitsap Sun is shown below. I can’t help but wonder if the error was intentional.

    Mr. Brody,

    Please note error in the March 10 edition of the Kitsap Sun. In your “West Sound Home Sales” table on page A3, the median sales price for Kitsap County for Feb 07 is listed as being $255,000. This contradicts data provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). According to the NWMLS the median sales price in Kitsap County for Feb 07 was $285,000. This results in a 11.23% decline in median price since Feb 07 as opposed to the 1% decline that you published.

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    […] Remember last month when J. Lennox Scott said “In March, the real estate market is set to get its mojo back. We’re already seeing the momentum build.”? […]

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