Foreclosure Tours Arrive in the Northwest

You’ve probably heard about the foreclosure tours that are becoming common in places like Las Vegas and Sacramento. Well it looks like they have finally arrived in the Northwest.

Thurston County foreclosure notices have increased more than 50 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same period last year, prompting one real estate agent to begin offering tours of homes in various stages of foreclosure.

Through the first three months of the year, the county has received 228 foreclosure notices, up 54.1 percent from the 148 received during the same period last year, county licensing and recording manager Terra Howell said.

South Sound real estate agent Phil Sharp has tried to capitalize on this increase by offering tours of foreclosed property to potential investors.

In February there were only 223 closed sales in Thurston county. So although 228 foreclosures doesn’t seem like much, it might be hard to find buyers for those properties.

Tim Salo of Olympia said he wants to diversify his investment portfolio by buying real estate.

He started shopping for foreclosed properties about six months ago, but then prices averaged about $250,000. Since, he has noticed prices for distressed property fall 10 percent to 15 percent.

“Now, it pencils out,” he said about the investment.

Wow, so if property prices have fallen 10 to 15 percent in just six months, why wouldn’t you wait another six months to see if they keep falling further? Sure, if you’re “buying for the long term” and all that, it doesn’t matter, bla bla bla, but isn’t buying today when it is a near-certainty that prices will be cheaper tomorrow just throwing money away?

(Rolf Boone, The Olympian, 03.30.2008)

  

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.

75 comments:

  1. 1
    Buceri says:

    Certainly a nice way to make a few extra $$$. He might be able to make more on the tours than in sales commissions.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2
    Sniglet says:

    If investors are still looking at real-estate as a great place to park their money, then we clearly haven’t hit bottom yet. Only after all these eager “vulture” investors have been taken to the cleaners will be getting close to having a true bottom.

    The same thing happened in the .com bust, with many people jumping at tech stocks once they had fallen 50%, only to see them virtually collapse.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3
    FreedomLover says:

    There are always plenty of knife-catchers ready, willing and “able”.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4
    MacAttack says:

    Maybe this Tim can explain to me how a 10-15% drop in prices can now make something “pencil out.” It sure seems to me that the spread between rent and mortgage is way more than would be corrected by a 10-15% drop.

    Tim Salo of Olympia said he wants to diversify his investment portfolio by buying real estate.

    He started shopping for foreclosed properties about six months ago, but then prices averaged about $250,000. Since, he has noticed prices for distressed property fall 10 percent to 15 percent.

    “Now, it pencils out,” he said about the investment.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. 5
    Sniglet says:

    It sure seems to me that the spread between rent and mortgage is way more than would be corrected by a 10-15% drop.

    This is an interesting point. The math gets particularly fuzzy if the rents are declining as well. If the pattern in Washington holds the same as in other declining markets (and I don’t see why it shouldn’t), rents seem to go under pressure at the same time that for-sale inventory is rising and prices are declining. I would be very surprised if there wasn’t some kind of downward pressure on rents when there is a 15% drop in purchase prices.

    Of course, if your profit calculations include expected 3% annual apprecation (after this one-off 15% drop), then I suppose lowered rental income might not matter.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6
    [troll] says:

    “nd ll tht, t dsn’t mttr, bl bl bl, bt sn’t byng tdy whn t s nr-crtnty tht prcs wll b chpr tmrrw jst thrwng mny wy?”

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    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7
    Sniglet says:

    There is no such thing as ‘near-certainty’.

    There’s no such thing as ‘buying today is worse than buying tomorrow’ or ‘in the near future’.

    Exactly. Poeple shouldn’t be worried about whether a home will be a good inivestment or not. Just make sure that you would be comfortable if the home you want to buy were to drop 50% in value. So long as such a possible price drop wouldn’t bother you (i.e. because you have plenty of savings, and it doesn’t represent that big a percentage of your net worth), then you should definitely buy.

    Hey, if your home actually appreciates so much the better. But just make sure you are always prepared for the worst case, because it CAN happen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8
    David McManus says:

    I’ll call BS on that Sniglet. Real estate ALWAYS goes up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    Sniglet says:

    I’ll call BS on that Sniglet. Real estate ALWAYS goes up.

    Silly me, I don’t know what I was thinking. Don’t worry about taking on massive debt loads to buy a home, or even pledging your first-born as collateral. Appreciation will make you rich! It’s all good.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    David McManus says:

    Oops, my post at #8 was meant for tomorrow. Early April Fools! :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. 11
    Mikal says:

    Rents in the Seattle area are rising. An apartment that went for $850 2 years ago is now getting $1200. I guess if people are being foreclosed on they still need someplace to live. Rents are supposed to rise in this area 20 % over the next five years. You people that are hoping for prices to fall will still NEVER be able to afford the neighborhood that you want to live in. Money is money, the slow down will hit here some, but land use restirictions will put a premium on everything close in. Wallingford will always be expensive as everything is relative. If the cost of housing goes dowm that much you will more than likely see deflationary effects from your paycheck if you still have a job. My rental properties were purchased 10 years ago and would have to lose 80 percent of there current value for me to start getting scared. I’m in it for the long haul, so it doesn’t really matter.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. 12
    Dave Lincoln says:

    “Exactly. Poeple shouldn’t be worried about whether a home will be a good inivestment or not. Just make sure that you would be comfortable if the home you want to buy were to drop 50% in value. So long as such a possible price drop wouldn’t bother you (i.e. because you have plenty of savings, and it doesn’t represent that big a percentage of your net worth), then you should definitely buy.”

    Let me add to that. Why should anyone be concerned about his house dropping any amount in value, if he figured it was worth the money he paid for it? Get what I’m saying? It’s a place to live, to call home, fix up the way you like, and get attached to (usually pretty quick on the getting-attached-to).

    Heck, if the value goes down, shouldn’t the taxes go down? Oh, wait a minute, don’t answer that one – that was another thread Look, if you really buy a house to rent out at a profit, or to live in, buy something that is worth the money and that you can afford (the latter should be determined with help from the lender, too). It’s that simple. Anyone buying a house worrying about what the price will do is an investor. Get into stocks/bond/ whatever, or don’t complain if you lose your ass.

    I don’t see why the current assessed value of your house should be of any worry to the owner, except in regards to large property tax increases (see California, 1978). If you could forsee always being able to make the payments, and you didn’t get rooked or something (termites, ghosts, stashes of pot or coke in the crawl space, what-have-you), then what do you care? Take care of your house and enjoy it.

    But, right now I don’t see any houses in Seattle that are selling (asking price) for what they are worth – I am including location. If it isn’t worth it as it is, don’t buy it.

    So, basically do not buy a house now; that’s what I am trying to say in so many words.

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  13. 13
  14. 14
    Mikal says:

    Michael, Wow, that article said by next month we might be up to 5 percent unemployment. Five percent is nothing compared to historical figures. 7 percent isn’t that much in a recession. In the early 80’s it was 11 percent. During the depression it was 25 percent at peak. The media is spewing much of this garbage so it is easy to see why people are thinking it is that bad. Thank god we live in Seattle where we have some industry. It insulates us from much of what is happening in the rest of the U.S. We have industry here. We make more money in this state per capita ($10,000) than any other. The world economy is different than it was even ten years ago. The world markets will take a hit, but we will still have countries that want planes. Especially now that the dollar is worthless thanks to another 5 trillion in government borrowed debt over the last seven years. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it does make what we produce a better value for other countries.

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  15. 15
    Joel says:

    You people that are hoping for prices to fall will still NEVER be able to afford the neighborhood that you want to live in.

    I guess that means that I, and by extension the vast majority of people my age (since I make will over the median income for my age group) will never be able to buy a house. Dang, I guess we’re priced out forever just like everyone has been saying all along. I should’ve been born just 3 years earlier.

    But wait. If nearly everyone is priced out forever, how can prices stay so high? Gee I wish there some website totally devoted to the myth of everyone being Priced Out Forever.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. 16
    mike2 says:

    I noticed an ad for foreclosure tours in my local paper. All proceeds go to to a local homeless shelter. How appropriate.

    I also agree that 10-15% off is just the start. I’m seeing REO’s and short sales in my neighborhood drop by 10% and sit on the market. There are just too many of them now for a 10% drop to make a difference.

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  17. 17
    Mikal says:

    Nope, just the areas it seems some of you are so eager to live. The outer area will loose alot of value. The closer in areas not so much. Land use has changed any comparison to previous years. There isn’t alot of subprime in this area if any. That makes this area different than Sacremento or Detroit. I thought Wallingford was over priced 15 years ago when a large three bedroom house went for $180,000. If that house now looses 60 percent of it’s current value it still will be over $250,000 if not $300,000 plus. I’m guessing you still can’t afford. You can find some good deals in Marysville. Gas prices are going to make living closer to work even more attractive, also driving up close in values. Shoreline will see dome drop in value, not much in the city. One of the big reasons that houses are sitting on the market so long is that you have to have an 800 score on your credit to get a loan. Not many people do. Yes the market is overpriced, but it makes it impossible to sell if you can’t find a buyer with financing. You gloom and doom people make me laugh.

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  18. 18
    Michael says:

    I would like to see a colum about what and how to buy if you have money. If you had say 200,000 down or 100,000 or 50,000 down what would be the most effective way to spend the money.

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  19. 19
    Dave Lincoln says:

    “Not many people do. Yes the market is overpriced, but it makes it impossible to sell if you can’t find a buyer with financing. You gloom and doom people make me laugh.”

    Dude, how’s that logic work, now? So, It’s impossible to sell, but maybe you are moving, so you need to sell your house. I guess it is not impossible to sell. You will just have to lower the price.

    Now when that Wallingford house gets down to 250-300K$, you say I still can’t buy it. Well, I can, but you were writing to another guy. So, if people can’t buy it at that price, it won’t sell at that price, so it will not be a 250-300K$ house anymore, will it? For each buyer there is a seller – for every thing there is a season, turn, turn, turn (Byrds 1960’s, directly ripped from Ecclesiastes -2000’s or so).

    You can’t repeal the law of supply and demand, Mikal, no matter what kind of Commie f__k you are – just going by the name, please correct me if you are indeed not a commie – my apologies in advance, Comrade. haha.

    Who said there is gloom and doom? I am not one of the gloom-and-doom people since I would like to see reasonable prices on houses again. It’s the same with most posters on the site. Yeah, a depression may very well be coming, but, hey, you don’t see me whining about it.

    Instead of one of the gloom-and-doom people, I am one of those where-do-they-get-these idiot-posters people. There are many of us. We are all about you – we live regular lives

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  20. 20
    NotAnOwner says:

    Mikal // Mar 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Nope, just the areas it seems some of you are so eager to live. The outer area will loose alot of value.

    ….

    Well, I may not live in those high priced areas, but at least I’ll always have my spelling.

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  21. 21
    Michael says:

    I am a doom and gloom person.

    So if we reach 5% unemployment with Wall Street Banks forced to write down 250 million and the best case scenario is a 600billion write down then we are half the way through this mess. Deutchbank is predicting a 1 trillion dollar write down and I’ve heard a 6 trillion estimate from Harper is you add credit card and student loan defaults. Call me crazy but this is the tip of the iceberg.

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  22. 22
    Alan says:

    Mikal,

    You may find the result of this poll surprising (or you may choose to disbelieve it).

    Consider a hypothetical Seattle Bubbler: $100k annual income, $100k in down payment available, 800 credit score.

    What do you think they should be able to afford?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Locust says:

    Joel/Mikal–

    In my view the thing that could really lead to major price declines for close in properties would be overbuilding, which might be an issue for condo towers but not for regular single family homes. If there is a pretty much fixed supply of those located close-in to the fully developed city centers, say 10,000 units in a particular desired area, then the price of those units will be dictated by the income level of the wealthiest 10,000 people in the interested buyer pool for that area. So it is linked to income, yes, but it is the income levels at the top that matter.

    As we all know, incomes of the well-off portion of our economy have done a lot better than the average person. The pool of potential buyers does shrink some when the economy slows, and credit tightens. Any sellers are very slow to accept the price declines that are needed, so houses sit on the market at the top end too. But the basic disconnect between prices and what the average person can afford is attributable to how well the well-off are doing compared to the average.

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  25. 25
    Mikal says:

    Locust, agreed. Dave, I’m no commie. If the prices do drop that much, we will be thrown into a huge recession, which means that wages will stagnate as this will be more like a real depression. You will either be earning less, or earning nothing. You still won’t be able to afford what you crave. The houses close in will never be considered AFFORDABLE.

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  26. 26
    Mikal says:

    You people cheering the decline better be sure about what you are cheering. This will affect your job if the market does drop off like you hope.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. 27
    Joel says:

    If there is a pretty much fixed supply of those located close

    That’s a pretty big “if” seeing as how supply increased faster than demand. You can make up hypothetical situations all you want, but it’s not going to change reality.

    You will either be earning less, or earning nothing. You still won’t be able to afford what you crave.

    Awesome. So now that houses are permanently unaffordable, when someone needs to sell and they can’t (because nobody can afford it), I guess it’ll just stay empty and unsold forever?

    You people cheering the decline better be sure about what you are cheering.

    You watch too much Oprah. Just cheering something doesn’t make it happen. If it actually mattered, the NAR, all the realtors, mortgage brokers and house owners would propped up the entire market by sheer force of will.

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  28. 28
    Sniglet says:

    In my view the thing that could really lead to major price declines for close in properties would be overbuilding, which might be an issue for condo towers but not for regular single family homes

    Manhattan is now seeing price declines and they have a much tighter building environment than Seattle. Heck, all of New York city is seeing price declines (e.g. Brooklyn, etc). All it will take to tank prices in Seattle is a Dow Jones Industrial average dropping below 10,000, and hiring freezes announced at a couple major employers. Just watch how quickly people put their spending plans on hold…

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  29. 29
    Ben says:

    Mikal – you would have more credibility with me if you knew the difference between loose and lose, and there and their. Sorry, but I find it impossible to discern a cogent argument in a sea of bad spelling.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_frequently_misused_English_words

    Also, as has been pointed out to you by several people, values of assets are not assigned by the creator in some special system. Property is worth what somebody is willing and able to pay for it. Around here right now, the will is there but the ability has been removed.

    How hard is it to understand that a pyramid scheme cannot go on indefinitely?

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  30. 30
    DG72 says:

    Mikal,

    At least bring some facts to the game. Also, when talking economics it is often more important to see the direction of markets as well as the rate of change. Unemployment might stil be low at 5% but it moving higher is a sign of a weaking economy and with all the leverage in the market now any small change means big problems. If your arguments were valid then why would anyone be concerned over a stock-market that has declined from it’s highs when it’s still well above what it was 2 years ago. Please bring some game next time and not the same old tired arguments that have been said and disproven in the major markets in the country with equally good economies and arguably better living conditions. You purchased 10yrs ago…did you buy anything in 2006-2007? doesn’t sound like it. If you did you’d know what the heck was going on around you.

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  31. 31
    Toad37 says:

    Save your money, payoff and don’t create any new debt, and buy some form of gold and silver.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32
    Scotsman says:

    Got a surprise call from an old friend today. We kind of went our separate ways when he and his wife really wanted to start living the good life with a new dream home, fancy SUV, etc. after he got a big promotion…. and I threw water on his dreams, saying home prices were going to crash. That was Spring of ’06.

    He said I’d be proud- he was driving a used car now, one that was paid for. Yeah, his home was $80k upside down.. The spec home he’d bought to flip was upside down too, a total disaster, but he’d been able to rent it on a year lease…. at $1500/mo. less than his carrying cost. He owed hundreds of thousands to his in-laws and brother, but was current on his payments. He suggested we should get together and have lunch sometime soon.

    I thought to myself, “why?” He wouldn’t listen before. I’m done giving out advice that no one wants to hear. And my advice now would be a lot harder to live with than what we discussed before. He thinks prices will come back next year. He thought maybe some condos would be a good deal now, that they might cash flow.

    He’s going to end up bankrupt, divorced, and dis-owned. If he didn’t have a good $160K/yr job, he’d be bankrupt now. Instead, he busts his butt to just keep his head above water, but it won’t work. Another 10% drop in his real estate holdings will eat up a full years gross salary. Debt slave.

    Real Estate always goes up. The bottom is in. Now is a great time to buy. The government will save us.

    The majority of people are fools, and deserve what they get.

    This country is seriously talking about NATIONALIZING THE BANKS, and some of you think it’s a good time to buy? WTF!!

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  33. 33

    I have posted my inventory charts for Greater Vancouver if you follow that market. Inventory up 17%

    http://paul-northvancouverhomes.blogspot.com/

    I read this blog often. Looks like we are starting to follow the US trend.

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  34. 34
    Dave Lincoln says:

    “Locust, agreed. Dave, I’m no commie. If the prices do drop that much, we will be thrown into a huge recession, which means that wages will stagnate as this will be more like a real depression. You will either be earning less, or earning nothing. You still won’t be able to afford what you crave. The houses close in will never be considered AFFORDABLE”

    Mikal, for every seller there is a buyer. What are those owner of the Wallingford houses to do? I mean the ones that want or have to move ( maybe they lost theiir jobs ithe depression.) Should they just sit tight in it for years until the good times? How, if they are out of a job? Supply and Demand, my non-Commie friend – it is a concept that has obviously not sunken into your head yet.

    It might be a depression we never get out of, if we go socialist like we did during the last one. Hope FDR rots llke leftover sweet-potatos. (Well, that may not be much of a mean comment, I’m sure he has rotted already, it’s what dead people do.

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  35. 35
    what goes up comes down says:

    Dave Lincoln I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I am not sure I get the commie statements, just because a guys name is Mikal. Just because your last name is Lincoln does that mean we should think you’re honest?? Or that you like theater?

    Things get weirder and weirder, we have one guy who is thinking the market will tank so things will be affordable again (somewhat I believe a socialist/community bent) calling the owner who is thinking things will never go down (somewhat the capitalist bent) a commie. STRANGE to say the least.

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  36. 36
    Buceri says:

    Let’s not take those unemployment numbers too seriously. In the past 10-15 years, it’s been proven that many Americans have dropped out of the system. If you are not getting unemployment benefits, and you tell the feds you are not looking, they don’t count you. After a few years, people give up. Like Colbert said: “Be a patriot, don’t claim unemployment. Our numbers look better that way!!” (or something like that)

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  37. 37
    Buceri says:

    Inventory down over 300 units??? It has to be an April’s fool thing!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. 38
    Alan says:

    Buceri, At the end of the month there seems to be some database house cleaning going on. They remove expired and duplicate listings. It happens every month.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. 39
    Nolaguy says:

    MIkal said:

    “Thank god we live in Seattle where we have some industry. It insulates us from much of what is happening in the rest of the U.S. We have industry here. We make more money in this state per capita ($10,000) than any other”

    You are wrong.

    As per the BEA website, Washington state is not in the top 10 states of per capita GDP. (It’s #12 based on 2006 data). #12 is good, but not close to the claim you make of “more money in this state than any other”.

    Your $10,000 claim was wrong too. For washington, it’s $39k.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. 40
    Buceri says:

    Thanks Alan. I think I make the same observation every 1st of the month, and someone always sets me straight. I’ll try to remember on May 1st.

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  41. 41
    b says:

    Anyone else notice the emotional blackmail starting to occur in the people who (used to) believe that prices only go upupup? Now its “you’ll sure be sorry when prices go down and people are forced to kill your family because they can’t sell their house!!”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42
    softwarengineer says:

    EVERYBODY THAT WANTS REAL ESTATE TO GO UP GETS 0.1% MONEY MARKETS FOR YOUR 401KS

    The rest of us get 10%. Sounds fair to me.

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  43. 43
    Matthew says:

    With Nostra and Mikal the quality of trolls on this blog has seriously deteriorated. Can we please bring back Meshugy and Financeguru? Oh wait, those two are probably intelligent enough to realize that if you purchased a home in Seattle in March 2007 that you are worse off in 2008…

    Can’t wait for those 10-11 percent July YOY decreases!

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  44. 44
    WestSideBilly says:

    You are wrong.

    As per the BEA website, Washington state is not in the top 10 states of per capita GDP. (It’s #12 based on 2006 data). #12 is good, but not close to the claim you make of “more money in this state than any other”.

    Your $10,000 claim was wrong too. For washington, it’s $39k.

    He was referencing an article from the (I think) WSJ that broke down the per capita income generated from actual industry. WA was first with around $10k/yr. I don’t know what is considered industry and what isn’t, but that’s what he was referring to.

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  45. 45
    Dave Lincoln says:

    ” ….is thinking the market will tank so things will be affordable again (somewhat I believe a socialist/community bent) ”

    “what goes up comes down”, I don’t understand that satement, or how it makes me a socialist. I believe in free markets and the law of supply and demand. Yes, if the economy tanks (not just the “market”), then housing will be cheaper. Of course, to afford it, maybe it’d be good if you had been a saver, and had some cash on hand.

    That’s why I am not too worried about “things'” in general tanking, myself. I think many people in America will learn a hard lesson about finances soon – I don’t gloat about it, and that doesn’t make me a socialist. I think it’s good in the long run, so long as we don’t get another FDR (or Obama or Hillary or McCain) to try to “solve” things.

    Oh, yeah I just think the name sounds commie; also it seemed at his first comment that he didn’t understand supply and demand, which is one of the many signs of a commie.

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  46. 46
    Matthew says:

    Hoping for the market to correct is not socialist, its a free market capitalist belief. Praying for government intervention to prop up artificially high prices is in fact socialist.

    Prices coming down benefit everyone in this market except for people that are looking to sell to leave the area and/or flippers/investors.

    Form your own opinion about those on this blog that seem to adamantly oppose this line of thinking, chances are they belong to the latter group.

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  47. 47
    uptown says:

    “so long as we don’t get another FDR”

    Too golly funny!!! I like how you don’t mention that GOP loser who got the depression going.
    ‘Let someone else cleanup the mess’ seems to be the motto of the modern Republicans.

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  48. 48
    Dave Lincoln says:

    Yeah, uptown, the only reason we got out of the prolonged depression prolonged by the socialist FDR was that he got us into World War II. 12 years of depression, then 4 years of war. Not very good times. Read some history, my uptown friend – they’ve got a big library uptown, architectural nightmare that it is, full of history books.

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  49. 49
    Mikal says:

    Dave, I own three houses and three businesses. You are probably a waiter, or heaven forbid, a bartender. Stick to the topic instead of the straw man arguments.
    Supply and demand are right. There are very few properties in the near Seattle market. I don’t believe that the prices will ever drop in single family homes to the degree your expecting because it seems many want to live close. It seems I hit a nerve. Sorry. To the spelling Nazi, I apoligize for my poor typing.

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  50. 50
    Dave0 says:

    Why is it anyone in the real estate business assumes that non-homeowners are poor and uneducated? Mikal, did you even look at that poll Alan linked above? You should also take a look at the post linked below. From what I’ve read, the readership here is well-educated (particularly in finances and statistics) and have a good amount of liquid assets. I myself am a college-educated financial analyst and have come to the conclusion that I’m better off financially by renting.

    http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2007/06/19/who-employs-the-bubbleheads/#more-874

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  51. 51
    b says:

    Mikal –

    Seattle has nowhere near the density to support the prices of the last few years (ranked 26 according to this last). Seattle has a long way to go before it can charge SF or NYC close-in premiums. Besides, such a long term trend would take decades to appear, and not appear all of the sudden in 2004 and go away at the end of 2007 as bubble pricing did.

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  52. 52
    matthew says:

    Mikal-

    How did I guess that you fell into the latter group. Do you also own a pink pony ranch?

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  53. 53
    matthew says:

    The arguments that Mikal is presenting are nothing new. Population, lack of land, jobs, etc, have all been discussed at length the last 3 years on this blog.

    Just another troll that wants to come on here and argue the same tired points that have been discussed over and over again. Perhaps if he did a little research and read some of the old posts that addressed all these items we wouldn’t be constantly having the same conversations over and over again.

    The ironic thing is how people continue to argue against declining housing prices in the face of overwhelming data. This is probably the reason that the quality of troll has diminished so much… Anyone with half a brain has ceased to argue.

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  54. 54
    Alan says:

    Man with heavy investments in real estate believes prices won’t fall much. Film at 11.

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  55. 55
    bitterowner says:

    Re: Matthew #53: “The ironic thing is how people continue to argue against declining housing prices in the face of overwhelming data. This is probably the reason that the quality of troll has diminished so much… Anyone with half a brain has ceased to argue.”

    I was listening to NPR on my way to work this AM. They were discussing how the housing thing could’ve possibly gotten so out of hand. The financial expert guy basically said (paraphrasing) that this is simply a function of human nature. When people become so invested in believing that prices can only go up, you can scream and yell at them all you want with any number of entirely logical reasons why this situation has become irrational and unsustainable, yet you can expect that nobody will listen. It made me think of some of the discussions on this blog. They were taking calls and I was half expecting to hear Tim’s voice.

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  56. 56
    Mikal says:

    Look at how you people attack someone who doesn’t agree with you. I never said housing won’t drop. Just not to the level you are hoping it will. This area has industry, probably more than any major city in America. Live with it. It is why we are here. There are jobs here. It is why the prices will only fall so much in close. Anyone talking about pink ponies is definately a Capitol Hill guy. No, I don’t own any pink ponies.

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  57. 57
    The Tim says:

    I’m not going to attack you Mikal, but hyperbole like “This area has industry, probably more than any major city in America.” isn’t doing much to advance your argument. Neither are statements like “You people… will still NEVER be able to afford the neighborhood that you want to live in.” Not everyone wants to live close-in (I certainly don’t), and phrases like “you people” which you keep using seem to be intentionally antagonistic.

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  58. 58
    bitterowner says:

    Mikal,
    Please define “you people.” Just curious. My sense is that there are a diverse group of people who post here.
    With regard to how much we/I “hope” prices will drop, as has been mentioned countless times on this blog, there is a significant difference between “hoping” prices will drop and “expecting” that they will.

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  59. 59
    Matthew says:

    Capitol Hill? No, I live in Belltown. No pink pony farms, perhaps then you take Kool-Aid injections?

    This city has more industry than any other city in America? Ever been to the Silicon Valley?

    -Adobe
    -Cisco
    -Intell
    -Cisco
    -eBay
    -Apple
    -Yahoo!
    -Google
    -Oracle
    -AMD
    -Sun
    -Netflix

    … just to name a few…

    P.S. read the jobs post on the right of this blog, that argument has already been argued to death on here. Do yourself a favor and actually read some of the archives before you decide to join the conversation.

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  60. 60
    Mikal says:

    Do yourself a favor and get some anger management therapy. It is ok to disagree with people and not be such an a@@h@@@. Good night.

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  61. 61
    Alan says:

    Pot, meet kettle.

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  62. 62
    bitterowner says:

    If that was directed toward me, all I can say is that I’ve never been called an aaahaaa before. However, if it is in any way a reference to the horrible 70’s/80’s era band of similar name, I take great offense.

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  63. 63

    Somehow Bitter Owner, for some reason I don’t think you were being accused of being a member of that Swedish rock group.

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  64. 64
    Buceri says:

    Children!!!

    Time for Tim to start a new thread….how about those annoying pebbles on I405 that chip your windshield??? Cracked 4 in 6 years!!

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  65. 65
    Matthew says:

    People in Seattle are so sensitive!

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  66. 66
    Matthew says:

    I’m pretty sure his rant was directed at me… probably because I am an a@@h@@@

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  67. 67
    Ray Pepper says:

    Reno, Vegas, and Phoenix..ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh..I’m concluding my tour of the carnage…No need to report here. Most know what I have seen.

    It supports many of Mikals statements. But, one statement I like the most.” YOU STILL WONT BE ABLE TO AFFORD WHAT YOU CRAVE.”

    He is correct. As we come down the premium properties also will decline but your financial position will change as well. In addition this slow down has had an enormous increase on my cash flow in my Residential Portfolio. I began raising all rents last October and forsee myself continuing to do this over the next year. Cash flow is already up 13%. Taxes and ins are up a bit but owning rentals (in my case) are GOLD! But, then again I bought my rentals many years ago and of course at prices that were GEMS!

    Ray Pepper
    http://www.500Realty.net

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  68. 68
    The Dude Abides says:

    Scotsman – don’t go to lunch with him; he’s going to hit you up for a loan!

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  69. 69
    Dave Lincoln says:

    “Dave, I own three houses and three businesses. You are probably a waiter, or heaven forbid, a bartender”

    What the hell gives you any idea that I a waiter or bartender.? I’m not, though I did used to deliver pizzas in 1988. It was in a different part of the country.
    Maybe one of your businesses is a Psycic (sp)/ Palm reading operation My advice, keep your other businesses, you will lose your ass, as you don’t have the gift.

    You are still wrong though. I don’t believe you understand economics.

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  70. 70
    Sniglet says:

    Ray,

    Will you be able to keep raising rents if Seattle area housing prices decline significantly? My understanding is that rental rates have been under pressure in regions where there have been substantial numbers of foreclosures. Or do you feel that rental rates have little correlation to the foreclosure, or declines in purchase prices?

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  71. 71
    bitterowner says:

    Matthew/Ira:
    Theme song for a@@h@@@:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUod3jGQt0U

    It’s as brutal now as it was back then.

    (okay, I promise – no more off topic posts)

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  72. 72
    Mikal says:

    Rates go up because people need someplace to live. Forclosures make it even higher rents as banks don’t rent properties they take over.

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  73. 73
    johnnybigspenda says:

    I was listening to NPR the other day. There was an expert talking about the reason that Sellers continue to keep prices high even in the face of irrefutable data (ie. the rest of the country has faced price declines, tougher lending, huge inventory, ect ect).

    Its a psychological phenomenon called “Aversion to a sure loss”.

    How many of us here have held on to a stock that continually tanked… oh, its only 5% down, it’ll come back… oh its only 25% down, it’ll come back… oh, I might as well hang on to it now to see if it comes back…

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  74. 74
    Marc says:

    “Time for Tim to start a new thread….how about those annoying pebbles on I405 that chip your windshield??? Cracked 4 in 6 years!!”

    Ah hah! One more reason to live close in and further evidence that prices in Seattle-proper are immune. Whoo! And to think, I’d actually started to worry about sweet home Magnolia.

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  75. 75

    AND FEW OF US THINK THE REBATE CHECKS WILL HELP

    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1472

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