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.

28 responses to “Redfin: Real Estate Limbo Drags On…”

  1. softwarengineer

    Tim, Does This Zipcode Data Include Distressed Sales?

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  2. Lo Ball Jones

    Home page of today’s Seattle PI website.

    Polygon homes…starting at $139,000 !

    I’ve never seen anything below $179,000 for a new polygon or quadrant home, and the price is usually is above $200,000 (back in the day, a “starter” home from those guys was $299,000).

    Now it’s $139,000…yeah, I know it’s not the creme de la creme location…but we’re talking entry point for a brand new home…the kind of thing that a low income renter would be foolish not to buy!

    http://polygon.localplacement.net/polygon/communities/ThisCommunity.aspx?Community=TheHeightsatRidgeview39

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    By Lo Ball Jones @ 2:

    Now it’s $139,000…yeah, I know it’s not the creme de la creme location…but we’re talking entry point for a brand new home.

    Wow, a brand new home in North Everett! ;-)

    It would be interesting to look at the history of the parcel. Who bought it originally as a larger tract and then what it sold for when Polygon bought it to build on (and how recently that was). Without being familiar with the operations of Polygon, my guess would be those parcel were picked up very cheap in 2010, assuming they bought them already platted.

    Edit: Aren’t those condos?

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  4. Blurtman

    Limbo is better than Hell, isn’t it?

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  5. Scotsman

    “People think that pricing is still going to go lower.”

    Why would they think that? Don’t they know that L.A. Port shipments are up?

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  6. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 5

    That’s what I’ve been waiting for! Solid proof the recovery has taken hold! China is shipping again!

    The dollars stores will be filling up, and consumers have a price point that is managable.

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  7. David Losh

    We have our first redfin client on the books for tomorrow morning. The photographer is coming in the afternoon, carpets were cleaned today, and they will be on the market by the end of the week.

    Normally I’d make fun of this whirl wind of activity as proof that when you hire a discount brokerage you get less service.

    However I also have a full service Brokerage of one of the top Seattle Real Estate companies that has nothing but the Broker’s Open scheduled. The home owners are nowhere near being ready for anything, but they are also on the books for tomorrow, delayed from today. Broker’s Open on Wednesday.

    This month we have had six of these mad dash phone calls from sellers that have to get the house on the market immediately or the day before immediately.

    Only one agent this month has been prepared. He is always prepared, and really brings a lot to the Real Estate experience.

    The best part is that I have seen some really nice houses in the low $300K range, and a couple at about $250K. It depends on what you want from a property, but to me it seems there are some good properties out there. It really seem sellers want to move on.

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  8. Jonness

    By softwarengineer @ 1:

    Tim, Does This Zipcode Data Include Distressed Sales?

    While distressed sales do bias the price data, the effect in the Seattle area has been pretty minimal compared to most other markets (although the bias has most like increased somewhat since this study was performed).

    If it’s possible to easily separate the distressed from the non-distressed, the bias could easily be tracked through time using the linked indicator.

    http://www.sandiego.edu/business/documents/REO_Bias_sept_4-Ed.pdf

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  9. David North

    Welcome to the new normal, more or less.

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  10. Scotsman

    If you are one of the 48% why would you want to buy or sell a home now?

    “CNN: 48% believe a Great Depression is coming within a year”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/06/08/cnn-48-believe-a-great-depression-is-coming-within-a-year/

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  11. MichaelB

    By Scotsman @ 10:

    If you are one of the 48% why would you want to buy or sell a home now?

    “CNN: 48% believe a Great Depression is coming within a year”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/06/08/cnn-48-believe-a-great-depression-is-coming-within-a-year/

    Selling makes sense as cash is king in a depression.

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  12. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 10

    Because we are seeing a devaluation of assets, most notably housing. It makes sense to sell right now if you are going to buy something else. You could rent for a year, or two to add to your down payment. There is a lot of opportunity if you intend to pay down a principal balance on a property or pay it off within 10 years.

    Tim is a good example. If you do, in fact, applaud his decision to buy at a low per cent of his income with the idea he can pay the property off then now would be a time you could do that.

    As an example, a property I looked at last week end was $349K. It was a cross the street from a place that was a “fixer” some years ago at $199K. It’s a better house, better condition, great updates, while being original. It’s a good solid deal for a family home, on a corner lot, fenced yard, big detached garage, and close in, or close enough.

    If you bought this property with the idea you would get cheap mortgage money, and pay the house off, it is a very good move to make today.

    What I suspect is that when prices continue to come down the selection will be weeded out. Even if you pay 20% more today, if you buy below your means you could recoup that by interest payment savings by paying it off.

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  13. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 12RE: MichaelB @ 11

    We all agree, but from a seller’s perspective why sell when there are few buyers, and you are less likely to get your price?

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  14. toad37

    A friend just emailed this to me- looks like a bank bailout in disguise.

    $1 Billion in Homeowner Aid Offered

    http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2011-06/1-billion-in-homeowner-aid-offered.aspx?storyid=81588

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  15. toad37

    I’m going to go check this out today. This will be interesting to see what it goes for. I might put a low ball offer in, we’ll see. Is it just me or does that stove look like it’s blocking the cupboard under the sink from fully opening?

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Bellevue/1326-98th-Ave-NE-98004/home/250830

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  16. ChrisM

    RE: toad37 @ 15 – Check out the excellent stove/cabinet installation in the sixth photo. Can you actually open that right cabinet door under the sink? Looks like you’d hit the stove!

    Also, I like the comment : “Pictures are accurate. ” — has the agent been following the photo stories on this blog?

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  17. toad37

    RE: The Tim @ 16 – Good find, thanks Tim. May I asked where you found that?

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  18. toad37

    RE: ChrisM @ 17 – I know, I saw that. :-) LOL.

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  19. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 16 – I can’t comment on active listings, but in general I really doubt the banks take into account how much they are going to lose. That would be like a buyer always wanting to offer 80% of list. I would hope that banks try to determine what the property is actually likely to sell for. Maybe that’s too much to hope for.

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  20. toad37

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20 – My guess is it goes for 550-575ish. I’ll post when it sells.

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  21. Blurtman

    RE: toad37 @ 14 – It is in everyone’s interest to bail out the consumer as he drives GDP and therefore job creation. Don’t get caught in the house slave trap, complaining about them golly field slaves.

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  22. Jonness

    By toad37 @ 21:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20 – My guess is it goes for 550-575ish. I’ll post when it sells.

    It’s pending as of today. Not that this has anything to do with it, but I’m reluctant to post links to homes I’m interested in on public sites. Why help advertise the home to other potential buyers who might end up bidding against you?

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  23. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Jonness @ 23
    That’s good thinking, Jonness. But if someone else links to a house you’re interested in, you can always comment that you’ve been inside, and saw the mold on the walls and the rat carcasses.

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  24. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 13

    In Seattle there is a lot that is selling, and for what I think are premium prices. In my opinion you have your best chance to get any price this year rather than wait.

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  25. toad37

    RE: Jonness @ 23 – I thought about that, and if I thought it was something I was excited about I wouldn’t have posted it. That being said, you have a good point.

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  26. MacroInvestor

    Lori Bakken’s comment was the most interesting part of this post. I’d like to hear more about what she’s seeing. Are sellers giving up on their delusions of a quick recovery, or are buyers getting impatient from the wait and just paying what they need to pay? We seem to be hearing both.

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  27. Anton Stetner

    I think the biggest thing that stands out is that even though inventory has dropped below 6 months and into a seller market in some areas prices keep declining due to economic factors, negative equity and the high number of foreclosures.

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