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.

55 responses to “Monday Open Thread (2012-03-19)”

  1. David Losh

    This buyer’s market is fascinating because people are looking at last sales price in 2007 as a comparison.

    A 20% decline in pricing on a $500K house is $100K. Do you think people see that $100K price reduction and think WOW! what a deal?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. redmondjp

    KIRO FM 97.3 reported this morning that Sears will be closing 16 stores in WA state. Is this long overdue? The last few times I have been into a Sears store (for an individual Craftsman tool that they are carrying fewer and fewer of) besides Black Friday, things have been pretty dead. As they usually are at the Lowe’s in Bellevue – I really wonder how much longer that location will be open as well . . .

    In other news, it might not rain or snow sometime later this week!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. JoshDayley

    Does anybody know where I could find information about housing values vs. inflation over the past few decades? Also, any future projections for the same…? Thanks

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. numbermonkey

    RE: JoshDayley @ 3 – Tim has made many blog posts on the front page dealing with house price vs. CPI. If you spend 10 minutes going back through his posts you will find the most recent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. JoshDayley

    RE: numbermonkey @ 4

    You couldn’t make it any easier for me numbermonkey? Just kidding, I found one right away. Posted Feb 27th.

    Thanks

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. softwarengineer

    RE: redmondjp @ 2

    Lowes is Closing Stores Too

    Sears went down the tube like Maytag IMO, when they made slave labor wages out of America more important for their appliances, than maintaining manufacturing quality. I own two Kenmores in my laundry room and use them a lot, but without the Sears warrantee extentions, I’d be in even worse shape putting up with their junk.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. Scotsman

    Didn’t think it was possible, but I’m learning to hate the government even more. Trying to get a building permit in King County. People say I should be glad I’m not in Snohomish . . . Unreal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 7

    Why?

    Actually there is a customer help desk, and a plague in the lobby of Seattle’ Department of Planning and Development that was put in place after several, very vocal complaints by me over a permit that went all the way through the permit process, only to be told after six months, and fees for architectural plans that I needed to add a parking space to permit my ADU.

    If you think I’m bad here, you would need to see me in person when I have been robbed blind by these self important pracks at the building department.

    We did the whole thing then applied for the permits afterward. Oh my God, you would think I shot the Pope.

    We far exceeded code, but the process was a complete waste of time, and energy. We sold the place without the kitchen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. deejayoh

    By softwarengineer @ 6:

    RE: redmondjp @ 2

    Lowes is Closing Stores Too

    Sears went down the tube like Maytag IMO, when they made slave labor wages out of America more important for their appliances, than maintaining manufacturing quality. I own two Kenmores in my laundry room and use them a lot, but without the Sears warrantee extentions, I’d be in even worse shape putting up with their junk.

    Sears doesn’t manufacture any appliances. None. All their stuff is rebranded from other manufacturers. So I am not sure what manufacturing quality you expect them to maintain. Maybe they should buy smarter, but that’s a different issue.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. redmondjp

    By deejayoh @ 9:

    By softwarengineer @ 6:
    RE: redmondjp @ 2

    Lowes is Closing Stores Too

    Sears went down the tube like Maytag IMO, when they made slave labor wages out of America more important for their appliances, than maintaining manufacturing quality. I own two Kenmores in my laundry room and use them a lot, but without the Sears warrantee extentions, I’d be in even worse shape putting up with their junk.

    Sears doesn’t manufacture any appliances. None. All their stuff is rebranded from other manufacturers. So I am not sure what manufacturing quality you expect them to maintain. Maybe they should buy smarter, but that’s a different issue.

    You are aware that Sears can and will specify what level of build quality and features they are receiving, right? The same holds true of Crapsman tools that are made for them. Sears is running the race to the bottom along with all of the rest of the major retailers.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 8

    I think they feel they are the Pope or something. Government totally out of control.. I hope they all have to get jobs in the private sector, then starve.

    6 months and 10+% of the project cost, just to get started.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 11:

    I think they feel they are the Pope or something.

    Did they take away your contraceptive coverage?

    Now you can see how the builders overshot so bad. If you’re talking about an entire plat, with wetland issues and such, you’re probably talking about a much longer period of time just to get things started. At some point they have a point of now return. Multiply that by dozens of builders, and you really have an oversupply problem that can pop up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    Why, why are you applying?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. mukoh

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – Snohomish is a breeze if you know what you are doing!. King Co is not that bad. What is that you two goofballs with Losh are doing?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. David Losh

    RE: mukoh @ 14

    Of course if you provide idiot blue prints that are easily read by a four year old, and provided the “planner” has seen the same blue prints a thousand times, it’s a breeze.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. Hugh Dominic

    By mukoh @ 14:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – Snohomish is a breeze if you know what you are doing!. King Co is not that bad. What is that you two goofballs with Losh are doing?

    Losh and Scotsman are building a love palace together.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 13

    Garage/bonus room addition.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. Scotsman

    Hey Barry- F-off and stop spending my money like you’re the queen of France or something;

    “President Barack Obama’s 13-year-old daughter, Malia Ann Obama, will be spending her spring break in the Mexican city of Oaxaca with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The young tourists will be in a downtown hotel in the city known for its colonial architecture and native traditions, reported a state police official.

    “We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told the AFP under the condition of anonymity.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/19/malia-obama-in-mexico-despite-dhs-warning-story-scrubbed

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. pfft

    now that nobody can deny the economic recovery we are going to obsess over gas prices?

    How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 18:

    Hey Barry- F-off and stop spending my money like you’re the queen of France or something;

    “President Barack Obama’s 13-year-old daughter, Malia Ann Obama, will be spending her spring break in the Mexican city of Oaxaca with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The young tourists will be in a downtown hotel in the city known for its colonial architecture and native traditions, reported a state police official.

    “We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told the AFP under the condition of anonymity.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/19/malia-obama-in-mexico-despite-dhs-warning-story-scrubbed

    enjoy his 2nd term moron!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. Scotsman

    The coming debt crisis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwDai5NtXa0&feature=player_embedded#!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. Hugh Dominic

    By Scotsman @ 21:

    The coming debt crisis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwDai5NtXa0&feature=player_embedded#!

    What if every developed nation on Earth were to double its money supply at the same time? All debts outstanding would shrink, relative to that. Debtors big and small would be relieved.

    All possessors of currency and debt instruments would be poorer. All possessors of hard assets and productive assets would be richer. Emerging nations that did not carry similar debts would be richer. (they woud debase too to keep their wages competitive, but would get a windfall in the process). Wages would eventually increase as the 2x money chased the same labor supply.

    Isn’t that what is happening? It is just a matter of where the new money is injected, since the first recipients get the most benefit, because they can spend before the new money finds its way into the general economy and dilutes the value.

    I am not sure how long it takes for trillions of new money to work its way into the economy… But get ready for some serious inflation effects because I think they are coming.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. Scotsman

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22

    I think that’s largely the plan. There are a lot of problems with it, but it’s better than the alternatives. Smart people have time to make the shifts required to come out ahead, governments get a re-do on budgeting and priorities, and the debt holders don’t get totally hosed. And if it happens over a decade or so most won’t even realize what’s going on.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. softwarengineer

    RE: Scotsman @ 7

    Its Lack of Work Lately Scotsman in Their County Agencies Lately IMO

    So they turn any innocuous technicality into a full-blown investigation for job justification for their government position….how come when the private sector home construction tax base got butcher axed, they all kept their jobs anyway and/or added even more?

    I work medical anomalies on a charity basis and the state/city agencies I deal with are turning into “pitbulls” lately…..they don’t know SWE very well though, pitbulls are easily gobbled up by roaring lions…..LOL

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. softwarengineer

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22

    We Could Do That

    We’d also get $8/gal gas and $10/lb bacon, etc, etc….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 19:

    now that nobody can deny the economic recovery we are going to obsess over gas prices?

    How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?

    Because he didn’t invent the fracking process! Again you don’t seem to understand supply and demand very well, but when supply is dramatically increased, prices fall. The increase in the supply of natural gas has absolutely nothing to do with anything President Obama has ever done. In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. So he’s having a negative impact on that market (although perhaps for good environmental reasons).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. softwarengineer

    RE: deejayoh @ 9

    That Explains It Deejayoh

    Thanks.

    One good thing about Sears’ warrentees though, they can be renewed forever….and when they can’t get parts anymore they give you a new “subcontracted” appliance.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 17

    That is a problem. You’re giving them something they don’t understand. They have to look that up, that takes time.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6

    “I own two Kenmores in my laundry room and use them a lot.”

    My mom bought a Kenmore washer and dryer 20 years ago. Several knobs and stuff have fallen off but neither have ever really broken.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. David Losh

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22

    The problem with that is the migration of money. China, Europe, and the United States dump trillions of dollars into the system, and Mexico, South America, and India have booming economies. Will all boat rise? No. The emerging market will max out the debt limits they have the same as Greece, Italy, and Spain. The derivatives market is $1 Quadrillion and growing. That doesn’t mean an increase in production, its finances dollars.

    The next economic crisis will simply be another correction that will be insured against, and the process will start all over again.

    The only thing to do now is pay back the borrowed money that was infused. We get that money from to tax the markets that benefitted the most from the infused cash. No one is going to like that. It’s deflationary. That will be more clear when this last round of gas price increases don’t translate into anything other than oil company profits. We’ll all pay more for goods, and services, but it won’t generate wage increases, it will just be windfall profits.

    People won’t stay stupid forever.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. softwarengineer

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 29

    The Old Ones 10-20 Years Ago Were Good Quality

    The last ten years on appliances are junk IMO, I use them a lot for my home company so know the ropes. I never bought warrentees before, now I always buy them and always make money on them too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. softwarengineer

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Stagflation Undermines the Job Market too

    Sales go down when prices rise and incomes stagnate and/or deteriorate.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. Dirty Renter

    RE: pfft @ 19
    Natty gas prices are low due to oversupply, as a result of fracking. The only reason Obama and Chu doesn’t ban hydraulic fracturing is because they’d lose the electoral votes of Ohio(Utica Shale) & Pennsylvania(Marcellus Shale) in November. Those shale plays have provided countless jobs for both states.
    Make no mistake, natty gas prices are low in spite of Obama, not because of him.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. pnwman

    America Underwater – Faces of the Crisis:
    http://america-underwater.tumblr.com/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  35. Blurtman

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22 – Ben says he can sell the Fed’s massive holdings, and dry up the flood. He hasn’t been wrong yet. /snark/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. Blurtman

    Portuguese death rate rise linked to pain of austerity programme

    Kill the sick people?

    No, no.

    Kill the bankers.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/mar/19/portuguese-death-rate-rise-austerity-programme

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. wreckingbull

    RE: softwarengineer @ 27 – If you want to see who made your Kenmore appliance, here is a good resource I have used in the past. I used it to find OEM parts which I could not get through Sears.

    http://www.appliance411.com/purchase/sears.shtml

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. pfft

    take notes. you know how you are.

    Last month, we watched Zero Hedge and Rick Santelli demonstrate their seeming innumeracy. The Census adjustment is painfully easy to understand, unless you are a) rooting for the end of the world; or 2) a partisan hack. The combination of armageddon/hackdom sent the “1.2-million-people-dropped-out-of-the-labor-force” story viral. Of course, that was embarrassingly wrong, but made its way thru the media, including to a White House press briefing.

    Seasonal Adjustments: Fun With Numbers, Redux
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/03/fun-with-numbers-redux/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. pfft

    By Hugh Dominic @ 22:

    By Scotsman @ 21:
    The coming debt crisis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwDai5NtXa0&feature=player_embedded#!

    What if every developed nation on Earth were to double its money supply at the same time? All debts outstanding would shrink, relative to that. Debtors big and small would be relieved.

    All possessors of currency and debt instruments would be poorer. All possessors of hard assets and productive assets would be richer. Emerging nations that did not carry similar debts would be richer. (they woud debase too to keep their wages competitive, but would get a windfall in the process). Wages would eventually increase as the 2x money chased the same labor supply.

    Isn’t that what is happening? It is just a matter of where the new money is injected, since the first recipients get the most benefit, because they can spend before the new money finds its way into the general economy and dilutes the value.

    I am not sure how long it takes for trillions of new money to work its way into the economy… But get ready for some serious inflation effects because I think they are coming.

    how come prices in the US haven’t skyrocketed? because during a deleveraging large increases in the money supply do not result in inflation. I’ve posted what paul krugman has had to say on this many times. deflationary forces swamp an increase in the money supply.

    it’s only if you believe the Austrian definition of inflation that you will get this wrong.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    By pfft @ 19:
    now that nobody can deny the economic recovery we are going to obsess over gas prices?

    How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?

    Because he didn’t invent the fracking process! Again you don’t seem to understand supply and demand very well, but when supply is dramatically increased, prices fall. The increase in the supply of natural gas has absolutely nothing to do with anything President Obama has ever done. In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. So he’s having a negative impact on that market (although perhaps for good environmental reasons).

    so high gas prices are obama’s fault but low natural gas prices aren’t? which one? or neither?

    “In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. ”

    not that I am aware. link? maybe you are thinking about state and local governments?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. pfft

    By Dirty Renter @ 33:

    RE: pfft @ 19
    Natty gas prices are low due to oversupply, as a result of fracking. The only reason Obama and Chu doesn’t ban hydraulic fracturing is because they’d lose the electoral votes of Ohio(Utica Shale) & Pennsylvania(Marcellus Shale) in November. Those shale plays have provided countless jobs for both states.
    Make no mistake, natty gas prices are low in spite of Obama, not because of him.

    why? he hasn’t done anything? they don’t even have to ban it they can regulate it.

    do you realize that regulations are going in all over the place? by the way natural gas prices are not low. the true cost of natural gas is not reflected in the price. the cost of damage from pollution caused by fracking is not reflected in the price of natural gas or in earnings of fracking companies. fracking is a classic negative externality.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 35:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22 – Ben says he can sell the Fed’s massive holdings, and dry up the flood. He hasn’t been wrong yet. /snark/

    remember when mortgage rates were going to skyrocket after the Fed exited it’s mortgage positions? I do.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. pfft

    consider this about negative externalities. suppose that because of fracking we did $100 billion dollars of damage to the environment and public health but this wasn’t reflected in the cost of natural gas. now suppose we made natural gas buyers and producers pay for this and that cost $2 per MMBTU. natural gas would cost a bit over $4. has the price really gone up? no. we are just accounting for the true cost. those costs before were passed to other people and represented a transfer of wealth of sorts from natural gas companies and users to those who are adversely impacted.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. Pegasus

    I wuv you pfft. I look forward to your posts as much as when I was a child looking forward to getting the Sunday comics.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. Dirty Renter

    RE: pfft @ 41
    Then why did you ask this question:
    ” How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: pfft @ 43RE: pfft @ 41

    You are not capitalizing the first word of your sentences Mr.Pfft. Just an observation, not a criticism.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. ricklind

    By softwarengineer @ 25:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 22

    We Could Do That

    We’d also get $8/gal gas and $10/lb bacon, etc, etc….

    We have a good start with $4 gas.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. ricklind

    Wow! pffter baby! 6 posts in a row. Is that a record for this board?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: ricklind @ 48RE: ricklind @ 48

    Mr. Pfftr needs to go to my English as a Second Language class.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  50. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 40:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    By pfft @ 19:
    now that nobody can deny the economic recovery we are going to obsess over gas prices?

    How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?

    Because he didn’t invent the fracking process! Again you don’t seem to understand supply and demand very well, but when supply is dramatically increased, prices fall. The increase in the supply of natural gas has absolutely nothing to do with anything President Obama has ever done. In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. So he’s having a negative impact on that market (although perhaps for good environmental reasons).

    so high gas prices are obama’s fault but low natural gas prices aren’t? which one? or neither?

    “In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. ”

    not that I am aware. link? maybe you are thinking about state and local governments?

    First, I don’t think I’ve said the gas prices are his fault. In another thread I mentioned the pipeline he didn’t approve, and someone else said that affected current prices. Perhaps, but marginal.

    Second, you should read the State of the Union Address. Search for the word “drill.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/24/us/politics/state-of-the-union-2012-video-transcript.html

    Also here’s an article on it:

    http://medillonthehill.net/2012/03/draft-fracking-regulations-already-drawing-fire/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  51. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 44:

    I wuv you pfft. I look forward to your posts as much as when I was a child looking forward to getting the Sunday comics.

    thanks peggy!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  52. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 50:

    By pfft @ 40:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    By pfft @ 19:
    now that nobody can deny the economic recovery we are going to obsess over gas prices?

    How come Obama doesn’t get credit for natural gas prices being at a 10-year low?

    Because he didn’t invent the fracking process! Again you don’t seem to understand supply and demand very well, but when supply is dramatically increased, prices fall. The increase in the supply of natural gas has absolutely nothing to do with anything President Obama has ever done. In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. So he’s having a negative impact on that market (although perhaps for good environmental reasons).

    so high gas prices are obama’s fault but low natural gas prices aren’t? which one? or neither?

    “In fact, he’s trying to restrict and regulate fracking. ”

    not that I am aware. link? maybe you are thinking about state and local governments?

    First, I don’t think I’ve said the gas prices are his fault. In another thread I mentioned the pipeline he didn’t approve, and someone else said that affected current prices. Perhaps, but marginal.

    Second, you should read the State of the Union Address. Search for the word “drill.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/24/us/politics/state-of-the-union-2012-video-transcript.html

    Also here’s an article on it:

    http://medillonthehill.net/2012/03/draft-fracking-regulations-already-drawing-fire/

    ” In another thread I mentioned the pipeline he didn’t approve, and someone else said that affected current prices. Perhaps, but marginal.”

    ok I agree.

    “Second, you should read the State of the Union Address. Search for the word “drill.”

    and then what? the rig count is very high.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 52 – Pointing to rig count is where President Obama is probably taking credit for something done by the Bush administration. He’s only been in office just over 3 years. There’s a lead time for those things, so a number of the new wells started planning under Bush.

    That said, I don’t think he’s done anything significant to reduce drilling, with the exception of the Gulf moratorium.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  54. ChrisM

    RE: pnwman @ 34 – I like to think I’m a pretty good bank basher (since they underwrote the loans, had all the lawyers & other experts, etc.), but reading the posts there doesn’t elicit a whole lot of sympathy from me.

    One guy there was complaining about how the house he *inherited* lost value!

    Wouldn’t it be great if high school students were required to take some serious personal finance classes that actually discussed compound interest in excruciating detail? Or would that disrupt the existing power structure? Hope & change, baby!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  55. ChrisM

    I thought the classic sign of the “top” of a bubble could be identified when taxi cab drivers & shoeshine boys started hawking whatever the bubble du jour was.

    Has SFH renting just hit that point?
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/insight-wall-street-gold-rush-191730652.html

    “NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord.

    He’s joining a growing list of big and small investors who see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes, especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets.”

    You know, if one were an OWS tactician, it would be a “fun” experiment to rent one of the govt handout rentals, injure oneself, and lawyer up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Do you want a nifty avatar picture next to your name, instead of a photograph of Tim's dog? Just sign up with Gravatar, and make sure to use the same email address in the form below. It's that easy!

Please read the rules before posting a comment.

You have 25 comments remaining on this post.

Archives

Find us on Google+