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.

19 responses to “February Reporting Roundup: Seahawks Super Bowl Edition”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    Tim, is it fair to say you’re not a football fan? Because you’re repeatedly saying this is “nothing new” isn’t making sense to me. Football started in September, and the Seahawks had a very good season. They did not loose their second game until December. So if anything the chart you’re showing would be support for the fact that the Seahawks did affect sales.

    And yes it is a bit absurd to suggest that the entire downturn is due to the Seahawks, but February 2014 was only 66 sales below February 2013. It could have easily affected that few sales. I know a few people where the games did affect their housing activity (and one of those wasn’t even a Seahawk fan, instead choosing to follow a “sorry-ass” team). ;-)

    Finally, I’m surprised no one noticed my comment in the other thread. Every month you highlight the fact when you cover the NMWLS data release thread that the NWMLS has an unspecified number of late sales included in the data. I commented yesterday that I had a different theory–the NWMLS cut off the sales early because there wasn’t such a difference this month between the reported number and the system number. In fact, when I looked at the data immediately after seeing the press release, the system was showing more sales what what the NWMLS was reporting! I’ve never seen that before that early, and given the difference in the median, my take is there were still a lot of late reported sales, but an early cutoff. So assuming that’s correct, if they had reported a day later, we might not be talking about declining sales in February, or that the Seahawks affected sales. Too much attention is being focused on too small of a difference in the data.

    References to data from NWMLS sources, but not compiled by or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

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  2. Eastsider

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Based on personal experience, the Super Bowl did affect listings and sales in February. I postponed a listing by a week due to Super Bowl and I believe there were far few house showings that weekend as well.

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  3. Jon

    I think the Hawk’s did affect the listings… which in turn hurt sales. There really is very little good inventory out there, and everything that does sell, sells with multiple offers.

    This week alone, I’ve heard of 20, 22, 28, and 9 offers on listings that came on line.

    Of course, going out, you see a different story in Pierce and Snohomish county, which reflects all real estate is local… though macro-economy causes reactions in the local markets.

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 2 – FWIW, I’m showing the late reported number as being about 100 units, although without knowing when they cutoff January it’s impossible to determine for certain. The median of those units was only about $370,000, which is also consistent with my theory. Since the system number was over the reported number on the day of reporting, a later cut of would have easily resulted in us talking about a small increase rather than a small decrease.

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

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  5. Erik

    Yeah, I think that the Seahawks did affect the sales. If I was buying during that time, I would have put it on hold. Us smart people were getting drunk and having fun when the hawks won. I am still in a little shock that it happened.

    Scotsman-
    I ran out of comments, but I will tell you why I think 2014 will be a good year for stocks. One reason 2014 will be a good year for stocks is because P/E ratio is more inline then it was when the market crashed last time. Stock prices are approximately where they should be. Another reason 2014 should be a good year for stocks is because companies leaned down and cut costs. Now that the economy is improving, we will see bigger gains. Those are the 2 biggest reasons I think stocks will do well in 2014.

    I myself invested in European banks. So far, I haven’t done so well, but it is still early. I believe the banks in Europe will recover just as they did in america. It makes sense to me. If these banks ever do recover, I will be pretty wealthy. If they don’t, I will have to remodel another house and get a job.

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  6. wreckingbull

    By Erik @ 6:

    I myself invested in European banks. So far, I haven’t done so well, but it is still early. I believe the banks in Europe will recover just as they did in america. It makes sense to me. If these banks ever do recover, I will be pretty wealthy. If they don’t, I will have to remodel another house and get a job.

    That’s gambling, not what most would call investing. You might get lucky in the short term, but you will bankrupt yourself in the long term. If you can find it in yourself to stop the self-congratulation for a few moments, someone here may take pity and explain the difference to you.

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  7. Erik

    RE: wreckingbull @ 7
    I think I can afford to gamble. If I lose, I will recover. Massive diversification is a more conservative plan for old people and people that don’t deal with stress well. I can manage my stress just fine and I am not an old man yet. If Europe goes bankrupt and they remove it from the map, you can laugh at me. But if Europe recovers, I will have all the money I want. We’ll see what happens. Seems like a good risk to me.

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  8. boater

    Erik you might want to read up on efficient frontier and how it relates to investing if you haven’t already. I suspect you’re taking more risk than the return will justify.

    Related to real estate I tend to believe we’ve returned to local markets being more important than macro national trends.

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  9. Scotsman

    Out here in the once hot Fall City area sales are simply not happening. Lots of action late last summer and fall, now not so much. Neighbor has had a pretty nice house, well presented, on the market for a some time at what seems like a reasonable/aggressive price based on recent prior sales. Nothing so far. Several open houses, etc. Nada. Nyet. Has a lot of people scratching their heads. We smart people, having recovered from our Seahawk hangovers, can’t figure it out.

    Erik- options on euro banks- or buying stocks? An actionable area but we would probably find ourselves on opposite sides of that trade. Reality appears to be teaching the perma-bears the hard of facts of life. And yet, the numbers get worse with every passing month. One advantage us dumb oldsters have is a finely tuned cynicism, honed by decades of political lies and disappointments, bolstered by the occasional reward of seeing reality triumph again. Delaying the pain isn’t the same as vanquishing it. Money management, even when you’re young, is key. That scorned diversification might save at least part of your asz should it all hit the fan. And remember- the options for recovery/rebuilding you have now might not exist after a significant economic event.

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  10. Craig Blackmon

    Tim, you’re just too darn data-driven. Did the market suffer due to the ‘Hawks? Why not! C’mon, admit it, it’s got the ring of real truthiness…

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  11. Mike

    RE: Scotsman @ 10 – ok, I had to look up where Fall City is exactly. I think that’s the problem, its way out. People are still chomping at the bit to spend $500k on a crap shack close in. For comparison, 2 years ago we looked at a somewhat neglected and not updated estate sale in a less desirable part of our neighborhood for $385k. It sat for a few weeks and eventually sold. This week, the similar house across the street from the one we looked at – also an outdated estate sale – went pending in a few days asking $150k more. Now that I’ve lived here, I wouldn’t buy a house on that street due to traffic. Others however are now willing to overlook that and drop north of $500k for those places. We’re just 2 months in and the sample is small, but weve got 3 active listings for the whole neighborhood, about 25% of what we had 2 years ago. It looks to me that 2014 may be even more competitive than either of the last 2 years.

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  12. Scotsman

    RE: Mike @ 12 – Way out? ;-) Maybe- but I can in downtown Seattle in under 30 minutes. At some point people need to look beyond Seattle- perhaps when $500K only buys you a 1940’s shack in Ballard. That same money buys half again the square footage on acreage with bears in your yard and deer across the street. And no one can see in your bedroom windows. And hey- your kids can play all over the neighborhood and go to pretty decent schools. But I know that’s no everyone’s dream.

    People too often forget they have choices outside convention. I’ve been going through this with my oldest daughter who’s 9 months out of college, in her first job, trying to find her “living style.” First she tried the typical small apartment near work. Boring. Now she’s out in the country- still 15 minutes from work, in what can only graciously be called a “cabin.” Every once in a while she asks what I think of her living on a boat. (Petaluma-Tomales Bay, CA.) How will you know unless you at least explore options? Seattle ain’t cheap. Maybe some other- much less expensive- job/lifestyle holds the key to happiness.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By Craig Blackmon @ 11:

    Tim, you’re just too darn data-driven. Did the market suffer due to the ‘Hawks? Why not! C’mon, admit it, it’s got the ring of real truthiness…

    I still think it’s that he’s not a football fan, and isn’t taking into account the entire season. If the market heads back up again the period for the chart he posted will become known as the Seahawk dip, similar but opposite to the bumps caused by the various buyer tax credits. ;-) (BTW, I’m only half joking–the Seahawks looked much better in the first half of the regular season than the last half, so they easily could have attracted more attention than normal early on.)

    By Mike @ 12:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10 – ok, I had to look up where Fall City is exactly. I think that’s the problem, its way out. People are still chomping at the bit to spend $500k on a crap shack close in.

    Well there is something to the point that the market is different the further out you go from Seattle, but I would hardly call Fall City far out. But yes at some point it would be too far out for each individual buyer. That’s the demand part of supply and demand. For me too far out would be Carnation (roughly 20 minutes past Fall City if you go through Fall City to get there).

    But beyond that though, different people like different things. The people who buy near Fall City probably would have zero interest in looking at a house in Ballard.

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  14. Erik

    RE: Scotsman @ 10
    Yeah, I could see me losing some money in european banks. I want to try though because of the possibility of striking it rich. The money I have invested, I could leave in for 30 years if necessary. I think bank of ireland will eventually recover after the big investors sell off their stocks.

    I don’t think you are dumb at all. I think you are very intelligent and I could learn a lot from you. That is why I am on here… to figure out what I don’t know.

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  15. Macro Investor

    By Erik @ 15:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10
    Yeah, I could see me losing some money in european banks. I want to try though because of the possibility of striking it rich.

    RE: Erik @ 15

    For IRE you have a $800 stock that loses ONLY 99% of it’s value. Yeah, you might lose something /sarc

    I actually don’t think this is a terrible play. It probably won’t ever see 800 again, but in 20 years, who knows? Ebay and Amzn were $300-600 in 1999. Ebay is still stuck below 60. Amzn came back — but they totally changed their business.

    Europe is a mess and has been getting steadily worse for 60 years. They may bail out their banks like we did. Or they may let all the bad loans fester forever like Japan has. Like I said, not a terrible bet if you got it near the lows. Hard to imagine the gov letting such a large part of their economy just collapse. Long live socialism, comrades!

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  16. Erik

    Ire is my biggest stock. They are profitable and they paid their bail out back. Not sure why the stock is still so low. Ire was 950 at one point and reverse split 1:10. You could say they were 9500 at one point if you include the reverse split.

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  17. Craig Blackmon

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – Kary, we might need to take this thread to some ‘Hawks blog! That said, I think you’re, uh, mistaken. The ‘Hawks looked very good all year long. Yes, they lost two games late in the regular season, but in each game their quality opponent had a whole lot more to play for. And the notion that a good first half of the regular season led to a slowdown in the local housing market? “Stretch” doesn’t even begin to describe it…

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  18. Kary L. Krismer

    By Craig Blackmon @ 18:

    And the notion that a good first half of the regular season led to a slowdown in the local housing market? “Stretch” doesn’t even begin to describe it…

    For the entire season I would agree it’s a stretch. My point for bringing that up though is to point out that Tim’s graph doesn’t disprove what he’s trying to disprove. (The highlighted sentence in the first post.) There was a very high correlation between the time of the slowdown and the Seahawks’ 2013-2014 season.

    For the February data, I don’t think it’s a stretch to conclude the Seahawks might have affected 66 sales. That could just be 33 listings delayed and 33 purchases delayed, or some combination thereof. Very low numbers.

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