Sunday’s Up Front on KING 5 focused on the local real estate market, and provided a relatively balanced picture. Host Allen Schauffler presented an overall picture of the current market, a look at a couple that got swept up in the bubble mania, a look at the next wave of adjustable rate resets, a warning about loan modification scammers, and an interview with George W. Johnson, Ballard’s 96-year-old real estate agent.
Here is the money quote:
Local economist Jim Hebert says those prices are going to drop even more. And that’s something people should consider now, when they make an offer.
[Hebert] “…perhaps what you do is you don’t look at today’s price, you look at the price in four to six months. And it’s going to continue to fall—for a while, it will fall. It must.”
Schauffler only interviews one real estate professional in the broadcast, mortgage broker Howard Bono, who forecasts a horizon of “three or four or five years” before the market gets back on its feet.
The overall tone of this most recent piece is a far cry from the November 2007 Up Front in which Lennox Scott, responding to a forecast of home prices dropping 19.5% in five years, made the assertion that “that’s not the projections that we’re seeing.” For the record, King County’s median home price is down 24% from its July 2007 peak, and 18% since Mr. Scott made that claim.
In stark contrast to Sunday’s balanced Up Front report is this piece from KOMO News on Saturday: Home deals: A bright spark amid economic gloom (emphasis mine)
It’s one of the few bright spots amid the economic gloom – a local real estate market that is brimming with deals and incredibly low financing.
But no one knows just how long it will last. So some people aren’t waiting any longer to make the plunge.
Coupled with the dropping prices are some jaw-dropping financing offers that are being made by some lenders. Some banks are offering rates as low as 3.875 percent.
“How crazy is that?” says real estate agent Becky Hiller. “I know, it’s incredible. Amazing – it’s just unheard of.“
“I think the bottom has hit,” says [builder Mark] Huber. “Supply is going to start diminishing, and the good ones are going to go fast. This is definitely the time to buy.”
Because who knows when real estate prices will skyrocket once again.
Props to KING 5 for a balanced and realistic story about the local housing market, and shame on KOMO 4 for running a thinly veiled advertisement for local agents and builders and calling it “news.”
Hat tip to RedmondJP for pointing out the KOMO piece over in the forums.