September Reporting Roundup: “The Market Is Still Strong”

It’s time once again for the monthly reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).

To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:

Western Washington Housing Market Still Strong

The Market Is Still StrongIt’s still a seller’s market, but some leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service think the imbalance may be easing in some areas, pointing to a slower pace of sales and moderating prices. Others aren’t convinced, citing mixed indicators.

Commenting on September’s activity, Northwest MLS director George Moorhead reported “rumblings on both sides of the fence” by buyers and sellers. “Buyers are getting antsy to make a move before interest rates rise and they’re looking harder at homes that have been on the market longer than 30 days.”

“We have one month until November when new listings coming on the market drop by 50 percent on a monthly basis compared to spring and summer months,” explained J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. With the decrease typically lasting until the end of February, Scott said for selection, “the best opportunity for homebuyers to find a home will be in the next 30 days.”

The “best opportunity for homebuyers” is always right now according to used home salesmen like Lennox Scott.

Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.

Seattle Times

Mike Rosenberg: Seattle home prices still raging despite extra inventory, slow fall season

After a punishing year for anyone looking to buy a home in and around Seattle, the fall price cool-down that many buyers have been waiting for hasn’t arrived with much force.

The good news for buyers is that Seattle isn’t setting any more home-price records like it did this spring. And the rate of home-price increases has slowed to about half of what it was earlier in the year.

But the bad news is that home costs are still growing much faster than normal, and exceed recent pay hikes. The market remains one of the hottest in the country, even though the region is finally starting to see more houses come on the market.

Although this month’s data presented a muddled picture on prices, the change in inventory was clearly positive. For the first time in the last few years, additional homes in significant number are finally starting to come back on the market for sale.

The number of houses for sale in the county is now at its highest point in two years, although it still has a long way to go to get back to “normal” inventory levels. That could help contain the recent bidding wars and price spikes triggered by the historically low supply of homes for sale.

But it doesn’t seem to be helping much yet.

Mike Rosenberg hasn’t been covering real estate for the Times for very long, but in my opinion he’s doing a good job of presenting balanced, thoughtful pieces. Mike also touched on the Chinese investment angle in his article:

September marked the second full month since British Columbia announced a closely watched 15 percent tax on foreign homebuyers in the Vancouver metro area. Since then, there’s been a huge increase in interest from Chinese buyers looking toward the Seattle area.

It’s impossible to know how exactly that’s affected prices here. But the area most popular with Chinese buyers — in and around West Bellevue — saw a record median price of $2.19 million in August just after the Vancouver tax was announced, before dropping a bit in September.

“I’m feeling the pressure of what feels like increased foreign investment, more so than in the past,” Moss said, adding he’s seen more buyers from out-of-state, as well.

As usual, we only have rumor and anecdote when it comes to the affect that Chinese investors are having on the Seattle-area housing market. Speaking of Chinese buyers…

MyNorthwest

Kipp Robertson: More and more Chinese investing in booming Seattle market

By now you’ve seen homes for sale that have ended up selling for at least 20 percent more than their asking price in the Seattle area. But who or what is causing this?

Well, according to Katherine Jinyi Li of Seattle Globalist, at least some of the factors playing into homes selling for way over the asking price has to do with Chinese nationals willing to pay more.

Li writes that despite a crackdown on foreign currency outflow, Chinese are desperate to get their money out of a faltering economy, so they send their college-age children with plenty of cash to Seattle to start investing in things that can eventually be re-sold — and, of course, get an education that they may not be able to get in their home. A Chinese broker with Windermere Real Estate told Li that her team “processes anywhere from three to eight transactions a week,” Li writes.

People upset over the increasing difficulty in finding a home shouldn’t point fingers at Chinese investors, however. Li was told by the Windermere agent that it’s the tech boom, more than Chinese investors and their college students, that are to blame for the costly homes.

Until we see some actual hard data that proves otherwise, I’m inclined to agree that Chinese investors are not a major factor in the Seattle-area housing market.

Tacoma News Tribune / The Olympian

Rolf Boone: September another strong month for area home sales

The South Sound housing market had a great summer and that continued into September as sales of single-family residences once again rose by double-digit levels in Pierce and Thurston counties, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Wednesday.

Sellers have been in the drivers seat all year, but prospective buyers caught a break last month as more single-family residences hit the market, the data show. Months of inventory — an estimate of how long it would take to exhaust the supply of single-family residences at the current pace of sales — moved closer to two months in Pierce County and remained slightly higher than two months in Thurston County, the data show.

“The increase in listings is pretty unusual given that the number of listings usually declines between August and September,” said Windermere President OB Jacobi in a statement. “Considering how desperate we are for inventory, I hope this trend continues as we head further into the fall months.”

That quote from OB Jacobi is straight from the NWMLS press release. It’s interesting that they actually chose to admit that the listings increase was unusual, since it is a possible sign that the market may be softening. The identical short article is also available in The Olympian.

And that’s it! I couldn’t find stories in any of the other local news outlets so far. If others pop up throughout the day today I might add them to this post.

(Mike Rosenberg, Seattle Times, 2016-10-05)
(Kipp Robertson, MyNorthwest, 2016-10-06)
(Rolf Boone, Tacoma News Tribune, 2016-10-05)


About 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.

243 comments:

  1. 1
    Blake says:

    Love the graphic…. and the term “used home salesman!”
    LMFAO…

  2. 2

    Shouldn’t it be “new home salesman?” First, IMHO, used houses are superior to new houses. Second, new house construction is where you currently see some of the slimiest activity.

    I’ll not mention the company by name, but about a year ago I had a client interested in a house in a new development. It had not been built yet, but the developer had three model houses with different trim levels. My client wanted a house exactly like one of the models. They would not tell him what that would cost to build with all those features. I don’t want to go into detail, but it would be like if you went to a Ford dealership and they showed you an F-250, told you it cost $30,000 as a base model, and that to know the cost of any of the options you would need to sign a contract to buy the base model. After much back and forth my client decided they were too slimy.

    One other thing was interesting. Even though they charge a fortune for upgrades, you have to pick them fairly early in the process, well before the item would be installed. Just a guess, but I suspect that’s because they will in fact add something after the deadline, but for an even higher price.

    This of course is due to our current market. Before things turned new houses would often be fully constructed before they were sold, so upgrades weren’t really as much of an issue. Also, I was even able to negotiate a client moving into a brand new house prior to closing. I couldn’t believe they agreed to that, but builders were a lot more desperate back then.

  3. 3
    Stu says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – Kary, aside from the transactional shadiness you mentioned, why do you prefer older homes to new? I’m always curious if people in your business have preferences for certain decades in terms of construction quality. I own a condo in the South Lake Union area built in 1984.

  4. 4
    Weasel says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – I’d agree that a used house is better, if its newer than about ’78-82.

    Otherwise there are a few things to watch out for:

    > Lead paint
    > Asbestos in the popcorn ceiling coatings, but its fine if you leave it alone. Some people hate it, honestly I like it and have no desire to remove it.
    > 120V Aluminum wiring – not uncommon for people to wire-nut this to copper, the results are not good.
    > Anything pre ’78 wasn’t required to have the house bolted to the foundation, have you seen a house thats jumped off the foundation in an earthquake? Its not a good result.
    > The older the house the worse the insulation will be, you can only do so much to fix it, but you’ll never get it as good as newer house with out effectively rebuilding it.
    > Advantage of older places is larger lots, our street was developed between 78 and 80, all are nice 1/4 acre lots, all the houses are of a similar style, but not the same.

    I think if you were serious about getting a new house built, id avoid the building companies that are just knocking them up, and find a builder looking to build a house for you – its a long process, but the effort can be worth it in the end.

  5. 5

    RE: Weasel @ 4RE: Stu @ 3 – I think Weasel hits on a lot of the downsides of significantly older homes, and I don’t disagree, although some may be overstated. For example, there are relatively few homes with aluminum wiring in the Seattle area for some reason. And lead paint is hardly a day to day concern, unless maybe it’s flaking and you have children. To the list though I would add electrical code. A newer house will have more circuits and also insulation on the wires that better withstands the heat from modern ceiling light fixtures, and most really old houses don’t have ground wiring as part of the circuitry, which is not only a safety concern, but which also makes surge arresters non-functional.

    But the reason I don’t really care for new construction is you just don’t really know how they’ll hold up over time until they’ve been exposed to the elements. Of particular concern is the foundation and drainage. And also, you don’t have a clue who your neighbors will be, which means you don’t know what your neighborhood will be like. I’ve seen some new developments where the neighbors let the place run down almost immediately, which probably reflected both the low quality of work done by the developer but also probably the fact that the one I’m thinking of was a lower cost development where maybe buyers didn’t have the funds to do maintenance.

    There is also the never ending quest to try to find lower cost ways of doing everything. LP Siding was one such thing, and it was a disaster, and many of the later alternative siding products were really not that much better. I think people think they don’t need to paint as often as with wood, but that’s not true, and even if it were, having to replace your siding every 20 years isn’t a good trade-off. Also, the first plastic pipe had about a 10 year life expediency. Give me copper any day! Then there’s the fact that virtually everything in the house will be contractor quality, so that means a low quality roof, furnace, fans, etc. It you go old enough, many of these items would be replaced.

    You can get around some of this by having a custom house built on a nice lot. That can be a good option for many, but it’s probably out of reach of most people. And then there’s the very expensive new construction which is probably of higher quality in many ways, but also out of reach.

  6. 6
    Stu says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – Thanks, Kary and Weasel. Very insightful.

  7. 7
    Justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    LP (Lousiana Pacific) siding seems to come in different incarnations. According to wikipedia, there was one particular LP product that garnered a very negative reputation and was subject to lawsuits:

    QUOTE: Despite its many achievements, LP encountered a number of serious obstacles in the 1990s. Foremost among these were lawsuits pertaining to its simulated cedar Inner-Seal exterior siding. During the 1990s, LP was the defendant in a major class-action lawsuit over its OSB siding product known as Inner Seal, manufactured from the early 1990s through 1996. ENDQUOTE.

    Note: “simulated cedar Inner-Seal exterior”, “OSB siding”, maybe we should just call it SCISE-OSB, sounds like “scuzzy OSB”. Heh.

    I wonder if houses with SCISE-OSB are sometimes listed in MLS as having “cedar” siding. Have you ever seen that?

    Also, the question is whether several other LP-brand siding products are actually good, but are being thrown out with the bathwater. Do you have an opinion on other LP-brand products?

  8. 8

    Bad Investors

    Just paid a 100% YOY increase on a home on my block….about 50% more than the 40% increase on the assessed value for 2017….follow their lead and get rich? LOL

    SWE’s home now worth a fortune???? LOL No way am I selling now….then I have to pay a TON OF MONEY for another replacement [dump]?

    Does anyone know savvy investing or is shooting from the hip the preferred method among “low inventory” Hurricane shopping for scarce water?

  9. 9

    RE: Justme @ 7 – I’ve not come across the term Simulated Cedar, etc.

    The way things should be listed is as follows:

    Wood: Real wood cut by saws into planks or shingles, etc.
    Wood Products: That would be the composite stuff, like LP.
    Cement Planked: That would be stuff like HardiPlank.

    Of course agents from time to time do it wrong.

    As to LP, yes there were a number of different types over the years, and they probably make stuff now that is good. I’m not familiar with their current product.

    I always look for the “LP knot” to look for suspect siding, but I think some of the later generations had the same knot. But regardless, you really need to walk all four sides of the house to see if you see evidence of the siding starting to fail, which is usually shown by either expansion on the lower edge or around the nails. Here’s a link to pictures of various types of LP siding, and the famous knot.

    http://www.sidingsolutions.com/pages/IDLP.htm

    BTW, installation is also a problem, regardless of type. One common problem is that they nail the lower corners of each plank and then that corner will crack. Sometimes it gets so bad that about half the corners will have cracked on one or more sides of a house. Then there are also flashing issues around windows and painters who will come by years down the road and caulk things that shouldn’t be caulked.

    Which gets to another advantage of older houses. They tend to have larger overhangs on the eves, which protects the siding better (and crawlspace from water too).

  10. 10

    This is a Youtube video which shows the type of cracking I mentioned. He also discusses different practices over time. I’m not sure his dates are correct, but he’s generally correct that caulking and nailing has gone away. Also not sure the flashing underneath is necessarily metal, or that the cracking is the minor problem he states. If you only have a few cracks it probably is minor, but if you have a ton of them and it’s on a two story wall . . ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm01iwsrF08

    But anyway, again this just shows the risk of new construction. What was recently thought to be a good practice is no longer thought to be good, which calls into question other new practices followed today.

  11. 11
    Justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9 – Good info, thanks.

  12. 12
    Justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Yes, that video highlights the cracking problem with nailing at bottom edge instead of just nailing at top edge (which will be hidden by the next plank up when installed) . The reader may note that the video is about Hardie Fiber Cement siding and not the much maligned LP SCISE-OSB.

  13. 13
  14. 14

    By Justme @ 12:

    The reader may note that the video is about Hardie Fiber Cement siding and not the much maligned LP SCISE-OSB.

    Right. I’m not sure cracking is a problem on the composite siding. With that product what you’ll sometimes notice about the exposed nails is that they appear to be driven in too far, but that is really just the siding expanding around the nail.

    As to the cracking, I’m going to give the installers the benefit of the doubt and say that it probably happens from seasonal expansion and contraction, and that they product didn’t noticeably crack during the install. And they may have even been following manufacturer directions at the time (not sure).

  15. 15
  16. 16
    ess says:

    By Jeff Bozos @ 13:

    Amazon moving eastward….whoa…

    http://www.geekwire.com/2016/amazon-expanding-outside-seattle-giant-new-bellevue-office-lease/

    Great news for the Puget Sound area -both for employment and real estate.

    One wonders if it is a question of available office space or providing choices for Amazon employees. Not everyone in Amazon wants or will continue indefinitely to enjoy the life of a Seattle urbanite. This provides those who work for Amazon a chance to buy into the suburban lifestyle and not have to commute forever while working for Amazon only at its South Lake Union location.

  17. 17
    ess says:

    By Sid @ 15:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-07/the-u-s-cities-where-residential-rent-is-rising-fastest

    Seattle on top………

    Rising rents should insure a healthy real estate market going forward. This is a very different time from 2007-8 when I noticed that montly rental costs were about half of the monthly cost to own a comparable residence.

  18. 18
    Green-Horn says:

    RE: ess @ 17

    All the construction of multi-family will come on the market eventually. It is a semi-substitute for single-family. Does our host or anyone else have a graph that might predict when and if it will cause a glut?

  19. 19
    Justme says:

    RE: Jeff Bozos @ 13

    Speaking of Amazon. They certainly are facing increased competition in the cloud computing rental space (AWS). Given that AWS is the only part of Amazon that has (so far) decent profit margins, this does not bode well for the overall profitability of Amazon.

    Specifics about new competitors: Oracle has been making lots of noise recently, and today IBM is on the warpath. One thing not mentioned in the article is that IBM has many underutilized semi-rural sites all over the country from old factories and development centers. Upstate New York, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, all over the place. Sites with good telecom infrastructure, but low cost. And they just struck a deal with ATT for the telecom portion of the venture,

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/m/43d4026e-ee1a-3453-a8bc-0545ac2b3413/ss_international-business.html

  20. 20
  21. 21
    ess says:

    By Green-Horn @ 18:

    RE: ess @ 17

    All the construction of multi-family will come on the market eventually. It is a semi-substitute for single-family. Does our host or anyone else have a graph that might predict when and if it will cause a glut?

    Green

    In my opinion, multi family residences are more semi and less substitute for single family houses. For many, they are no substitute at all, other than a place to live.

    Most multi family housing that will be newly constructed will be expensive rentals until they can get the liability issues under control.

    I believe most people would rather have the privacy and quiet of a single family house than reside in an apartment house. Backyard maintenance can be an issue – homeowners can farm that work out to someone else for a reasonable price if they don’t want to bother with it themselves. Even rental houses are offering yardwork as part of the rent.

    There are very few new single family houses being constructed in the close in areas, and even less moderately priced single family houses available. The market for those houses should be continued to be strong, regardless of the increase of multi-family construction.

  22. 22

    By ess @ 21:

    I believe most people would rather have the privacy and quiet of a single family house than reside in an apartment house.

    Most is probably correct, but it really depends. Your point of view is probably more likely for people with children, but there are people primarily looking only for one or the other. There are some very nice rural multifamily townhouse style places for those who like more rural areas but don’t want to deal with house issues, but don’t forget there are a lot of people who like a very urban life, and that is really only possible if you go multi-family or can pay a very high price. If for example you want to live on First Hill, or within four blocks of Broadway.

    There are also the stand-alone condos which are SFR without all the maintenance and yard work.

  23. 23
    Sid says:

    RE: Justme @ 19 – Neither Oracle or IBM have the talent or corporate culture to compete against AWS. Only Microsoft and maybe Google are viable competitors.

  24. 24
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Justme @ 19 – Regarding server space, here’s another thing to consider – the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) loses its dial tone for good in 2018 – so there will be some free space in the central switching stations (which have battery backup, plus a generator in many cases) for additional equipment.

    And Sid – it’s laughable that you think that IBM doesn’t have the corporate culture to compete against AWS. Obviously you aren’t old enough to remember when they were they were to computing what Amazon is to online shopping. There is a very good reason that they used to call IBM ‘Big Blue.’

  25. 25
    StupidLifeDecisions says:

    By redmondjp @ 24:

    RE: Justme @ 19 – Regarding server space, here’s another thing to consider – the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) loses its dial tone for good in 2018 – so there will be some free space in the central switching stations (which have battery backup, plus a generator in many cases) for additional equipment.

    And Sid – it’s laughable that you think that IBM doesn’t have the corporate culture to compete against AWS. Obviously you aren’t old enough to remember when they were they were to computing what Amazon is to online shopping. There is a very good reason that they used to call IBM ‘Big Blue.’

    Amazon is the next Bill Cosby.

  26. 26
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 22:

    By ess @ 21:

    I believe most people would rather have the privacy and quiet of a single family house than reside in an apartment house.

    Most is probably correct, but it really depends. Your point of view is probably more likely for people with children, but there are people primarily looking only for one or the other. There are some very nice rural multifamily townhouse style places for those who like more rural areas but don’t want to deal with house issues, but don’t forget there are a lot of people who like a very urban life, and that is really only possible if you go multi-family or can pay a very high price. If for example you want to live on First Hill, or within four blocks of Broadway.

    There are also the stand-alone condos which are SFR without all the maintenance and yard work.

    It would be interesting to see a study to determine what percentage of “empty nesters” leave their single family houses and move to a more urban environment in a condo. We read about them – but I think it is a smaller percentage of the population.

    I would also be interested in learning the percentage of both apartment renters and condo owners in apartment like condos that would rather be in a house than a rental apartment or a condo if they had the choice and the financial wherewithal.

    Yes – there are maintenance issues with single family houses – but everyone has maintenance issues, and condo owners pay for their upkeep through some pretty hefty condo association fees and assessments. At least an owner can choose to do some of the work themselves – I painted the outside of our house a few years ago – saving a great deal of money.

    I have toured some of those “air” condos – houses without any front or back yard. Some have amazingly little privacy. There is one development near my house that are essentially houses separated by alleys. Some of the houses are surrounded on all four sides by other houses, separated by just a few feet. They are certainly not for everyone!

  27. 27

    RE: redmondjp @ 24 – So does that mean the old rotary phones will no longer work? I know someone who recently bought a vintage phone.

  28. 28

    By ess @ 26:

    Yes – there are maintenance issues with single family houses – but everyone has maintenance issues, and condo owners pay for their upkeep through some pretty hefty condo association fees and assessments. At least an owner can choose to do some of the work themselves – I painted the outside of our house a few years ago – saving a great deal of money.

    I agree, and another problem is lack of maintenance by associations–letting the place run down. You lose a lot of control and that can mean things are either more expensive or less expensive than they should be based on what you want.

    High rise projects present another problem. You can have wide variations in the value of units within a building. People who spend seven figures on a unit may be more likely to want to spend more on maintenance and upgrades than people who spend under $500,000. Who wins out will depend on the mix in the building. But chances are a fair amount of people will be unhappy, either because they don’t like 5 year old carpets or because they don’t like paying to replace 5 year old carpets.

  29. 29
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    By ess @ 26:

    Yes – there are maintenance issues with single family houses – but everyone has maintenance issues, and condo owners pay for their upkeep through some pretty hefty condo association fees and assessments. At least an owner can choose to do some of the work themselves – I painted the outside of our house a few years ago – saving a great deal of money.

    I agree, and another problem is lack of maintenance by associations–letting the place run down. You lose a lot of control and that can mean things are either more expensive or less expensive than they should be based on what you want.

    High rise projects present another problem. You can have wide variations in the value of units within a building. People who spend seven figures on a unit may be more likely to want to spend more on maintenance and upgrades than people who spend under $500,000. Who wins out will depend on the mix in the building. But chances are a fair amount of people will be unhappy, either because they don’t like 5 year old carpets or because they don’t like paying to replace 5 year old carpets.

    That is a good point that I had not considered, Kary. Not all condos are equal, and the price variations can be significant. The wealthy multi million dollar penthouse owner is in a far different position than the one or two bedroom condo owner that is just getting by after all the payments are made and don’t wish to spend any more money. Even more crucial an issue when the condo is bought for rental purposes.

    Even more interesting is how the “mix in the building” will be when builders are forced to allow a certain number of below market units for those with less income to be owners. Will that another issue when it comes to upkeep and improvements? I have no idea of how voting on these issues transpires in a condo – is it one vote per unit, or is the value of the property in question – akin to mutual funds – the number of votes is predicated upon the number of shares one owns.

    It does raise interesting questions for anyone considering purchasing this type of housing, or buying a house located within a homeowners association jurisdiction.

    I have a friend that has a condo for investment purposes. On one hand it is nice not to have the outside issues to deal with but on the other hand – an owner can be at the mercy of the board for some assessment they do not favor, or an improvement that is necessary but is voted down by a reluctant majority. At least with private housing or single family rentals – the “association” that makes those decisions consists of only the owners.

  30. 30
    Justme says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 24

    I think the conversion of old telephone exchanges to data centers has been ongoing for a while because equipment for POTS has been shrinking like mad, but conversion may indeed accelerate.

    >>the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) loses its dial tone for good in 2018

    I googled a bit and did not find anything definite about 2018. FCC seems to say that equivalent services must be provided.

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/FCC-Sets-Guidelines-For-the-Death-of-DSL-Copper-137426

    QUOTE: As such, the FCC a few years ago voted to approved a few trials that took a closer look at how the telcos’ retirement of outdated legacy networks would actually impact consumers and businesses. And yesterday the FCC also voted on rules (pdf) that streamline the telco ability to request the retirement of copper assets, provided they provide some kind of equivalent (wired or wireless), ensure 911 services still work, and ensure they’re not dramatically harming legacy services like alarm systems that rely on older DSL or POTS technology.

  31. 31
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Justme @ 30

    June 15, 2018 is the arbitrary date that has been picked – whether or not the conversion is complete by then is another matter:

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/telecom/internet/the-end-of-the-public-phone-network

    Recent FCC consumer advice on the conversion process:

    https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/tech-transitions-network-upgrades-may-affect-your-service

    As to whether the new equipment will still be compatible with rotary-dial phones, I don’t know. If not, you can buy a pulse-to-tone converter for it.

  32. 32
    ess says:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazons-hiring-hunger-transforming-seattle-economy/

    Foreign real estate investors coming to Seattle may just be the icing on the increasingly expensive cake!

  33. 33
    Justme says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 31

    Thank you. Good article and interesting comment section, too.

  34. 34
    Justme says:

    RE: ess @ 32

    >>QUOTE from article: Department says that between May and August, Amazon.com posted 11,042 job openings online in King County, double the number from the same period last year.

    Yeah, but how many did they actually hire? And how many of those jobs are as fulfillment center (warehouse) associates in Kent? And how many are seasonal jobs for Christmas?

    And that much ballyhooed office in Bellevue? Has room for 2000 employees. Nothing the size of Lake Union. Just a new hangout for former Microsoft employees that already live Eastside, probably.

  35. 35
    jon says:

    RE: Justme @ 34 – Amazon puts its buildings close to each other so that employees can quickly meet with other teams. Having a major building in Bellevue means that other buildings close to it will no doubt be acquired by Amazon as it grows.

  36. 36
    Justme says:

    RE: jon @ 35

    I’m feeling a bit of sarc coming on: Amazon will acquire more bldgs in Bellevue so that the employees will have someone to have meetings with in another bldg nearby. Makes sense :-)

  37. 37
    ESS says:

    By jon @ 35:

    RE: Justme @ 34 – Amazon puts its buildings close to each other so that employees can quickly meet with other teams. Having a major building in Bellevue means that other buildings close to it will no doubt be acquired by Amazon as it grows.

    Apparently the interest in acquiring adjacent lease property is underway. There is speculation that Amazon is interested in other commercial property as stated in the following article:

    http://myinforms.com/en-us/a/42318242-amazon-expanding-outside-seattle-with-giant-new-bellevue-office-lease/

    The interesting question is why Amazon is pursuing this strategy? To provide more options for Eastside workers? To obtain talent from other local companies? Who knows – we are not privy to Amazon’s strategy meetings. But for the purposes of a real estate blog – what matters is that these moves will not only make the commercial real estate scene more competitive in Bellevue, but also put pressure on housing prices and rents not only in that location, but adjacent areas as well. This bodes well for both homeowners and residential property owners in those areas.

  38. 38

    By ESS @ 37:

    The interesting question is why Amazon is pursuing this strategy? To provide more options for Eastside workers? To obtain talent from other local companies? Who knows – we are not privy to Amazon’s strategy meetings.

    It’s so they can expand to the eastside their program where every office worker delivers at least one package on the way home.

  39. 39
    ESS says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    By ESS @ 37:

    The interesting question is why Amazon is pursuing this strategy? To provide more options for Eastside workers? To obtain talent from other local companies? Who knows – we are not privy to Amazon’s strategy meetings.

    It’s so they can expand to the eastside their program where every office worker delivers at least one package on the way home.

    Glad that Amazon is such a good corporate citizen – working to reduce its carbon footprint with innovative delivery strategies!

  40. 40

    RE: ESS @ 39 – Actually having offices on both sides of the lake probably does help reduce employee commutes. But obviously some would still commute across the lake.

  41. 41
    ESS says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 40:

    RE: ESS @ 39 – Actually having offices on both sides of the lake probably does help reduce employee commutes. But obviously some would still commute across the lake.

    Amazon executives are no dummies – they understand that transportation, and the inability for anyone to successfully travel about the Puget Sound area is only going to get worse in the future, regardless of the successful passage of ST3,4,5 etc. Having various business locations in a variety of desirable residential areas is actually a pretty smart idea. As a recruiting tool, it enables the company to offer employment in a variety of residential locations. Not everyone wants to reside in a concrete high rise in the middle of a city, as it is also true that not all employees also don’t all wish to live in a leafy suburban area.

  42. 42
    Justme says:

    RE: ESS @ 41

    >>Amazon executives are no dummies – they understand that transportation, and the inability for anyone to successfully travel about the Puget Sound area is only going to get worse in the future, regardless of the successful passage of ST3,4,5 etc.

    Wow, these Amazon executives are so brilliant. Such vision! Such foresight! I *never* would have thought of that all by myself. Imagine that, locating jobs where people live. Did the Nobel Peace Price already get handed out? Nominated!

  43. 43

    I just saw some LP siding on a house built in 2004. Seemed to be holding up after 12 years in the elements, and it looked like it was probably 12 years without new paint.

  44. 44

    On the topic of off topic, I love Bingo’s “Get out the vote” thread over in the forum. It summarizes the election nicely! :-D

  45. 45

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8
    Silver Lining On HIGH PROPERTY TAXES in King County

    I still live in Seattle because my severely autistic 26 YO son needs social supports that Kansas City doesn’t TAX for. I don’t like SANCTUARY CITIES like Seattle, but I’m a savvy investor for MY FAMILY. Otherwise I’d trade my Seattle Dump for twice the house/land and half the price [the rest goes into retirements in Kansas City]. Family comes first!

    We all make decisions that MOST BENEFIT OUR PERSONAL POCKETBOOK. Make savvy investments.

  46. 46

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44
    Trump Won the Debate Last Night

    Christians 1
    Lions 0

  47. 47
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 45:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8
    Silver Lining On HIGH PROPERTY TAXES in King County

    I still live in Seattle because my severely autistic 26 YO son needs social supports that Kansas City doesn’t TAX for. I don’t like SANCTUARY CITIES like Seattle, but I’m a savvy investor for MY FAMILY. Otherwise I’d trade my Seattle Dump for twice the house/land and half the price [the rest goes into retirements in Kansas City]. Family comes first!

    We all make decisions that MOST BENEFIT OUR PERSONAL POCKETBOOK. Make savvy investments.

    do you understand why we have sanctuary cities?

  48. 48
    jon says:

    By pfft @ 47:

    By softwarengineer @ 45:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8

    We all make decisions that MOST BENEFIT OUR PERSONAL POCKETBOOK. Make savvy investments.

    do you understand why we have sanctuary cities?

    To get around the people who want to keep low class people from hurting property values.

  49. 49
    pfft says:

    By jon @ 48:

    By pfft @ 47:

    By softwarengineer @ 45:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8

    We all make decisions that MOST BENEFIT OUR PERSONAL POCKETBOOK. Make savvy investments.

    do you understand why we have sanctuary cities?

    To get around the people who want to keep low class people from hurting property values.

    so immigrants are low class? nice. looks like we got a trumper.

  50. 50
    sleepless says:

    Rents are falling in the Bay area… are we next, or it is somehow different here?

  51. 51
    Blurtman says:

    Filthy slackers! Buy homes, you deadbeat millennials!

    “For millennials, the homeownership rate fell to 34%, from around 40% for young adults in prior decades, according to the Times. Given the rents they face, saving up for a down payment has become a herculean task. So forget it. But now the real estate industry is complaining about the millennials. Everyone needs new homebuyers to keep the market propped up and the commissions flowing.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/wolf-richter-millennials-blamed-for-lousy-economy.html

  52. 52

    By pfft @ 47:

    do you understand why we have sanctuary cities?

    Because elected leaders of large cities think that they are not subject to either state and federal law?

    Is this a trick question? ;-)

  53. 53
    Jeff Bozos says:

    KING county SFH inventory getting ready to go back under 3000

    Peak listings were on 09.30.2016 3495 –

  54. 54

    RE: Jeff Bozos @ 53 – Not sure where you’re getting those numbers, but the actives just reported by the NWMLS with the September stats were 3,699 (see also Tim’s reporting on the stats) and while we’re down from there we’re still well over 3,000.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not guaranteed.

  55. 55
    greg says:

    RE: sleepless @ 50

    well you must have been sleeping.

    have you not read all the posts here from the pumpers declaring Seattle to be “special”?

    We have jobs, and rates , stuff and things that means our home prices are stable at 7 times household income. This is the new normal, prices can’t revert like they normally do because this is the new normal! Its NEW and its NORMAL! So clearly we are special and will not see any decline in rent inflation….

  56. 56
    pfft says:

    Why don’t these cities want to work with the feds on immigration?

    The job of local cops isn’t to enforce every local, state, and federal law. It’s to enforce local laws and protect the safety of their residents. And cities worry — with good reason — that turning over unauthorized immigrants more easily would get in the way of promoting public safety.

    Most unauthorized immigrants aren’t criminals. But they could be victims, or witnesses, of crimes. And local police want to be sure that unauthorized immigrants who are victims of crime aren’t too afraid of the police to file a report.

    Sanctuary cities: The latest anti-immigration panic, explained
    http://www.vox.com/2015/7/23/9022797/kate-steinle-sanctuary-city

    the reason is basically safety. Cops want and need witnesses or victims to report crimes. Note that the Feds can still do their job.

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    By sleepless @ 50:

    Rents are falling in the Bay area… are we next, or it is somehow different here?

    edgy.

  58. 58
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By pfft @ 56:

    Most unauthorized immigrants aren’t criminals.

    Umm… I could have sworn the “unauthorized” part meant that they were criminals. If they hadn’t broken immigration laws, they would be “authorized immigrants” or just “immigrants”.

  59. 59
    pfft says:

    By Anonymous Coward @ 58:

    By pfft @ 56:

    Most unauthorized immigrants aren’t criminals.

    Umm… I could have sworn the “unauthorized” part meant that they were criminals. If they hadn’t broken immigration laws, they would be “authorized immigrants” or just “immigrants”.

    well except for that:)

    it is just a misdemeanor. do you not want cops to solve a murder or robbery because witnesses don’t want to get deported? remember, the Feds can still deport.

  60. 60
    Jeff Bozos says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 54
    I got those numbers from the home page of seattle bubble..there is the link under INVENTORY

    http://seattlebubble.com/inventory/SFHlog.txt

  61. 61

    RE: Jeff Bozos @ 60 – I think it’s been brought up before that those numbers are inaccurate. Not sure why, but for King County they are currently understating both the SFR and Condo numbers, condo by a larger percentage.

  62. 62
    sleepless says:

    By greg @ 55:

    RE: sleepless @ 50

    well you must have been sleeping.

    have you not read all the posts here from the pumpers declaring Seattle to be “special”?

    We have jobs, and rates , stuff and things that means our home prices are stable at 7 times household income. This is the new normal, prices can’t revert like they normally do because this is the new normal! Its NEW and its NORMAL! So clearly we are special and will not see any decline in rent inflation….

    So, you imply SF bay area doesn’t have jobs, stuff and things?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/25/new-report-shows-rents-falling-in-san-jose-and-san-francisco/

    http://www.siliconbeat.com/2016/09/21/believe-not-rents-may-falling-san-jose-san-francisco/

  63. 63
    Doug says:

    Are there any bulls that are renting or bears that own?

  64. 64
    greg says:

    RE: sleepless @ 62

    nope. I thought it was pretty clear I was taking the p is s..

  65. 65
    Justme says:

    RE: sleepless @ 62

    >>So, you imply SF bay area doesn’t have jobs, stuff and things?

    sleepless, I think Greg is just riffing on what you said, sarcasticaly trotting out the usual arguments of the pumpers here on the blog. I doubt Greg disagrees with you.

  66. 66
    Justme says:

    RE: greg @ 64

    Ah, you already replied. I guess that confirms what I said, just taking a p*ss.

  67. 67
    greg says:

    RE: Justme @ 66

    you said it so much better. :)

  68. 68
    pfft says:

    Wow…the trump campaign is in free fall. There is a good chance that the Dems will win the House. so many allegations against trump.

  69. 69
    sleepless says:

    By pfft @ 68:

    Wow…the trump campaign is in free fall. There is a good chance that the Dems will win the House. so many allegations against trump.

    I guess, the US electorate just gets what it deserves. Good luck “surviving” another 4 years of the most corrupt politician in the US history…

  70. 70
    sleepless says:

    By greg @ 67:

    RE: Justme @ 66

    you said it so much better. :)

    I did not understand sarcasm :) :) :) Thanks for clarifying…

  71. 71
    sleepless says:

    BTW, I will bet dollars for donuts that the FED will not raise rates this year. The sheet show must go on…

  72. 72
    pfft says:

    By sleepless @ 69:

    By pfft @ 68:

    Wow…the trump campaign is in free fall. There is a good chance that the Dems will win the House. so many allegations against trump.

    I guess, the US electorate just gets what it deserves. Good luck “surviving” another 4 years of the most corrupt politician in the US history…

    corrupt? right. you don’t know what you’re talking about. I bet you said the same thing about obama, that his presidency would be a disaster. bush’s presidency was a disaster, not obama’s. obama inherited a terrible situation and he made it much better. he’s been a great president.

    “BTW, I will bet dollars for donuts that the FED will not raise rates this year. The sheet show must go on…”

    their own metrics like inflation show they shouldn’t raise rates. they’ve publicly told you what their metrics are so why would you be surprised? are you one of those people that thinks the economy is crap but that the fed should ALSO raise rates? that is nonsensical.

    if rates were too low inflation would be much higher. Inflation is below target and MIT’s billion prices project confirms the fed numbers.

  73. 73
    Justme says:

    RE: pfft @ 72

    >>are you one of those people that thinks the economy is crap but that the fed should ALSO raise rates? that is nonsensical.

    It is completely sensible. Low interest rates only helps the top 0.1% and other speculators. We’ve had 7 years of this ZIRP/QE sh*t, and all it has done is create a massive triple bubble of bonds, housing and stocks all at once. The trickle-down has been minimal. I know that you will never understand that — this is for those who didn’t realize but have an open mind.

    >>their own metrics like inflation show they shouldn’t raise rates.

    How conveeeeeenient (church lady voice). They chose a metric that will not budge until long after all the bubbles have been reflated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm3zV1pCTQ8

    (not actually Dana Carvey, that one)

  74. 74
    whatsmyname says:

    By sleepless @ 62:

    So, you imply SF bay area doesn’t have jobs, stuff and things?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/25/new-report-shows-rents-falling-in-san-jose-and-san-francisco/

    http://www.siliconbeat.com/2016/09/21/believe-not-rents-may-falling-san-jose-san-francisco/

    Hilarious. While you guys get into heavy breathing about what SF rent drops portend for Seattle, both of your news articles report that Seattle had the biggest rent drops in the country. You’re already enjoying the big rent decreases. How prosperous you must feel.

  75. 75
    Justme says:

    I couldn’t resist adding this skit of the church lady with guests Ted Cruz (lucifer in the flesh) and Donald Trump (the tangerine tornado)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHyW0N5f7zQ

  76. 76
    sleepless says:

    By pfft @ 72:

    corrupt? right. you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Yes, corrupt Clinton Cash

    I bet you said the same thing about obama, that his presidency would be a disaster.

    Yes, obamas presidency was a disaster. For example, Obama:
    Has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined
    Sentenced whistleblowers to 31 times the jail time of all prior u.s. presidents combined
    Prosecuted fewer financial crimes than President Reagan, Clinton or either of the Bush presidents. (As bad as the Bush administration was, they at least prosecuted the heads of Enron, Worldcom and some other white collar crooks. In contrast, Obama hasn’t prosecuted even one high-level Wall Street executive.)
    Is the most secretive president ever
    Is more hostile to the press than any president in history
    Claims the power to strip Americans’ liberty in a way that no other president has ever tried to claim … and that even King George of England didn’t claim. Indeed, Obama has rolled back some of our liberties to the time of the enactment of the Magna Carta in 1215
    – Has turned America into the most spied upon nation in world history (and see this and this)
    – Has arguably centralized power more than any other president
    – Has granted less pardons than any president since Garfield, who served only 200 days as president before being assassinated in 1881
    – May be the only U.S. president in history who failed to deliver a single year of at least 3% economic growth (when adjusted for inflation)

    In addition, Obama has presided over:
    The greatest inequality of any president
    – The first time in its history that America is viewed as the world’s greatest threat by the people of the world
    – One of the largest net changes in debt in American history
    – Perhaps the most corrupt government ever in the U.S.

    bush’s presidency was a disaster,

    Yes, bush was just as corrupt. Bushes and clintons are part of the same mafia

    not obama’s. obama inherited a terrible situation and he made it much better.

    Right, it is all Bush’s fault…

    their own metrics like inflation show they shouldn’t raise rates. they’ve publicly told you what their metrics are so why would you be surprised? are you one of those people that thinks the economy is crap but that the fed should ALSO raise rates? that is nonsensical.

    You have been rebutted so many time on this topic. The gubmint inflation numbers are bogus at best

    if rates were too low inflation would be much higher.

    If the economy is so great, why is the inflation so low? Aren’t people supposed to spend like drunken sailors? Oh wait… Nearly 7 in 10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings
    Because the eCONomy so great the people are so broke…

    I guess, when liberal repeats the same BS over and over again, they start to believe their own lies.

  77. 77
    redmondjp says:

    By pfft @ 68:

    Wow…the trump campaign is in free fall. There is a good chance that the Dems will win the House. so many allegations against trump.

    Wow….the pfft is up early today, waking up before 6pm. There is a good chance that he will post off-topic democratic talking points. so many off-topic posts by pfft.

  78. 78

    RE: redmondjp @ 76 – That pfft just repeats talking points is why I call him an Obamabot. Nothing original, just talking points. I’ll have to come up with a new name soon.

    On the topic of Obama I see that his popularity is rising, most likely due to a lot of people not liking the two major party choices. There’s a lot not to like there. We basically have a reject from 2008 running against a reject from 2012. The only hope might be Utah going for an independent and the results from the other states allowing that to create a historical situation.

  79. 79

    SWE’s Overpopulation Website Catching Up With Tim’s?

    LOL….it fetched 13000 hits recently BTW…see my new post for this morning.

    Hit my blue user name to enter…

  80. 80

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 77
    TODAY’s Rassmussen MSM Poll Has Trump Leading Now

    Those anti-Christian Wikileaks tie her to an AntiChrist 666 One World Government Icon…especially her attack on the Pope [in official Government emails]….its all the Russian’s fault [proof?] LOL

    Clinton plunging in polls…

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/white_house_watch_oct13

  81. 81
    greg says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 77

    Given that this is an RE site, and that many of the posters here are concerned about RE….

    Hillary is clearly the best choice for housing. She is very competent and a lot less likely to implode the economy .
    Trump may get some of the more extreme right winger here excited , but he lacks the maturity to be relied on. No Market trusts him to do a good job, every time he falters one sees currencies and markets reflect thier delight.

  82. 82

    By greg @ 80:

    Hillary is clearly the best choice for housing. She is very competent and a lot less likely to implode the economy .

    I’m not sure Hillary would be good for real estate. I’d read somewhere she wanted to do away with the depreciation deduction, and that could have a huge impact. Unfortunately searching Google for Hillary tax policy just gets you a bunch of nonsense articles.

    Not sure why you think she’s competent, unless that’s just a comparison to Trump. Was it maybe this event? ;-)

    http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/557d8e1a6bb3f78160ea89d9-1200-924/ap090306017956-5.jpg

  83. 83
    greg says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 74

    STOP!

    You will scare poor ESS. I don’t know if he can handle seeing negative news ref rents. He has spent so much time here pumping and posting links to any vaguely inflationary story he can find.

    I mean if rents fall then his entire premise of solid underpinnings starts to fall apart……

  84. 84
    Ryan says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 79

    Citing a single Rasmussen poll to argue that Trump is winning = truly hilarious. Thank you for that.

    BTW, you can make a ton of money on this spectacular insight you have, as betting markets have Trump’s chances at around 10%. Forget real estate, go make your fortune there!

  85. 85
    greg says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 81

    it is always comparative …

    I think she is very competent because i have followed her career for decades. I very much admire her attempts to build Universal health care for Americans.

    It may take another decade or two but sooner or later we will get there, and finally provide full coverage for everyone.

    I know it is not popular now but neither was SS . It was called a fraud, unaffordable etc etc… Yet we see it in every single developed country in the entire world.

  86. 86

    RE: greg @ 83 – Odd, I consider her attempts to get universal healthcare in 1993 to be an example of her incompetence. And as SoS I can’t think of a single thing I would consider a success–but there probably are a couple or even a few. Maybe helping in the decision to attempt to capture OBL rather than just doing it via a drone.

  87. 87

    The weather service wind warning is rather ominous.

    https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/wwacapget.php?x=WA12561A06FC20.SpecialWeatherStatement.12561A160C60WA.SEWSPSSEW.e4aafc62d46ae1688ded32a3f5b34db5

    A one third chance of historical winds on Saturday. I am barely old enough to remember the Columbus day storm of 1962. These early season storms can be really bad because many of the trees still have their leaves. But the Columbus day storm broke windows!

  88. 88
    greg says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 84

    Sorry to be clear, you are saying Social Security has “not” been a success? Or are we talking about two different things??

  89. 89

    RE: greg @ 88 – Secretary of State.

  90. 90
    ESS says:

    By greg @ 83:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 74

    STOP!

    You will scare poor ESS. I don’t know if he can handle seeing negative news ref rents. He has spent so much time here pumping and posting links to any vaguely inflationary story he can find.

    I mean if rents fall then his entire premise of solid underpinnings starts to fall apart……

    Don’t worry about me – I have been renting to tenants for a long time and have survived some really tough markets in the Seattle area.

    To give you an idea – my first investment with others as a young whippersnapper had two units in a duplex in the U district, and the 3 bedroom unit rented for 150 dollars a month, and the one bedroom unit in the lower level rented for about 90 dollars.

    It is not a matter of pumping up things – it is a matter of experience over decades that the price of real estate (and rents) have tended to up over time. If people don’t believe this, I encourage prospective buyers to be long term tenants. It is a choice they have to make, and long term tenants who are thinking about buying real estate in a few years make the best tenants

  91. 91

    RE: ESS @ 90 – What? You don’t know that you should have completely divested in 2007 and then bought again in 2011? ;-)

  92. 92
    ESS says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 91:

    RE: ESS @ 90 – What? You don’t know that you should have completely divested in 2007 and then bought again in 2011? ;-)

    Yeah Kary, it is like forecasting the stock market – I am going to liquidate my equities and repurchase them after the market tanks. Maybe I will get a balcony cabin on my next cruise rather than just a cabin with a window with my windfall.

    Unfortunately my crystal ball’s battery were low during that period of real estate decline, so I didn’t sell and missed out on making a killing. Oh well. Of course – unless one gets things exactly correct – one has to deal with expenses such as commissions, capital gains, etc etc.

    While I can’t take credit for knowing that the market would have collapsed, I did observe something was amiss in that time period. Being in the business and actually going to a variety of open houses for both sales and rentals over the years, I sensed something was amiss. That something was that payments and expenses for buying a house was about double as to what folks could get for a comparable rental. So I figure – 10-15% decline. Whoops! Who knew that all those terrible mortgages were floating about? But everything came out OK, and will continue to do so for most real estate investors whether they be home owners or rental property owners unless they buy at the absolute top of the market and paid a premium and can’t hold on for a few years.

    But I know that the area planners believe that almost another million people are going to arrive in this area. If so, there is but a small chance that there will be such a housing glut that it will depress rents and prices to extent that there will be massive foreclosures. Furthermore, more and more people are buying very expensive housing with large down payments, and the new rental construction will be charging much more than the older stock of housing. And new residences are often built at the expense of lower priced housing that is removed. In addition there appears to be less shenanigans by the mortgage lending industry. So while no prognosis is guaranteed – it is my belief that this market will remain strong with occasional slowing down to digest the rapid increases we have experienced.

    Another factor to consider is the cost of money. Thirty year mortgages remain at historical lows – below 4%. If mortgage rates return to their historical levels of about 7 -8%, the savings in a decline of housing costs will be offset by the increased cost of borrowed money. Of course we have no idea if and when mortgage rates will return to historical rates – if ever, but money sure is cheap these days. I remember the bad old days when mortgages were over 10% – I think I had one of those for a number of years!

  93. 93
    pfft says:

    By Justme @ 73:

    RE: pfft @ 72

    >>are you one of those people that thinks the economy is crap but that the fed should ALSO raise rates? that is nonsensical.

    It is completely sensible. Low interest rates only helps the top 0.1% and other speculators. We’ve had 7 years of this ZIRP/QE sh*t, and all it has done is create a massive triple bubble of bonds, housing and stocks all at once. The trickle-down has been minimal. I know that you will never understand that — this is for those who didn’t realize but have an open mind.

    >>their own metrics like inflation show they shouldn’t raise rates.

    How conveeeeeenient (church lady voice). They chose a metric that will not budge until long after all the bubbles have been reflated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm3zV1pCTQ8

    (not actually Dana Carvey, that one)

    mortgage rates being low is a BAD thing? in what world? next time you buy a house and get a mortgage tell them you want to pay double the going rate. LOL.

    SAD!

    “and all it has done is create a massive triple bubble of bonds, housing and stocks all at once. The trickle-down has been minimal. I know that you will never understand that — this is for those who didn’t realize but have an open mind.”

    when obama came to office the economy was in free fall. He created more than 10 million jobs. what about the commodities bubble. didn’t the Fed cause a commodities bubble? oh that’s right, commodity prices peaked in 2008. somehow the money mysteriously didn’t go into commodities even though that’s what many said would happen.

    you obviously don’t know market history, markets are frequently near their all-time highs. same probably with housing. remember markets were tanking when obama came in. markets are up because obama created more than 10 million jobs.

    “The trickle-down has been minimal.”

    source please.

  94. 94
    pfft says:

    By sleepless @ 76:

    By pfft @ 72:

    corrupt? right. you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Yes, corrupt Clinton Cash

    I bet you said the same thing about obama, that his presidency would be a disaster.

    Yes, obamas presidency was a disaster. For example, Obama:
    Has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined
    Sentenced whistleblowers to 31 times the jail time of all prior u.s. presidents combined
    Prosecuted fewer financial crimes than President Reagan, Clinton or either of the Bush presidents. (As bad as the Bush administration was, they at least prosecuted the heads of Enron, Worldcom and some other white collar crooks. In contrast, Obama hasn’t prosecuted even one high-level Wall Street executive.)
    Is the most secretive president ever
    Is more hostile to the press than any president in history
    Claims the power to strip Americans’ liberty in a way that no other president has ever tried to claim … and that even King George of England didn’t claim. Indeed, Obama has rolled back some of our liberties to the time of the enactment of the Magna Carta in 1215
    – Has turned America into the most spied upon nation in world history (and see this and this)
    – Has arguably centralized power more than any other president
    – Has granted less pardons than any president since Garfield, who served only 200 days as president before being assassinated in 1881
    – May be the only U.S. president in history who failed to deliver a single year of at least 3% economic growth (when adjusted for inflation)

    In addition, Obama has presided over:
    The greatest inequality of any president
    – The first time in its history that America is viewed as the world’s greatest threat by the people of the world
    – One of the largest net changes in debt in American history
    – Perhaps the most corrupt government ever in the U.S.

    bush’s presidency was a disaster,

    Yes, bush was just as corrupt. Bushes and clintons are part of the same mafia

    not obama’s. obama inherited a terrible situation and he made it much better.

    Right, it is all Bush’s fault…

    their own metrics like inflation show they shouldn’t raise rates. they’ve publicly told you what their metrics are so why would you be surprised? are you one of those people that thinks the economy is crap but that the fed should ALSO raise rates? that is nonsensical.

    You have been rebutted so many time on this topic. The gubmint inflation numbers are bogus at best

    if rates were too low inflation would be much higher.

    If the economy is so great, why is the inflation so low? Aren’t people supposed to spend like drunken sailors? Oh wait… Nearly 7 in 10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings
    Because the eCONomy so great the people are so broke…

    I guess, when liberal repeats the same BS over and over again, they start to believe their own lies.

    obama came to office when the economy was in free fall and he turned it around. your list is totally bogus. you mentioned pardons? my god pardons? of all the issues a president faces you made a long list of trivial things. almost nothing was substantial.

    obama created 10s of million of jobs.

  95. 95
    pfft says:

    By Ryan @ 84:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 79

    Citing a single Rasmussen poll to argue that Trump is winning = truly hilarious. Thank you for that.

    BTW, you can make a ton of money on this spectacular insight you have, as betting markets have Trump’s chances at around 10%. Forget real estate, go make your fortune there!

    LOL. nate silver has hillary at a 85% chance of getting elected. most other websites have an even greater chance of her being elected.

    Rasmussen has a bad track record.

  96. 96
    redmondjp says:

    RE: pfft @ 93 – Wow pfft, you’re up early today: 3:45pm – that’s gotta be a new record!

  97. 97
    sleepless says:

    By pfft @ 94:

    obama created 10s of million of jobs.

    Obama created $10T in the government debt, more than all, event the most corrupt, presidents before him. Even corrupt war criminal Bush with two illegal wars created less debt… Keep pedaling your recovery fiction, you live in a dream…

  98. 98
  99. 99
    pfft says:

    By sleepless @ 97:

    By pfft @ 94:

    obama created 10s of million of jobs.

    Obama created $10T in the government debt, more than all, event the most corrupt, presidents before him. Even corrupt war criminal Bush with two illegal wars created less debt… Keep pedaling your recovery fiction, you live in a dream…

    I am going to need a source please.

    Obama didn’t really create anything. Tax revenue plunged because we had a giant recession/financial. he added a minimal amount of money to the deficit with his policies.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFRGDA188S#0

    “Even corrupt war criminal Bush with two illegal wars created less debt”

    no, his unpaid wars, 2 tax cuts and unpaid for medicare prescription drug bill added a lot to the deficit.

    so did the collapsing economy he helped engineer.

    http://www.cbpp.org/research/critics-still-wrong-on-whats-driving-deficits-in-coming-years

    “Keep pedaling your recovery fiction”

    it’s not fiction. obama inherited an economy that in Dec of 2008 lost 600,000 jobs IN THAT MONTH ALONE. Still with no help from republicans he created 10 million jobs. I thought Obamacare was going to hurt job creation?

    Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama
    Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2016/10/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#33o8x9fKEbFKsx6T.99

    Those 3 links took me about 2 minutes of searching to find. why don’t you guys links anything? how do you know if something is true if you don’t seem to have a source? do you get your information from twitter?

  100. 100
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By ESS @ 92:

    If mortgage rates return to their historical levels of about 7 -8%, the savings in a decline of housing costs will be offset by the increased cost of borrowed money.

    See this is the part where I get confused. There’s an oft repeated case made that when rates increase, prices will come down because total payments will have to stay the same. What I don’t understand is how we get to mortgage rates of 7-8% without corresponding wage inflation. Do you know the answer to that? Do I see a return to 7-8% interest rates? Sure, but I don’t see it without wages and, therefore, payments also going up. I can easily see inflation adjusted prices going down, but I’m not seeing nominal prices going down due to significantly higher interest rates.

  101. 101

    By Anonymous Coward @ 100:

    By ESS @ 92:

    If mortgage rates return to their historical levels of about 7 -8%, the savings in a decline of housing costs will be offset by the increased cost of borrowed money.

    See this is the part where I get confused. There’s an oft repeated case made that when rates increase, prices will come down because total payments will have to stay the same. What I don’t understand is how we get to mortgage rates of 7-8% without corresponding wage inflation. Do you know the answer to that? Do I see a return to 7-8% interest rates? Sure, but I don’t see it without wages and, therefore, payments also going up. I can easily see inflation adjusted prices going down, but I’m not seeing nominal prices going down due to significantly higher interest rates.

    I think the answer to that depends on whether or not you think the current rates are artificially low, or just the result of a rather weak economy. If artificially low then rates would increase at some point without any corresponding increase in economic activity, so the result would be lower prices. Nothing would counter the effect of the higher rates. But if just the result of a weak economy, then there would be a countering effect to the effect of the higher rates in the form of increased demand.

    And it might not depend on which it is. If people perceive the rate increases being the result of the economy, and/or start fearing inflation, that could increase the demand for real estate and/or debt (it’s good to be indebted during periods of inflation). That’s basically what happened in the late 70s, early 80s.

  102. 102
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 101:

    If artificially low then rates would increase at some point without any corresponding increase in economic activity, so the result would be lower prices.

    But if rates are artificially low, what would be the impetus which causes them to rise…?

  103. 103

    By Anonymous Coward @ 102:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 101:

    If artificially low then rates would increase at some point without any corresponding increase in economic activity, so the result would be lower prices.

    But if rates are artificially low, what would be the impetus which causes them to rise…?

    Stopping the programs that are keeping them low. The most obvious would be the Fed raising rates, but they could do other things too. Clearly the Fed rates are not normal.

    Now if your question is why would they do that absent the economy recovering, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure there are situations which would force their hand, but I don’t know what they are.

  104. 104
    jon says:

    House prices will go down when inflation and interest rates go up, because the effect on the mortgage payment is immediate, whereas it will take years for the wage increases to catch up. The house prices will eventually recover in nominal terms because of the inflation, the investment would have seen better returns during that time in something less capital intensive.

  105. 105

    By jon @ 104:

    House prices will go down when inflation and interest rates go up, because the effect on the mortgage payment is immediate, whereas it will take years for the wage increases to catch up.

    What do you think will cause the inflation? I think you may have the cart before the horse.

  106. 106

    Smear Attempt by New York Times Defaming Trump Lawsuit

    Isn’t affecting polls at all as we head into next Wednesday’s debate, what a change from the last debate “MSM making WWIII out of locker room talk”…Trump is holding back the lawsuit evidence, to be released soon.

    Good attorney move IMO, based on poll results: PIT-BULL against the NWO. Today’s poll:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/white_house_watch_oct14

    MSM has their own polls showing the opposite, Clinton leading….do we trust the MSM anymore? Most don’t [there was a poll on that issue too, 70% of us don’t…LOL]

  107. 107

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 101

    That is true, but another factor as to the 70’s and 80’s was a big change from one income to two income households during that time, especially as related to women not leaving the work force at the point when they started having children. That said, allowing men to have two wives or women to have two husbands could fuel the next leg up. :)

  108. 108
    pfft says:

    By jon @ 104:

    House prices will go down when inflation and interest rates go up, because the effect on the mortgage payment is immediate, whereas it will take years for the wage increases to catch up. The house prices will eventually recover in nominal terms because of the inflation, the investment would have seen better returns during that time in something less capital intensive.

    years ago The Tim posted a report that said interest rates and home prices are loosely correlated. I wish he would post it again. someone send up the Bat Signal.

  109. 109
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 106:

    Smear Attempt by New York Times Defaming Trump Lawsuit

    Isn’t affecting polls at all as we head into next Wednesday’s debate, what a change from the last debate “MSM making WWIII out of locker room talk”…Trump is holding back the lawsuit evidence, to be released soon.

    Good attorney move IMO, based on poll results: PIT-BULL against the NWO. Today’s poll:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/white_house_watch_oct14

    MSM has their own polls showing the opposite, Clinton leading….do we trust the MSM anymore? Most don’t [there was a poll on that issue too, 70% of us don’t…LOL]

    1. this is incoherent.

    2. just about every bookie and poll aggregator I can find has trump losing.

    3. rasmussen isn’t a good pollster.

  110. 110
    Doug says:

    RE: jon @ 104 – Real estate is generally a good hedge against inflation so I don’t follow the logic.

    Justme, I just purchased a home in Seattle. Did I buy at the top?

  111. 111
    jon says:

    Houses would be a great inflation hedge, except for the problem that most people bump up pretty close to the limit 36% of income to payments. When inflation expectations drive up interest rates, there are fewer buyers at any given price point, so the prices of the houses fall. This is because conventional mortgages are a flat repayment schedule, so during periods of high rates, the payments in the early years are difficult, and payments in the latter years are easy. During the late 70s, that led to the creation of negative amortization mortgages to allow people to get over that hump. It was not just to get people to buy bigger houses than they could afford. It was to address the inefficiency of forcing people to buy smaller houses because of the early payments, only to be stuck living in a too small house when their incomes grew with inflation.

    This paradox of housing prices going down when inflation goes up is probably why housing cost was excluded from inflation measurements. I forget if it is still excluded from the CPI.

    If your time horizon is several years or more, long enough to ride out the bumps of inflation changes, then real estate is a good inflation hedge.

  112. 112

    RE: jon @ 111 – You’re completely ignoring leverage, and that the debt is being repaid in less valuable dollars. Those to elements are why real estate is considered a hedge against inflation.

    Also, when interest rates fall you can refinance.

  113. 113
    Anonymous Coward says:

    RE: jon @ 111 – Pretty much any hard asset is a good inflation hedge*. Pretty much any fixed rate loan is a good hedge against increasing inflation as it will be repaid with inflated dollars (the longer the term the better). Housing is a highly leveraged hard asset that can be purchased using loans which feature fixed rates and long repayment schedules (and at a”cheap” premium relative to treasure rates!). I’d even go so far as to argue that the only actual investment function of a primary residence purchase is as an inflation hedge.

    *The extreme examples are hyperinflation… Go look up the lengths at which people go to convert any/all available cash into hard assets during hyperinflation and think about why they would do that.

  114. 114
    pfft says:

    By Anonymous Coward @ 113:

    RE: jon @ 111 – Pretty much any hard asset is a good inflation hedge*. Pretty much any fixed rate loan is a good hedge against increasing inflation as it will be repaid with inflated dollars (the longer the term the better). Housing is a highly leveraged hard asset that can be purchased using loans which feature fixed rates and long repayment schedules (and at a”cheap” premium relative to treasure rates!). I’d even go so far as to argue that the only actual investment function of a primary residence purchase is as an inflation hedge.

    *The extreme examples are hyperinflation… Go look up the lengths at which people go to convert any/all available cash into hard assets during hyperinflation and think about why they would do that.

    I am guessing that the best inflation hedge is buying the good you need(like say laundry detergent) or whatever else you need before the crisis hits. or early in it. read about venezuela and what people are buying there. you may have some gold or foreign currency but it may take you time to find eggs and your safety might be at stake. also the good may be subject to price controls or banned.

  115. 115

    By Anonymous Coward @ 113:

    I’d even go so far as to argue that the only actual investment function of a primary residence purchase is as an inflation hedge.

    Not quite. If the residence is not leveraged, then there’s the value of living in the house each month being returned on that investment of cash. That though significantly reduces the percentage gain obtained during periods of inflation. More specifically, if the home is owned free and clear and inflation increases the value 25% the return is 25% (less costs of sale). But if the home is 75% encumbered, then that same 25% increase in value results in a return of 100% (less costs of sale).

    Of course, absent a banking crisis, you could take the free and clear house and borrow against the home at the onset of inflation, putting the proceeds of the loan into another hard asset.

  116. 116
    jon says:

    The problem is not that the later years are paid with cheaper dollars. The problem is that the first year’s dollars are still hard to come by until inflation has time to raise salaries. You have to buy the house now, on your current un-inflated salary with the flat repayment schedule of the mortgage. That’s when you get turned down on a mortgage that you could have afforded before the interest rates went up. The banks don’t care that ten years from now your salary will be enough to pay it off early even.

    In such circumstances, the best inflation hedges are things you can buy now without borrowing and can sell later for the larger cash prices. You want to avoid borrowing now, because you have to start paying that high interest rate quickly, before you start getting the cheap dollars later on. Soap is one example, others are any non-perishable consumable like oil. You will not be getting income on that, but you won’t be paying tax either. Taxes kill you during inflation because you get taxed just because the dollars got cheaper.

  117. 117
    sleepless says:

    By pfft @ 99:

    By sleepless @ 97:

    By pfft @ 94:

    obama created 10s of million of jobs.

    Obama created $10T in the government debt, more than all, event the most corrupt, presidents before him. Even corrupt war criminal Bush with two illegal wars created less debt… Keep pedaling your recovery fiction, you live in a dream…

    I am going to need a source please.

    The national debt stood at $10.6T when Nobama took office, now the debt is at $19.7T. It is 86% increase, and obama is not done yet. By the time he lives the office the national Debt will very well pass $20T. Keep blaming Bush for Nobama’s failed policies

    http://www.usdebtclock.org

    Nuf said, you are a troll…

  118. 118
    ESS says:

    I have noticed that there is concern about deflation. While there have been periods of deflation, the real ongoing culprit that steals wealth over any 20 -30 year period has been inflation.

    There are many inflation tables that demonstrates this. I have chosen one provided by the US government. It is astounding how much the dollar loses value over any given number of years.

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

  119. 119

    By jon @ 116:

    In such circumstances, the best inflation hedges are things you can buy now without borrowing and can sell later for the larger cash prices. . . .. Soap is one example, others are any non-perishable consumable like oil

    I’m sorry, but this is financial advice on the level of checking the Sunday newspaper for coupons. Yes it will help, but it’s insignificant unless you are buying a lot more than what you’d ever need for personal use.

    You want to avoid borrowing now, because you have to start paying that high interest rate quickly, before you start getting the cheap dollars later on.

    And this is just bad advice, assuming you mean borrowing before or right after inflation raises its head. The effect of the inflation is compounding, so you shouldn’t worry about what you have to pay the first year, you should be focusing on the fact that in 7 years you might owe $400,000 in nominal dollars that could be paid back with only $200,000 of dollars valued at the time of the loan. Once inflation starts it can be hard to tame. How much soap do you have to buy to get $200,000?

    Of course, those with sub-4% loans would also be doing rather well in that environment.

  120. 120

    I’ve been forgetting to mention that FHA loans are assumable, so those with that type of debt would do really well in an inflationary environment.

  121. 121
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By jon @ 116:

    The problem is not that the later years are paid with cheaper dollars. The problem is that the first year’s dollars are still hard to come by

    Your assumption is that everyone is currently purchasing the maximum the bank will finance.* I would be surprised to find that that’s the case, simply because some people are financially more conservative than others. In an environment with expectations of high future inflation, buyers become *less* conservative with respect to initial monthly payment. It’s no longer “We don’t want to be house poor for the next 30 years”, or “Can we still save for retirement while also making this payment for the next 10-15 years?” It’s suddenly “If we can tighten our belts for the next 12-24months, we’ll be golden!” In other words, the higher the expected rate of inflation, the higher the percentage of buyers who are willing to take on the highest mortgage payment for which they qualify.

  122. 122
    Justme says:

    RE: ESS @ 117RE: ESS @ 90

    Your blind spot is that you have never understood WHY housing prices have been (mostly) going up for the last 30 years. Hint: Always lower interest rates whenever there is a slowdown or a crash or a burst.

    We are now at interest rate 0.

  123. 123

    RE: Justme @ 121 – So population growth and income growth (particularly dual income families) have had nothing to do with rising real estate prices?

  124. 124
    Justme says:

    RE: ESS @ 117

    >>I have noticed that there is concern about deflation. While there have been periods of deflation, the real ongoing culprit that steals wealth over any 20 -30 year period has been inflation.

    You are a strange creature, ESS. By your own logic, let’s have some asset deflation, then. I agree with you! Let’s get housing prices deflated to a level where regular people benefit. I can’t believe it, you have been agreeing with me all this time? (sarc alert).

    Yes, asset inflation steals wealth from the working man struggling to be able to afford a house, because his wages and savings cannot keep up with the moving target of housing prices. Asset deflation is beneficial for the working man.

    Oh, that’s not what you meant? You want bread, beef and beer (and wages) to deflate, and housing, stocks and bonds to inflate? Well, I knew that. And all that does is make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Endless LIRP (lower interest rate policy) has created an enormous wealth gap in the US, and ESS and his ilk are on the sidelines cheering.

  125. 125
    Justme says:

    RE: Doug @ 110

    >>Justme, I just purchased a home in Seattle. Did I buy at the top?

    Did the transaction close yet? Are you still holding on to your existing house in Madison Park?

  126. 126
    ess says:

    Re Krismer@122-

    So population growth and income growth (particularly dual income families) have had nothing to do with rising real estate prices?

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    And here comes another initiative for voters to consider that will mandate a significant increase to the minimum wage in this area. When that passes – it will put pressure on those wages of those who are employed to also get raises, and that ripple effect will travel up the pay scale.

    That will in turn allow rents and housing prices at the lower end to continue to remain at the same level, or increase, as many employees will have even more income to dedicate to rent and home purchase in an area of both housing shortages and an area where dirt to build these residences on is increasingly more expensive.

    As to rising prices, I agree that population growth and two family incomes have both contributed to rising prices. Add to the mix the development of fast growing new companies with highly skilled well paid employees, foreign buyers with lots of money to spend/hide, and folks from California who cash out the equity in their houses and can pay cash for digs in this area. Add in a dash of restrictive land use policies, lots of development regulations, traffic gridlock ( that makes close in housing even more desirable and expensive), and the requirement on the part of both buyers and builders that houses be built that are larger and fancier, (gotta have those stainless steel appliances, granite counters., spa bathrooms etc etc in a 4000 square foot house) and it all adds up to expensive housing.

  127. 127
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 123:

    RE: ESS @ 117

    Yes, asset inflation steals wealth from the working man struggling to be able to afford a house, because his wages and savings cannot keep up with the moving target of housing prices. Asset deflation is beneficial for the working man.

    According to this theory, asset deflation conversely steals wealth from the working man who has already struggled to own a house because his investment is always losing money. Asset inflation is beneficial to the majority portion of working people, and also retirees.

  128. 128
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ess @ 125

    We have more college graduates working as baristas now than ever. At $15/hr, many existing low wage jobs will simply disappear. A lot of small businesses are not profitable to begin with and they will all be gone. ZIRP encourages companies to accelerate automation further shrinking labor. Only in Seattle does money grow on trees.

    Ps. It was reported yesterday that Treasury receipts went up 1%. That shows how ‘strong’ our ‘recovery’ has been!

  129. 129
    ess says:

    By Eastsider @ 127:

    RE: ess @ 125

    We have more college graduates working as baristas now than ever. At $15/hr, many existing low wage jobs will simply disappear. A lot of small businesses are not profitable to begin with and they will all be gone. ZIRP encourages companies to accelerate automation further shrinking labor. Only in Seattle does money grow on trees.

    Ps. It was reported yesterday that Treasury receipts went up 1%. That shows how ‘strong’ our ‘recovery’ has been!

    I believe you are correct. I also agree that some jobs will disappear with the increase in the minimum wage – but for those who manage to hold on to a job with the increase of wages – they will be able to buy more things and pump up the local economy (according to the pro increase campaign messages I have seen on TV), as well as qualify and pay more rent in an area of housing shortages ( according to one astute commentator – me).

    The result will be more automation for those marginal jobs that will reduce the chances of new workers and the poorly educated and the young to obtain employment but more importantly employment experience so they can move on to better employment opportunities.

    And of course these mandated raises in the minimum wage are backdoor tax increases – more mandatory federal withholdings on the part of both employers and employees (ex the 6 plus percent on social security regardless of tax bracket that one must pay) and for states with state income taxes – more state income tax revenue from higher incomes.

    And speaking of housing shortages, yet another article debating the benefits of foreign buyers….

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bc-like-tax-is-wrong-answer-for-soaring-home-prices-here/

    As previously reported – there is more internet interest in Seattle, now that Vancouver has slapped the tax on foreign buyers and according to the above article, some agents are seeing that transformed into actual sales on the East Side. I am pleased that my in laws in Richmond BC finally listened to me when I asked them not to hog all the rich foreign buyers. As President Obama famously said to Joe the Plumber “we need to share the wealth” (or at least the wealth Y) foreigner buyers!

  130. 130
    pfft says:

    By Eastsider @ 127:

    RE: ess @ 125

    We have more college graduates working as baristas now than ever. At $15/hr, many existing low wage jobs will simply disappear. A lot of small businesses are not profitable to begin with and they will all be gone. ZIRP encourages companies to accelerate automation further shrinking labor. Only in Seattle does money grow on trees.

    Ps. It was reported yesterday that Treasury receipts went up 1%. That shows how ‘strong’ our ‘recovery’ has been!

    do you have any evidence to back up ANY of these claims? almost all research shows that an increase in the min wage has little to no effect on employment it does raises wages which means that owed income workers can buy stuff…

    http://cepr.net/blogs/cepr-blog/studying-the-studies-on-the-minimum-wage

    right wingers: but wages haven’t gone up

    left wingers: ok so we’ll raise minimum wages

    right wingers: but wages going up will cost jobs!

    left wingers: okkkkkk.

    “ZIRP encourages companies to accelerate automation further shrinking labor”

    and your evidence? certainly isn’t productivity rates.

  131. 131
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ess @ 128

    Higher minimum wage will create a (permanent) underclass of unemployed. Higher minimum wage does *NOT* mean higher take home pay because of the convoluted welfare/tax code. If your income goes over a certain threshold, you will lose benefits/subsidies and come out worse. Obamacare without subsidies is hitting a lot of middle income families *HARD* (even Bill Clinton acknowledged it.) We have the lowest percentage of working age population in the workforce in decades. And we are not even losing jobs to automation yet.

    I simply don’t see how this can be sustainable/stable when we have Haves and Have-Nots with a huge gap between them. If you have any doubt, just look at the shinny SFHs being built in the region. They are all catered to the well to do’s. Before the GFC, almost any working family can afford a *new* house. This country has serious issues that no one is addressing – certainly not by the current POTUS.

  132. 132
    Eastsider says:

    RE: pfft @ 129

    I’m not interested in politicizing this. (What is this right/left wing???)

    Productivity has certainly gone down amid the purported prosperity and growth. One of them has got to be wrong!

  133. 133

    By Eastsider @ 131:

    RE: pfft @ 129 – I’m not interested in politicizing this. (What is this right/left wing???)

    You are un-American! ;-)

    Politicizing issues makes it easy for people to determine their positions. For example, if you’re left wing you believe in global warming. If you’re right wing you don’t. No need to look at any data or understand any science.

    Thinking isn’t done any more. For example, I’ve yet to see anyone anywhere call out Hillary for claiming during the debates that tax cuts are what caused the last financial crisis. If you’re left wing you just believed it, and if you’re right wing you didn’t, but in the latter case you didn’t know or even care why, because that way you don’t have to think about anything. You just know that left wing politicians are wrong about everything and right wing politicians are right.

    It’s all very simple and very easy.

  134. 134

    Here’s something more real estate related. I get emails from Angie’s List regarding deals. The one this morning really stood out. $1,399 for “rodent protection, removal and sealing.” They claim that’s a $3,000 value. Even with the 1 year warranty, which can be extended for $150 a year, I don’t see how that adds up to $3,000 or even $1,399.

    They did have a picture of a mole, but the service seemingly doesn’t cover the yard, just the house. $1,399 to get rid of moles in your lawn might be a bargain! ;-)

  135. 135

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 133
    Rats Are Everywhere Kary

    As an engineer I push hose over copper for MASSIVE plumbing labor reductions during construction and pipe freezes don’t burst hoses like copper solder…

    But….[there’s always a Yin and a Yang to everything]….the hoses must be protected from rat chewing. Traps are mandatory. If a rat gets your hose though, replacing it is like a 1-2 hr plumbing job that costs peanuts compared to copper or old CRES.

  136. 136

    RE: softwarengineer @ 134 – Rats are everywhere and they are relentless. If a house is over 10 years old chances are at least 50/50 it’s had some sort of infestation, and I’ve seen houses less than 5 years old have issues.

    How do you protect hose from chewing?

  137. 137
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 135:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 134 – Rats are everywhere and they are relentless. If a house is over 10 years old chances are at least 50/50 it’s had some sort of infestation, and I’ve seen houses less than 5 years old have issues.

    How do you protect hose from chewing?

    You put it inside flexible metallic electrical conduit!

    And you are correct about rats being everywhere. My year-to-date rodent kill total just hit 25 tonight (Grasslawn Park area of Redmond), with about 10-12 of those being field mice. This has been a record year for me, which I partially attribute to last year’s mild winter. I’ve caught somewhere between 150 and 175 over the past 20 years.

    Eastside Exterminators just did a $350 inspection for my neighbor’s house, set some traps, and wanted over $3K to seal up the house so they couldn’t get in (and wanted a commitment for that before they would even come back to check the traps that they set; my neighbor declined that service). So my neighbor then called Cascade Exterminators, who did another inspection, removed the traps that Eastside set (caught three) and the sealup-job for under $400. Be sure to shop around!

    Everybody should know how to do their own inspection. Rats can get in through a hole about the size of a golf ball. They can enlarge a hole in wood if they can get their teeth on an edge of the hole. Steel wool plus expanding foam is a great way to seal up holes – rats don’t like chewing on the steel. On the exterior, simple 1/4″ or 1/2″ hardware cloth, cut into whatever shape necessary, and then stapled to the wood, works well. Oh, and if they really want to, they can dig a hole in the ground and go right underneath your footing into the crawl space (has happened twice on my house so far).

    Also, rats have oily fur – if they travel over a surface regularly, there will be a brown streak or stain along whatever path (vertical or horizontal) that they use.

    They are also excellent swimmers and jumpers. They can climb up a tree and jump onto your roof and get in from above. This does not mean that they are roof rats – the rats we have in this area are rattus norvegicus, AKA Norway rats which are grayish brown. They live primarily on or under the ground, but they are perfectly happy to live in your attic if they can get into it (I suspect because it is warmer up there than in the crawl space below).

    They also like to stay on top of your engine or car battery and keep warm, if you park outside.

    That’s enough about rats! I hate them, but they are amazing animals not to be underestimated.

  138. 138

    By redmondjp @ 136:

    Everybody should know how to do their own inspection. Rats can get in through a hole about the size of a golf ball. They can enlarge a hole in wood if they can get their teeth on an edge of the hole. Steel wool plus expanding foam is a great way to seal up holes – rats don’t like chewing on the steel. On the exterior, simple 1/4″ or 1/2″ hardware cloth, cut into whatever shape necessary, and then stapled to the wood, works well. Oh, and if they really want to, they can dig a hole in the ground and go right underneath your footing into the crawl space (has happened twice on my house so far).

    And mice even smaller holes. Also, the crack they can get through under a door is amazing!

    For the digging problem, rocks around the perimeter can help.

  139. 139

    RE: Eastsider @ 131
    IMO The Old Republican/Democrat Liberal/Conservative Name-tags are OBSOLETE

    For decades too….its the elite rich [Democrats and Rhino Republicans like Ryan] trying to bulldoze the New POPULIST Party….we’re just like Brexit. Democrats don’t support the American poor any more, they want One World Government.

  140. 140

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 135
    I Have No Rats Kary

    My solution: A closed crawl space door and keep it sealed an painted well. I keep a peanut butter rat trap to prove they’re not getting in….no chewed hoses at my house since 1991….its that simple.

  141. 141

    RE: redmondjp @ 136
    Doggy Doors and Damaged Dryer Vents [from weed eaters]

    Welcome the rats inside too.

  142. 142
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 139 – I recommend the Ronco Toastem’ Home Flamethrower. Smells like….victory.

  143. 143

    RE: Blurtman @ 141 – Large snakes are effective too. Just make sure any holes the rodents get in through are smaller than the snake(s) would need to get out.

  144. 144

    Here’s a good example of the press just not getting it. When you have multiple congested routes to get from Point A to Point B, improving one of those routes is not likely to do much to improve times over that one route (but it may improve times over some of the other routes). People adjust their routes over time, and if one route gets faster more people will move to that route and slow it down.

    http://komonews.com/news/local/mercer-mess

    You would think they would get that when they know and state that the improved route handles 30,000 more cars.

    It reminds me of a “perfect information’ hypothetical from college economics. Assume two bridges from Seattle to Bellevue–one that never gets congested but takes 35 minutes, and a second bridge which does get congested that takes 25 minutes if no traffic. How long will it take to get to Bellevue over the second bridge during the heaviest commute time? 35 minutes. People adjust, and in that perfect information world they adjust immediately.

  145. 145
    Blurtman says:

    Renter scum.

    “Largely abandoned by the state to fend for itself, with weak regulation for security of tenure or rent control, the renting class faces the unrelenting burden of ever-rising rents. The average renter paid 19% of their income on rent in 1981. In 2011, this proportion increased to 26.9%.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-the-housing-bubble-is-remaking-australias-class-structure.html

  146. 146
    Doug says:

    RE: Justme @ 124 – Has not closed yet. At this moment, I’m planning to hold and rent out the current home.

  147. 147
    ess says:

    By Blurtman @ 144:

    Renter scum.

    “Largely abandoned by the state to fend for itself, with weak regulation for security of tenure or rent control, the renting class faces the unrelenting burden of ever-rising rents. The average renter paid 19% of their income on rent in 1981. In 2011, this proportion increased to 26.9%.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-the-housing-bubble-is-remaking-australias-class-structure.html

    I would disagree with that sentence only insofar that no one has ever demonstrated that rent control provides “security” for the renting class.

    The cities that have instituted rent control have the most expensive housing for a majority of its residents. Ex – NYC and SF.

    Rent provides security for a lucky few that score the rent control residence, often students that reside there for years after they graduate and start earning money. At the same time it skews the market, increasing the prices for everyone else, while at the same time creating artificial shortages. How?

    Those few who have rent controlled apartments for their young families are unable to replace those larger apartments when their spouse has passed and the children have left with a smaller apartment because the remaining individuals can’t locate a suitable rent controlled apartment, can’t afford the high prices of non rent control, so they can afford to move into a more appropriate sized place to live. Thus housing suitable for families is effectively off the market while occupied by often by a single widows.

    In addition, many rent controlled apartments are rented by the original residence to others for much higher rates, depriving the landlord the extra income often needed for improvements. Thus the rent controlled unit is rented at market value, but the middle man, the former tenant is inappropriately making money off the deal

    Rent control creates artificial housing shortages for lower income housing. What usually happens in a rent controlled environment is that builders construct residences that are not within the purview of rent control. Those can be single family houses, expensive rentals and condos, or they build outside the rent control jurisdiction where there is no rent control. As a result there are two types of housing – a few units under rent control, and vastly greater number of more expensive residences that are not controlled by rent control. Builders and investors are not going to bother with rent controlled housing units where they can make more money elsewhere.

    With rent control – except for those who are lucky or are able to negotiate the system, most others lose. On the other hand, most property owners whose property is not under rent control do well, because the artificial constraints introduced by rent control result in their property becoming more valuable.

  148. 148

    Give Savers Back a Decent Interest Rate

    Like 5-10% in checking accounts….more in Money Markets…

    And watch this Bubble pop for the Populist Bernie/Trump people [3/4s of our voters].

    You Seattle RE people for GLOBALISM are nothing but the REAL problem.

  149. 149
    Justme says:

    RE: ess @ 146

    >>The cities that have instituted rent control have the most expensive housing for a majority of its residents. Ex – NYC and SF.

    Talk about getting cause and effect backwards. Housing being expensive leads to the people enacting rent control, not the other way around. But the claim is par for the course for ESS, ever the self-serving disingenious landlord and property owner, seeking rents and riches at the expense of everyone else.

  150. 150

    RE: Justme @ 148 – I would agree he got the cause and effect reversed, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about the problems created by rent control.

  151. 151
    pfft says:

    By ess @ 146:

    By Blurtman @ 144:

    Renter scum.

    “Largely abandoned by the state to fend for itself, with weak regulation for security of tenure or rent control, the renting class faces the unrelenting burden of ever-rising rents. The average renter paid 19% of their income on rent in 1981. In 2011, this proportion increased to 26.9%.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-the-housing-bubble-is-remaking-australias-class-structure.html

    I would disagree with that sentence only insofar that no one has ever demonstrated that rent control provides “security” for the renting class.

    The cities that have instituted rent control have the most expensive housing for a majority of its residents. Ex – NYC and SF.

    or it could be those cities enacted rent control because housing prices were so high…

  152. 152
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 147:

    Give Savers Back a Decent Interest Rate

    Like 5-10% in checking accounts….more in Money Markets…

    so the rest of us can get mortgage rates and other rates in the double digits? since when are savers OWED ANY interest rate? the rate is set by supply and demand of money.

  153. 153

    RE: pfft @ 151 – The only way we’ll get rates like that again is if there’s significant inflation. And those with savings would probably lose more to inflation than what the interest would pay (after taxes).

  154. 154
    Blurtman says:

    RE: ess @ 146

    No love for senior Airbnb entrepreneurs?

    Tonight on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom: Nature’s Mutual Parasitism: The rental entrepreneur and the landlord in an entrancing but fatal dance of death!

    I am sure the city of Seattle will find a way to mandate some quantity of rent controlled units in new developments. Million dollar priced suburban houses versus condo and apartment development? I m thinking houses on smaller lots wins. Limited condos and apartments in town centers only. Creeping Redomndization possible? Development in less regulated cities will flourish.

  155. 155
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 149:

    RE: Justme @ 148 – I would agree he got the cause and effect reversed, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about the problems created by rent control.

    While I agree that a combination of higher rents and a do gooder impulse has resulted in instituting rent control, the literature that I have read on the subject suggests that rent control makes the situation much worse. It is no accident that some of the highest average rents in the US are in cities that have rent control. The low averages of rent control is offset by the extremely high rents for those residences that are not rent controlled. And rent control reduces the number of reasonably priced rental units for the reasons I stated before. Thus rent control does cause higher rents – for those unlucky or unskilled enough to score a rent controlled unit.

    Rent control has been deemed a failure by most economists regardless of their political views. And as average rents are very high in cities that have instituted rent control, it has obviously not been an answer to the high costs of rent in many of the cities that have instituted it.

    For more on the subject by an economics professor, the following is a nice discussion about the perils of rent control and how it actually raises rents and limits availability of housing:

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/RentControl.html

    Notice that the professor also indicates that housing shortages (and high rents) are caused by rent control.

  156. 156

    RE: ess @ 154 – Again, I agree on the negative effects, but I think it would be difficult to get data on rents if the rents are controlled. Maybe it depends on how effectively they are controlled. Rather than high rents I think the worst impact would be no units available to rent. In that situation the amount of rent is really irrelevant.

    Price controls don’t generally (ever?) work. Anyone who lived through them in the 1970s should know that. Price controls only lead to shortages.

  157. 157
    pfft says:

    By ess @ 155:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 149:

    RE: Justme @ 148 – I would agree he got the cause and effect reversed, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about the problems created by rent control.

    While I agree that a combination of higher rents and a do gooder impulse has resulted in instituting rent control, the literature that I have read on the subject suggests that rent control makes the situation much worse. It is no accident that some of the highest average rents in the US are in cities that have rent control. The low averages of rent control is offset by the extremely high rents for those residences that are not rent controlled. And rent control reduces the number of reasonably priced rental units for the reasons I stated before. Thus rent control does cause higher rents – for those unlucky or unskilled enough to score a rent controlled unit.

    Rent control has been deemed a failure by most economists regardless of their political views. And as average rents are very high in cities that have instituted rent control, it has obviously not been an answer to the high costs of rent in many of the cities that have instituted it.

    For more on the subject by an economics professor, the following is a nice discussion about the perils of rent control and how it actually raises rents and limits availability of housing:

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/RentControl.html

    Notice that the professor also indicates that housing shortages (and high rents) are caused by rent control.

    by any chance is he an Austrian economist? I see a mises link…

  158. 158
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 156:

    RE: ess @ 154 – Again, I agree on the negative effects, but I think it would be difficult to get data on rents if the rents are controlled. Maybe it depends on how effectively they are controlled. Rather than high rents I think the worst impact would be no units available to rent. In that situation the amount of rent is really irrelevant.

    Price controls don’t generally (ever?) work. Anyone who lived through them in the 1970s should know that. Price controls only lead to shortages.

    Correct – and rent control is just another form of price control that has led to shortages of affordable housing in those areas that have instituted rent control for the reasons outline in the article. It makes sense – investment money will flow to those investments that will return the greatest returns on investments controlling for risk.

  159. 159
    greg says:

    RE: ess @ 158

    rent control is mostly a poor way of handling it. It is far better to use less direct methods to influence the markets.

    But that is a side issue and not going to make much difference in this market one way or another. There are much bigger and much more important factors driving this market.

    Rental caps would at best be merely a straw .

  160. 160
    ess says:

    By greg @ 159:

    RE: ess @ 158

    rent control is mostly a poor way of handling it. It is far better to use less direct methods to influence the markets.

    But that is a side issue and not going to make much difference in this market one way or another. There are much bigger and much more important factors driving this market.

    Rental caps would at best be merely a straw .

    Right, the increase in housing prices, as well as the lack of housing in the Puget Sound area is the primary reason for the increase in rents.

    But rent control is a great political tool for a number of reasons by those who love to demagogue the issue:

    It has a ready made, highly visible enemy that everyone can point to – the evil landlord.

    It provides a quick fix that everyone thinks will work even if it hasn’t proven to work, and liberal and conservative economists seem to agree that rent control is a failure (amazing!)

    In the rent control lite department, I see the city of Seattle shelved its latest proposal to cap security fees and allow them to be paid over a number of months. Smart – moves such as that make renting apartments and houses more difficult for prospective marginal tenants and increase rents for all. And the ability to have a pet in one’s rental with that cap – forget it.

    And by the way as per a comment above – there is a state wide ban on rent control. How long that remains is anyone’s guess.

    http://cf.komonews.com/news/local/seattle-delays-decision-on-proposal-to-cap-renters-fees

  161. 161
    Ross says:

    By greg @ 159:

    RE: ess @ 158

    rent control is mostly a poor way of handling it. It is far better to use less direct methods to influence the markets.

    But that is a side issue and not going to make much difference in this market one way or another. There are much bigger and much more important factors driving this market.

    Rental caps would at best be merely a straw .

    Agree. There’s two ways to decrease Seattle’s rent:
    1) Increase the supply of rentals. This should be done with a combination of developer incentives and landlord incentives. Seattle is doing the opposite. Requiring low income housing stock as a % of builder’s units increases costs and decreases open market supply. Add convoluted permitting and other restrictions, and developer’s costs go up; this gets passed on directly to buyers and renters. Rental caps and restrictive policies such as “first applicant wins” add greater risk and costs to landlords, and by unintended side effect, increase rent. About the only positive is easing permits on “backyard cottages”, though of course many Seattle neighborhoods object to this upzoning.
    2) Decrease demand of renters. This could happen from a poor economy (not a good thing typically), or by building a functional transit system, which can spread the demand away from the city. We are sort of doing the latter, but at 25yrs to complete ST3, it’s going to take too long to make much of a difference.

    So, unless the local economy crashes, I don’t see rental costs dropping. Though I’m sure Sawant and others will try to duplicate rental policy that has failed in other jurisdictions.

  162. 162
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By softwarengineer @ 148:

    Give Savers Back a Decent Interest Rate

    Like 5-10% in checking accounts….more in Money Markets…

    And watch this Bubble pop for the Populist Bernie/Trump people [3/4s of our voters].

    You Seattle RE people for GLOBALISM are nothing but the REAL problem.

    C’mon systemic collapse! If banks are offering 5-10% in checking accounts, who would purchase treasury bonds at 2.3% for 30 years, let alone shorter term bonds (like the ones making up the bulk of our national debt)… I’m sure a nation of debtors would happily tighten their belts to make all those extra interest payments so that “them as has [can] gets”.

  163. 163

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 143
    I Agree Kary

    Transit from point A and B helps a limited destination point….adding C, D, E, etc destination points still is a limited selection, but a bit better. But worth billions in debt payments and the freeways are still almost as clogged as before? I say no.

    The cost of a train ride like $10-15 one way too adding to parking and gas costs to train stations…LOL…I’m glad I’m retired. No wonder we all want to drive anyway….LOL.

  164. 164

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 162
    Blame the Populists

    For putting this country in this GREED MESS??

    I do agree that getting the interest rates that high will HAVE TO mean all those 737 parts manufacturing [90% of the A/C/s life cycle costs] in Japan move back to Seattle once again….give us like MASSES of $40-50/hr jobs replacing P/T low wage service jobs. Mor turns back to Flow Systems, etc….Auburn Fabrication returns.

    Once the debt is pulled down that way, interest rates can be real again.

    You Globalists have no spine for American change.

  165. 165

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 144 – I’ve come up with a solution for the Mercer Mess. The Seattle City Council should pass a 15 MPH Minimum speed limit! They think they can ignore the laws of economics, why not physics and engineering too? ;-)

  166. 166
    pfft says:

    Trump and Kary get their obamacare premium info from the same place…LOL. SAD!

    Just a note to Kary, I don’t even read what you write anymore after reading your comments about the deceased person who used to post here. don’t expect a reply!

  167. 167

    By pfft @ 166:

    Trump and Kary get their obamacare premium info from the same place…LOL. SAD!!

    You mean reality? And the same place Bill Clinton and the rest of society gets their information?

    Only partisan Obamabots don’t know what’s happening with premiums, and make excuses that have no basis in reality (e.g. junk policies). And FYI, my wife had surgery under the policy you describe as junk. It covered exactly what it was supposed to cover after the deductible. You just don’t have a clue what you’re talking about because you eat up Democratic party propoganda.

    And finally, I really don’t care if you read what I write because it doesn’t matter. You have a memory problem and don’t remember anything anyway. So read it or not in a week it doesn’t matter. Same result. You haven’t learned a thing at the end of that week because you’ve forgotten everything.

  168. 168
    [troll] says:

    [Cntnt rmvd by Th Tm fr bltnt vltn f < hrf="http://sttlbbbl.cm/blg/cmmnt-plcy/">th rls.]

  169. 169

    RE: Blurtman @ 145
    They’re All Deplorable, Irredeemable Racist Basement Dwellers

    Hillary says of Bernie’s supporters who hate her.

  170. 170

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 167
    Hillary Sounded Like a Brainless Robot at the Debate Last Night

    She repetitively goes on and on about her Obama strategy and little of it shows up as new workable plans given our 1% GDP growth. And if it does, like she wants border security not open borders….she lies when we really see it like Chris Wallas did in writing from Wikileaks.

  171. 171
    wreckingbull says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 167:

    By pfft @ 166:

    Trump and Kary get their obamacare premium info from the same place…LOL. SAD!!

    You mean reality? And the same place Bill Clinton and the rest of society gets their information?

    Only partisan Obamabots don’t know what’s happening with premiums, and make excuses that have no basis in reality (e.g. junk policies). And FYI, my wife had surgery under the policy you describe as junk. It covered exactly what it was supposed to cover after the deductible. You just don’t have a clue what you’re talking about because you eat up Democratic party propoganda.

    And finally, I really don’t care if you read what I write because it doesn’t matter. You have a memory problem and don’t remember anything anyway. So read it or not in a week it doesn’t matter. Same result. You haven’t learned a thing at the end of that week because you’ve forgotten everything.

    I have asked pfft many times which Obamacare plan he/she is on. Of course, I don’t get an answer. Until one has lived the Obamacare nightmare personally, one has no idea how bad it is. Funny how the biggest Obamacare zealots are those who don’t have to use it.

    Pfft, you must have missed the memo – even dogmatic, regressive democrats such as yourself are now admitting it is a failure. Let’s end the denial and fix it.

  172. 172

    RE: wreckingbull @ 171 – There are several problems with Obamacare. The first and foremost problem is the absurd idea that competition between insurance companies is going to control prices. Insurance prices were already regulated. The price of insurance is dependent on the cost of services provided and drugs prescribed. If anything, having only one insurance company in each market would control costs better because they would generate economies of scale. But having more companies isn’t going to do much at all, and that has been proven here in King County where there is a lot of competition but prices have still skyrocketed. The entire marketplace idea was ignorant pie in the sky nonsense.

    The other is the idea that a small tax penalty, only a fraction of the cost of insurance, and which cannot be collected by the IRS, is going to somehow get the younger/healthier members of society to sign up for insurance. That is even more of a problem now that the cost of the insurance has skyrocketed. (As an aside, on the topic of taxes, the subsidies have probably resulted in more tax fraud.)

    Of course there are others, like overly broad coverage resulting in higher than necessary premiums, the lack of lifetime caps allowing drug companies to charge five or even six figure prices for certain drugs, etc. But I do feel really sorry for the previously insured who no longer can afford to be insured. What the politicians did to those people should be unconstitutional, and but for one vote it would have been.

  173. 173
    pfft says:

    By wreckingbull @ 171:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 167:

    By pfft @ 166:

    Trump and Kary get their obamacare premium info from the same place…LOL. SAD!!

    You mean reality? And the same place Bill Clinton and the rest of society gets their information?

    Only partisan Obamabots don’t know what’s happening with premiums, and make excuses that have no basis in reality (e.g. junk policies). And FYI, my wife had surgery under the policy you describe as junk. It covered exactly what it was supposed to cover after the deductible. You just don’t have a clue what you’re talking about because you eat up Democratic party propoganda.

    And finally, I really don’t care if you read what I write because it doesn’t matter. You have a memory problem and don’t remember anything anyway. So read it or not in a week it doesn’t matter. Same result. You haven’t learned a thing at the end of that week because you’ve forgotten everything.

    I have asked pfft many times which Obamacare plan he/she is on. Of course, I don’t get an answer. Until one has lived the Obamacare nightmare personally, one has no idea how bad it is. Funny how the biggest Obamacare zealots are those who don’t have to use it.

    Pfft, you must have missed the memo – even dogmatic, regressive democrats such as yourself are now admitting it is a failure. Let’s end the denial and fix it.

    what are you talking about? why would I tell you about my health insurance?

    “Funny how the biggest Obamacare zealots are those who don’t have to use it.”

    this is nonsensical. EVEYRONE has obamacare in a way. some may get insurance through an exchange. everyone is covered by the ACA in some way, even if you have employer insurance.

    “Pfft, you must have missed the memo – even dogmatic, regressive democrats such as yourself are now admitting it is a failure. Let’s end the denial and fix it.”

    lots of dems agree that some parts need fixing but I don’t know any dogmatic regressive democrats who see it as a failure. the uninsured rate is at record low levels and that is somehow a failure? nope.

    the things that are wrong with obamacare could easily be fixed but as usual the Republicans are standing in the way of you getting the best healthcare we can provide.

    lets go to the odds.

    the bookies have hillary at 90%. PEC is 98% and nate silver has hillary at 86%. should be a crazy few weeks.

  174. 174

    RE: pfft @ 173 – He probably should have said don’t have to pay for it.

    Obamacare didn’t change most employer provided plans all that much, but even they became much more expensive. Not as big of increases as the individual plans though, but significant.

  175. 175
    Eastsider says:

    RE: pfft @ 173

    “EVEYRONE has obamacare in a way. some may get insurance through an exchange. everyone is covered by the ACA in some way, even if you have employer insurance.”

    This is a LIE. As of the end of 2015, the number of uninsured nonelderly Americans stood at 28.5 million.

    Another LIE that no one wants to talk about is the deductible. The deductible is more than the $500 to $1000 emergency savings that two third of Americans do not have.

    We have a horrible economy with the lowest labor participation rate in the past few decades. Many working age MEN are not working today. If we get rid of food stamps, we will have a soup kitchen line that is far longer than that during the Great Depression era.

  176. 176
    pfft says:

    By Eastsider @ 175:

    RE: pfft @ 173

    “EVEYRONE has obamacare in a way. some may get insurance through an exchange. everyone is covered by the ACA in some way, even if you have employer insurance.”

    This is a LIE. As of the end of 2015, the number of uninsured nonelderly Americans stood at 28.5 million.

    Another LIE that no one wants to talk about is the deductible. The deductible is more than the $500 to $1000 emergency savings that two third of Americans do not have.

    We have a horrible economy with the lowest labor participation rate in the past few decades. Many working age MEN are not working today. If we get rid of food stamps, we will have a soup kitchen line that is far longer than that during the Great Depression era.

    you need to post a ton of sources there buddy. your labor participation arguments(and others) have been debunked time and time again.

    “We have a horrible economy with the lowest labor participation rate in the past few decades.”

    no, horrible is the bush economy that obama inherited. obama has created nearly 12 million jobs!

    don’t forget.

    Carnage continues: 524,000 jobs lost in December
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/carnage-continues-with-524000-jobs-lost-in-december

  177. 177
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 174 – Exactly. Until one purchases
    a dismal, laughably expensive plan on the buggy WA state exchange, one has no idea of the mess we have on our hands.

    A friend of mine employs about 40 people in his manufacturing business. For the last 25 years, he has always provided health insurance for employees and their families. Starting in January, he will no longer offer insurance to his employees, and is sending them all to the exchange. Costs have risen 40% for him in the last two years, and he just can’t do it anymore.

    Why is this, pfft?

  178. 178
    wreckingbull says:

    By Eastsider @ 175:

    RE: pfft @ 173

    Another LIE that no one wants to talk about is the deductible. The deductible is more than the $500 to $1000 emergency savings that two third of Americans do not have.

    This is the most under-appreciated cock-up with Obamacare plans. A $5000 annual deductible might as well be a $500,000 deductible for many. Either way, they are not going to be able to pay it. No wonder many choose to just take the penalty.

  179. 179
    ess says:

    And another interesting wrinkle regarding Obamacare. Subsidies are based upon income – not how many assets a person or couple own (actually the Modified Adjusted Gross Income). Thus a couple with a high salaries but loaded down with lots of debts and no assets or net worth won’t qualify for a subsidy, while a couple with a lower income but lots of assets do qualify.

    It is a topsy turvy world we live in these days!!

  180. 180
    ess says:

    By wreckingbull @ 177:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 174 – Exactly. Until one purchases
    a dismal, laughably expensive plan on the buggy WA state exchange, one has no idea of the mess we have on our hands.

    A friend of mine employs about 40 people in his manufacturing business. For the last 25 years, he has always provided health insurance for employees and their families. Starting in January, he will no longer offer insurance to his employees, and is sending them all to the exchange. Costs have risen 40% for him in the last two years, and he just can’t do it anymore.

    Why is this, pfft?

    And the other way businesses that have more than fifty employees avoid paying for employee healthcare is to insure that they have as few employees over thirty hours a week on average. They pass on the costs of health care to the employees and the taxpayers as most part time low paid workers can get subsidized health insurance. Which has in part put pressure on the exchanges.

    For retailers and other service oriented companies – it is actually to their advantage to hire employees only for the more busy times in their stores. Thus these companies win twice – they don’t have to hire full time employees for slow periods, and they get to pass on health care to the taxpayers and employees.

    Why those who designed the ACA with these provisions couldn’t anticipate that companies would cut back their employee’s hours is beyond me.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/09/11/with-eye-on-obamacare-companies-move-to-cut-workers-hours.html

  181. 181
    Eastsider says:

    RE: pfft @ 176

    You are a troll. This country is being run into the ground by political hacks.

    Mish has an excellent post on Obamacare today – “Obamacare Premiums Up 30% in TX, MS, KS; 50% in IL, AZ, PA; 93% in NM: When Does the Death Spiral Blow Up?”

    https://mishtalk.com/2016/10/20/obamacare-premiums-up-30-in-tx-ms-ks-50-in-il-az-pa-93-in-nm-when-does-the-death-spiral-blow-up/

    I recommend everyone reads it. Here are some quotes –

    – Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton told local reporters that the law is “become unaffordable for many Minnesotans, a growing number with these rate hikes” and that federal and state action is necessary.

    – This just a week after former President Bill Clinton blasted ObamaCare as “the craziest thing in the world,” adding that “it doesn’t make sense.”

    – An S&P Global Ratings forecast warns that, for the first time since ObamaCare got rolling, participation in the program will actually shrink by up to 8 percent.

    – When (Obama) took office in 2009, annual family premiums for employer-provided coverage, the most common of private insurance coverage, cost $13,375 according to Kaiser. In 2016, those premiums are $18,142. That’s an increase of $4,767.

    – Back in 2010 just before ObamaCare became law, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services forecast there would be 24.8 million individuals in the exchanges by 2016. The actual figure at the end of 2016 according to Avalere Health will be 10.1 million.

    – The vast majority of those 20 million, however, have been dropped into a failing Medicaid program. Patients under our broken Medicaid system struggle to find doctors who see Medicaid patients.

  182. 182
    redmondjp says:

    Can this be correct? 55% of all RE transactions in WA involve foreign buyers?

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/19/real_estate/vancouver-foreigner-buyer-tax-seattle-market/index.html

  183. 183

    By wreckingbull @ 178:

    This is the most under-appreciated cock-up with Obamacare plans. A $5000 annual deductible might as well be a $500,000 deductible for many. Either way, they are not going to be able to pay it. No wonder many choose to just take the penalty.

    That’s one of the other misunderstood things about Obamacare. It wasn’t designed to give people insurance (except for those it gave Medicare). It was designed to keep hospitals and other providers from taking huge losses on federally mandated treatment. So if someone goes to the hospital and has a $50,000 bill, the hospital will be paid $45,000 of that amount. Not a huge deal if the patient can’t pay the other $5,000, but the hospital bill collectors will try.

    And rather than have government pay for this, they put the burden on a relatively small portion of the population–those who were individually insured before.

  184. 184

    By redmondjp @ 182:

    Can this be correct? 55% of all RE transactions in WA involve foreign buyers?

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/19/real_estate/vancouver-foreigner-buyer-tax-seattle-market/index.html

    No, the source is one agent! Piss poor reporting to even include that in an article, but I would expect nothing less form the source. I will state publicly here that the percentage of foreign buyers in Washington state is 5%. That has as much validity as the 55% statement–none at all.

    I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but there is no valid data for foreign buyers in the United States. No one asks because no one cares and because they are a protected class. You could possibly get some data on foreign sellers due to FIRPTA, but I’ve never seen it, so maybe it’s protected data.

  185. 185

    An article on the number of cranes in Seattle. It states most are for residential.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/seattle-skyline-is-tops-in-construction-cranes-more-than-any-other-us-city/

    These cranes would be used more in areas where prices are rather high. I wonder if these developers are putting in more parking than the minimal amount the city requires? I would think at those prices they would almost have to.

  186. 186
    ess says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 184

    From what I have read, many wealthy buyers concentrate their purchases in a few areas – especially in the East Side area. If sales to foreigners throughout Washington State is 5%, I assume the popular areas that wealthy buyers focus on is higher and thus has a ripple impact near those areas. If statistics can not be obtained, then we are left with stories from individual agents and others in the business. One wonders what the real story is, and if it is really impacting prices or not.

  187. 187

    By ess @ 186:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 184

    From what I have read, many wealthy buyers concentrate their purchases in a few areas – especially in the East Side area. If sales to foreigners throughout Washington State is 5%,

    I hope I was clear that was a made-up number. ;-)

  188. 188
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 187:

    By ess @ 186:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 184

    From what I have read, many wealthy buyers concentrate their purchases in a few areas – especially in the East Side area. If sales to foreigners throughout Washington State is 5%,

    I hope I was clear that was a made-up number. ;-)

    Ah ok – still early in the morning when I read that – so no one really knows or has access to the actual numbers, and thus to a certain extent we have to rely on anecdotal information. Problematic, as anyone can make any xenophobic claims about “foreign money” driving up the housing market whether it is true or not.

  189. 189

    RE: ess @ 188 – Yes. Most the reporting on this issue is based off of a NAR survey of agents, and that has the same problems. And also for the NAR survey, even ignoring the probably small percentage of agents who respond to such things, there’s probably a lot of mistaken answers where the agent is responding based on race or accent rather than whether they are actually non-resident aliens.

  190. 190
    pfft says:

    “This just a week after former President Bill Clinton blasted ObamaCare as “the craziest thing in the world,” adding that “it doesn’t make sense.”

    how can I take any of your points seriously when you just lied about what Bill Clinton said? you are conflating what he said about a specific part of obamacare to the whole program. how can I trust your other points when I can just google and so easily debunk stuff like this?

    face it, mitt romney’s healthcare reform has been a success. 25 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE INSURANCE. it’s not like costs have never gone up. big programs always have problems. the uninsured rate is at an all-time low.

  191. 191
    pfft says:

    from 2015:

    On average, premiums have risen by about 5.8 percent a year since Obama took office, compared to 13.2 percent in the nine years before Obama.

    Trump: Obamacare health care premiums ‘going up 35, 45, 55 percent’
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/25/donald-trump/trump-obamacare-health-care-premiums-going-35-45-5/

    so yes SOME plans in SOME states have gone up a lot but remember they affect small numbers of people. they are also easily fixable but republicans will probably block it.

    overall premium increasse are a lot better.

    from the articles it’s tough to get any perspective. an insurer might ask for a 50% increase. that’s why we have exchanges. SHOP AROUND. if you get a 50% increase look for other better insurance on the exchange. from the article we don’t know how many people this effects or how many companies offer insurance. other insurance companies in the market might only be going up 15% versus 50%. it doesn’t mean that everyone in the state’s insurance is going up 50%. that context is lost.

  192. 192
    ess says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/wealthy-chinese-buyers-are-a-growing-force-in-us-real-estate-markets/2016/10/13/15ab3cba-7441-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html

    While we are on the subject of foreign buyers in the US real estate market, here is another article on the subject from the Washington Post. A number of areas in the US are discussed, including the Seattle market.
    .
    BTW – anyone recognize the area the picture with the article – is that actually an area in Seattle or area, or is it just referencing Seattle?

    If the article is correct, and foreign buying is increasing, and if other information is correct that Seattle has produced heightened interest now that Vancouver is trying to discourage foreign buyers with their transaction tax – next spring could be a very interesting time in the real estate markets around here!

  193. 193

    RE: ess @ 192 – You realize that article just quotes one more agent and the same NAR survey already discussed, right? Just because it’s reported by the press it doesn’t make it correct. No one is saying there are not press reports of foreign buyers, only that there are no reliable statistics on that activity.

  194. 194
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 193:

    RE: ess @ 192 – You realize that article just quotes one more agent and the same NAR survey already discussed, right? Just because it’s reported by the press it doesn’t make it correct. No one is saying there are not press reports of foreign buyers, only that there are no reliable statistics on that activity.

    Yes, that is why I say “if the article is correct”…. This is why we should follow the advice of Ronald Reagan who said – “trust but verify”. Or maybe, sort of trust, but really verify.

    And when it comes to verifying, how do these articles come up with the amount that various foreign buyers are spending in the US of real estate each year?

  195. 195

    By ess @ 194:

    And when it comes to verifying, how do these articles come up with the amount that various foreign buyers are spending in the US of real estate each year?

    If I had to guess, they take the numbers reported by the 1% (a made up number) of agents who responded and then multiply that number by 100 (or 50 if it was 2% responding). But the problem with that is how many agents are actually going to go through and add up the dollar amount of sales by the buyers they think were foreign? Without doing that they wouldn’t really have a clue unless maybe they’d sold only one property.

  196. 196

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 195

    Is there even a definition of what “foreign” means, that all apply accurately? Say someone moved here last week from another Country because they took a job here and doesn’t plan to stay long term. They buy a house planning to live there for 5 years while they work here and then go back to their Country of origin. Are they a “foreigner” or someone who works here just like anyone else who works here? Are people on temporary but renewable work visas “foreign”? How does one define “foreign” for this purpose?

    Also, as to protected class, is someone who never lived here, never plans to live here, but buying property here as an investment “protected” under U.S. law as to rights to own property without fear of discrimination based on national origin? I think it is established via several government programs that put “owner occupant” buyers over investors that one can discriminate based on whether or not they plan to live in the house irregardless of “protected class” of the individuals involved. I already see foreign investors pretending to be moving here “eventually” so as not to be treated as “investors”.

    Does “protected class” apply to persons outside of the U.S. buying here?

  197. 197

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 196 – As far as I know, “national origin” is national origin wherever the buyer is, but I’ve never researched that.

    I don’t know why they would act as you describe unless they are trying to get a bank loan and committing fraud. Or maybe they were told they need to do that.

  198. 198
    StupidLifeDecisions says:

    By redmondjp @ 182:

    Can this be correct? 55% of all RE transactions in WA involve foreign buyers?

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/19/real_estate/vancouver-foreigner-buyer-tax-seattle-market/index.html

    If it is true, then that is very disturbing and wrong. It is extremely messed up that people who are citizens of another country are displacing Americans in their own country. Even more disturbing is that our useless, human garbage socialist city council has done nothing to impede this. Even worse is that people will continue to vote for them at their own detriment.

  199. 199
    Eastsider says:

    RE: pfft @ 191

    (Gruber was too smart to believe in his own propaganda…)

    Can people really shop around for a better deal when one third of the counties have ONE insurer and another third TWO insurers? It’s only a matter of time (likely in 2018) when some counties will have no insurer, with or without subsidies.

  200. 200

    By Eastsider @ 199:

    Can people really shop around for a better deal when one third of the counties have ONE insurer and another third TWO insurers? It’s only a matter of time (likely in 2018) when some counties will have no insurer, with or without subsidies.

    That is exactly what happened when Washington tried to deal with pre-existing conditions for individual policies about 15-20 years ago. Carriers started dropping Washington State because they were losing too much money. Fortunately the state was able to act quickly to reverse things by repealing the law, but I really doubt the federal government will be able to do the same.

  201. 201
    ess says:

    http://www.nasdaq.com/video/580a8ffc1c68996ce3b59ebf

    Interesting video report on the increase of foreign buyers in Seattle, and how Vancouver’s new tax law is increasing sales in Seattle and area. It will be interesting to see if these buyers really influence sales prices in Seattle and area.

  202. 202
    Justme says:

    RE: ess @ 201

    No data, just talk and anecdotes. Nothing new. Just the same speculation that Ess creates from thin air.

  203. 203
    Jordan Chang says:

    RE: StupidLifeDecisions @ 198
    Back in my home state of HI, almost 50% of real sales were cash. Guess who has the cash?

  204. 204

    RE: Jordan Chang @ 203 – I’ve done a number of cash transactions, and as far as I know none were non-resident aliens. And the one who I suspect was likely a resident alien wasn’t from Asia. Lots of people have cash.

  205. 205

    By Justme @ 202:

    RE: ess @ 201

    No data, just talk and anecdotes. Nothing new. Just the same speculation that Ess creates from thin air.

    That’s the way the press works. Someone reports something and then it gets repeated over and over and over again until people think it’s true.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they thought the Bankruptcy Act amendments made credit card debt non-dischargeable. I don’t even know where the news people got that from.

  206. 206
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 205:

    By Justme @ 202:

    RE: ess @ 201

    No data, just talk and anecdotes. Nothing new. Just the same speculation that Ess creates from thin air.

    That’s the way the press works. Someone reports something and then it gets repeated over and over and over again until people think it’s true.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they thought the Bankruptcy Act amendments made credit card debt non-dischargeable. I don’t even know where the news people got that from.

    Of course, the reverse is true – there is no evidence that foreign buyers are not having an impact on the Puget Sound real estate market. Apparently there is no way to determine exactly what percentage of buyers are foreign. But if enough real estate agents indicate that there are more foreign buyers, I would assume they are expressing that opinion because they perceive it to be fact. When I attend open houses in Seattle, I always ask the real estate agent that are present if they have observed an increase in foreign buyers, and they usually respond in the affirmative. I also observe more foreign buyers in the mix of potential buyers when I attend open houses in Seattle. It is a shame the exact figures are not available to determine what is going on. Governments track everything these days – one would assume they have that information.

    I guess we will have to see how it all plays out in the Puget Sound real estate market place over the next year or so. When we hear demands that our government entities tax real estate transactions by “foreigners” as was done up north, we can assume that there was some truth to the matter.

    As to bankruptcy laws – perhaps folks are getting credit card debt confused with other types of debt that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. But then again, I have heard a variety of legal theories propounded by various individuals that I know not to be true, even in areas I was involved in. So misinformation about bankruptcy laws doesn’t particularly surprise me.

  207. 207

    RE: ess @ 206 – I’m not saying foreign buyers don’t have any impact, only that there’s no data. But I would consider asking real estate agents at open houses an even worse source of data than newspapers. They’re likely to tell you what you seemingly want to hear based on the question asked, and answer the question regardless of whether or not they know squat.

    I would add that basing their opinion on whether or not the people speak a foreign language is not a good indicator. There are a lot of citizens who speak foreign languages based on country of origin, and they may be more likely to do that if they want their conversation to remain private.

  208. 208
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 207:

    RE: ess @ 206 – I’m not saying foreign buyers don’t have any impact, only that there’s no data. But I would consider asking real estate agents at open houses an even worse source of data than newspapers. They’re likely to tell you what you seemingly want to hear based on the question asked, and answer the question regardless of whether or not they know squat.

    I would add that basing their opinion on whether or not the people speak a foreign language is not a good indicator. There are a lot of citizens who speak foreign languages based on country of origin, and they may be more likely to do that if they want their conversation to remain private.

    Apparently there is the same issue in Canada:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/some-real-estate-agents-believe-more-foreign-buyers-snapping-up-luxury-properties-survey-1.3578757

    One will notice in the above article that some real estate agents believe foreign money was transforming the market, while others believe that foreigners were being targeted as scapegoats for increase in prices that were caused by other market conditions.

    I will certainly have a chance to conduct a highly unscientific survey about the ramifications of the foreign real estate transaction tax in Vancouver BC – when I visit my Canadian in- laws tomorrow. It will certainly be interesting to see what they have to say, in light of the fact that one of them just bought a residence in the Vancouver BC area right before the tax was implemented. At least we will have something new and exciting to discuss during lunch!!

  209. 209

    RE: ess @ 208 – There may actually be data for Canada. They don’t have our anti-discrimination laws, as is shown by the local tax they’re imposing.

    There was a poll here on one of the news sites asking whether people would favor such a tax here. As I recall they never mentioned that it would probably not be legal.

  210. 210

    RE: Eastsider @ 181
    Its Not Just Medicaid Reduced to Just Clinic Stops for Aspirin

    Doctors are quitting all over America over Medicare too….the federal billing costs exceed the amount collected, very little left for doctors.

    If you don’t have a private plan like a $1600/mo Blue Cross and you’re retired….you’re screwed.

  211. 211

    RE: ess @ 208
    I Also Will Make a Politically Incorrect Statement

    The home buyers today grabbing up WAY over priced RE lack investment savvy and a brain. 50% don’t work and have no skin in the game….these are good role models for the rest of us and our investments? LOL

  212. 212
    Fun times in America says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 207:

    RE: ess @ 206 – I’m not saying foreign buyers don’t have any impact, only that there’s no data. But I would consider asking real estate agents at open houses an even worse source of data than newspapers. They’re likely to tell you what you seemingly want to hear based on the question asked, and answer the question regardless of whether or not they know squat.

    I would add that basing their opinion on whether or not the people speak a foreign language is not a good indicator. There are a lot of citizens who speak foreign languages based on country of origin, and they may be more likely to do that if they want their conversation to remain private.

    You seem to discredit every source of data. The reality is, I will take imperfect data over no data any day of the week. My observations at open houses, from realtors, reading newspapers and even internet message boards like this is data. An anecdote is data. It has to be placed in context and imperfections need to be acknowledged but it is data. So when you say “no data” exists, you are wrong. Plenty of data exists. My post is data. It is information broadcast about my observations. Even the way people feel is data. It’s not statistical data but enough people posting thoughts like this eventually does become statistical in nature. And it is based on an underlying truth that foreign investors are pushing Americans out of home-buying opportunities in Seattle. What we are debating here is not whether it happens, but the extent to which it happens. It happened to me last week when I bid 30% over list with all contingencies waived and lost to an all-cash Chinese buyer. I’m sorry that I don’t have the tools to package a nice quant analysis for you, but not as sorry about the fact that you don’t understand data and are in outright denial.

  213. 213
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 200 – Well, at least Washington didn’t then just roll over and play dead and do nothing to rein in insurers rejecting clients for pre-existing conditions like Oregon has done. When I was in Oregon and had to purchase an individual policy, I had to shell out $$$ and participate in a high-risk pool because, get this, I had broken an ankle in the past two years and that qualified as a medical history with a recent serious skeletal injury.

    When I moved to Washington and spoke to an insurance agent, I started talking about having to do the same song-and dance (apply for regular insurance, get rejected, then apply for high-risk pool) and she was floored that Oregon let insurance companies get away with such Mickey Mouse antics. (Result: a much more reasonably-priced normal policy for me.)

  214. 214
    greg says:

    If one wanted to they could track down more than enough information to have a very clear picture of what is going on, ref the number of non national buyers….The real question quickly becomes is it worth it ?

  215. 215
    sfrz says:

    RE: greg @ 213 – I know an immigration attorney and I can tell you the money in the area is coming from China. EB-5 Visa are being scooped up in record numbers. Who has 500k to $1million to invest in a risky investment? One investment can get a whole family a green card in 2 yrs. Just check out Bellevue/Sammamish. Go to Bellevue Square to people watch. http://kuow.org/post/seattle-epicenter-green-card-program-s-problems

  216. 216
    js says:

    By ess @ 192:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/wealthy-chinese-buyers-are-a-growing-force-in-us-real-estate-markets/2016/10/13/15ab3cba-7441-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html

    BTW – anyone recognize the area the picture with the article – is that actually an area in Seattle or area, or is it just referencing Seattle?

    Can’t say 100%, but looks like south Queen Anne to me.

    Edit: confirmed with Google Maps. This is Ward Street on South Queen Anne.

  217. 217
    ess says:

    By js @ 215:

    By ess @ 192:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/wealthy-chinese-buyers-are-a-growing-force-in-us-real-estate-markets/2016/10/13/15ab3cba-7441-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html

    BTW – anyone recognize the area the picture with the article – is that actually an area in Seattle or area, or is it just referencing Seattle?

    Can’t say 100%, but looks like south Queen Anne to me.

    Edit: confirmed with Google Maps. This is Ward Street on South Queen Anne.

    Thanks, JS –

  218. 218

    By greg @ 213:

    If one wanted to they could track down more than enough information to have a very clear picture of what is going on, ref the number of non national buyers….The real question quickly becomes is it worth it ?

    Just how do you think anyone could do that? They’d have to contact each buyer and ask for a birth certificate, passport or work permit. That would be difficult/impossible because no one would have any incentive at all to respond/comply.

  219. 219

    RE: David B. @ 212 – That’s not quite the pre-existing issue condition I’m talking about. That’s more insurance companies trying to reduce risk by screening. Pre-existing conditions are literally that, pre-existing.

    The difference is this. If you’re put into a high risk pool because you had cancer two years ago, but it’s in remission, that’s screening. If you’re denied coverage because you have cancer and need treatment, that’s a pre-existing condition.

    The thing is though, both are designed to keep rates low, at least if the screening actually has something to do with risk, because the money insurance companies have to pay out comes from premiums. That companies can no longer do either is why rates are going up so fast, but it’s more the pre-existing condition issue that is causing the rates to rise. Allowing someone with an actual pre-existing condition to join a pool is not insurance. Prior to Obamacare it was criminal insurance fraud, because of the effect it had on the premiums of other people.

  220. 220
    Blurtman says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 218:

    By greg @ 213:

    If one wanted to they could track down more than enough information to have a very clear picture of what is going on, ref the number of non national buyers….The real question quickly becomes is it worth it ?

    Just how do you think anyone could do that? They’d have to contact each buyer and ask for a birth certificate, passport or work permit. That would be difficult/impossible because no one would have any incentive at all to respond/comply.

    If they are boomers, you can have them hum the tune to Davy Crockett or perhaps Bonanza.

    “We’ve got the guns, we’re gonna take your land, Bonanza.
    We’ve got the guns, we’ll shoot you in the back,
    We’ve got the guns, hooray! Bonanza!”

  221. 221
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 219 – Now you’re just playing word games. They called it a pre-existing condition when they used it to deny my application for coverage. That’s good enough reason for me to use it when reporting it.

    Moreover, they denied me coverage despite my continuously having been covered my entire adult life. Even Vegas casinos are run more openly and honestly than that: they aren’t allowed to legally substitute in loaded dice once you have a few lucky rolls at the craps table.

  222. 222

    RE: sfrz @ 215

    Your comment sheds some light on this for me, I think.

    1) Microsoft or Groupon or Google or some Seattle Area Company hires someone directly out of their Country that is not the U.S. and the Company gets them a U.S. status, green card or green card equivalent. They come here and they immediately buy a house using financing. Are they “a foreigner” pushing up home prices and causing, whatever a “non-foreigner” is, to have to pay more for homes?

    2) Chinese person still in China buys a house here all cash and owning a house here helps them come here after the fact by helping them to get a green card so they can get a job here. The house purchase and owning a house here is giving them an entry point vs a Company here who hires them doing that for them in advance of the house purchase.

    Only difference between 1) and 2) is whether or not the Company assisted in getting them a U.S. status that afforded them the opportunity to both come here and get financing vs needing to pay cash.

    Most people are singling out the Chinese and calling scenario 2) “a foreigner” who is boosting home prices to a point where “non-foreigners” can no longer afford to live here. But is scenario 1) really all that different than scenario 2) in terms of boosting prices?

    There are two issues. Both examples are people from other Countries paying more money than those already here can afford to pay, in many cases. But the “cash” buyer is beating out both “non-foreigners” and the “foreigners” in example 1) who are financed vs cash in multiple offers and that is why people are singling out “the Chinese” and any “foreigners” who have to pay cash vs those who can get financing. But really…they are both the same as to “national origin” issues. It’s just that those paying cash are doing so because they can’t get financing due to the U.S. status differences.

    This is a question. Why is a Chinese person paying cash different than a person who got here from India or Europe or any Country who is buying a house upon arrival with financing because their employer obtained the “able to finance” status for them? Why are these seen as different? Both are people who lived in other Countries last week who are buying a house here. Does it matter if they came here to work or not? Does it matter if they are cash or financed?

    Those buying with “cash” are not “wealthier”. They just can’t get financing as easily due to U.S. status issues.

  223. 223

    By David B. @ 221:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 219 – Now you’re just playing word games. They called it a pre-existing condition when they used it to deny my application for coverage. That’s good enough reason for me to use it when reporting it..

    No, I’m clarifying what I’m talking about when I’m talking about pre-existing conditions.

    I’m claiming Obamacare is so expensive because they allow people to sign up for coverage at $400 a month when they have an existing condition that costs $10,000+ a month to treat. In small groups like those buying individual insurance, that makes a huge difference in premiums.

    Screening is entirely different. That tries to keep out people with higher risk.

  224. 224

    RE: David B. @ 221 – BTW, during the state’s experiment years ago one of the big problems was women signing up for insurance when they were 7 months pregnant and then cancelling after they gave birth. That clearly is a pre-existing condition! ;-)

  225. 225
    pfft says:

    I know that around here if you post positive news you are a fool…but here we go.

    Americans’ wages just hit an all-time high
    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/10/21/13361414/median-wages

    maybe this is why the real estate market is doing good?

  226. 226
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 224:

    RE: David B. @ 221 – BTW, during the state’s experiment years ago one of the big problems was women signing up for insurance when they were 7 months pregnant and then cancelling after they gave birth. That clearly is a pre-existing condition! ;-)

    source please.

  227. 227
    Blurtman says:

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 222:

    RE: sfrz @ 215

    Your comment sheds some light on this for me, I think.

    1) Microsoft or Groupon or Google or some Seattle Area Company hires someone directly out of their Country that is not the U.S. and the Company gets them a U.S. status, green card or green card equivalent. They come here and they immediately buy a house using financing. Are they “a foreigner” pushing up home prices and causing, whatever a “non-foreigner” is, to have to pay more for homes?
    .

    You bring up an additional issue besides non-citizens buying up homes in the USA. Now you raise the issue of non-citizens taking jobs from citizens. Are you saying that as we allow non-citizens to compete with citizens for jobs in this country, that is the rationale for doing the same for housing? Why not voting?

  228. 228
    wreckingbull says:

    By pfft @ 225:

    I know that around here if you post positive news you are a fool…but here we go.

    Americans’ wages just hit an all-time high
    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/10/21/13361414/median-wages

    maybe this is why the real estate market is doing good?

    That is a good thing, as they can take that small increase and apply it toward the massive annual average Obamacare increase of 25%, which was announced today.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article110203782.html

    In AZ, those rates are up 50% or 75% (note that the ‘or’ is because there are only two insurers left now)

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/health/2016/10/19/obamacare-arizona-two-remaining-health-insurers-hike-rates-by-half-and-three-fourth/92374528/

    And yes, ESS, you are right about the subsidies. A high net worth individual can nearly get a full government ride by being smart about how one records income. I should know – as this is what I do. It is the only legal way to fight this cruel joke.

  229. 229

    By pfft @ 226:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 224:

    RE: David B. @ 221 – BTW, during the state’s experiment years ago one of the big problems was women signing up for insurance when they were 7 months pregnant and then cancelling after they gave birth. That clearly is a pre-existing condition! ;-)

    source please.

    That was 15-20 years ago. No way am I going to be able to find a source for that without going to a newspaper or library.

    But how about you posting why you think someone wouldn’t shell out something less than $200 a month (back then) to save what could easily be over $5,000 in hospital costs? That someone would do that wouldn’t be surprising. That politicians wouldn’t anticipate that . . . .

  230. 230

    By Blurtman @ 227:

    You bring up an additional issue besides non-citizens buying up homes in the USA. Now you raise the issue of non-citizens taking jobs from citizens. Are you saying that as we allow non-citizens to compete with citizens for jobs in this country, that is the rationale for doing the same for housing? Why not voting?

    We only want them to do things that are meaningful. /sarc

  231. 231
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 222 – I think you are confusing the highly-abused H-1B program with the highly-abused EB-5 program. The latter is what he is referring to, and is also fondly known as the “$500,000 green card”.

    Your #1 is not what is driving up prices. In fact, they are being paid less than the U.S. workers they are replacing. It is the $500,000 green card buyers and a #3 which you don’t mention, those who never plan to live in the homes or even live in the U.S.

  232. 232
    Eastsider says:

    By pfft @ 225:

    I know that around here if you post positive news you are a fool…but here we go.

    Americans’ wages just hit an all-time high
    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/10/21/13361414/median-wages

    maybe this is why the real estate market is doing good?

    “Americans’ wages just hit an all-time high”?

    Pfft didn’t mention that not only we worked longer hours, our real hourly wage also decreased.

    From the SOURCE –

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/realer.nr0.htm

    “Real average hourly earnings for all employees DECREASED 0.1 percent from August to September, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.2-percent increase in average hourly earnings being more than offset by a 0.3-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

    Real average weekly earnings increased 0.2 percent over the month due to the DECREASE in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent INCREASE in the average workweek.”

    Note that 1 in 5 working age men are not working – the highest percentage in decades, and they are not included in the above statistic. They real wages are ZERO!

  233. 233
    sfrz says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 222 – Big difference in H1B workers and EB-5 investors. This H1-B is a WORK visa. The EB-5 is an INVESTOR visa that has come under increasing scrutiny, and their money sources are hard to trace. http://watchdog.org/262521/vermont-eb5-projects-fraud/

  234. 234
    sleepless says:

    By pfft @ 225:

    I know that around here if you post positive news you are a fool…but here we go.

    Americans’ wages just hit an all-time high
    http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/10/21/13361414/median-wages

    maybe this is why the real estate market is doing good?

    When you are a brain dead progressive who has been rebutted on every argument, keep pushing your nonsense propaganda, then yes, you are not allowed to post “good” news here…
    Obama Administration Confirms Obamacare Premiums Will Surge By 25% In 2017
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-24/obama-administration-confirms-obamacare-premiums-will-surge-25-2017

  235. 235
    ARDELL says:

    RE: sfrz @ 232

    Thank you. I’ve never assisted an EB-5 status buyer, so had no familiarity with it. I also thought all “green cards” were work visas. Appreciate your taking the time to enlighten.

  236. 236
    sleepless says:

    Are we at the turning point? Rents are falling in SF bay area, now comes near you…
    http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/say-what-report-finds-rent-in-seattle-is-dropping/

    I guess, more affordable rents or, I would rather say, less insane rents would have released some pressure from the demand? I always hear the argument that it is “cheaper” to buy than rent. I wonder if the rents become more affordable, it would keep the “sideliners” away for a bit longer…

  237. 237
    Anonymous Coward says:

    Y’all are arguing about different immigration scenarios and so you’re really talking past each other. Let me lay them out.
    1. HB-1 Visa: Tech company wants cheap, exploitable labor, so hires temporary immigrants. No direct* impact on SFR prices as foreigners in this category are very unlikely to purchase real estate for a whole bunch of reasons.
    2. HB-1(?) Visa with corporate sponsorship/support/intent for a green card (permanent resident visa**): This is where a company finds talent over seas and pays a premium to import it and both parties are intending that this is essentially a permanent move. There is a direct impact on the housing market because we have another upper middle class buyer. Note that the impact is not too different than hiring somebody from Chicago, except some immigration attorneys get a few $$ extra.
    3. EB-5 Visa: This is where a wealthy foreigner pays $500k as a job creating “investment” and receives a green card in exchange. Most often these are condo purchases and the jobs “created” are the construction jobs and then building maintenance jobs. Note that a green card requires residence. Usually, the play is to have your child buy a property near a university in a big city, send the kid to get a masters and then work for another 2 years and get citizenship. This way you get to keep working in your home country but it eases your path to moving to the US because you’re a direct relative of a US citizen. Impact on housing market: fairly high because it’s outside money flowing in for non-traditional reasons. It’s not another family buying a residence with local wages.
    4. The home country inflation hedge: in this scenario the buyer is moving money denominated in their local currency to the US and using it to purchase a hard asset denominated in US dollars. There is never any desire to live in the residence, but if you’re worried about your local currency losing money, it’s a great play. Impact on housing market: high, but is somewhat offset as it creates another unit available for rent, as the US dollar income helps with the investment costs.
    5. The bug-out pad: in this scenario the buyer is purchasing a residence as an insurance policy in case they ever need to leave their home country and never come back. Financially this is very similar to #4, except in this case the unit remains vacant as it must be available to the owner at a moment’s notice. Aka, I’m now on the wrong side of the party and don’t want to die… Impact on the housing market: extremely high as we’re using outside money AND removing a unit from the rental market. Note that I’m not sure this play is possible in the US. It it is in Australia and Canada which is why so much more Chinese money has been flowing into those markets compared to the US market. The Aussies even have a whole style of hotel now which is where condos are rented nightly (and serviced weekly). Essentially, it’s a condo complex with a check in desk. This allows the owner to keep the bug out option while still accruing some rental income…

    *Indirect impact due to suppression of wages as the supply of available workers is artificially increased.
    **Note that this is a path to citizenship.

  238. 238

    By pfft @ 226:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 224:

    RE: David B. @ 221 – BTW, during the state’s experiment years ago one of the big problems was women signing up for insurance when they were 7 months pregnant and then cancelling after they gave birth. That clearly is a pre-existing condition! ;-)

    source please.

    Actually it wasn’t as hard to find as I thought, but I was mis-remembering. The pre-existing condition period was 3 months, so a woman would have to enroll before 7 months. But here’s your link–search for pregnant and in the same paragraph see that wasn’t the only problem. It also mentions signing up, waiting, getting knee surgery and then cancelling.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1997/06/bg1121nbsp-the-rise-and-repeal-of-the-washington

    What’s sad is it was all very predictable for anyone with even a minimal understanding of insurance.

    Note the article refers to the Washington plan as a Clinton style system, referring to Hillary and her failed attempt to get something passed during Bill’s first term.

  239. 239
    Bingo says:

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 236
    Good summary, but to clarify…the EB-5 investment must create 10 jobs. Buying a finished condo does not create 10 jobs. The EB-5 Investor must invest in a project “to be built” in order to create jobs.

  240. 240
    Justme says:

    RE: Bingo @ 237

    >>Good summary, but to clarify…the EB-5 investment must create 10 jobs. Buying a finished condo does not create 10 jobs. The EB-5 Investor must invest in a project “to be built” in order to create jobs.

    That would explain the construction boom in Miami. About to go bust if it has not already, read/search Ben’s blog for more on that topic.

  241. 241
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 236 – “Note that the impact is not too different than hiring somebody from Chicago, except some immigration attorneys get a few $$ extra.”
    Well….if you mean impact on public sentiment, many would not agree with that statement. ‘Mericans are generally OK with facing competition for housing and jobs from other citizens, even though some will complain about Californication, or worse, Joiseyfication. There may be a bit of reciprocity underlying the sentiment. But I believe many ‘Mericans are alarmed about their jobs going to non-citizens. whether out- or in-sourced. And now houses as well.

    It’s consistent with the no borders political belief. No borders to labor. No borders to investors. It is clear who benefits.

  242. 242
    ess says:

    By sleepless @ 235:

    Are we at the turning point? Rents are falling in SF bay area, now comes near you…
    http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/say-what-report-finds-rent-in-seattle-is-dropping/

    I guess, more affordable rents or, I would rather say, less insane rents would have released some pressure from the demand? I always hear the argument that it is “cheaper” to buy than rent. I wonder if the rents become more affordable, it would keep the “sideliners” away for a bit longer…

    Perhaps there are more apartments coming on line, but the shortage of single family houses to both rent and purchase will not only continue, but will become more acute as the percentage of “reasonably priced” ( however one defines “reasonably”) single family houses becomes less and less a percentage of the available housing supply.

    An interesting article from today’s ST discussing that very factor:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/seattle-closing-in-on-portland-for-crown-of-hottest-home-market/

    Last night I met someone who was discussing ongoing and unresolved noise and related problems in their rental apartment. There is nothing like having all four of one’s walls separate and apart from all other folks, as well as some land on the premises that is your own.

  243. 243
    js says:

    By ess @ 240:

    There is nothing like having all four of one’s walls separate and apart from all other folks, as well as some land on the premises that is your own.

    Having the wrong neighbors can be a horrible experience even if you aren’t sharing walls with them.

    There is nothing like having the freedom to walk away from a living situation that isn’t working for you (without becoming a landlord or paying a huge transaction fee).

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