Posted by: 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.

11 responses to “Reporting Roundup: Party Like It’s 1999 Edition”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    Inflation-adjusted home prices in King County are back to about where they were in early 1999. Nice.

    Somewhat misleading since prior to 2008 there were relatively few REOs and short sales, so there’s clearly been a change in the mix.

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  2. tomtom

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:

    Inflation-adjusted home prices in King County are back to about where they were in early 1999. Nice.

    Somewhat misleading since prior to 2008 there were relatively few REOs and short sales, so there’s clearly been a change in the mix.

    This is somewhat more misleading since all real estate is local. Not every area has a significant number of REO and foreclosure sales.

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  3. whatsmyname

    By tomtom @ 2:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:
    Inflation-adjusted home prices in King County are back to about where they were in early 1999. Nice.

    Somewhat misleading since prior to 2008 there were relatively few REOs and short sales, so there’s clearly been a change in the mix.

    This is somewhat more misleading since all real estate is local. Not every area has a significant number of REO and foreclosure sales.

    That’s all very gallant, but since we are comparing all of King County to all of King County over time, the pertinent factor is the mix for all of King County. Apples to apples.

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  4. John Bailo

    Yes, but prices are driven by expectation as much as “value” — whatever that is.

    In 1999, everthing pointed upward. The stock market. Low unemployment. High population growth for Seattle. High tech. Growth.

    And now? Well…if Oregon is any type of bellwether for Washington…

    Portland State estimates Oregon’s population growth slowing, with fewer migrants, more deaths than births

    The population explosion in Oregon in the earlier part of the decade has slowed so much that deaths now outnumber births, a Portland State University estimate shows.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2010/11/portland_state_estimates_oregons_population_slowing_again_with_fewer_migrants_more_deaths_than_birth.html

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  5. jp

    RE: John Bailo @ 4 – Less people in the NW is always a good thing.

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  6. Scott Weitz

    Shadow inventory is still huge. Foreclosures will be a bigger problem now that the banks have reached a settlement with the AGs.

    Agree with Tim that low end is at or near bottom as it is easy for investors to cash flow and the government is making certain financing is relatively available. That said, look for the high end to continue to slide as strategic foreclosures are still coming and financing on the high end is incredibly difficult.

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  7. softwarengineer

    The Stock Market is Waiting for the February Jobs Report Before Predicting Trends

    The 1.7M employed in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area has gone up and down 10K or so since the fiasco year 2008 peak of 1.8M, but basically hasn’t recovered a bit. Meanwhile were adding population [need for more jobs] to the Seattle area like IHOP flips pancakes:

    “…The historical core municipality of Seattle grew eight percent between 2000 and 2010 (from 563,000 to 608,000), while the suburbs grew 14 percent. The suburbs attracted 89 percent of the metropolitan population growth….”

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/002073-seattle-denver-portland-slowing-growth-rates-convergence

    The article is about a year old on population growth in Seattle, but let’s face it, once they get here do hardly any of them go back home soon? I’d need a recent article to disprove my allegation.

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  8. Kary L. Krismer

    By whatsmyname @ 3:

    By tomtom @ 2:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:
    Inflation-adjusted home prices in King County are back to about where they were in early 1999. Nice.

    Somewhat misleading since prior to 2008 there were relatively few REOs and short sales, so there’s clearly been a change in the mix.

    This is somewhat more misleading since all real estate is local. Not every area has a significant number of REO and foreclosure sales.

    That’s all very gallant, but since we are comparing all of King County to all of King County over time, the pertinent factor is the mix for all of King County. Apples to apples.

    Thank you for providing proof for my statements in the past here that some people only like to point out change in mix when it goes a certain direction.

    You really think mix is unimportant just because it’s all of King County? If the square footage of all the houses doubled in one month, and the median shot up 75%, that should just be ignored since would be dealing in both months with all of King County?

    The non-distressed median has stayed mainly around $400,000, but was well below that this last month at about $385,000. That’s what you would compare to the numbers from before 2008, since those numbers had few distressed properties.

    As a practical matter though if you’re looking at change in value for an individual house it would be better to attempt to value it by comps currently and at the point in time you were interested in comparing (e.g. 2006, 2004, 1999, etc.). That can easily be done if you don’t go too far back.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

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  9. Scotsman

    Real estate industry fears homes will flood market as prices rise

    http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2012/mar/04/shadow-inventory/

    Buy now, or be priced out forever! (Except in Renton and Covington.)

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  10. whatsmyname

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    By whatsmyname @ 3:
    By tomtom @ 2:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:
    Inflation-adjusted home prices in King County are back to about where they were in early 1999. Nice.

    Somewhat misleading since prior to 2008 there were relatively few REOs and short sales, so there’s clearly been a change in the mix.

    This is somewhat more misleading since all real estate is local. Not every area has a significant number of REO and foreclosure sales.

    That’s all very gallant, but since we are comparing all of King County to all of King County over time, the pertinent factor is the mix for all of King County. Apples to apples.

    Thank you for providing proof for my statements in the past here that some people only like to point out change in mix when it goes a certain direction.

    You really think mix is unimportant just because it’s all of King County? If the square footage of all the houses doubled in one month, and the median shot up 75%, that should just be ignored since would be dealing in both months with all of King County?

    The non-distressed median has stayed mainly around $400,000, but was well below that this last month at about $385,000. That’s what you would compare to the numbers from before 2008, since those numbers had few distressed properties.

    As a practical matter though if you’re looking at change in value for an individual house it would be better to attempt to value it by comps currently and at the point in time you were interested in comparing (e.g. 2006, 2004, 1999, etc.). That can easily be done if you don’t go too far back.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

    ??? My post was a one statement validation of your original post – pointing out that the reasonable comparison is “like with like”, i.e. all King County with all King County, and not all King County with some portion of King County where the mix would be different.

    I agree with your conclusions, buy I am mystified by your framing. The question “You really think mix is unimportant just because it’s all of King County?” has no basis in anything that I wrote or thought.

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