NWMLS: Anybody seen my spring mojo? I can’t find it.

One thing I’ll say for the NWMLS, they have been prompt lately about releasing the monthly statistics. Let’s take a look at March, typically the beginning of the strong spring selling season. When the press release with pdf links is released I’ll post it here (though it may be delayed somewhat since I am heading out of town for the weekend). Here is your summary along with the usual graphs and other updates.

Here’s the NWMLS press release: Northwest MLS Brokers Report Stable Prices, “Great Opportunities” for First-time Buyers

Here’s your King County SFH summary:

March 2008
Active Listings: up 57% YOY
Pending Sales: down 37% YOY (new record)
Median Closed Price*: $439,900 – down 3.3% YOY

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. Wow, we’re shooting right up there, and at this pace will exceed last year’s September peak by April or May. If inventory continues to pile up like this, we could really start to see some serious pressure on sellers to reduce prices.

King County SFH Inventory
Click to enlarge

Sales continued to fall through the floor, setting a new record for year-to-year drops. Months of supply (active listings divided by pending sales) stayed essentially the same as February at 6.19. March is now the seventh straight month of MOS above 6 (considered a buyer’s market).

King County SFH Pending Sales
Click to enlarge

Given how far away the thick green 2008 line is from every other line in both of the above graphs, I think it is quite obvious that the current market is anything but a “normal market.” I bring this up because phrases like “this market is just returning to normal” seem to have become a common refrain among local real estate agents. They are wrong.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. This month I had to adjust the vertical scale on the low end to allow for the disappearing sales. Inventory growth backed off ever so slightly from the top of the graph.

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.

King County SFH YOY Price Change
Click to enlarge

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.”?

I think Mr. Scott must have different definitions of “mojo” and “momentum” than I do.


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.

100 comments:

  1. 1
    deeplennon says:

    wowza, wasn’t expecting this till next week. That slope sho’ is steep.

  2. 2
    vboring says:

    ouch.

    looks like at least -10% yoy median price by this summer is nearly inevitable.

    and so many new condos in the city. i wonder how much they’ll be trying to give them away for?

    an interesting piece that helps explain why rental prices aren’t going up. banks are choosing not to evict residents, even when they stop paying their mortgage:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aefAJU_88vfs&

    i wonder if there is still a way to get into a house for $0 down. i might be willing to sacrifice my credit rating to be able to live rent-free for several months.

  3. 3
    John says:

    They are still building like crazy in downtown Seattle and Bellevue. The profit margin must be huge. Even if they have to slash prices, they will do fine as long as the $100k MBA grads keep buying.

  4. 4
    Scotsman says:

    Well, well, looks like the economic fundamentals are finally starting to get some traction. An abundance of supply does push prices down, even in Seattle.

    For a while there I was afraid reality had left the building…

  5. 5
    Dave0 says:

    Looking at the spreadsheet, it’s interesting that the condo median price is up 4.63% YOY. I would expect it to go in the same direction as SFH, and be more volatile, but it went significantly in the opposite direction. Could this be a sign that the top-end expensive homes are bust, while the low-end cheaper homes are holding on still?

  6. 6
    Marc says:

    Sweet home Magnolia down 11%. That hurts. Not completely unexepected, but disappointing nonetheless.

  7. 7
    Fripp says:

    Don’t be silly people! The front page PI headline states “Home Prices Up in March.”

    The best part of the article states:

    “‘If we don’t buy within the next five months, we’re stupid,’ said Ashley Yarno, whose aunt is a real estate agent and advised the couple in their mid 20s that the time to buy was now, before prices start climbing again.”

  8. 8
    b says:

    Dave0 –

    Its likely more of an indication that the low-end condo market has totally disappeared, so whatever sales are being made are at the higher end pushing up the median. We’d have to get a breakdown of price tiers like Tim posted a week or two ago to be sure.

  9. 9
    thelongwait says:

    On johnlscott.com front page, they’re still having the white paper “Why Now Is A Smart Time To Buy”. Is there any laywer in the house? Can homeowners who are upside down in the future can sue this snakeoil salesman J. L. Scott?

    And now the seattlepi RE “professionals” will probably continue it’s SMART to buy because price has been corrected by 3.3% and completely dismissed how the run-up in prices has been completely out of whack with fundamentals. Anyone who stays on the fence is just stupid.

  10. 10
    Gitano says:

    Looks like things are selling like crazy in Ballard area. How do i find out what things sold for? There are sold signs everywhere on the real estate hanging things. Hmm…wonder if it is a marketing ploy to make people feel like everything is normal!!

  11. 11
    deejayoh says:

    They are still building like crazy in downtown Seattle and Bellevue. The profit margin must be huge. Even if they have to slash prices, they will do fine as long as the $100k MBA grads keep buying.

    Looks like things are selling like crazy in Ballard area. How do i find out what things sold for? There are sold signs everywhere on the real estate hanging things

    I’ll have what you guys are smoking…. Seriously. $100k MBAs? Houses selling like crazy in Ballard?

    where do you come up with this stuff?

  12. 12
    deeplennon says:

    Remeber this day, 4/4/08.

    “The local market “has reached bottom — or pretty darn close” and although inventory continues to grow, so does optimism among buyers,” Northwest MLS director Dick Beeson said in a statement.”

    Link to PI article

  13. 13
    Marc says:

    Gitano,

    FYI, those “sold” signs go up whenever a contract is signed between the owner and a prospective buyer. It does not immediately mean the transaction has “closed.” In short, a deal is “closed” when the buyer paid the full purchase price in exchange for the deed. This typically means the deal is in “STI” or “Pending” status on the MLS. Now the odds are favorable that the deal will close because most do. But, not all of them will close. The inspection could go poorly, financing could fall through, a pink pony could get out of the stable leaving the buyer too frightened to buy, etc.

  14. 14
    deeplennon says:

    Another choice blurb from the PI article.

    “If we don’t buy within the next five months, we’re stupid,” said Ashley Yarno, whose aunt is a real estate agent and advised the couple in their mid-20s that the time to buy is now, before prices start climbing again.

    That is just awesome on so many levels.

  15. 15
    CCG says:

    This morning I heard that the real estate market is “ever changing and *very* localized”. I guess the hope is that even after a buyer looks at 100 houses whose prices have all collapsed, he’ll still fail to conclude that the trend is down because RE is “*very* localized” and therefore the 101st house *might* have gone up.

    The people I talk to, however, are still convinced that real estate is going back up. You’d have an easier time convincing the Pope to worship Satan than getting some of these loons to see the truth in front of their faces.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Sniglet says:

    Is there any way we can get statistics on the number of accepted offers that actually close? It would be VERY interesting to see how the percentage of closed deals has been trending.

  18. 18
    jon says:

    The detail for King county is at
    http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/getRpt.cfm?obj=KCbreakouts

    The combined SFH and Condo is up 1% YOY, but the variability between areas is very high. Basically Seattle is keeping the averages up for the county as a whole.

  19. 19
    Ubersalad says:

    Pending sale went up from last month, we’re on the rebound and we’re saved!!!

  20. 20
    Buceri says:

    “If we don’t buy within the next five months, we’re stupid,” said Ashley Yarno, whose aunt is a real estate agent and advised the couple in their mid-20s that the time to buy is now, before prices start climbing again.”

    To tell that to strangers because you need to make a living can be called “the survival instinct”; but to say it to family?? Someone will not get Christmas cards after…2010?

  21. 21

    Gitano,
    For deals that actually do close, you can go to the County records to find out how much something sold for, or post the address and I’ll look it up on the NWMLS stats, or shoot me an email.

  22. 22
    deeplennon says:

    To tell that to strangers because you need to make a living can be called “the survival instinct”; but to say it to family?? Someone will not get Christmas cards after…2010?

    I can’t think of any good reason except that her aunt actually believes it. Which is well, sad.

  23. 23
    laxtosnoco says:

    My favorite section from the NWMLS release: “Prices are predicted to increase in the coming years due to population growth, a strong local economy, and the highly anticipated impact of Generation Y — many of whom will soon be entering the housing market,” he commented. “Gen Y” and other first-time buyers, along with empty-nesters (all among market segments that are prime prospects for condominiums) currently have an unprecedented selection across a wide price spectrum.”

    Yes, if only those Gen-Yers with 6 figures in student loans would log off myspace for a few minutes, they could rescue the housing market.

    Okay, I’ll admit it. This Gen-X’er is a little offended that John L Scott doesn’t think my generation is worth commenting on. Maybe he’ll use us next month.

  24. 24
    patient says:

    Thanks deplennon, those quotes from the pi are hilarious. It’s like a parody on all the perceptions and suspicions we have about the re-industry, just that it ain’t a parody. It’s actually happening. When are this disgrace for humanity get it that nothing can reverse the BIG correction that is ongoing.

  25. 25
    Scotsman says:

    It’s getting so I can’t read this stuff anymore. It just hurts too much.

    Gen Y will be too busy trying to pay the taxes needed to support the Boomers entitlement programs to ever think about driving home prices up. Plus, how many Gen Y will be buying verses the Boomers selling?

    Here’s my bold prediction- pending sales will continue to rise through the end of July ’08! That will certainly mean that by Sept. ’08 the bottom will be seen as “in” by even the most bearish market watchers!

    It’s a great time to buy a house! Or not!

  26. 26
    100k MBA says:

    Any 100k+ MBA grad worth anything would do the analysis to see that it is worth waiting a year to invest in a home and instead would be renting on the eastside or Seattle for a decent price.

    -100k MBA

  27. 27
    Matthew says:

    The bottom will not be in until 2010.

  28. 28
    RottedOak says:

    “This morning I heard that the real estate market is “ever changing and *very* localized”. ”

    To some extent that is true, in that properties in a very specific area or even a specific property might increase in value even when most others are declining. But if a seller or realtor is claiming that, then their explanation should be just as specific as the area is. Something like, “There used to be a stinky industrial plant just upwind, but it recently closed and the city is turning it into a park.” That’s a very specific reason why that one local area might be on the upswing now, even as most areas turn down. But if what comes out of their mouth is some generalization about what a nice area it is, everyone wants to live there, etc., then they are just blowing smoke.

  29. 29

    TIP OF THE ICEBERG

    Could this ominous news at a factor ten to the KC -3% YOY soon?

    News: In Part:

    “…Our economy is spiraling downward,” said presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton. “It is time for this administration to put ideology aside and get serious about stemming this crisis.”
    Barack Obama said, “Instead of doing nothing for out-of-work Americans, we need a second stimulus that extends unemployment insurance and helps communities that have been hit hard by this recession.”
    Republican John McCain said the unemployment news “underlines the need to focus on innovation, which grows the economy and creates an urgent need for effective worker retraining.” …”

    URL:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080404/economy.html

  30. 30

    REBATE CHECKS WILL BAIL US OUT?

    Hardly no one believes it.

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

  31. 31
    Dave0 says:

    Wow, B, I think you’re right. Pending sales on King County condos went down 43.13%, from 1062 to 604!

  32. 32
    patient says:

    With good timing for the mls report the KC SFH inventory tracker past 11000 today.

  33. 33
    deejayoh says:

    Is there any way we can get statistics on the number of accepted offers that actually close? It would be VERY interesting to see how the percentage of closed deals has been trending.</blockquote?

    Sniglet – if you take the ratio of pending (prior month) to closed (current month) – it will not be perfect, but probably will give you the directional trend you are looking for

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    I’m on the cusp of Gen Y depending on where you draw the line for birth year. The only Gen Yers I know that have bought in the last two years did with funds from Mommy and Daddy. So I think Lennie has it all wrong, the Gen Ys (in the luck y sperm club) have unprecedented selection to use empty nesters money.

  35. 35
    Aldo says:

    Our landlord is a flipper in trouble. With our permission, under the lease, he put up our place for sale three weeks ago for 480K, lowered it last week to 460K and again yesterday to 440k. We have had only 2 realtor visits in all of that time. Meanwhile, Zillow RAISED the estimate on our house to 510K from last month’s numbers.

    What is the deal with Zillow and appraisals in general? I thought real estate appraising had seen a shakeout lately. What about property tax appraisals? This place is getting zero traffic at 440k for 2000 sq. ft in Redmond.

    Are the local appraisers still artificially inflating these numbers for the banks? On what basis?

  36. 36

    […] spring we might see more garage sales since it seems people are staying put.   Seattle Bubble has done some comprehensive number crunching to show that in a nutshell in the greater Seattle […]

  37. 37
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    Ye Gads!

    First, I don’t see how any rational thinking person (realtor or not) could look at any of these numbers and assume that prices will do anything other than decline rapidly. The collapse in YOY gains is completely unprecedented (at least in the last 15 years, but suspect even during the “Last out of Seattle, please turn out the lights” days things didn’t collapse so quickly).

    Second, our local economy is still moving along pretty well overall. There’s been some hic-ups, which most people are ignoring, but nothing too serious yet. So what happens in the second half of this year, or the start of next when something seriously wrong starts to go down? What happens when new computer sales plummet (especially for businesses), and Microsoft sees a marked decline in sales of Windows and Office? What happens when Obama wins the presidency and the democrats take a true majority in the senate, and the first thing they do is slash military spending, which by the way creates a lot of Boeing jobs in this area?

    This thing is shaping up to be a blood bath. Not a blood mist, not a blood trickle, and not a blood shower, but a real blood bath.

  38. 38
    David McManus says:

    So if I would have taken someone like Nostragollyus’ advice and bought last month, I would have LOST money because the value would have declined. Wow, that’s a surprise!!! What do ya think? Should I buy, buy, buy? LOL!

  39. 39
    Scotsman says:

    I think it depends on whether or not you got one of those GEMS some keep talking about… Or if the Gov will come along to bail you out. Are you associated with a large investment bank? Are you a large homebuilder? Did you buy it with a sub-prime loan? There are lots of ways to qualify, just don’t be an idiot and act responsibly! /sarc off

  40. 40
    Buceri says:

    RCC – I am with you; again, 60% of our economy is consumption and very few are lending to Joe S. Pack; he is maxed out and the bank does not have much anyway.

    This will be long, and most are oblivious, uniformed, uninterested….then again, they look happier…

    Oh ignorance, beautiful place…..

  41. 41
    AndyMiami says:

    rose-colored-coolaid // Apr 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Ye Gads!

    First, I don’t see how any rational thinking person (realtor or not) could look at any of these numbers and assume that prices will do anything other than decline rapidly. The collapse in YOY gains is completely unprecedented (at least in the last 15 years, but suspect even during the “Last out of Seattle, please turn out the lights” days things didn’t collapse so quickly).

    Second, our local economy is still moving along pretty well overall. There’s been some hic-ups, which most people are ignoring, but nothing too serious yet. So what happens in the second half of this year, or the start of next when something seriously wrong starts to go down? What happens when new computer sales plummet (especially for businesses), and Microsoft sees a marked decline in sales of Windows and Office? What happens when Obama wins the presidency and the democrats take a true majority in the senate, and the first thing they do is slash military spending, which by the way creates a lot of Boeing jobs in this area?

    This thing is shaping up to be a blood bath. Not a blood mist, not a blood trickle, and not a blood shower, but a real blood bath.

    RIGHT ON..REALLY..the question for Seattle is one that is tied to the current BUBBLE TV (i.e.CNBC/Bloomberg/FOC(X)) debates among their various monkeys (George Bush looks like one) WHETHER we now have a “mild” recession or a SEVERE one. Remember, the mainstream media, just four months ago discounted the recession camp as foolish, almost mentally unfit. Now the BUBBLE TV is asking how bad is it going to get.

    IF the recession is mild, then Seattle will be OK. Home price will come down, maybe 15% from the peaks…if the recession is SEVERE, then the downside simply cannot be projected…

    I do not know what the answer is, but when an investment bank like Bears Stearns evaporates in one year (yes everyone talks about the rapid over the weekend implosion. The deleveraging of Bears Stearns took one year until illiquid positions became insolvent ones)….I am guessing SEVERE…

  42. 42
    Buceri says:

    By the way, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase sits on the board of the Federal Reserve; how convenient. I bet a few of his buddies shorted Bear S. right before the weekend…

    Back to topic; we are off 3.3% YOY; what percentage are we off from the high? (last July, correct?)

  43. 43
    Jonny says:

    RE “the bottom”: bottoms happen due not to “capitulation” (that is a side effect of the process), but because *fundamentals have shifted from pessimism to optimism again*. let’s see how things are going: the dollar is still crashing, every government on the planet is inflating to keep up with the crash, economic imbalances are sloshing globally, china may overheat and melt down soon, commodities are still spiking, the fed (who created this problem in the first place) has been given power to “fix the situation”, banks are leveraged more than 4X normal at over 40:1, hubris still reigns (we are not japan, etc). the actual mood right now has not reached fear, let alone panic… it is currently “we don’t deserve this so it can’t be happening” (denial). we have a number of years to go in this and if the fed “helps out” enough, it might take 10-20 years to fix this like japan, or we may truly wind up in a hyperinflationary depression. “we’ve hit bottom”, “you’re a fool not to buy”, please. we’re a long, long way from even reality setting it, let along fear or panic or a bottom. call me in 5 years.

  44. 44
    Jonny says:

    “if the recession is SEVERE”

    i would quibble with the word recession. i don’t think this will be as easy as the 1970’s.

  45. 45
    david losh says:

    OMG!
    First in 1970 there wasn’t the global impacts there are today. Second is that government subsidy is a way of life in Europe. Third Japan is a rock surrounded by water that imports everything. It had a brief manufacturing niche that was destroyed when the world began doing business directly with China. Lastly China has over a billion people, if each consumer in China spends a dollar a day that’s a lot of economy.
    This is a real estate blog, for god sake, in Seattle Washington. You’re right prices are high for housing and they will come down. The fact is that demand is high for any housing or any toe hold in the American economy.
    The only question is: what is the right price? Some investors are offering fifty cents on the dollar; some have a formula based on area. Those write downs your financial institutions are taking are paid for by the stock holders. Your tax dollars are simply making a gaurantee that these institutions will continue to take losses paid for by your stock porfolios. The worst that can happen is like a Bear Stearns were the Fed may make a profit, or not. What’s the difference? We spend billions of dollars on nuclear weapons that we dismantle at the next peace treaty. Where’s even a hint of profit in that?
    Seattle’s a great place to live. It’s great for kids, economy, doing stuff out doors or indoors. No matter what you think, what you pay for is a quality of life.

    Now that I’m thinking about it why is the stock market such a hot item; why isn’t that bubble bursting? All kidding aside Real Estate is the only investment you can control yourself. You pick the price, you pick the area, you either fix it or not, you live in it, you rent it, you pay down the mortgage with future dollars, or pay for it by trading up.

  46. 46
    whats my name says:

    Great spreadsheet, Tim. I see that affordability is at its highest since Q1 2006, and interest rates are at their lowest since Q3 2005.

  47. 47
    Realist says:

    In 1964 I worked out a $1,000.00 down payment on a $9,800.00 California Rambler just two blocks from the beach south of Santa Cruz, California. A few days ago I logged on the the Santa Cruz County Assessors Office, typed in the address and found that the rambler that is now 44 years old is assessed at $660,000.00 with most of the value credited to the land. The market value of that property is probably, even in a down market, worth more than the assessed value.

    In the forty four years that have passed all too quickly I have seen several real estate bubbles and bottoms. Would someone tell me where you can invest a $1,000.00 and 44 years later have it multiplied 660 times. They are not making anymore dirt and while the price of it may fluctuate a bit, given a bit of time it will always be worth more. Real estate, over the long haul, will out perform the Enrons and Bear Sterns any day.

    The wise MBA’s, will be looking to buy while this market is down because when it comes back, in the not too distant future, it will again take off for the wild blue yonder. Thanks to the Growth Management Act the restrictions on development land will only make that which is available that much more valuable and with the job growth and a growing population housing is only going to become more of a premium product.

    You Henny Penny, the sky is falling, dooms dayer’s go right ahead and continue to pay the wise investor’s mortgage payments every month when you write your rent check.

  48. 48
    Landbabk says:

    David-

    Throughout our history there have been some basic financial truths. They have been very consistent. I am sure you are aware of them. The median house value stays in line with the median income and that is typically 2.5 to 3 times income levels. We have far surpassed that. Our affordability numbers are a joke. You have cut off first time home buyers. You have made many renters owners. There must be a correction. This is not political. It is financial. We are not special. Quality of life was a marketing ploy as is built green. Do not be fodder to the media or this city.

    The worst is not a BSC it is a depression. What the Fed did is unprecedented. It wont matter in the end just prolong the inevitable. I hope you are kidding about picking your price in real estate. FORECLOSURES are the downfall of median house values. They are coming and real estate will NOT be good investement for some time. CASH FLOW is king. Cheers.

  49. 49
    igs says:

    Great job with your visuals Tim. Awesome information!
    It may be interesting to see trends on ratio between active-listing/pending-sales as well.

    Anyway, I was looking at the king county break outs in http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/getRpt.cfm?obj=KCbreakouts but I can’t find MLS Map area definition (e.g. 715, 720, 510, etc). Do you know where I can find which areas the numbers represent?

  50. 50
    celtic266 says:

    I am hoping someone can answer this question for me, in my area a home built in 1970 with 1,700 sq. ft. has an asking price of 420k, now I purchase this home and have to spend $100k to update the kitchen and two bathrooms. I am up to 520k when it is all said and done. Now I am competing with new construction that builders are trying to unload for 590k-690k brand new, 2,000 sq. ft., landscaped (smaller lots I admit), new plumbing, new electric, appliances, floors etc. How can home prices stabilize when older homes are completing with brand new construction? And, why doesn’t the news tell us that we are down on sales and pending sales and inventory is way up when they are also reporting on prices stabilizing, we are only getting part of the picture, they need to report on the other half (the bad half) to get a complete sense of what is going on.

  51. 51
    jonness says:

    <>

    I take it you are being sarcastic and implying that houses are as affordable as when 100% financing was available and borrowers didn’t have to prove their income? And also that home prices are plummeting even though interest rates are very low right now? So now is a terrible time to buy because market conditions are being driven by a force other than affordability relative to the peak. I fully agree, and I’m holding off purchasing a home until the Seattle market corrects.

    Interestingly, I work as a computer programmer for Washington State Employment Security. A few weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a lady in upper management who has worked there for over 40 years. I mentioned that it appeared our country was entering a recession and it seems strange that jobs were so strong in Washington state in light of what was happening across the country. She replied, “Washington has a history of lagging the rest of the country in recessions.” I don’t know if that is true or not, but the other old timers at the meeting agreed with her. It would be interesting to see the numbers and determine if this perceived lag is a real phenomenon. And if so, how meaningful it is in today’s market in light of the fact that the Washington economy is more diversified than in the past.

    I am in an interesting situation that I have not seen discussed elsewhere in relation to the currently imploding real estate bubble. I own a piece of undeveloped land that I am thinking of building on. Can you guys see a downside to building a house on the land right away? It seems to me that interest rates are low, materials probably aren’t going to get cheaper, and labor is going to cost the same as if I wait.

    I can perceive that it might be better to wait and see if the market over-corrects because that’s a good time to pick up cheap deals in the existing house market (buy instead of build). But as far as building a house, if interest rate go up, it could be significantly more expensive to build in the future. This seems strange to me, because as existing homes plummet in price, the actual cost of building the same home is going up. I guess that this means land prices are plummeting and actual home prices are holding steady? I don’t know, what do you guys make of all this?

    Thanks!

  52. 52
    deepcgi says:

    David:

    I believe the demand for housing in this area (and around the world) has been artificial. The real estate crash is front page news in Spain, Australia, England, France, and Denmark. The run-up everywhere was greatly exaggerated. It seems to me that the demand was just ordinary people buying homes much more often than they normally would. There will always be hot areas, but that will only equate to certain areas holding their current value. It may turn out to be tough to predict which areas are a good bet long term.

  53. 53
    John says:

    SFH inventory blew through 11000 and is already at 11100.

  54. 54
    matthew says:

    The inventory and pending sales graphs suggest we are no where near a bottom….

    I think that Seattle is now an official member of the bursting bubble party. Congrats Seattle!

  55. 55
    george says:

    David Losh,

    More control in real estate than stocks? Only if taking on a lot more risk is a definition of more control.

    Couple A) puts 100K down to buy that lovely 500K house in Greenlake. Market drops 30 percent. Translation: a loss of $150K on their $100K investment. Next stop: public housing?

    Couple B) Rents and waits. 100K stock portfolio drops 30K. Too bad! Couple B still has 70K in the bank ready to invest in either stocks, bonds, or cheaper housing.

    Real estate is a terrible investment compared to the stock market with the exception of a few anomalous years and places. This isn’t news. In 2008 it’s just a crazy bet even if you plan to live there for 30 years.

    Both Seattle newspapers come out swinging today for the real estate industry. Quotes from tongue-waggers with clear conflicts of interest when it come to telling the truth. With recession looming and inventory skyrocketing, we’re hearing optimism? All the spin just delays the inevitable.

  56. 56

    I can see what David Losh may have been saying..not so much that investing in real estate is a less of a risk than stocks, but that you can go to the property and see the house and get a feel for it and the neighborhood, whereas in stocks, a lot of investments are made in companies we really don’t know much about and have no familiarity with their product.
    I also wouldn’t say that stocks are all that safe or risk free an investment either. plenty of people have lost money in the stock market and will continue to.Plenty of people buy stocks at their peak.
    I agree that single family homes should not be viewed as an investment at all, but don’t think that if you just buy a stock it’s just going to go up and that you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  57. 57
    Steve Tytler says:

    Once again, this “median price” nonsense is highly misleading.

    I’ve continually predicted the home values would drop by an average of 10-20% by the end of this year from the peak home values.

    In some neighborhoods, home values have ALREADY dropped 10%

    At my mortgage company, we often have to tell people that their home is worth less than they think it is.

    That’s because we deal in real world real estate, not statistics (no offense, Tim).

    The reality is that home values are down significantly in many areas of the Puget Sound region, notably the Puyallp area and Thruston county.

    The one part of that article that is correct is that homeowners hang onto the peak value of their homes as its “true” value.

    My prediction is that most neighborhoods will retreat to their 2005 values and remain flat (little to no appreciation or depreciation) for the next few years.

    I understand why the real estate industry likes to push the fallacy that home prices are still holding, and in some cases even rising, based on the mystical “median home price” — but try telling that to somebody who can’t refinance their home because they now owe more than its worth because home values are down 8% in their neighborhood since last summer.

    We see that every day.

    This is nothing new, we are just on the downhill side of the normal real estate cycle. Most of the “correction” will be over by the end of this year, although I think we could see further value drops next year if home sellers try to hang on hoping for a return to the “good old days” … because by next year even the most diehard holdouts will have to admit that home values have dropped.

  58. 58
    Michael says:

    Did anyone notice that George Soros is predicting an ever increasing collapse of the housing market?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vrYRnlw1Rv.Y.asfd

    In fact he is predicting that the US will lose it’s place as the world’s financial leader.

  59. 59
    softwarengineer says:

    TWEEDLE DEE AND TWEEDLE DUM

    The stock market and real estate from The Tim’s data appear about the same. A Recession destroys both at about the same rate.

    What to invest in now? Hades if I know, I’d say Money Market or CDs, but the interest rate after taxes is so low with bailouts to the subprimes, a mattress is a better bet? Gold?

  60. 60

    Certain sectors int stock market might hold up well: What kinds of things will do well in a recessionary environment? Alcohol and valium?

  61. 61
    george says:

    Ira,

    Nobody would ever say stocks are “risk free” but a LOT of people believe real estate is relatively risk free. You hear it all the time. Couple A in my example above probably believed it.

    Yes, couple A’s home value won’t go to zero, and at least they have a roof over they head. A roof that they will have to pay to fix when it leaks.

    Except they can’t get a home equity loan to do it because they just lost 150K on the 100K they put into their house. Call it an investment, call it anything you want. The result is the same.

  62. 62
    david losh says:

    The price of stocks is determined by the market. I can buy puts and calls all day but I can’t make an offer on a stock, really.
    That $500K house by Greenlake I can offer $250K. The seller has a set of circumstances. Based on those circumstances the seller can either take my offer or not. What I do is buy equity.
    When I say Real Estate is a commodity, that’s exactly what it is. It’s like gold, more than a stock. You guys should consider that in today’s market place, today, not last year, or the year before guys, just like you, buy houses and sell them the same day for a profit. The same day they buy the house, and the house closes, they turn around and sell it to another investor, or you, or anyone else who wants a bargain.
    Medium home prices, inventory numbers, YOY, are all nice numbers, but the Real Estate market is what some one, an individual, is willing to sell for, and what some one, an individual, is willing to pay.
    Let’s take that $500K house that is going down in value 50%. So what? I buy it with a thirty year mortgage. The first five years I’m spending real dollars. In ten years I’m paying with future dollars, and in fifteen years the mortgage principle is reducing by me paying with inflated dollars. Don’t forget in the process I’m writing off income with the tax deductions, and when I sell, I sell without tax consequence.
    We say in Real Estate to never pay retail. While the pepper is looking for gems we create gems by making low offers in any kind of market.

  63. 63
    magnolia44 says:

    David Losh,

    More control in real estate than stocks? Only if taking on a lot more risk is a definition of more control.

    Couple A) puts 100K down to buy that lovely 500K house in Greenlake. Market drops 30 percent. Translation: a loss of $150K on their $100K investment. Next stop: public housing?

    Couple B) Rents and waits. 100K stock portfolio drops 30K. Too bad! Couple B still has 70K in the bank ready to invest in either stocks, bonds, or cheaper housing.

    Real estate is a terrible investment compared to the stock market with the exception of a few anomalous years and places. This isn’t news. In 2008 it’s just a crazy bet even if you plan to live there for 30 years.

    Both Seattle newspapers come out swinging today for the real estate industry. Quotes from tongue-waggers with clear conflicts of interest when it come to telling the truth. With recession looming and inventory skyrocketing, we’re hearing optimism? All the spin just delays the inevitable.

    George what about the scenario of couple A makes “x” and locks in a fixed rate payment. Couple A is under 30 and X in a few years becomes x * 1.5, but they still have a fixed payment. Couple A rides out the market and has no worries because their payment is locked and they can ride out the storm. In 5 years couple A sees the market come back but interest rates increase. Couple A kicks up their feet and keeps on the sub 6% mortgage payment in that same house and lives happily ever after. Where do those scenarios play in?? All doom and gloom huh?? lol have fun

  64. 64
    TJ_98370 says:

    The Kitsap Sun published the linked article today and amongst other expected nonsense such as the “…market in the region has reached bottom…..” and that there is “…vigor and energy in the local markets that we have not seen in more than six months…”, the following was actually printed:

    ……The median year-to-date price of a house in Kitsap County in March was $350,000, a mere $100 higher than in March 2007. But the median condo price tumbled 23 percent to $335,900, according to the service…..

    If you look at the NWMLS stats for March in Kitsap, the above quoted numbers are not even close to what is listed at the NWMLS website. How do they get away with printing such blatantly false information? Unless I am missing something, apparently the Kitsap Sun and people of the Real Estate profession believe that they can claim any crap they want, irregardless of what the truth may be. They also appear to be unconcerned as being perceived as liars at worst or incompetents at best. Or maybe they just believe the public to be too stupid or apathetic to check the details for themselves. It is articles like this that exemplify the reason why printed media is dying.

    Kitsap Home Prices Stay Steady as Inventory Mushrooms

    NORTHWEST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE: (CONSOLIDATED) STATISTICAL RECAP: Month of March 2008
    ..

  65. 65
    deejayoh says:

    TJ – note the qualifier “year-to-date” housing prices. They’re probably correct on that as the measure. Not that it is used for any other purpose than spin when needed. Remember – if you don’t like the result, change the definition of the measure!

  66. 66
    george says:

    David: Can I please see the listing of the $500K house at Greenlake we can get today for $250K? I think I’ll take it! :-)

    Magnolia: In both scenario A and B it’s the exact same doom and gloom scenario with the 30 percent drop. The only question is where is there more risk?

    Of course, the actual doom and gloom people are experiencing these days is not after putting 20 percent down like my example. More like 5 percent down for a loss of $150K on that $25K investment.

    Interest rates? Might go up or down. See Japan. If you bought in King County last summer based on the assumption that they were headed up…oops!

    If we’re talking long term, stocks are a better investment and that is just a fact, although I agree that owning your own home is a good idea and a good thing.

  67. 67
    david losh says:

    Make an offer on that Green Lake home; you just never know. There are no rules in Real Estate.

  68. 68
    david losh says:

    Couple A) puts 100K down to buy that lovely 500K house in Greenlake. Market drops 30 percent. Translation: a loss of $150K on their $100K investment. Next stop: public housing?

    Couple B) Rents and waits. 100K stock portfolio drops 30K. Too bad! Couple B still has 70K in the bank ready to invest in either stocks, bonds, or cheaper housing.

    WTF?

    Real Estate is really a no brainer. Anybody can come out ahead in Real Estate. You don’t need as much analysis to see a good property, buy for a good price, and sell it for a profit.
    For all the market timing in the world, or guys selling market watch daily, there is a higher risk in stocks than buying a high quality property in a good location for a good price, or better, cheap price.
    Another thought that’s been in the back of my mind is about the supply and demand argument of Real Estate. Every property is for sale at a price. Real Estate agents go out every day looking for properties to list for sale; why don’t you?
    I’ll bet in two weeks you could find a home for a price you would think was a bargain. Just because the NWMLS has a list of houses with pricing attached doesn’t represent the true market place because any one will sell, or wants to sell, or needs to sell for the right price,
    If you really want to put $100K down on an over priced piece of property that’s your business. I don’t buy over priced properties. I buy for cheap. If it’s not cheap, I don’t buy it. If I can’t sell the day I close, for a profit, I don’t buy it.

  69. 69
    george says:

    David:

    In a declining housing market all housing is overpriced, by definition. If there are relative “bargains” today, there will be bigger and better bargains in the future. Right?

    And again the main point stands: the bigger risk to your savings right now is buying a house, not buying stocks if you assume both could decline this year. Couple A or Couple B, who do you want to be?

  70. 70
    whats my name says:

    “In a declining housing market all housing is overpriced, by definition”

    Really? Does that also hold true for stocks? If so, someone should smarten up that Warren Buffet guy.

    Also, couple A and B represent a false dichotomy. To do a reasonable analysis, you would need to assign probabilities to those outcomes (and to the alternate outcomes as well). I am sure we would handicap this very differently, but a world where Greenlake homes are dropping 30% is either experiencing a Seattle specific disaster, or a financial markets problem of much larger scope.

    One more note about risk; with real estate you have location and market risks, but you do not have to worry about a well schooled cadre of professional managers siphoning off millions as they utterly destroy the value of your asset.

  71. 71
    david losh says:

    I’ve done both and paid off a couple of houses in my career. I wouldn’t or couldn’t do that now because of other income concerns I have. I don’t like paying taxes. I own the home I live in, use it as my home office, and leveraged it to the max for cash. I bought the home from an ivestor who bought the home in a foreclosure auction, divided off a buildable lot, then sold the house to me for $120K below market value. The Investor built the house next door, and that in turn increased the worth of my property based on the fact the square footage is equal, with my house having more usable space.
    In stocks, my most profitable purchase was for a company called Genetic Systems, that discovered a test for AIDS. The stock quadrupled over night, the company was bought by Immunex, and Bob’s your uncle. The problem was it’s all taxable. It’s under a spot light. There’s no wiggle room.
    I’m more of a shadow investor that likes to keep profit closer to my vest. and deal in cash. I like gold, but think it’s way, way, way, over valued. There again it’s the best example of a individual commodity that any joe can own, rather than wheat, oil (which I also like, a lot), or currencies. A Pawn Shop pays fifty cents on the dollar for gold all day long, then sells it for a profit to a larger interest buyer. We can all do that. Real Estate is the same. There is nothing to say you have to pay retail.
    Dean Street at John L. Scott deals in foreclosure properties and has for twenty years. He sells a program where he tracks the foreclosures, sets up financing, and runs a support group of buyers. He has made many a millionaire in the process. I don’t use his system, but it’s a good resource.
    I’d rather be the guy with the Real Estate. I can do more with it, live, enjoy, fix, or not, sell, borrow, or walk away.

  72. 72
    TJ_98370 says:

    deejauoh said:
    TJ – note the qualifier “year-to-date” housing prices. They’re probably correct on that as the measure. Not that it is used for any other purpose than spin when needed. Remember – if you don’t like the result, change the definition of the measure!

    DJO – upon rereading, I see what you are saying. The term “…median year-to-date price of a house…” is vague enough so that it could be interpreted as meaning asking price, assessed value, or sales price. The newspaper version of the article had a table right above the quoted statement indicating March sales prices for various locations in Kitsap. That lead me to believe they were referring to sales prices. I think it a bit misleading……

  73. 73
    george says:

    What’smyname, A false dichotomy? No but let’s ‘handicap’ it to the point of absurdity for the sake of argument:

    Assume Couple B’s diversified stock portfolio drops 100 percent instead of 30 percent. Poor couple B loses every penny of their savings (100K). They are still better off than Couple A!

    Couple A’s out $150 K, meaning their life savings are now negative $50K. If they are forced to move for whatever reason that’s bad news. All because they took on a lot more risk than couple B.

    Of course, the right assumption for this example is a 30 percent drop in each case since as you say we can’t predict the future. If we were to try to predict it, in the past the stock market has on average gone up around 10 percent a year whereas real estate has gone up more like 3 percent. Is even 3 percent a year likely moving forward short term? Time will tell…

    About Warren Buffet, yes it’s also true for stocks. If a stock sector is expensive now and the stocks in that sector are dropping, then it’s better to wait to buy when there’s a bottom.

  74. 74
    Dave0 says:

    One more note about risk; with real estate you have location and market risks, but you do not have to worry about a well schooled cadre of professional managers siphoning off millions as they utterly destroy the value of your asset.

    That example is only true if you invest in some mutual fund with huge expense ratios. Anyone who knows what they’re doing would avoid that. I find it annoying when people compare stocks and real estate but only really know how one of them works.

    With real estate however, you have monthly payments you have to make, that essentially “siphons” off your asset as you describe. You have taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and the stress that your huge leverage will backfire in the form of negative equity.

  75. 75
    whats my name says:

    George,
    Yes; it is a false dichotomy. Our choices are not between losing 30% in Greenlake real estate and 30% in the stock market. They are not of similar probablilities. One has never happened; one has happended several times in the past 100 years. Airpplane crashes are less survivable than auto crashes, yet they are also less likely to occur. That’s why your greater risk is the trip to the airport. You are demonstrating nothing more than the general risk of leverage.

    Stocks up 10% annually, and real estate 3%? Not in my lifetime, and I’m not young.

    The point on Warren Buffet is that all assets in a declining market are not overpriced. That’s how he made so much money. Are you suggesting that you could have helped him get better results through timing? Why didn’t you?

  76. 76
    Dave0 says:

    Would someone tell me where you can invest a $1,000.00 and 44 years later have it multiplied 660 times.

    Sure, that same year, in 1964, you could have bought $1000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock and never sell a share and it would be worth $8.72 billion now. Much better than that real estate investment you mention. Does that mean I should drop $130,800 for one share of their stock now? Not necessarily. Who knows if they’re stock will continue to rise at the same rate, with Warren Buffet 77 years old and surely not going to be around much longer to run the company.

    It’s easy to go back and see what a good investment would have been 44 years ago, but what was a good investment 44 years ago may not continue to be a good investment for the next 44 years. That’s why you should have a diversified portfolio, rather than put all of your eggs in one basket (and borrow other’s eggs at that) betting that a house will be a great investment

    Since you had this great knowledge and bought real estate 44 years ago you must have stopped having to work a long time ago and are sitting pretty for retirement with millions in the bank, right? Or did years and years of property taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage, maintenance, and other expenses that come along with your real estate investment slowly eat away at all those earnings?

    Real estate is not an investment, unless you are buying rental properties. When you buy an expensive home to live in, it is the opposite of an investment, it is increased consumption. You are trading off increased living expenses for an increased quality of life, nothing more.

  77. 77
    Aldo says:

    In 1981 our house in Houston sold for 220k. Today on Zillow its estimate is 275k – and we all know Zillow is inflated. Can anyone name an investment that performs as poorly as that real estate did over 28 years?

    Exactly.

  78. 78
    whats my name says:

    “That example is only true if you invest in some mutual fund with huge expense ratios. Anyone who knows what they’re doing would avoid that. ”

    That example was referring to Enron, Bear Stearns, and hundreds of companies that have disappeared over time.

  79. 79
    climbwithoutadbt says:

    Interesting stats on subprime as a percentage of all mortgages. This indicates that Seattle only has 3.6% of it’s mortgages in subprime. I would think there would be more or does each person here apparently earn 6 figures? I recently moved here 6 months ago, earn 6 figures and my wife just got a job. We’ve been budgeting hard living downtown renting a 2 br. Things are so much more, including gas, food at the stores, pints of beer, etc when compared to the Washington D.C. Metro area that we don’t go out and eat at all and pack our lunches.

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/05/business/graphic.xlarge.jpg

  80. 80
    bitterowner says:

    climb…,
    are you confusing subprime loans with Alt-A and other forms of unconventional financing (no-doc, low-doc, I/O, ARM) many of which were obtained by people with good credit who needed to stretch to “afford” a house? IE, the latter are not sub-prime, but are still high risk b/c they often rely on appreciation of the property in order to refinance before rates readjust. Otherwise, look out below.

  81. 81
    Bubble Burst says:

    Love your site. Thanks.

  82. 82
    Ubersalad says:

    Climb is simply less informed in the mortgage lending crisis. Subprime is the most unstable form of mortgage, but today every type of mortgage is at risk.

  83. 83

    Dave O said:
    “Real estate is not an investment, unless you are buying rental properties.”
    Thank you!!! Obviously, one should spend less than market value on a house to afford some protection against price declines, but one of the bad things over the last few years has been.the sales pitch that buying a single family home as a residence was also a sure fire way of making money, that the value couldn’t go down. People just ignore history, houses have gone down in value and will continue to go down in value. They will also go up. These things move in cycles, and that gets ignored.
    Houses are places to live which some people feel will improve their quality of life if they own one. That’s a reason to buy one, not because you’re sure you’re gonna make a killing.

  84. 84
    bitterowner says:

    To follow up somewhat loosely on Ira’s comments, today a friend who is a soon-to-be highly paid professional who is completing his education was mentioning his anxiety about whether a new job he has taken in the Midwest will work out. He was worried about whether his associates would be a good “fit”, whether he and his wife could tolerate the less than cosmopolitan location and unsure about whether it was as good a deal financially as other opportunites. I said that he might be less stressed out if he rented for a year or two once he moved. That way, if the situation doesn’t work out it’d be relatively easy to jump ship rather than being shackled by a house that he potentially couldn’t unload without taking a significant loss. He is a very smart guy with two graduate degrees. His response: “I would never rent b/c I can’t stand to throw away money.” Unbelievable.

  85. 85
    Nic says:

    Response to comment 84.

    Until I bought a house I was of the same mentality as the grad school person you mention – not quite as much education as he has yet, but getting there as well.

    Housing has been a relatively good investment over the last 10 years in most metropolitan areas, so it’s easy to see where his perception is based. He just hasn’t done the research on the current state of the economy/housing market.

    I’m glad my house finally sold in February – back to the land of cheap rent for me for the next year or two until the market improves.

    Average annual percentage change over the two years owned, taking into account tax benefits, cost of updates/repairs, sales costs, was 5.8% increase per year – which was near-as-makes-no difference equal to my 401k and other investment earnings over the same period.

    Now in a flat to declining market it’s definitely the smarter investment to rent cheap and be smart with the extra money (not to mention extra time – no bathroom remodels or grass cutting anymore)

    Sure, it may be a pain to move every couple years, but that just makes you more acutely aware of how much random crap has accumulated so you end up spending less money on stuff as well.

  86. 86
    Buceri says:

    AP
    Report: WaMu Close to $5B Infusion

    Monday April 7, 7:27 am ET

    Washington Mutual May Soon Get $5B Infusion, According to WSJ Report

  87. 87
    johnnybigspenda says:

    doom and gloomers beware, the sky may not fall after all…

    imagine WAMU didn’t fail, and the DOW didn’t drop to 5000….

    what if the FEAR has gone too far? what if the pendulum is swinging back?

    no 50% discounts on houses yet? this just can’t be.

    Half of this stuff is just self-fullfilling prophecy. If the market gets confident again, this whole bad news thing is over.

  88. 88
    Ubersalad says:

    confident enough to allow everyone to refinance out of ARM or cashout with inflated value to spend back into the economy?

    explain to me again how market confidence have to do with overpriced houses.

  89. 89

    jonnybigspenda,
    Any relationship at all between WAMU getting infused and the pendulum swinging back?
    I’m not suggesting that we’re going to see anywhere close to 50% discounts( more like an additional 10-15), but do you think the pendulum is swinging back just because you want it to?

  90. 90
    david losh says:

    Sorry, I buy property to sell it. I’m not good at being a land lord. However I have clients who buy, sell, trade and hold. One of my best clients, never sells anything. He has the first property he bought in 1974. He makes fun of me because I sell and he’s worth millions of dollars. He lives from his rental income.
    Sure market conditions effect stocks, real estate, and commodities, it’s just that stocks and commodities are ultimately at the whim of big player infuences.
    I can buy a really cool house, and sell it to another person who thinks it’s a really cool house. It’s me and them. It’s our preferences.
    I don’t get that from stocks. There again I buy stocks to sell them.
    Long term I would prefer to own my own business. By building business I also get residual income, but this is a Real Estate blog.

  91. 91
    Buceri says:

    WAMU will be happy to stay in business; and will probably be very careful with their found money.

  92. 92
    wreckingbull says:

    Big Spenda,

    Please, no more straw men. The first few times, they were mildy amusing. Now they are just tired and old. Just about everyone here on this blog predicts that residential real estate will return to a level supported by fundamentals, and that we are not even close yet. That clearly does not require the Dow to drop 7500 points nor does it require WM to completely fold.

    By the way, where did you pick up the term ‘doom and gloom’? It’s funny, I only see it used by those heavily vested in real estate.

  93. 93
    Sniglet says:

    WAMU will be happy to stay in business; and will probably be very careful with their found money

    I doubt that the new cash infusion will help WaMu all that much. WaMu’s liabilities are so huge that even $10 billion won’t save them from a deeper real-estate downturn. Just look at how other major banks are still scrounging for even more capital infusions after already getting additional billions in recent months (Citigroup for example).

    Unfortunately, the value toxic assets on the books of many banks are so massive that they would require cash infusions of an order of magnitude that no one has yet contemplated to really stop the bleeding.

  94. 94
    Aldo says:

    I’m making 92k a year and have no debt – and I can’t afford a satisfactory house for our family of 4. I remember that Vincent Price movie. You’re asking me to be under the pendulum. No thanks.

  95. 95
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    #47 Yes I can tell you where you can get such a return. In 1986, MSFT sold for 10 cents a share. In December 1999, it sold for more than $50 a share. That’s 500x profit in only 13 years, rather than taking 40.

  96. 96
    b says:

    johnnybigspenda –

    We are entering a recession. The DOW generally drops 30% in a recession before it will start to rebound. That puts the DOW at around 9k-10k before you can hope that it will come back up, and that is assuming this is a moderate recession. Home prices also drop in a recession, but not by as much. What exactly is going to levitate home prices? Magic? Willful ignorance? It was easy to levitate them when banks were willing to lend $800k to Jack in the Box workers. The only thing left now is seller capitulation, and buyers have the ability to wait much longer than sellers do.

  97. 97
    buybuy says:

    The most interesting chart in the spreadsheet is the MOS chart, with seasonally adjusted Months of Sales data.

    About August of 2007, the data departs from the historical trends, until this year’s MOS numbers are at least double the seasonally adjusted historical trend.

    Keep in mind that March has usually been the yearly minimum of MOS so we can expect MOS to hold or grow through the rest of the year.

    I wanted to look at seasonally adjusted MOS because some people were touting the drop in MOS this year from Jan to March as a sign that the market has hit bottom and is recovering. Well, a drop occurs from Jan to March every year, and this year the drop is actually *lower* than usual.

    If the higher powers are watching, I suggest adding the MOS chart to the monthly report, because I think that chart really tells the story.

  98. 98
    climbwithoutadbt says:

    In reply to #80 & #82, actually that is a good point. I forgot about alt-a and no-doc loans. That graph only shows subprime. It is scary how bad off parts of CA and FL are with just subprime alone.

    #94 I feel your pain too I make over 6 figures and I can’t afford housing for my family as well. I am waiting til after 2009 to decide what to do. The houses here are so much smaller for your money and less land compared to the MD, VA area. My wife and I are giving it 2 years here and then I may move back to MD where all the Fed/defense contracts are and where my company seems to fly me out 1-2x a month.

  99. 99
  100. 100

    […] March Case-Shiller Home Price Index came in fairly close to, but slightly worse than the NWMLS statistics for the same month. Down 0.9% February to March. Down 4.4% […]

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