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.

50 responses to “Weekly Open Thread (2013-12-30)”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 20:

    Cheers for the Seahawks. The 49’ers and Pantheras are the most dangerous contenders, IMHO. I think the Hawks can handle Denver.

    I’m not sure that being the number 1 seed in the NFC is that great (ignoring home field advantage factor) because the #5 and #6 seeds are some pretty tough teams.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Yes Kary

    The NFC has put more emphasis on strong defense and the weaker AFC relies too much on overpaid QBs. Las Vegas odds that the Seahawks win the Superbowl is 2:1.

    The PAC 12 are dominating the bowls too…..and hey the Huskies played better without Coach Sark IMO [Tuio did great!]…Sark’s replacement Petersen sounds better on resume anyway.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. Macro Investor

    I can’t believe anyone even watches football. What’s fun about watching 18 minutes of action and 3-1/2 hours of replays, huddles, walking around and of course COMMERCIALS. I don’t think I’ve made it through an entire quarter in the last 10 years.

    Try ice hockey. Almost non stop action at a constant sprint, since they substitute players on the fly. And it’s on ice skates — so they actually have to be athletic rather than just 300 pound steroid blobs. Plus, if you like violence, name another sport where you can whack someone with a club and the punishment is a 2 minute rest?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. Erik

    Wow, inventory is only plus 78 houses in King County compared to 2012. This inventory situation is very close to as bad as last year. In some areas, the inventory situation is worse than last year. Told ya so. All those hungry buyers are still hungry and ready to overpay.

    If I only had a dime for every time someone on this website told me that inventory would increase in 2013. I do wish for inventory to raise in 2015.

    http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2013/07/02/inventory-now-on-track-to-beat-2012-by-august/

    When Tim made this post, I was thinking “What the heck?” Not sure what made him feel this would happen.

    I said this and got lots of opposing viewpoints:

    “I see more instances where the peak is NOT in September. In fact, from this data, we are more likely to peak before September. I think your projection is a wild assumption.”

    This was because Tim extrapolated the data showing a continued increase in inventory. His graph was showing 6k by September. There will be more celebration coming from my avatar after we get below 3k.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. Kary L. Krismer

    By Macro Investor @ 3:

    I can’t believe anyone even watches football. What’s fun about watching 18 minutes of action and 3-1/2 hours of replays, huddles, walking around and of course COMMERCIALS. I don’t think I’ve made it through an entire quarter in the last 10 years.

    Step into the late 20th Century and discover the DVR! Once you discover that there really is nothing special about “live” as long as you don’t know the outcome, and learn how to avoid learning the outcome, you can save a lot of time.

    The only problem I have with my setup using Windows Media Center is that I have it setup to jump forward in something like 28 second increments, and teams like Oregon get the plays off much faster than that. So for those teams I have to listen to the color commentator.

    You can also save a ton of time in blowout games, jumping ahead only to see if they’ve managed to make it a game again. Finally, it also works for baseball saving a lot of time at the end of each inning, pitching changes and rain delays.

    As to not learning the outcome, that can be tough, because it requires not going to news source websites, listening to the radio, going to stores, or if you’re a real estate agent, previewing or showing an occupied home. And sometimes you’ll made the odd mistake, like last night when I asked Google Live what the Texas Longhorns helmet looked like, and it announced the current score.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Erik @ 4 – Inventory is getting bad again, but even assuming the number of active listings stays the same as last year I wouldn’t assume there will be the same buyer pressure as last year. So going forward I would look at both the number of active listings and the number of sales when comparing YOY. We could be close for December, but will March and April be at 1,800+ and 2,000+ again?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. Blurtman

    RE: Macro Investor @ 3 – American football is the most popular sport in the USA followed by baseball (zzzzz…) and basketball or college football. What could be more American than taking territory through violence?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 7:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 3 – American football is the most popular sport in the USA followed by baseball (zzzzz…) and basketball or college football. What could be more American than taking territory through violence?

    It’s not quite there technology wise. The cameras that hover over the field still operate via cables. What we need are drones! And if we arm them, lifetime bans for substance abuse can be announced and enforced with missiles! Due process of law isn’t very popular, so I think it would add to the popularity of the game.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. Blurtman

    Mitt was right! The piggish takers take and take and take!

    “Securities that can be borrowed at interest rates close to the Fed’s target rate, which is in a range of zero to 0.25 percent, are called general collateral.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-31/fed-s-reverse-repo-facility-usage-soars-rates-low-at-year-end.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. softwarengineer

    RE: Macro Investor @ 3

    What’s Really Bad is Soccer

    One or two hours of boring play before they even score a point.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 7

    Sounds Like the Spanish taking Mexico from the Native Indians….then accusing Americans of stealing their country from them? LOL

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 9

    Then They Lend It Out for 3-5% to RE Buyers Calling it a Deal

    LOL

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 12RE: Blurtman @ 9 – Maybe I misread the article, but wasn’t it about the Fed borrowing money short term from certain banks/funds? They were paying a very low interest rate, but something is better than nothing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. Kary L. Krismer

    An interesting “Get Jesse”

    http://www.king5.com/news/get-jesse/Buyer-finds-Fannie-Mae-owned-foreclosure-has-dirty-little-secret-207480761.html

    Lot’s of stupidity to go around on this one. Hats off though to the Skyline agents who had their client back out of the prior deal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13 – What rate can you borrow securities at?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. Blurtman

    But flatscreen TV prices have come down.

    “One would think that such a macroeconomic disaster – one that robs the average American family of four of $36,000 per year in useful goods and services, and that threatens to keep Americans poorer than they might have been for decades, if not longer – would focus policymakers’ minds. One would think that America’s leaders would be clambering to formulate policies aimed at returning the economy to its pre-2008 growth path: putting people back to work, cleaning up underwater mortgages, restoring financial markets’ risk-bearing capacity, and boosting investment.

    But no. Part of the reason is that, at the top, there is no crisis. According to the best estimates, the income share of America’s top 10% probably crossed 50% in 2012 for the first time ever, and the 22% income share that went to the top 1% was exceeded only in 2007, 2006, and 1928. The incomes of America’s top 10% are two-thirds higher than those of their counterparts 20 years ago, while the incomes of the top 1% have more than doubled.”

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/j–bradford-delong-asks-why-americans-are-not-clamoring-for-polices-that-would-leave-90–of-them-better-off

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 16

    I’m a Real Environmentalist

    And didn’t throw perfectly good CRTs in the trash for low cost pinned on the wall big screens….Goodwill does take your old working CRTs to provide to the poor, that’s good. But if they get trashed, National Geographic had an article how they mostly end up in Asian 3rd world rivers in pieces…..they grab the precious metals in them and throw the rest away…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14

    This Get Jesse Article Really Made Me Smile

    Does the sausages float in the air, because they’re high?

    http://www.king5.com/news/get-jesse/Jesse-tries-BB-Ranchs-pot-fed-pork-211636301.html?ref=prev

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 16 – I’d suggest not putting too much faith in an article written by someone who thinks that 7 years of 2% growth equals 14% growth.

    Beyond that though, I think his article has a problem with cause and effect–assuming past improvements were the result of political action as opposed to technological change. I’d like to blame President Obama for the lack of growth, and have in fact done so the past three years or so, but at the same time I’ve also mentioned technological changes affecting spending/employment. As long as I remember, and probably even before I was born, people were concerned about machines taking peoples’ jobs. Technology has been doing that big time the past 10+ years, but we consider most of those things good when we use them as a consumer. Increased automation means fewer people doing things, and that means lower incomes for the low skilled worker.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 17 – PC Recycle will now take TVs for free. That wasn’t true a few years ago. I don’t know if they too end up in China. I’m just passing it along for information regarding the cost in case someone has one sitting in their garage.

    Like you I tend to keep things a long time, but when my rear projection CRT based TV started acting up it was hard to justify repair as I’ve done in the past with TVs. While the RP CRT might be relatively good when it comes to picture quality, they’re a maintenance nightmare even assuming the electronics continue to function properly. Convergence adjustment and lens/mirror cleaning are not necessary on modern devices.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. Kary L. Krismer

    By softwarengineer @ 2:

    The PAC 12 are dominating the bowls too…..and hey the Huskies played better without Coach Sark IMO [Tuio did great!]…Sark’s replacement Petersen sounds better on resume anyway.

    The Stanford game was ruined for me early on when the officials called a pass interference call on a throw that was clearly the quarterback just getting rid of the ball. That 4 point swing bothered me the entire game, and really bothered me when that was the final margin of victory.

    I’ve never understood why some plays cannot be reviewed. In college they’re now reviewing targeting penalties, but not to take away the targeting call, but instead to only eliminate the ejection from the game element.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. Erik

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6
    The lowest King County got last year was around 2800 in march. We are at about 3000 now. I think I am going to achieve my goal of equal to or less inventory than last year. I told everyone this would happen, but they wouldn’t listen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. Kary L. Krismer

    Dome homes: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101297301

    Apparently particularly strong, and even more so if made from concrete!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. Ron

    RE: Blurtman @ 16

    “The incomes of America’s top 10% are two-thirds higher than those of their counterparts 20 years ago, while the incomes of the top 1% have more than doubled.”

    Yet when you try to discuss having our government implement policies that level the playing field and distribute wealth more appropriately (or at least stop the concentration of wealth) you are called a communist. That wasn’t the case when I was young….more people spoke out against the concentration of wealth and the problems it brings. Now we have an entire party platform that outlines a strategy to increase the concentration of wealth as quickly as possible. Fortunately, members of that party are aging out and having difficulty attracting younger people. And let’s be honest, much of that wealth has been accrued illegally.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Ron @ 24 – Alternatively it could be that the policies intended to help people don’t really do that. The most recent topic where that’s come up is extended unemployment benefits. Does that help people during periods of extreme unemployment or cause them to become unemployed for extended periods of time and thereafter become virtually unemployable? At the individual level I’m sure you could come up with examples of both.

    Student loans are another example. Do they really help less advantaged students go to school, or do they make the situation worse for everyone by creating a situation where tuition skyrockets?

    A less uncertain example that I’ve pointed to in the past is that years ago the Seattle City Council made it illegal to have a tenant deposit be non-refundable if the tenant didn’t stay a year. Landlords switched to leases, which was very foreseeable. So were the tenants better off being on the hook for 12 months rent than they were risking losing a deposit that might not have even equaled a month of rent?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21
    Rose Bowl Loss Not a Hit on PAC-12

    When 1 extra minute determines who wins the game, it may not be a tie….but its darn close.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20

    I Bought a LCD a Few Years Ago

    When my old 26″ Sanyo CRT [17 years old and the picture didn't change much from new] finally fizzled out. I still kept with CRTs for about 5 years even after that…..COMCAST offerred twice more 4:3 shows than HD until about a few years ago…they charge an HD fee [about $5-10 per TV per month too]. I’ve noticed too, in HD’s favor, the 4:3 shows are cut off on the bottom and top, you can zoom 1 these 4:3 signals to HD….but do that and you’re 1000+ pixel clarity blears to 700 pixels….then my 10 year old 25″ Zenith CRT went out too…I bought a 32″ samsung LCD….higher priced but twice the base size to use it more safely on a TV stand and small enough to rotate on the stand too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 27 – Comcast has never charged for HD locals. They were included even with the Limited Basic plan that cost $12. And if you had the right equipment, you didn’t have to pay for any equipment either.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. Jillayne Schlicke

    Little itty bitty bit of shadow inventory for WA State showing here:
    http://www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=393

    It took a few seconds for the interactive map to load. Click on Wa for the data.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. whatsmyname

    Happy new year. It looks like you got your Pierce/Snohomish inventory feeds uncrossed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25 – Yes, golly deadbeats looking for an undeserved handout, and the failed policies of accommodation that politicians pass to curry voter favor. Clearly they are all abject failures.

    “A look at the available statistics reveals that these later bills had an important influence on the lives of returning veterans, higher education, and the economy. A greater percentage of Vietnam veterans used G.I. Bill education benefits (72 percent) than World War II veterans (51 percent) or Korean War veterans (43 percent).[citation needed]
    Moreover, because of the ongoing military draft from 1940 to 1973, as many as one third of the population (when both veterans and their dependents are taken into account) were eligible for benefits from the expansion of veterans’ benefits.[citation needed]
    The success of the 1944 G.I. Bill prompted the government to offer similar measures to later generations of veterans. The Veterans’ Adjustment Act of 1952, signed into law on July 16, 1952, offered benefits to veterans of the Korean War that served for more than 90 days and had received an “other than dishonorable discharge.” Korean War veterans did not receive unemployment compensation—they were not members of the “52–20 Club” like World War II vets, but they were entitled to unemployment compensation starting at the end of a waiting period which was determined by the amount and disbursement dates of their mustering out pay. They could receive 26 weeks at $26 a week that the federal government would subsidize but administered by the various states. One improvement in the unemployment compensation for Korean War veterans was they could receive both state and federal benefits, the federal benefits beginning once state benefits were exhausted.[8]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. Erik

    RE: whatsmyname @ 30
    Unfortunately it appears that our king county inventory feed is one year off. This looks like the same amount of inventory that we had last year. Feels like deja vu. Tim should check that we aren’t reading one year behind.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. Kary L. Krismer

    Blurtman @31, I didn’t say all government programs were failures, only that some had unintended consequences which actually harm the intended beneficiaries.

    If I were to point to one here that probably didn’t though, it might be employment discrimination legislation. I probably wouldn’t point to veteran benefits here because zero down loans for anyone are not popular on this site!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Jillayne Schlicke @ 29 – I’m surprised California is one of the low states.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  35. Ron

    RE: Blurtman @ 31

    This conversation reminds me of so many discussions I’ve had with my father over the years. Now in his 80s, he is staunchly anti-government and has no sympathy for my Democratic views. The scenario goes like this:
    He participated in the Korean war and by his own account, he was never in a life threatening situation. So, my take is he had a pretty cozy government job. He got the GI bill and was smart enough to take advantage of it – in my view, another government handout of sorts that I support. After completing Dental school (thank you US government) he started his dental practice by accepting Medicaid clients but switched to private pay as soon as possible because they paid quicker at a higher rate. Again, thank you US government. He made a number of successful private investments along the way but much of that wealth was lost over the last 3 market downturns so now he relies primarily on Medicare and SSI…and all I’ve heard over the years is what terrible programs they are. Now, he is still staunchly republican and, you guessed it, has nothing positive to say about the gov. He votes for a party who is actively trying to privatize (loot) the vary programs he relies upon for his very survival and from my perspective, he has a comfortable life as he should after 35+ years of hard work pulling teeth. Now let’s be clear, the Republican’s aren’t screwing around these days. They are actively proposing budgets and pushing bills that would essentially eliminate those programs. Their candidates want to wipe out many of the programs and advances that have built this country. The funny thing is he feels like a self-made man. As many will, he can look you in the eyes and debate you endlessly and shamelessly about how rotten to the core our government is yet he has benefited every step of the way. I am surprised at how many ‘well educated’ people I know who share his beliefs. Not so much in Seattle though…which is why I live here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ron @ 36:

    Now let’s be clear, the Republican’s aren’t screwing around these days. They are actively proposing budgets and pushing bills that would essentially eliminate those programs.

    That is just partisan Democratic nonsense, which is just as bad as the partisan Republican nonsense on the other side. But if your dad is as old as you claim, the Republicans have not even suggested modifying any of the benefits he now gets (ignoring possibly adjusting cost of living increases, which I think Democrats may have also supported).

    But in any case, if you take extremes of no government or a huge amount of government you’re going to get to bad positions. Not every government program is bad, but a lot of them proposed or enacted over the past 10-15 years have been bad. But they sound good to some people (depending on which party they associate themselves with), and therefore think they are good when in fact they are not.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25 – Is it the extended UE benefits that cause folks to reamain unemployed for extended periods of time, or the lack of employment opportunities?

    And why do folks such as yourself utilize hedonics in a biased manner?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. Blurtman

    RE: Ron @ 24 – A Dutch friend of mine said it is a typically American attitude not to raise taxes on the wealthy under the generally unrealistic belief by the non-wealthy that they may one day become wealthy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 38:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25 – Is it the extended UE benefits that cause folks to reamain unemployed for extended periods of time, or the lack of employment opportunities?

    That was the question I asked, and my answer was for some people it’s probably the former and for some the latter. But for those who are in the former group, the harm can far outweigh the benefits.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    RE: Ron @ 24 – A Dutch friend of mine said it is a typically American attitude not to raise taxes on the wealthy under the generally unrealistic belief by the non-wealthy that they may one day become wealthy.

    Undoubtedly true, but not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not sure what this is called, but there is a theory that in deciding whether something is good or bad you should not look at it from your personal point of view, but from the point of view where you don’t know what your personal situation is–that you could be anyone on the face of the planet.

    But as practical matter, most Americans assess things from a point of view of ignorance. So for example on 4th Amendment issues they’ll say: “I don’t have anything to hide” or “It’s okay because Congress is overseeing it” or “The phone company has the same information,” none of which is relevant to the analysis of whether or not what the NSA is doing is legal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. ricklind

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 23:

    Dome homes: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101297301

    Apparently particularly strong, and even more so if made from concrete!

    I’m Bucky Fuller and I approve this message.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. Ron

    RE: Blurtman @ 39

    “A Dutch friend of mine said it is a typically American attitude not to raise taxes on the wealthy under the generally unrealistic belief by the non-wealthy that they may one day become wealthy.”

    From my point of view, the republican political establishment has been extremely successful at getting people to vote against their own interests by exploiting modern psychological advances and more advanced marketing techniques in the same way McDonald’s sells food that will kill you to people who devour it. Sarah Palin is another perfect example. Progressive women despise her because she sets them back by at least 30 years yet she was nearly 2nd in command.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 40 – So of course we should strip the wealth from some of the idle rich, and force them into the workforce, for their own good, you see.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. Macro Investor

    Well, it looks like the Boeing machinists came to their senses, so Tim won’t be the last person living in Everett.

    The state also gave Boeing the largest tax break in history. Guess that means they’ll be raising taxes for the rest of us to make up for it. That should make all the western WA democrats happy. They love paying high taxes so that money can be given to someone who is either rich, or prefers sitting at home watching TV all day. In this case, the already rich are the Boeing senior execs and major shareholders.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. Macro Investor

    By Ron @ 43:

    RE: Blurtman @ 39

    “A Dutch friend of mine said it is a typically American attitude not to raise taxes on the wealthy under the generally unrealistic belief by the non-wealthy that they may one day become wealthy.”

    An American friend of mine said it is a typical Dutch attitude to raise taxes on the wealthy under the generally unrealistic belief that wealthy people will never grow tired of supporting millions of leeches who could easily care for themselves but are too lazy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Macro Investor @ 45 – I’ve been critical of Boeing management, but this long-shot move by them really paid off. I feel sorry for all those other states that wasted their time competing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. Kary L. Krismer

    Well, the Seahawks will play the Saints. Not terribly happy about that just because of the blowout last time. Unlikely that will happen again! Also, I was sort of hoping today’s NFC game would mean something for the Seahawks–preferably that it meant that they would play Greenbay.

    Not watching commercials much I just discovered that the Pro Bowl has apparently been turned into a reality TV show/fantasy football. Not exactly sure of the new rules, but that might be a good way of generating a bit more interest in that game. We’ll see when the ratings come out.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. Blurtman

    RE: Macro Investor @ 46 – I am sure the leeches labor under a terrible weight of guilt and shame. I mean, imagine making a nice life for yourself and your family through the laundering of drug money, and terrorist organization money. Or leeching off of society by selling fraudulent securities. The guilt must be unbearable.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. Macro Investor

    By Blurtman @ 49:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 46 – I am sure the leeches labor under a terrible weight of guilt and shame. I mean, imagine making a nice life for yourself and your family through the laundering of drug money, and terrorist organization money. Or leeching off of society by selling fraudulent securities. The guilt must be unbearable.

    Until you mentioned securities, I thought you were referring to the CIA. Then again, maybe they’re missing out on a revenue source there.

    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+