Posted by: Timothy Ellis (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.

13 responses to “December Reporting Roundup: Mall Meter Edition”

  1. brainiac

    Is that Totem Lake Mall? It looks really familiar.

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  2. shelby

    Wait is that the totem lake mall? If so that place has been a ghost town for 20 years. Not an accurate example.

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  3. ray pepper

    looks like a community college!

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  4. softwarengineer

    LOL Tim

    An empty shopping mall is a 1000 words.

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  5. Scotsman

    That’s a mall? Where are the store fronts and doors? How do the customers get to the merchandise? Do they have to go on line? So many questions. . .

    Oh, I know- it’s like the Harry Potter train station where the magical portal only appears to the chosen few!

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  6. Brady

    One explanation for a small increase in sales in December is the mortgage broker license renewal on 12/31/10. Apparently 61% of brokers in Washington hadn’t gotten the renewal done as of 12/01/10. A lot of them could have been rushing to get deals done by the end of the year knowing they were going to be temporarily without a license at the beginning of 2011. Initial licensing was in May of 2010 so the renewal snuck up on a lot of mortgage brokers. I wonder if there is a skew towards a lot of closings at the end of December.

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  7. Mark

    I think that people were closing the contracts while they had LOWER interest rates locked in. If someone signed the initial contact in November, then interest rates started moving up. It motivated them to close in December vs draging it out into January. Watch January NUMBERS they might be DOWN. This interest rate move of a 1/2 to 3/4 percent matters at approx $150 per month on a medium price $370k house, thats pushing $2,000 more per year. We saw what the $8,000 tax credit did……If one stays in their house 5yrs thats $10,000……. So someone just saved $10,000 by moving up their closing date by a couple of weeks.

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  8. John Bailo

    Southcenter Mall however has been packed to the gills especially the last month.

    The new Seafood City — an open fish market and Asian supermarket with eateries is bringing even more people.

    The parking lots have been loaded to where the only free spaces are on the outer edges.

    I definitely have been calling for a huge retail boom and at least at Southcenter and the better Westfield type malls we’re seeing some of that.

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  9. softwarengineer

    RE: John Bailo @ 9

    Sales at Macy’s Way Down Compared to Grim 2009

    Visit South Center and look around. How many are carrying shopping bags, vs. just wandering around [unemployed with no where to hangout?] empty handed?

    I hear even the mall movie theaters are offerring free popcorn to get you to buy a ticket, albeit these $10-15 3D movie tickets make buying the DVD seem cheap. Last time I was at S. Ctr AMX theater during the holidays recently I sat with 3 others watching a 3D movie….I imagine they lost money showing the movie to the grim/sparce crowd, the movie’s rent was likely more than our tickets.

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  10. HappyRenter

    A relative works at Nordstrom. He said there were lots of sales until the 24th and then lots of returns on the 26th. Overall, he doesn’t think they made more money than a year ago, although that applies only to his department.

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  11. corncob

    RE: HappyRenter @ 11 – Nordstrom actually killed it this holiday season, all things considered.

    Luxury retailers Nordstrom Inc. and Saks Inc. were also standouts, with sales rising 8.4% and 11.8%, respectively, more than double the consensus estimate.

    I think this is just continuation of what we have seen pretty much all of 2010: some sectors (tech, finance) and the top 20% of households are doing a-ok, everyone else not so much. This is why the data is often so confusing or contradictory, both pfft and scotsman are somewhat right and just talking about different segments of the population.

    Here is to hoping 2011 sees more of a recovery for the bottom 80%, being bearish is getting tiresome.

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  12. Seattle Bubble • Consumer Confidence: Still Rolling Along the Gutter

    [...] been about six months since we visited the subject of consumer confidence, and with the most recent data having been [...]

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