I was just reminiscing with a friend about our old pal Elizabeth Rhodes, the Seattle Times’ former real estate reporter, when I came across this gem from July 2006, one year before Seattle homes hit their price peak, and the same month the Case-Shiller 20-city composite hit its peak: Local homes: Investments that just keep getting hotter
Forget your home being your castle. Thanks to surging local home prices, your home is now your portfolio.
After giving thanks that you bit the bullet and bought, consider this:
The median prices of King County’s detached homes and condominiums have climbed 16 percent since the first of this year — despite a growing number of homes listed for sale — leaving both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq in the dust.
The S&P has grown a paltry 0.1 percent since January, while the Nasdaq has declined 3 percent.
Note that by this time, some cities (notably Boston and San Diego) were 9+ months into their decline, and most of the country was hitting peak pricing. Of course, that didn’t phase our buddy Ms. Rhodes or her all-too-willing cohorts in the local real estate industry:
That puts Puget Sound-area sellers firmly in control — a situation that’s increasingly more memory than reality for sellers in other parts of the country, where the housing market is cooling.
Because the Puget Sound area’s economy is strong, we’re adding buyers who can absorb higher interest rates, said O.B. Jacobi, owner and broker of Windermere Real Estate’s Wedgwood office.
Ahh, remember those days? When agents and reporters insisted that Seattle’s housing market was invincible? Good times, good times. That is of course unless you were one of the suckers that believed their tripe about “investments” and “portfolios,” destroying your financial future by purchasing a massively overpriced home at the height of the biggest real estate bubble in history.
Here’s what I had to say about this article at the time:
It’s not often that I actually laugh out loud at a news headline, but congratulations to Elizabeth Rhodes, who actually achieved that with the gem “Local homes: Investments that just keep getting hotter.”
It’s not that I don’t believe that home prices are going up—that’s an obvious fact. I just find it quite amusing that Mrs. Rhodes’ home cheerleading rhetoric seems to be getting more extreme every month. No mention of a (highly likely) stagnation or decline in housing’s near future. No mention of the insane measures that must be taken to actually pay for these “portfolios.” Barely a passing mention of the steadily increasing supply vs. decreasing demand, and only lip service to the ever-increasing difficulty that buyers are having getting into a home.
Sometimes I miss Ms. Rhodes’ reporting, just for the sheer amusement factor. I wonder what she is up to these days?