Anecdotes: Kenmore Condo Battle Heating Up

The condo battle in my neighborhood (Kenmore) seems to be heating up. In April I mentioned a nearby townhome in an 8-unit complex that went up for sale at $360,000, 20% higher than any unit in the complex has ever sold for in the past, and a mere $30k less than a unit just up the hill with a sweet view (which incidentally has been sitting unsold on the market for 290 days now).

Totally HOT, Totally NEW!Unfortunately for our hopeful seller, their townhome has sat on the market for over 45 days now with no bites. Even worse, 10 days ago one of their neighbors decided to sell… with a $20,000 lower asking price ($340,000). Uh oh. Of course, they’re not idiots, so they have responded by lowering their price to $345,000. Unfortunately for Seller #1, Seller #2 bought for $71k less than Seller #1 and is using Redfin, so they can presumably afford to drop the price quite a bit further.

And in a bit of bad news for both of these folks, a brand new townhome complex is opening up just around the corner with asking prices that are lower still, plus far nicer amenities. A similar 2 bed, 2.25 bath, 1,300 square foot unit in the “Totally Hot Totally New” Northshore Kenmore complex (which I mentioned on the forums) has an asking price of “just” $300,000. For $335,000 you can get nearly 1,500 square feet and an extra bedroom.

Of course, this all assumes that you are in the market for a $300k+ townhome. In Kenmore. Granted, as the Northshore Kenmore website so proudly proclaims, we are “Just 12 Miles from Bellevue Square,” but having lived in the neighborhood for over four years now, I have to say I’m just not feeling it like the smiling couple mysteriously floating in front of the seaplane apparently are.

What kind of amusing home listing action have you seen in your neighborhood?


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.

67 comments:

  1. 1
    Lil' Skwappy says:

    Ah Kenmore. Nothin like the smell of the ol’ concrete factory as you’re making your way to the 405 every morning.

  2. 2
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    They can turn this into a reality TV show! Race to sell the identical home!

  3. 3
    john says:

    “In April I mentioned a nearby townhome in an 8-unit complex that went up for sale at $360,000, 20% higher than any unit in the complex has ever sold for in the past”

    could that have been mortgage fraud?

  4. 4
    unearthly says:

    More like 14 miles and a potentially painful commute down the 405.

  5. 5
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    For sale and sold is different.

  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    unearthly said

    More like 14 miles and a potentially painful commute down the 405.

    No see that’s the beauty of it. It’s “just 12 miles” and you don’t even have to get onto 405!

    I know I drive that route like, all the time. It’s totally convenient.

    </sarcasm>

  7. 7
    biliruben says:

    I’ve done it by bike that way. Drivers on 100th are a bit unfriendly to the casual cyclist, however. Maybe they were misled by GoogleMaps and taking their frustrations out on me. ;)

    I might ponder this modern invention called a “highway” were I to choose to go via PT Cruiser, however. Generally, I just choose not to go.

  8. 8
    Tom says:

    Heh! A bit OT, but the background image in their ad is of a Harbour Air Beaver aircraft moored in Vancouver, B.C. (I walk by them every day). The silhouette of Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains is clearly visible in the background. Picking imagery from N.A.’s bubbliest city to sell re in Kenmore is more than a bit ironic…

  9. 9
    deejayoh says:

    It’s even closer by boat!

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Roger says:

    I’m curious, what do folks here feel is a decent price cut, enough to get your attention? For me, I find that unless the cut is below what I probably would have made an initial offer at, it just doesn’t do anything for me. For example, cutting $500,000 down to $490,000 doesn’t even raise an eyebrow, but if you bring it down to $450,000 I at least pay attention, and $400,000 is even better.

    A rather crummy little house nearby with the typical “rural junkyard” thing going on out back was just cut from a laughably ambitious $499 to $399, and I think it still needs another $50K trimmed, at least, but they’re getting a clue.

    We don’t have redfin coverage out here, so it’s hard to keep track of reductions unless you make notes constantly.

  12. 12
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    I’ll pay what you paid in 2004.

  13. 13
    David McManus says:

    Eh, the commute to Bellevue or Seattle from Kenmore is not that bad at all, then again, I leave my house at 6 / 6:30. I’m usually at my office in Bellevue in 25 minutes. It really sucks going down 405 if you leave around 7:30/8. If it’s raining and I have to leave late, I try to take 100th down to Bellevue, but the drivers are total morons on that one section in Juanita where the road shrinks from two lanes to one that I’m usually wishing I was on the freeway. All that being said, I’ll be curious to know what these condos sell for as they are just down the road from me.

  14. 14
    Bella says:

    I don’t know if it is amusing or not, but this weekend I discovered that my neighborhood (Ballard/Greenwood/Crown Hill) is absolutely FLOODED with a ton of comparable homes, all in the 450-500k price range.

    I will say that from what I have seen, you are getting more house and much more nicely remodeled house for that price than you would have 12 or even 6 months ago.
    I have to wonder though, if that kind of over-saturation will drive prices down more, as buyers who can afford that will be able to have their “pick of the litter” if you will.
    If you are interested in 10 very comparable house for the same price, it stands to reason that it would be in your best interest to make a lower offer on any of them, knowing that if it is turned down, you can always try to make the same kind of offer on another house that is just as nice, and not really run out of a supply of comparable homes to make offers on.

    I also have to wonder if there are really that many people out there who can afford that much that all of those homes would really reasonably sell for that price range?
    It is so much harder to get a loan now, that it seems like the pool of potential buyers for that range must have shrunk?

  15. 15
    biliruben says:

    I think you are very astute, Bella.

  16. 16
    Bella says:

    Roger, I just looked at a house that is noticeably crooked everywhere – not a square corner in the place – and not even remotely what I would refer to as “updated” much less remodeled that had been reduced from 319k to I believe 311k?
    Yes, that’s a much lower price range to make a reduction, but they hadn’t had a bit of interest in 3 months. We just stopped by because there was an open house, not a real effort to make an appointment to see it.
    I just did not think for the condition the house was in (needed all new appliances, new flooring, fixtures, front porch, landscaping, etc. and who knows what was going on structurally because it was so obviously off kilter) allowed for the price, or for that small of a price reduction.

  17. 17
    vboring says:

    if i only had the desire to pay 30% too much own in a slightly tarted up blue collar neighborhood full of drunk vagrants.

    seriously, walk through Ballard some time. half of the area wants to sell discount inflatable boats and shipping hardware while the other half is overpriced restaurants for yup-hippies.

    they do have a nice library, though.

  18. 18
    TJ_98370 says:

    Wow! $500,000 to $1,500,000 condos in a semi-isolated community of 5,000.

    Business Spotlight: Developers Hope to Calm Manchester Condo Critics

  19. 19
    MyGrain says:

    On the complete opposite experience: A friend of mine had been looking for a house in Queen Anne for the past few months. Right now, there are plenty of houses in the 1 – 1.5 Million dollar range that have been sitting for quite some time (some are approaching the one year mark). However, houses under 700K are getting snapped up very quickly. One house came on the market for 690K (with lots of major renovations having been done but still needing some more updates). The house came on the market on Sunday. By Monday, there were several offers and they (my friends) were ultimately outbid by someone willing to go over asking. Two weeks later, another house came on the market for 625K and basically the exact same thing happened. The third time around, they bid full price and removed some contingencies and were successful.

    From this experience, I’ve deduced the following:

    1. There are plenty of anxious buyers but they are more sane and less willing to stretch out their credit. Sellers willing to adjust their prices to pre-bubble or early bubble levels will have no trouble selling.

    2. Just as the Pacific NW market has responded differently than the rest of the country (although I certainly don’t believe that we’re a pretty pink pony, we are different), certain neighborhoods within the city are responding to market changes in dramatically different ways just as urban markets in general have responded differently tha suburban markets.

    3. Taking a loss is not the worst thing in the world. Having learned from my friend’s experience, I put my condo on the market (which I had owned for three years) at a price that was higher than what I had purchased it for but still left me at a small loss (after taxes and commission). Offers came within weeks.

  20. 20
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    There is money to go around here, I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that.

  21. 21
    I actually like it here says:

    Yeah, $10k price drops never made much sense to me. What’s that boil down to on a monthly payment for a 30 year fixed mortgage? $30/month? Gee, thanks.

    There was a house up the street from me in Wallingford that was up for sale this winter. It’s absolutely beautiful. Completely redone, 4 bed, 2 bath, gourmet kitchen, great outdoor living space, rooftop balcony off the master bedroom. Off street parking. It was listed at $699,000, but unfortunately for them they lived nextdoor to the Adams Family. Their neighbor had trees that looked like they would eat trick-or-treaters. There was a car up on blocks. Rusty bikes and ruined kayaks littered the front yard. Every day when they came home, their dog would escape out the back door and run up and down the street pooping everywhere and knocking over garbage cans. Beautiful house had to settle for $100k less to close.

    Then, wouldn’t you know it, two months later the Adams Family decided to move. Got rid of the car, bikes, and kayaks. Hired landscapers to pull the carniverous shrubberies and put in new sod. Repainted the exterior. Put the house up for $750,000. It sat for two months and now it’s at $699,000. I hope it rots on the market for years. I’m still pissed when the owner accused me of not recycling enough after her dog knocked over my garbage.

  22. 22
    Sorin says:

    Bella, Completely agree about Ballard and the number of potential buyers.

    I talked to a developer yesteray at an open house that mentioned there were 170 town houses in progress (being built, but not yet on the market). Just from my own driving around, I can see at least 30-40 units that will hit the market this summer, probably in the 400-550 range, possibly lower. Price reductions and below asking offers are common now on just about everything. Prices seem to be at about 10% below peak right now. I don’t see anything to reverse that trend for at least another 6 months, potentially much longer.

  23. 23
    Ken says:

    ‘The Tim’ asks “What kind of amusing home listing action have you seen in your neighborhood?”

    I’m not sure if this is amusing, expect in a tragicomic sense, but this house presents a classic example of the bubble.

    It’s in a housing development carved out of a wooded area in 1999. It was during the county-wide push for higher density and the developer was allowed, if not encouraged, to cram way too many homes into the development. Relative to other eastside SFH’s, these houses have tiny front porches, tiny yards, and tiny backyards. As a result, they have huge turnover relative to the surrounding neighborhood, providing a great opportunity to watch the bubble in action.

    The history of this particular house is bit strange since it was part of an inventory of houses for a corporate relocation company, but there are several other houses that have sold once or twice during the 8 year period.

    Sales History
    Nov 17, 1999 $435,282
    Mar 28, 2000 $449,600
    Sep 08, 2005 $695,000

    Listing Price History
    Feb 14, 2008 $850,000
    Feb 28, 2008 $800,000
    Mar 20, 2008 $750,000
    Mar 27, 2008 $700,000
    Apr 17, 2008 $650,000
    Apr 24, 2008 $600,000

    The sad part to see is the crashing expectations of this poor homeowner; from $850k to $600k over a 4 month period. Once it finally sells, the homeowner will be losing over $100k (maybe $200k) in real money, not paper profits, from what was probably a $100k initial investment.

    I don’t know this homeowner, but I doubt that he knew that he might be signing up for this kind of ride down when he signed those papers in 2005. The disclosure of the possibility of this sort of loss should be a required step in the RE purchase process just like the standard disclosure when purchasing stocks or mutual funds; “Past performance does not guarantee future success”. Right now it seems to be the opposite. “Oh no, believe me, this area is really hot. It’s just going to keep appreciating.”

    I’ll bet Seattle’s not looking so special to this guy. Someone buy him a pony.

  24. 24
    David McManus says:

    Once it finally sells, the homeowner will be losing over $100k (maybe $200k) in real money, not paper profits, from what was probably a $100k initial investment.

    Looks like it’s STI today. What did PT Barnum say…..?

  25. 25
    Groundhogday says:

    From Pullman, WA… Two of our more important local builders are now trying to sell their buildable lot holdings. In Pullman, this is akin to a cowboy selling his horse: a major turning point in real estate psychology. Last year they refused to sell lots without an attached home building contract. Last year, lots were considered an asset. Now they are a liability. Asking prices are still much too high, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

    As for home listings, we are in the standoff phase. We’ve been seeing small price reductions (e.g. $430k to $415k) but nothing major yet. There is one house that has been on the market since Feb with weekly craigslist “make an offer, owner must sell” posts (in addition to an MLS listing). But in all this time they have only dropped the price from $255k to $245k!

    There is another house on the MLS that has been on the market for almost a year. The MLS listing tells us that there is a “military transfer, must sell!” But the $359k price has not been reduced even one dollar over the past year.

    Pullman in a nutshell.

  26. 26
    Bella says:

    Sorin,
    I wasn’t even touching on the insanity of the condos! There are so many listings and they are just sitting, sitting, sitting. I don’t know how anyone thinks that they will able to sell more of them when they are done.

    Another interesting point is that while there is a huge (seeming) glut of condos and houses in the 450-500k range, houses in the 300-350k range are now picking up the pace. I watched several sit for a few months, and many were reduced a bit, and now almost all that I was watching are sold or in the process. The newest ones on the market are not sitting at all, either.
    I’m sure this is mostly due to it being the beginning of summer and/or a first wave of reasonable price reductions on some decent (if a bit small) houses that people are grabbing thinking this is as low as prices will go.

  27. 27
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Keep in mind that we’re heading into Summer season, which is the peak season for real estate activities. Don’t be surprised that houses are being sold more so than earlier this year, it is expected for the sales to pick up.

  28. 28
    deejayoh says:

    Ken –
    Interesting find! wow – check out the jeenious estimates of value shown on the listing – average $855k!!!

    will be interesting to see what it sells for

    Low Estimate High
    zillow $672,000 $840,000 $924,000
    eAppraisal $795,866 $936,314 $1,076,761
    cyberhomes$712,176 $791,307 $910,003

    Whoever the owner is, they were dropping price $50k a week. Sounds like they needed to get sold ASAP, no matter what. Must be some corporate transfer or something like that.

  29. 29
    Ken says:

    Ok, everyone should find this listing truly comical, after suffering though the tragedy of my earlier post.

    It’s a 2,248 sq. ft lot (yes, that’s lot) that was platted in the 30’s as part of the Juanita Beach Camps, a sort of summer beach cabin community, albeit not quite on the beach;-). The seller granitized the original 1939 cabin, all 610 sq. ft of it and, voila, look what almost a half a million dollars will buy you now! Wing-ding, diddly, doo! Sign me up!

  30. 30
    SoCalXplant says:

    Ken…

    I think you’re absolutely right that home buyers should have to read and sign a statement that acknowledges they understand that there’s no guarantee that real property will appreciate or even hold its value. And it should be in BOLDFACE type, too.

    Other than that, I have little sympathy for uneducated investors. It’s one thing if you purchase a home and plan to stay there the entire term of the mortgage, or even to live out your days there. In that case, prop value only matters with regard to taxes, I suppose.

    But most buyers nowadays look at RE purchases as a major investment, but few treat it as such, nor do the necessary homework and due diligence to make smart choices. The exceptions are we here who visit this site and those like us. But we are a huge minority. Even noobs to the investment world know the old adage, “Buy low, sell high.” Waiting until ’05 — late into the bubble — to make that a 700K RE purchase is clearly pushing one’s luck, even in Seattle, whose bubble is behind the rest. My wife and I cashed out in fall of ’04 in SoCal, not because the bubble had burst yet, but because we recognized it could not grow much bigger.

    Her sister and brother in law invested late in the bubble in a Phoenix property, and are now major losers because they ignored the warnings and pushed their luck. Buyers who have to sell because their work forces them to move should be renters if they have the sort of career where there’s a fair chance of having to relocate.

    Only folks who are into a property for a very long or permanent stay should ever purchase without being market savvy. The property is still an investment, but like the stock market, long-term investors almost always see decent return on conservative investments over the long haul. Those who treat the RE market like day traders are playing with fire, and will get burned if they don’t educate themselves and push their luck. They have no one to blame but themselves.

  31. 31
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Wait, you’re saying I can’t find good deals if I sit there and refresh Craiglist real estate section?

  32. 32
    SoCalXplant says:

    Just looked at that “cabin on steroids” in Juanita you posted, and it got me thinking….

    What does everyone feel is the dollar value of a particular view/location, at least in the Puget Sound area?

    This property is quite small, although the deck seems nice. I can’t imagine anyone but a single young professional wanting to live there. And if I were that, I’d much rather live in the twice-larger Kenmore condo with the sweet view listed above for 100K less!

    So what would this property be worth if it were half a mile inland without the water view? Also, BTW, NE 117th Place is NOWHERE near Bridle Trails, so that’s a big spin-lie. I live in Bridle Trails only three blocks away from the park, which borders NE 60th on its north side.

    One final gripe at listings like this: clearly the property is not waterfront — you can see it’s across the street from what might be waterfront lots, but no big deal. It does have a decent view from the deck. What bothers me is almost every “view” listing seems to always include a view shot taken with a telephoto lens, and sometimes only that and not one that shows the actual view. As if people sit out on their decks with binoculars glued to their peepers the entire time.

    Anyway, I’m curious to know how much value others place on various views: water, mountain, territorial, etc. versus similar props without any whatsoever.

  33. 33
    Gill says:

    Hey Bella,

    Just curious — I did a search on Redfin for homes in the $450 – $500K range for sale in 98117 and 98107 — I only see 40 listed. This does not, of course, include some of Greenwood.

    Most of them are condos or cookie-cutter style townhomes.

    Do you consider this flooded?

  34. 34
    Greg Perry says:

    I worked through a lot of market studies in the various seattle/eastside NWMLS areas. For the most part prices are holding steady in the core areas, yet the Sellers are attempting to take up to a 6% mark up — and not getting it. On average, after reducing about 4% (within 2% of the LP), then they’re selling.

    Prices are declining in many of the outlying areas, particularly new construction zones and eastside rural areas.

    Here’s a link to a study I did on NWMLS 530 a few weeks back.
    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2008/04/its-finally-cle.html
    and part 2
    http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2008/04/nwmls-area-530.html

    Today, over at SREP, I posted this about “chasing a market down”
    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/realestate/archives/140217.asp

  35. 35
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    wow, a real estate agent “worked”.

  36. 36
    Greg Perry says:

    For residential only, currently NWMLS area 705 (ballard) is holding 12.6 weeks of inventory. I consider below 3 months (12 weeks) a Seller’s Advantaged market and 3-6 months a Balanced market. (A 7 week average of 151.6 Active listings with 12 Pendings per week)

  37. 37
    Greg Perry says:

    (I forgot to indicate that the ballard inventory numbers were for the price range of $400,000-$499,999) Sorry!

  38. 38
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Oh wait, I get it now. You made a simple chart off simple data and calling it time consuming…

  39. 39
    Renter says:

    what happens when some one forecloses a home?
    Lets say some on bought a house with intrest only loan for 500 grand and after the burst it is 400Grand. He cannot afford the payments now. Can he walk away from the house? if yes who takes the hit. If no does he have to pay the 100K through out his life.

    Just out of curiosity. I am not owner who is looking for a foreclosure.

  40. 40
    Alan says:

    Renter,

    It depends. State law for foreclosure varies from state to state. The type of property matters too. First mortages on primary residences are often non-recourse. That means the lender get nothing other than the house when they foreclose. Mortgages on unimproved properties, home equity loans, and refinanced mortgages are often recourse. If there is still money owed after the foreclosure auction then the bank can go after the owner’s other assets.

    Washington state seems to have a strange and complex foreclosure process. There are “judicial” foreclosures and “non-judicial” foreclosures. Different paperwork is filed for each type. I think most mortages are judicial. They are faster but are non-recourse. Non-judicial foreclosure does allow recourse. Non-judicial also has a bunch of hairy details like allowing the owner to redeem the debt up to a year after the foreclosure auction and allows him to live in the property during that time. At least that is what I read. It sounds too crazy to be true though so I suspect I interpreted it wrong. If I am right though it would explain where there are almost zero non-judicial mortages.

    The short answer is anyone going through foreclosure on either side should consult with an attorney.

  41. 41
    Greg Perry says:

    “Oh wait, I get it now. You made a simple chart off simple data and calling it time consuming…”

    Actually, I have 29 of these “simple little charts” that encompass every NWMLS area in King County. Each of these charts break down 14 different price points and show 7 weeks of activity. Then the 7 weeks is averaged so I can see instant market trends as they develop. And that’s just for residential. Condo’s duplicate the entire procedure.

    In addition, I keep monthly stats and have a subscription to Trend Graphix which lets me analyze data by zip code, or city, any a myriad of ways.

    I also create market studies to see check out theories and trends.

    But……where, oh where did I call it time consuming? Those were your words, not mine.

    I’m detecting disdain and sarcasm in your post. Would you rather not see relevant data included in the conversation?

    What does your PHD stand for?

  42. 42

    The Tim, did you make that poster up “So Hot So New” or is it for real?

  43. 43
    Everett_Tom says:

    Rhonda – Click on the picture of the scary couple up there at the top of this post…. it’s a link.. and umm.. well, see for yourself.

  44. 44
    The Tim says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that finds the poster to be so surreal. It’s practically a parody of itself, and yes, as Everett_Tom points out, it’s frighteningly real.

  45. 45
    deejayoh says:

    Hey Greg – I’ll say thanks for stopping by – I appreciate the data. We have a few grumpy personalities on the blog.

  46. 46
    Bella says:

    Gill, all I know is that we were driving around and noticed a ton of for sale signs and started stopping and picking up flyers, at any reasonably modest looking home. We picked up about 20 – that’s not counting the houses which had none left – and out of those, only 1 was less at $409k.
    It just seemed like every house in the area was the same price, and that they were all very comparable, as far as size, location, lot size, updates/remodels, etc.
    Even 20 houses that are comparable including price seems like a lot to me. In my price range there are about 3 houses available : )

  47. 47
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Greg Perry-

    I am quoting YOU…

    “Thanks,
    I’ll do these studies as I can. They take a lot of time.

    Anyone wanting specific information on their neighborhood and price range just needs to send me an email!

    Posted by: Greg Perry | April 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM”

    Denial, another RE trait.

  48. 48
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Have you seen the Northshore commercial? Were they cutting back the cost of advertising by not hiring actors?

  49. 49
    The Tim says:

    Oh man, are they really running a TV ad? What station / times? I’d love to record that for the laughs.

  50. 50
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    I don’t recall what channel or what time, but you see this woman (unattractive at best) walking with hat and sun glasses talking about the place…

    I was curious how they expect to sell anything with that crappy commercial.

  51. 51
    Greg Perry says:

    Thanks, deeyaoh, I appreciate that. Although I may not always agree with some conclusions, I respect the core group here trying to figure out what’s happening. You know, sometimes looking over the other side of the fence creates a sense of healthy perspective, which I hope makes me a better agent for my clients.

    Oh, and Uber, you silly goose. Of course, you caught that comment by me from a past post. I thought you were referring to something I said today…… Nice catch. If only the Mariners had your talent.

    Fact is, creating any kind of study from the data is very time consuming. First of all there is a mountain of information. Then the information has to be analyzed. With 29 NWMLS zones and 14 separate price ranges, it is better indeed, if people are interested in their neighborhood or specific need to drop me an eamil and I can forward on some information pertinant to them. If I did a post a week on each of these areas, it would take me over 1/2 year to get through it all……..and of course the data has a very short shelf life.

    Thanks for clarifying this for everyone!

    I guess Da-nile isn’t just another river in Egypt!

  52. 52
    Ubersalad, Ph.D says:

    Alright dude…Seattle Bubble made me into this anti-RE agent hater…don’t blame me, blame Tim.

  53. 53
    Greg Perry says:

    You can reform! There is a 12 step program…….

  54. 54
    b says:

    Step 1. Buy shitbox
    Step 2. Install granite and silly bowl-style sinks

    ???

    Step 12. Profit

  55. 55
    mike2 says:

    I don’t know this homeowner, but I doubt that he knew that he might be signing up for this kind of ride down when he signed those papers in 2005.

    What is more amazing is that someone young enough to not know home prices can go down could afford to spend $695K on a house. Must have been an inheritance.

  56. 56
    magnolia44 says:

    i have lived here over 3 years I cant tell you where Kenmore is along with a host of other cities.

  57. 57

    I live in area 360- Skyway, Lakeridge, Bryn Mawr, West Hill, Earlington, just West of Renton, and this was an area that some folks were speculating a few years ago would see big escalation because it is a convenient location and had some of the lowest priced houses in the Seattle area. It hasn’t really happened. The area includes Skyway, and whenever someone in the south end gets stabbed or shot, it’s usually reported to have happened in Skyway, whether it did or not. So: many of the neighboring area, which don’t resemble Skyway in the least, suffer from the Skyway “stench” and prices have declined here, and some properties are staying on the market for a long time, except for those that have been realistically priced.

  58. 58
    Michael says:

    I have been screaming about the change in accounting rules for a few weeks. It seems that Bloomberg just wrote an article about this. What they didn’t mention is how much of this change is designed to reinflate the real estate bubble. Basically the investment banks are going to be allowed to value mortgage backed securities at ‘historic’ levels. So the banks have every incentive to sign people in mortgages that they can’t pay because the bank never has to report a loss on the security.

    http://www.bloomberg.com (read the article about bank math -2 + -2 = 4

  59. 59
    mark says:

    Greg;

    Good work. It looks like the number of sales in each price range was down or flat in all price ranges, on a yoy basis.

    Inventory is higher this year compared to last which was higher than April of 2006.
    I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding this trend and how it will affect the market and also how the sellers are reacting when their properties don’t sell.

    TIA

  60. 60
    monkey says:

    maybe Seattle will be next. BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. no kidding……
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/24951736

  61. 61
    Greg Perry says:

    Hi Mark
    As I watch the markets, I look at both supply vs. demand (which can be computed into Absorption Rates and Sales Ratios). It’s the only way I can make sense of a market. The 3rd quarter last year was a period of dramatic market changes.

    Since the first of the year, by and large most areas have been fairly stable, with AR’s improving slightly in core areas/popular price points.

    RE markets are seasonal. Traditionally we would taper off the 3rd quarter anyway. I’ll be very interested to see how the AR’s react to seasonality. It seems like mortgage programs are stabilizing. A big question mark will be interest rates. Comparing 3rd quarter 2007 vs 2008 will be interesting, indeed!

    How are sellers reacting? They are re-learning this old law of negotiation:

    “Time is the enemy of the Seller.”

    They didn’t have to think much about this law when the markets were hot.

    It’s hard to communicate with some Sellers. I don’t win my case with sellers all the time. I will tell you that this market has very little grace. If sellers aren’t positioned exactly right, they have low odds of success.

  62. 62
    monkey says:

    Hey Greg, I would like to see the Market Statistics for Lynnwood are. Thanks.

  63. 63
    monkey says:

    Oops, i mean area

    Hey Greg, I would like to see the Market Statistics for Lynnwood area. Thanks.

  64. 64
    Greg Perry says:

    Monkey,
    send me an email at gregperry@working-for-you.com. I’ll be happy to send you Lynnwood stats.

  65. 65
    Sally says:

    Greg,

    I’d like to see the market statistics for Bellevue. My cousin has her home up for 915k. Started 999k..was on market last year from summer to fall. Only two couples came through. They took it off in Nov as I recall. Put it up again March 5 with a new realtor for the 915k. They bought 8 years ago. It’s on 1/3 of an acre and has a mom in law apartment built into the house. Nice for out of town guests if one doesn’t have a mom or mom in law. My friends daughter and son in law bought their houseJan 06 for 700k Had a beautiful deck built and a few other changes. They put it up for 840k .Their payments are 7k a month. They put it up March 1.Now they’re living in Tulsa where he’s working with a friend for a piece of the business.They have 3 more months that the company pays for their condo rental to give them time to sell their house. There are so many around them..all look about the same and same price, it’ll take a miracle to sell their house for that price and a miracle for my cousin as well.

    Thanks

    Sally

  66. 66

    […] complex in my neighborhood (Kenmore) that I have mentioned on here a number of times in the past. Most recently, two of the eight units were up for sale. As of this morning, four of the eight are on the market. […]

  67. 67

    […] readers may recall past mentions on these pages of Northshore Townhomes, an 86-unit townhome complex in my north Kenmore […]

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