More Homes Sold In Cheaper South King Neighborhoods

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It’s been quite a while since we took a look at the in-county breakdown data from the NWMLS to see how the sales mix shifted around the county.

In order to explore this concept, we break King County down into three regions, based on the NWMLS-defined “areas”:

  • low end: South County (areas 100-130 & 300-360)
  • mid range: Seattle / North County (areas 140, 380-390, & 700-800)
  • high end: Eastside (areas 500-600)

Here’s where each region’s median prices came in as of January data:

  • low end: $310,000-$429,500
  • mid range: $469,250-$800,000
  • high end: $649,995-$1,508,750

First up, let’s have a look at each region’s (approximate) median price (actually the median of the medians for each area within the region).

Median Price of Single Family Homes Sold

Only the low tier saw a month-over-month gain in its respective median-median price, while the middle and high tiers both fell slightly. All three tiers are currently at a level lower than their respective all-time highs. Month-over-month, the median price in the low tier rose 0.3 percent, the middle tier decreased 3.3 percent, and the high tier lost 1.2 percent.

Twenty-five of the twenty-nine NWMLS regions in King County with single-family home sales in January had a higher median price than a year ago, while Fifteen had a month-over-month increase in the median price.

Here’s how the median prices changed year-over-year. Low tier: up 19.2 percent, middle tier: up less than 0.1 percent, high tier: up 13.8 percent.

Next up, the percentage of each month’s closed sales that took place in each of the three regions.

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area

Sales in all three tiers fell between December and January, with the middle and high tiers seeing the biggest dips. Month-over-month sales were down 21.8 percent in the low tier, down 30.1 percent in the middle tier, and down 29.0 percent in the high tier.

Meanwhile, year-over-year sales were up considerably in all three tiers. Compared to a year ago, sales increased 25.1 percent in the low tier, rose 25.8 percent in the middle tier, and gained 8.7 percent in the high tier.

The interesting thing is the strong shift in the sales mix in recent mix away from the high tier and into the low tier.

As of January 2017, 41.3 percent of sales were in the low end regions (up from 39.7 percent a year ago), 31.8 percent in the mid range (up from 30.4 percent a year ago), and 26.9 percent in the high end (down from 29.8 percent a year ago).

Here’s that information in a visual format:

Bank-Owned: Share of Total Sales - King County Single-Family

Finally, here’s an updated look at the percentage of sales data all the way back through 2000:

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area since 2000

With sales shifting strongly into the lower-priced regions, it’s no surprise that the county-wide median price fell slightly. The last time this large a share of sales were in the low-tier parts of the county was in November 2007, just a few months after home prices peaked.


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.

392 comments:

  1. 251
    Erik says:

    RE: screenname12345 @ 244
    Once we get into bubble territory, that will change. The fed needs to loosen the strangle hold they have on lending so we can have another bubble and we can afford higher prices. I could even buy one of those high tier homes if the fed brings back NINJA loans and negative amortization loans. America has been a good girl for too long. It’s time to party!!!

  2. 252
    Hugh Dominic says:

    By Andrew @ 237:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 236 – could you expand a bit as to why City of Seattle made it so, intentionally or otherwise?

    Pandering for votes, of course. Plus philiosophy. The City views housing as a public right and therefore housing is a public asset (as opposed to private property). If you put a property up for rent you are essentially donating it to the City to use as an instrument of social justice. The City will usually, but not always, allow you to take home some rental fees in exchange for that donation. And only on certain conditions will the City let you have it back.

    It was already a pro-tenant situation. Regulations stipulate the conditions under which a landlord can have his house back, and may have to pay relocation assistance even so. Evictions are very hard here. And squatters rights are strong too. Once a tenant stops paying it takes months of time and legal fees to get them out, all while they occupy and probably no longer care for your home.

    Demand for housing rose over the past 10 years, pushing up rents. Private industry has responded with unprecedented building, with more units opening in 2016-2018 than in the past five decades combined. But the effects of that new supply won’t be felt until this year or next year, so the City felt the need to overreact quickly.

    The City passed more “tenants rights” laws that force a landlord to take the very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record. They restricted the landlord’s ability to secure a deposit to offset the risk of damage or non-payment. Maybe a few more but those two stand out, atop an already pro-tenant legal stack. They were in part trying to target landlords that discriminate against criminals and deadbeats, making it hard for criminals and deadbeats to find housing.

  3. 253
    justme says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 250

    >>To be fair, many large institutions either defaulted on underwater RE, or were rescued when they were holding underwater RE backed securities.

    Absolutely. Only regular guys like Erik (although, I think, a confessed strategic defaulter), do not get support from the FRB when they mess up. But banks do, no matter how badly they messed up.

  4. 254
    justme says:

    RE: Erik @ 251

    >>America has been a good girl for too long. It’s time to party!!!

    Dat funny. Translation: We will all get fu…, eh, pestorked, but not in a good way

  5. 255
    justme says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 252

    >>The City passed more “tenants rights” laws that force a landlord to take the very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.

    That does not sound accurate at all. I think the landlord get to set objective criteria, and the first applicant that pass must be accepted. Certain types of criteria are definitely excluded, but credit history is not one of them. Feel free to correct me with some credible source.

  6. 256
    Travis says:

    To the agents out there…do any of you have legal immigrant clients who have backed out of home buying in the past few weeks?

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/afraid-and-confused-legal-immigrants-backing-out-of-seattle-area-home-purchases/

  7. 257
    Deerhawke says:

    Tim, I appreciate the fact that you have split this section in two, but for those of us who want to read items 1-250, is there a way to get there?

    What I am wondering is if the head of Estately ever got back to Kary regarding his issue with their inventory numbers. Right now, the day before the end of the month, they are showing 1417 SF homes for sale in King County. How close to the final MLS numbers do you think that will be?

  8. 258
    Brian says:

    By Deerhawke @ 257:

    Tim, I appreciate the fact that you have split this section in two, but for those of us who want to read items 1-250, is there a way to get there?

    There’s an “Older Comments” link right above “Leave a Reply”.

  9. 259
    Eastsider says:

    By justme @ 255:

    That does not sound accurate at all. I think the landlord get to set objective criteria, and the first applicant that pass must be accepted. Certain types of criteria are definitely excluded, but credit history is not one of them. Feel free to correct me with some credible source.

    Wrt section 8 tenants, I doubt you can set any objective credit criteria (e.g. rent to income ratio, credit score, credit history) and not ran afoul of some rules. The only time you can get away with these regulations is when you are renting a room to a potential housemate.

  10. 260

    RE: Deerhawke @ 257 – I’ll save you some time. Still no explanation of the Estately number. Since it’s consistently low I think my guess of somehow backing out duplicate listings has real possibility. That’s one thing I don’t believe I can do through the NWMLS, but I’ll take another look at that. I’ve thought about that issue for a long time and that’s about the only thing I can think of that makes any sense.

  11. 261
    justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 259

    >>Wrt section 8 tenants, I doubt you can set any objective credit criteria (e.g. rent to income ratio, credit score, credit history) and not ran afoul of some rules.

    Landlords must be some strange creatures. First some landlords complain that they must accept any tenant that meets certain objective financial criteria (of their own choosing). Then some landlords complain that when the rent is GUARANTEED to be paid via a Section 8 voucher, they do not get to apply financial criteria at all. Does that seem AT ALL reasonable to the average observer? it does not, to me. I guess some landlords want fried ice from the government.

  12. 262

    RE: justme @ 261 – I think they may have some other reasons to not want Section 8, because often Section 8 tenants are good because they don’t want to get kicked out of the entire program. I believe they do though have to pay a small amount of the rent, so it’s not all guaranteed. And there may be some additional hassles with inspections or weird things that happen when rents go up. It would be interesting to hear from a property manager about the positives and negatives.

    I think though a lot of it may be just sort of a class thing, sort of like how owners of condos look down on the residents who are tenants. Or maybe they once had hassles with Section 8 and then don’t want to do it again.

  13. 263
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 257
    Go to the bottom of the page and “hit the jump” that says “older posts.” galen at estately.com is what Galen told you his contact is earlier.

  14. 264
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 262
    Can I quit claim real estate in my name into a partnership without paying closing costs?

  15. 265

    RE: Erik @ 264 – If you’re talking about real estate excise tax, then I’ve fairly certain that yes there’s an exception and that’s fairly routine. But since you’ll need to consult an attorney about all the matters associated with having such an entity besides the REET, (e.g. what type of partnership or limited liability entity do you want), I’ll let them look up the WAC number. That number needs to be specified in Section 7 of the REET affidavit. http://dor.wa.gov/DOCS/forms/RealEstExcsTx/RealEstExTxAffid_e.pdf

    If what you’re trying to accomplish is a liability shield, then I’d consult the attorney about that too. It’s not as broad as what people think for small entities because often the owner is liable for their own actions along with the entity. You should also ask about the tax issues, and whether or not this new entity will require that you file a tax return for the entity. Basically, you’ll need to know the positives and negatives before deciding to go this route.

  16. 266

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 252
    The City Crime Bosses That Run This Lawless Sanctuary City

    Just care about cheap illegal house cleaners, gardeners and care givers working for them for slave labor wages and no health care [tax evasion IOWs]….they give ’em no health care under failing Obamacare, its called Apple Insurance {its really Medicaid and MSM will never admit the truth, it covers practically nothing].

  17. 267

    RE: justme @ 261
    Section Eight Housing is a Dinosaur In Seattle

    A moot point IOWs…

  18. 268

    By Erik @ 264:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 262
    Can I quit claim real estate in my name into a partnership without paying closing costs?

    BTW, I should mention the act of bringing in a partner, either when or after you create the new entity, can trigger a REET tax.

    Also, it used to be that partnership property (as in general partnership) could be held in the name of one or more partners, but I think they changed that and in any case you probably don’t want a general partnership. There would also be other downsides to that if it is still possible. Again, consult an attorney.

  19. 269
    Eastsider says:

    RE: justme @ 261 – There is nothing strange about landlords being protective of their life savings. If they feel that the rules are stacked against them, they will simply quit renting. I need not get into why many landlords refuse section 8 tenants even if rent is GUARANTEED. A little googling will give you some ideas.

  20. 270
    boater says:

    By justme @ 261:

    RE: Eastsider @ 259

    >>Wrt section 8 tenants, I doubt you can set any objective credit criteria (e.g. rent to income ratio, credit score, credit history) and not ran afoul of some rules.

    Landlords must be some strange creatures. First some landlords complain that they must accept any tenant that meets certain objective financial criteria (of their own choosing). Then some landlords complain that when the rent is GUARANTEED to be paid via a Section 8 voucher, they do not get to apply financial criteria at all. Does that seem AT ALL reasonable to the average observer? it does not, to me. I guess some landlords want fried ice from the government.

    Katy is right a portion is paid by the tenant although it’s very small. The real negative is that the section 8 housing authority will inspect your property every so often and decide what maintenance or repairs you must do and just saying ‘no I’d rather not and rather not rent to your tenant’ is not an option. So you essentially have a government authority with no concern for the landlord coming in and requiring repairs you may not agree need to be done but once they’re in you’re in their game not yours.

  21. 271
    justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 269

    >>There is nothing strange about landlords being protective of their life savings.

    Demanding guaranteed rent payments from the government but simultaneously insisting on giving no concessions as to who can rent your property seems like demanding fried ice to me. Landlords want it both ways!

    You may cast that as “being protective of their life savings”, but I may also call that straight-up propaganda. I suppose the readers can then determine for themselves what they think is reasonable.

  22. 272
    justme says:

    RE: boater @ 270

    >>you essentially have a government authority with no concern for the landlord coming in and requiring repairs you may not agree need to be done but once they’re in you’re in their game not yours.

    Nobody is forcing anyone to become a Section 8 landlord. If you like getting free government subsidies, do it, and accept the terms of the deal. If you do not like it, nobody is forcing you to accept. And if you try it and do not like it, you may choose not to renew the lease, with proper notice.

    A simple google search will tell people lots about the rules and the pros and cons of Section 8. I suggest the landlords stop whining about the free government subsidy for their properties. If you don’t like it, don’t take it.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=section+8+leases

    PS: the whole “no concern for the landlord ” claim is obviously rubbish.

  23. 273
    Galen Ward says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 257: After a review, our single family home count is exactly that – it is a count of single family homes that are within King County’s border. We don’t actually remove double listings.

    We also do not include townhomes: we treated them as a separate category for years. Does the NWMLS include townhome sales in single family home counts? (Kary or Ardell?)

  24. 274

    By justme @ 272:

    RE: boater @ 270

    >>you essentially have a government authority with no concern for the landlord coming in and requiring repairs you may not agree need to be done but once they’re in you’re in their game not yours.

    Nobody is forcing anyone to become a Section 8 landlord.

    I don’t believe that is correct, but I don’t know how current this attachment is. But this claims landlords in Seattle, unincorporated King County and a handful of other local cities cannot refuse Section 8 tenants.

    http://www.kingcounty.gov/~/media/exec/civilrights/documents/S8brochure.ashx?la=en

  25. 275

    By Galen Ward @ 273:

    We also do not include townhomes: we treated them as a separate category for years. Does the NWMLS include townhome sales in single family home counts? (Kary or Ardell?)

    That is it! Thank you. The NWMLS does include townhomes, unless they are a condominium form of ownership. But that’s also another area where there can be a double listing.

  26. 276
    Eastsider says:

    RE: justme @ 272“Nobody is forcing anyone to become a Section 8 landlord.”

    You are completely mistaken. Here is from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights –

    Call a civil rights agency if landlords or property managers:
    • Refuse to consider you because you make less than three times the full rent.
    • Refuse to allow a Section 8 inspection of the rental.
    • Say they won’t sign a Section 8 lease.
    • Require you to have a job to qualify.

    Now tell me if the claim “being protective of their life savings” is rubbish…

  27. 277
    justme says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 267

    >>Section Eight Housing is a Dinosaur In Seattle

    No offense intended, but that is quite a claim to make, without any documentation. Am I supposed to take such claims at face value? Again, a simple google search reveals that there is an online search engine for Section 8 housing, and it appears to have quite a few listings.

    http://seattlehousing.org/housing/vouchers/listings/

  28. 278

    BTW, all these different landlord rules, including different rules in different cities, is one of the reasons I recommend that landlords use professional management. Another reason is that they likely have their own insurance to add to your insurance.

    Just as an example, I wonder how many small landlords rent out houses built before 1978 have their tenants sign a lead based paint form and give them the pamphlet?

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/epa-levies-40000-fines-landlords-who-fail-provide-epa-approved-pamphlets-tenants

  29. 279
    justme says:

    I’m doing SWEs work for him:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/northwest/section-8-tenants-flee-seattles-high-rents-compete-for-whats-left/

    Okay, so Seattle is now so expensive that Section 8 tenants are fleeing to other locations in King County. Got it.

  30. 280

    RE: justme @ 279 – Maybe I missed it, but they don’t seem to say what the limit is for Section 8. I had thought it varied by city or even neighborhood.

    What I was referring to earlier was a rent increase of $X given to all tenants might force Section 8 tenants out if the Section 8 program has not adjusted their pricing yet. So basically it can put the landlord at a greater risk of losing tenants than what there might otherwise be. Not good for the tenant or the landlord.

  31. 281
    justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 276

    >> Say they won’t sign a Section 8 lease.

    So pray tell, why did you not say that up front, and document it? Jeebus Murphy, talk about pulling teeth to get the facts.
    You could have just made simple statement “In the city of Seattle, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against someone because of their status as a Section 8 voucher holder”.

    http://www.tenantsunion.org/en/rights/fair-housing-in-seattle

    “In the city of Seattle, Redmond, as well as unincorporated King County, and Bellevue it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against someone because of their status as a Section 8 voucher holder. Landlords in these areas cannot legally refuse to rent to someone just because they use a Section 8 voucher to pay their rent. Landlords in these areas must offer one-year leases for Section 8 voucher tenants, and cannot charge Section 8 tenants a rental rate that exceeds the rate charged to a non-Section 8 tenant. However, landlords do not have to lower their standard market rental rates to make the unit reasonably affordable to Section 8 voucher tenants. Find out more information about your fair housing rights or how to file a discrimination complaint at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. ”

    Now, note the part that says

    >>landlords do not have to lower their standard market rental rates to make the unit reasonably affordable to Section 8 voucher tenants

    What that means is that income testing of Section 8 tenants is still possible, does it not? Otherwise, who determines whether a given price is “affordable” to the tenant or not?

  32. 282

    RE: justme @ 281 – I believe the tenant is given a limit for their family. But that can also be affected by the unit itself. So it’s the lower of what Section 8 will pay them or pay for that unit.

    Disclaimer: Take everything I say on Section 8 with a huge grain of salt because I’ve only dealt with the a little bit and it was many years ago.

  33. 283
    Deerhawke says:

    Section 8 tenants receive a voucher for a portion of the rent. The program used to provide a government guarantee that if the tenant trashed the place, this would be covered by the program. But, because it was too expensive, this guarantee was eliminated. Section 8 is not the same program that it once was. More bureaucracy, more paperwork, less guarantee, less support. As a result, a lot of landlords who once gladly accepted Section 8 tenants now do everything possible to avoid them. It is really a question of a shift over time in the cost/benefit profile.

    Yes this is unfair to many poor people, but we cannot force private owners into situations that are time consuming, high maintenance and unprofitable.

    If we are serious about housing the working poor and low income people, we should realize that this is a public responsibility, not one that can be imposed by legislative fiat on private property holders. We need to fund a lot more public housing to meet the need.

  34. 284
    Eastsider says:

    RE: justme @ 281“So pray tell, why did you not say that up front, and document it? Jeebus Murphy, talk about pulling teeth to get the facts.”

    LMAO… Maybe you should have stated that you had no clue when you commented all that?

  35. 285
    Deerhawke says:

    Eric, check with your attorney, but I believe that if you shift ownership from yourself to an LLC which you have a majority interest in, no REET is due. On the other hand, if you go from having a 50.001% interest to having 49.999% interest, it is considered tantamount to a sale and REET is due.

  36. 286
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Galen Ward @ 273

    Galen thanks so much for the clarification.

  37. 287
    justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 284

    >>LMAO… Maybe you should have stated that you had no clue when you commented all that?

    But the problem is that you are still wrong. Landlords CAN have financial criteria for tenants, and that includes Section 8 ones.

    And it not help that you, and others, obfuscated the picture by bringing up Section 8 tenants, which turned out to make no difference after all.

  38. 288

    By justme @ 287:

    But the problem is that you are still wrong. Landlords CAN have financial criteria for tenants, and that includes Section 8 ones.

    Have you been reading the materials? They cannot require that the tenant have a job. They cannot require the income be a multiple of the rent. They are limited in what they can do.

    I’m going to assume that they can decline based on having accounts in collection or a prior unlawful detainer, but I’m not even certain of that. As I posted above, they cannot have a blanket rule on prior convictions, and it’s unclear what they can do in that area. That is based on a theory of disparate impact–that convictions affect minorities more because they are convicted more often. It’s a little hard to imagine any screening that might not have a disparate impact on some protected class. Women make less than men, so can you use income?

  39. 289
    dlee says:

    By Erik @ 231:

    RE: dlee @ 155
    Keep it. You did good buying March 2012. This bubble is far from popping. You should be safe until 2022 for sure. I know the bubble won’t pop because in order for the bubble to pop, supply must exceed demand. We are far from that. New housing projects won’t be approved fast enough for supply to meet demand. If you sell, you’ll regret it later unless you are only selling to buy more real estate.

    I would love to, but construction is ramping up in my backyard (literally). In the near future, a freeway wall will be across the street — major detractor for potential buyers. Believe me, I’m not ready to sell in this market. However, with all things considered + falling in the low tier category, I’m probably nearing my ceiling. I appreciate the heads up!

  40. 290
    justme says:

    I have looked up some more tenant-landlord regulations, and I am going to post some of them here. The sources are published the Seattle city government , so I am going to assume that they are credible. Let’s start with

    https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CivilRights/FH-Section_8.pdf

    ————————
    QUOTE: Does a landlord have to rent to me because I’m on Section 8?

    No. You must still apply and show you can pay your share of the rent, be a good neighbor, and take care of the property. But a landlord cannot impose extra requirements just to keep out Section 8 applicants.

    A landlord or manager may legally turn you down because of:

    • Bad credit history.
    • Criminal convictions.
    • Eviction history.
    • Negative rental references.
    • Inability to pay the monthly rent, the security deposit, or required fees.
    • The Housing Authority refuses to approve the property because it is not affordable or fails to meet minimum housing quality standards.
    ———————-

  41. 291
    justme says:

    Here is another source and a quote:

    —————-
    https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CivilRights/FH-Section_8.pdf

    I have a Section 8 voucher, but landlords keep telling me that I don’t meet minimum income requirements. What can I do?

    Call your local fair housing agency. Many landlords require tenants to have an income equal to three times the amount of monthly rent. They should use only your portion of the rent to make that calculation.
    ——————-

  42. 292
    justme says:

    After reading 290 and 291, various people on this thread may feel free to admit to various errant, inaccurate and exaggerated claims that they have made about landlord-tenant regulations.

  43. 293

    RE: justme @ 292 – Did you see the video link I posted about using criminal convictions?

  44. 294
    justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 293

    You did? I just saw a link about lead-based paint.

  45. 295
    Hugh Dominic says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 283 – If we are serious about housing the working poor and low income people, we should realize that this is a public responsibility, not one that can be imposed by legislative fiat on private property holders.

    — Testify!

  46. 296
    Hugh Dominic says:

    By justme @ 292:

    After reading 290 and 291, various people on this thread may feel free to admit to various errant, inaccurate and exaggerated claims that they have made about landlord-tenant regulations.

    Considering that you linked a pamphlet published in 2014, prior to the passage of the laws we are discussing, I feel free to admit that you have no credibility.

  47. 297

    RE: Eastsider @ 269
    A Safe Section 8 Landlord

    Knows a “single” low income qualifying [like a friend/relative who won’t drag gypsies into the unit] and provides their unit for his/her home alone. Find a neat clean one…make sure their application is the very 1st one you see and approve.

    There’s State forms to fill out available from Olympia, you’ll have to research this, I do know this much….the rent is likely tax deductible….of course your taxes will need to exceed the rent…

    Is this legal Kary???

  48. 298
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 285
    Thanks Deerhawke. This sounds too complicated for me. I will see about consulting a lawyer.

  49. 299
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 265
    Yeah, I’ll find an attorney. I formed a general partnership where I am the am the majority owner. Not really sure what I’m doing.

  50. 300
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 268
    I did form a general partnership. There is my name and the other partner in the partnership. I did this based on my uncle’s advice, but he’s a tax attorney as opposed to a real estate attorney.

  51. 301
  52. 302

    By justme @ 294:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 293

    You did? I just saw a link about lead-based paint.

    Here it is again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzr_pc17JvQ

    Basically our state Attorney General, without warning and without any guidance, decided that it was illegal to use a blanket prohibitions against criminal convictions in leasing property.

    I’m used to working more with Department of Licensing, where if they see a problem they try to correct behavior as opposed to starting off with punishment, particularly if it’s a brand new policy based on a very general concept.

  53. 303

    By Erik @ 300:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 268
    I did form a general partnership. There is my name and the other partner in the partnership. I did this based on my uncle’s advice, but he’s a tax attorney as opposed to a real estate attorney.

    I suspect you probably want a different type of entity, perhaps not even a partnership, but not an area I’ve worked in, and also an area that has evolved fairly recently.

  54. 304
    ess says:

    By GoHawks @ 301:

    JustMe, some morning reading………

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/nearly-half-of-local-millennials-consider-moving-as-seattle-area-home-costs-soar-again/

    I saw that article, and we are just beginning to approach the brisk spring sales period. It will be an interesting time in Seattle and beyond – both in terms of the number of multiple offers, all cash offers with the backdrop of dramatically rising property taxes and car tab fees. Wonder what the prior will do to rents in the area?

  55. 305
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: ess @ 304

    There is that old story about the blind men touching different parts of the elephant and coming up with wildly different descriptions. It is a good analogy for real but partial data sets. In the digital era, those divergent opinions, that partial data, would be shared online and we might be able to make some kind of sense of it.

    I tend to build in 705 and 710 and watch things here pretty carefully.

    First, there was a nicely done studs-out remodel in my neighborhood that went on the market. I would have put the price at $1.25 million but it was listed for $1.5 million and reportedly sold for more. Check it out.

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1630-N-53rd-St-98103/home/305812

    But then this one blew my mind.

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1831-N-55th-St-98103/home/304918

    This is a cute little remodeled bungalow on a well-travelled street in Greenlake a block west of the Elysian Pub. It went on the market for $925K and sold (multiple offers no doubt) for $1.357 million– 46% above what already seemed like a really healthy asking price. No garage but the MLS write-up notes that it has the benefit of “Off street parking”

    Granted, that is just my part of the elephant, but if the rest of the market looks at all like this, it is going to be a crazy spring market.

    Anyone else out there want to share what their part of the elephant feels like?

  56. 306
    uwp says:

    Currently less SFH inventory than a week ago, two weeks ago, or a month ago. (According to Estately Sidebar)

    How often does Feb have LESS inventory than Jan?

    Gonna be a rough start to March.

  57. 307
    screenname12345 says:

    RE: uwp @ 306

    Not if you are a seller in March!

  58. 308
    screenname12345 says:

    By ess @ 304:

    By GoHawks @ 301:

    JustMe, some morning reading………

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/nearly-half-of-local-millennials-consider-moving-as-seattle-area-home-costs-soar-again/

    I saw that article, and we are just beginning to approach the brisk spring sales period. It will be an interesting time in Seattle and beyond – both in terms of the number of multiple offers, all cash offers with the backdrop of dramatically rising property taxes and car tab fees. Wonder what the prior will do to rents in the area?

    Boo hoo. I grew up in New York City. I couldn’t afford to live there after college so I moved to Portland OR where it was affordable. Look at it now, cost of living to wages is completely out of whack. This trend is nothing new.

    There are still smaller cities out there that have good jobs, affordable, and pleasant places to live. They will have to go find them. How does that Rolling Stones song go again?

  59. 309
    jon says:

    Geekwire has another article on jobs and housing. They link to their source, which has loads of information on the apartment market in the King County area. Bottom line: a huge number of apartments are in the pipeline for the next 4 years. Hopefully that will satisfy the grumblings from the millenials mentioned in the Seattle Times article.

    http://www.colliers.com/-/media/files/united%20states/markets/seattle_puget%20sound/seattle%20multifamily%20team/dylan%20simon%20%202017%20seattle%20apartment%20market%20study.pdf

  60. 310
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 303
    I emailed our old friend Craig Blackmon. Craig got me in contact with Imants Holmquist. Hopefully he can help out without charging me an arm and a leg.

  61. 311
    I'm just here so I won't get Fined says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 305

    Hey DeerHawk. I often hear of people referring to various areas of the city by three digit numbers for example you reference areas 705 and 710. What do these numbers refer too and is there a map showing which numbers correspond to each area of the the metro area or at least Seattle and Shoreline?

  62. 312
    justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 302

    >>decided that it was illegal to use a blanket prohibitions against criminal convictions in leasing property.

    Indeed. I have managed to dig up the specific press release issued by the WA/AG office in conjunction with the matter.

    http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-takes-discriminatory-blanket-housing-bans-renters-criminal-histories

    This press release is very much worth reading for anyone that has an interest in the matter. I recommend people read the press release first, because it has become quite apparent that the further removed an article or statement is from the original press release, in terms of how many layers of people have read , paraphrased, and rewritten it, the higher the likelihood that such an article or statement has been distorted or paraphrased into something that is not factual.

  63. 313
    justme says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 252

    >>The City passed more “tenants rights” laws that force a landlord to take the very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.

    This is what Hugh Dominic claimed. Dear reader, I now refer you to the very nearby post 311, where you can read the original press release from the AG’s office.

    There is categorically no requirement that a landlord must accept “he very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.” What has been interpreted as disallowed is BLANKET REJECTION of applicants that have criminal convictions. And yes, payment history (credit score) is still fair game. Seattle city council has not passed any law about the subject matter, either, AFAICT.

    So there you have it. I’m doing the landlords’ work for them here. For landlords who would like to express some gratitude to me (or Kary): In lieu of payment, which I cannot legally accept, please donate to Bernie Sanders or any confirmed Berniecrats, in my case. Such a donation may not be illegal, either.

  64. 314
    The Tim says:

    By I’m just here so I won’t get Fined @ 311:

    I often hear of people referring to various areas of the city by three digit numbers for example you reference areas 705 and 710. What do these numbers refer too and is there a map showing which numbers correspond to each area of the the metro area or at least Seattle and Shoreline?

    I have a handy map for that here: http://seattlebubble.com/blog/nwmls-kc-breakouts/

  65. 315
    Eastsider says:

    By justme @ 312:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 252

    >>The City passed more “tenants rights” laws that force a landlord to take the very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.

    This is what Hugh Dominic claimed. Dear reader, I now refer you to the very nearby post 311, where you can read the original press release from the AG’s office.

    There is categorically no requirement that a landlord must accept “he very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.” What has been interpreted as disallowed is BLANKET REJECTION of applicants that have criminal convictions. And yes, payment history (credit score) is still fair game. Seattle city council has not passed any law about the subject matter, either, AFAICT.

    So there you have it. I’m doing the landlords’ work for them here. For landlords who would like to express some gratitude to me (or Kary): In lieu of payment, which I cannot legally accept, please donate to Bernie Sanders or any confirmed Berniecrats, in my case. Such a donation may not be illegal, either.

    We finally have a self confessed SJW here. LOL.

    You are using a state AG statement to claim that Seattle does not have a “First-Come, First-Served” rule. Your personal bias/advocacy is showing. The Seattle “First-Come, First-Served” rule came into effect on January 1, 2017. In fact, they now have 2 city employees enforcing this and other new rental rules against landlords (not tenants of course!)

  66. 316
    GoHawks says:

    RE: ess @ 304 – Maybe I’m looking at it too simplistically, but how can prices not run up 8-12% per year with one month’s worth of supply and the supply and demand imbalance that we have? Inventory could double or triple and we’d still be in a seller’s market statistically.

  67. 317

    By justme @ 313:

    There is categorically no requirement that a landlord must accept “he very first person to apply, regardless of payment history or criminal record.”

    You’re mixing up two things there, or the person you quoted was. The first application is a fairly new City of Seattle thing. You have to process the applicants in the order they apply.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/a-primer-on-seattles-new-first-come-first-served-renters-law/

  68. 318
    justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 315

    >>You are using a state AG statement to claim that Seattle does not have a “First-Come, First-Served” rule.

    The rule is not First-Come, First-Served. One might perhaps call it “First Qualifying, First Served”. Your quoted statement about me is therefore, just another fabrication. NEXT!

  69. 319

    By GoHawks @ 316:

    RE: ess @ 304 – Maybe I’m looking at it too simplistically, but how can prices not run up 8-12% per year with one month’s worth of supply and the supply and demand imbalance that we have? Inventory could double or triple and we’d still be in a seller’s market statistically.

    That would still be called a seller’s market, but it would be much nicer for buyers. I had the pleasure of dealing with a buyer in Thurston County last year, at a point where I think they had something between 2 and 3 months’ supply. It was very nice. I could preview and then show the client. And then we could take a second look. Of the 9 properties I showed mid-August, only one sold in September (the one my client bought), two sold in October, November and December, one is still pending and one cancelled.

  70. 320
    justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 317

    >>or the person you quoted was

    The quote was a direct quotation of Hugh Dominic.

  71. 321
    QA Observer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 319

    I have a few friends that are real estate broker’s within Seattle proper. They are looking for more and more clients to represent on the sellers side because due to such a low inventory, their incomes are noticeably down. The potential sellers they do work with say that they want to sell badly, but are waiting for the absolute maximum price…apparently there are a boatload of them waiting in the wings to SELL!!!

    Additionally and alternatively, they are finding that the work they put in for the buyers to even try to win has become prohibitively time consuming. Quote, “its the hardest I have ever worked for very little return!”.

    *SIGH* All you RE hoarders, it is on you to hog out this log jam of inventory.

  72. 322
    ess says:

    By screenname12345 @ 308:

    By ess @ 304:

    By GoHawks @ 301:

    JustMe, some morning reading………

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/nearly-half-of-local-millennials-consider-moving-as-seattle-area-home-costs-soar-again/

    I saw that article, and we are just beginning to approach the brisk spring sales period. It will be an interesting time in Seattle and beyond – both in terms of the number of multiple offers, all cash offers with the backdrop of dramatically rising property taxes and car tab fees. Wonder what the prior will do to rents in the area?

    Boo hoo. I grew up in New York City. I couldn’t afford to live there after college so I moved to Portland OR where it was affordable. Look at it now, cost of living to wages is completely out of whack. This trend is nothing new.

    There are still smaller cities out there that have good jobs, affordable, and pleasant places to live. They will have to go find them. How does that Rolling Stones song go again?

    Funny you should mention NYC. Going there to take care of some business tomorrow. I remember as a kid growing up there staying with relatives on the Lower East Side on Rivington St in a squalid tenement and area that scared the hell out of me. Now all those slums are high priced condos and rentals, and about the only place one can view the authentic Lower East Side immigrant experience in that area is the Tenement Museum.

    My friends and I all couldn’t wait to escape NYC after high school. Their kids love NYC – share 2 bedroom apartments that are further subdivided into 3 bedrooms, and each pay 1500 -2000 a month in the better parts of Manhattan so they can hit the bars and hang out with all the other millennials also paying a fortune for rent. They don’t have cars, and they do what they have to do to make ends meet.

    But guess what – even in the greater NYC area – there are reasonably priced places. Ex – one high school friend bought a nice house in Jersey one train ride away to Manhattan a few years ago, and that house was and is less expensive than comparable Seattle housing. So people have to commute – they always have and some will continue to do so. Just as there is reasonably priced housing around the Seattle area – just further out.

    I also lived in the Portland area on the WA side for a few years. At that time – houses were affordable in Portland – more so in the greater Vancouver WA area.

  73. 323
    I'm just here so I won't get Fined says:

    RE: The Tim @ 314

    Perfect Thanks Tim.

  74. 324
    Deerhawke says:

    By GoHawks @ 316:

    RE: ess @ 304 – Maybe I’m looking at it too simplistically, but how can prices not run up 8-12% per year with one month’s worth of supply and the supply and demand imbalance that we have? Inventory could double or triple and we’d still be in a seller’s market statistically.

    RE: GoHawks @ 316

    I don’t think you are looking at things simplistically at all. It looks like inventory levels are contracting once again this month, probably down 20% or more from last February.

    Unless people
    a) all simultaneously decide to sell their houses, or
    b) stop buying houses here in Seattle, then
    c) a double digit increase in prices is just what we can expect.

    I have been building in Seattle since 1999 and it has been a rule of thumb that whatever I thought the house was going to be worth, the appraisal would come in 5-7% low. Always. I just went through an appraisal on an upcoming project and the appraiser really seemed to be on top of her game and know the comps in my area. Maybe it is a sign of the times, but the appraisal came in 10% high.

  75. 325
    ess says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 305

    There is that old story about the blind men touching different parts of the elephant and coming up with wildly different descriptions. It is a good analogy for real but partial data sets. In the digital era, those divergent opinions, that partial data, would be shared online and we might be able to make some kind of sense of it.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    The prices of those houses that you provided do tend to take one’s breath away. Apparently there is the ability on the part of some to pay a premium to reside in the middle of the more desirable Seattle neighborhoods. Wonder how long and how high it will all ultimately go?

  76. 326
    Deerhawke says:

    You know, there are two narratives that can each be real trouble.

    The first is, “This time is different. There is a fundamental transformation occurring here so the normal metrics do not apply.” I was going to grad school in New York in the early 1980’s and heard this for the first time. Ha, I guffawed, do you think I just fell off the turnip truck? And I passed on two sort of shabby but large walk-up condos on the Upper West Side near Columbia that were being offered to me. I mean, really, there was even some graffiti on one side of the building. Who would pay $30,000 for a place like that? The doctor who bought both sold them one calendar year later (with a new coat of paint and not much more) for $150,000 each. Hmmm…. it turns out that everyone on the planet had suddenly decided that New York wasn’t a filthy, dangerous dystopia– it was cool, hip and the place to do art, trade bonds, produce music, you name it. It was once again the center of the universe.

    The second is, “This is a bubble. No way this madness can go on. This is going to blow up.” I heard it from the late 90’s here in Seattle until 2006 when I finally started to actually believe it. I sold off most of what I had in late 2006 and the first 2 quarters of 2007 and everyone told me I was being a chicken. I started to wonder if maybe I had been rash. I really started to have second thoughts but then… well, you know the rest of that story.

    So if those are the two ideal-type narratives, which one do you buy into?

  77. 327
    Anonymous Coward says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 305 – I’m starting to see the take-your-breath-away what-were-they-thinking show up here in West Seattle just in the last week or two. Not quite as crazy as 50% over asking, but enough to make me scratch my head…
    Example 1: $100k over a high asking, on the wrong side of 35th, where you need a car to get to anything?
    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/5630-29th-Ave-SW-98126/home/159181
    Example 2: $60k over a high asking for a split level in all it’s 1960’s glory?
    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/7712-37th-Ave-SW-98126/home/469962

  78. 328
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 327

    Thanks for sharing.

    I see the root cause as a simple lack of supply. We know that the Estately inventory figure above only covers detached single family homes and not townhouses, but in percentage terms the numbers are likely to be about the same. Last February there were 1830 units for sale. This February, only 1330.

    Nice round number– a drop of 500 units. And this at a time when the numbers of potential buyers was way up.

    Let’s round down so we are not overstating the case. It looks like the year on year figure is down at least 25 percent.

    When you see figures like that, potential buyers want to stretch even further and potential sellers want to hold out even longer.

    And that just feeds into the cycle.

  79. 329
    GoHawks says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 328 – and the stock market is throwing gas on the fire.

    So many bears have been certain the “bubble” was going to pop in stocks and Seattle real estate the past few years, but it’s still economics 101. A lot of cheap money in the world chasing stocks and more buyers than sellers here.

  80. 330

    RE: screenname12345 @ 308
    Its Not Too Late for Kansas City

    My 3 bdrm flat and half acre rental cost $26K and code enforcement maintenance [about another $4K plus $1.2K closing costs] and got the deed in 10 days….its not too late to get the Hades out of Portland. My unit was recently listed for $84K BTW, the increase took about 2 years, but added up QUICK with no mortgage payments [I used my $30K daughter’s college fund]. A GREAT investment for HER future.

    Jobs in Kansas City? Their unemployment rate is lower than Seattle’s….my son-in-law Milenial just grabbed up an $18.50/hr job…..they are very happy there….so am I. They aren’t living with me in my Rambler….LOL. I’d be another NYC Archie Bunker with meat head in the house….LOL

  81. 331
    Kit says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 324
    >a) all simultaneously decide to sell their houses

    Anecdotally, I’ve seen posts here and people around me trying to time the market for a peak. They may panic sell for properties they’ve been onto for a while if anything insinuates a dip is soon. On top of that, I know now 2 people in my office who want to sell their starter home as soon as they can find a new house – one has kind of given up, but the other is still looking though burnt a bit after offers 100k over still weren’t good enough. Could this be enough for a flood in our inventory drought?

  82. 332

    By QA Observer @ 321:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 319

    I have a few friends that are real estate broker’s within Seattle proper. They are looking for more and more clients to represent on the sellers side because due to such a low inventory, their incomes are noticeably down. The potential sellers they do work with say that they want to sell badly, but are waiting for the absolute maximum price…apparently there are a boatload of them waiting in the wings to SELL!!! .

    What they may not realize is that making that decision based on the median can be misleading. I think Ardell and I have both mentioned listings that were bid up well over list. And I was addressing the new NWMLS form 22AD which covers the topic of low appraisals. The point is that in this market you can sell for more than what your house is worth! In a more balanced market you will be much less likely to be able to do that.

    Of course there’s no guarantee your listing will get into a bidding war situation or even get multiple offers. The one thing that will almost certainly lower those changes is pricing too high. I’ve mentioned before the two similar listings near each other when one started high and one started low, and the low one ended up selling quickly at the higher listing’s original price and the higher listing took weeks to sell at near the lower listing’s starting price. The difference was almost 10% of the lower listing’s starting price. But there are other things that can be done wrong too (and that higher priced listing made a ton of mistakes). And there are risks to pricing too low.

    My point though is the direction or relative height of median doesn’t matter. What matters is the price you get your hour house and in this market that price might be well above market price. You might get that 10% increase you’re waiting for by selling today. (But you might not too.)

  83. 333
    Brian says:

    The real problem for home prices is if this rent price stagnation of the past few months continues. Will rent kick back up in Spring/Summer like housing? If not, the argument for renting instead of buying definitely gains more traction, especially as home prices skyrocket.

    Kary/Ardell, do you guys notice more offers and bid-ups on lower-tier inventory? My speculation is more buyers are getting squished into lower-tier homes, causing more competition and price increases in lower tiers than upper tiers. If the upper tiers start to flatline/fall then eventually it will affect lower tiers as well.

  84. 334

    By Kit @ 331:

    I know now 2 people in my office who want to sell their starter home as soon as they can find a new house – one has kind of given up, but the other is still looking though burnt a bit after offers 100k over still weren’t good enough.

    I really wish people would get past this nonsense that it’s all about price and down payment.

    When I have an offer with multiple listings I create a spreadsheet showing relevant data for each offer. It will vary by the type of property, but I just checked one and there were 15 different attributes of the offers I inputted (including one which was just “other” for miscellaneous differences which might pop up). And that doesn’t even cover the lender. On one listing with multiple offers a buyer was trying to crash my time for review of offers, but they came in with a pre-approval from a lender who wasn’t even licensed to lend in Washington state and who took over 24 hours to return my calls.

    Even when the market was cold this was true. I think it was back in 2008 I had two offers on a listing, and I saw the couple that wrote up one of the offers. I could tell they really loved the house, but their agent did not know how to write up a simple purchase sale contract (something that was more common back then, but which still occurs). Their offer was for the exact same price, but they lost out because of their low quality agent, and never knew that.

    And, I’ll repeat the story above, where the buyer’s agent won out because she dealt with the low appraisal issue AND gave my clients a choice on Form 35 inspection rights. On the latter she could have just asked me, but I think she may have been concerned that the seller would have not followed my advice if another no inspection offer came in, and she didn’t want to lose out. Anyway, it was brilliant representation.

    There are many things which could cause a particular offer to lose out to some other offer. It’s not just price!

  85. 335

    By Brian @ 333:

    Kary/Ardell, do you guys notice more offers and bid-ups on lower-tier inventory? My speculation is more buyers are getting squished into lower-tier homes, causing more competition and price increases in lower tiers than upper tiers. If the upper tiers start to flatline/fall then eventually it will affect lower tiers as well.

    I think the difference is the lower tier is not likely to be bid up by as great a percentage, perhaps because most those buyers are relying more on financing. There setting the proper price is probably more important because there will be more of a limit to how far above list those buyers are willing to go.

  86. 336

    RE: Deerhawke @ 326
    Yes Deerhawk

    I too got out of the QE driven stock market after QEs ended in 2015 [made a bundle BTW]…similar scenario….I hear the stock market DOW is now 21000+ under Trump….LOL…this make America Great Again is not an empty campaign promise….who could have guessed given the fake news MSM brainwashing.

    Same with real estate….home sales/prices have surged since Trump, whether we admit it or not…who would have guessed….LOL

    IMO, we needed a good spanking by President Trump [Grump? LOL] to straighten out this NWO MESS!!!

  87. 337
    jon says:

    By Kit @ 331:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 324
    >a) all simultaneously decide to sell their houses

    Anecdotally, I’ve seen posts here and people around me trying to time the market for a peak. They may panic sell for properties they’ve been onto for a while if anything insinuates a dip is soon. On top of that, I know now 2 people in my office who want to sell their starter home as soon as they can find a new house – one has kind of given up, but the other is still looking though burnt a bit after offers 100k over still weren’t good enough. Could this be enough for a flood in our inventory drought?

    Pent up supply from potential move up buyers is only going to shift the imbalance from the low end of the market to the middle. When prices stabilize, it will be easier for people to trade up and down within the area. The only potential for downward pressure is of there are owners who are sticking it out in the King county area waiting to cash out and move somewhere else that is cheaper. Unless those people are retired, they are going to create a vacancy at their employer, which will simply replace the demand. So the thing to watch out for is a build up of retired people living in the area. From what I recall, this area is known for its high percentage of young people, so it’s going to be a while for that to happen. (E.g. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/seattle-has-more-rich-millennials-than-most-other-us-cities/)

  88. 338
    Erik says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 303
    The RE attorney said that most people that do this make an LLC for the partnership and then put each property into a separate LLC. You can silo each property incase something happens at one property, you would only lose that property. Risk mitigation is a good thing.

  89. 339
    Kit says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 334

    Oh, certainly. I think though the strong seller market doesn’t help the picture either. If the market was more balanced with fewer bidding wars and people not feeling like prices are jumping too high at once (feeling be the key word), he might focus on the agent and narrow it down. However, instead, it is kind of a jumble of data – agent + other offers with various points (price, contingencies, etc).

    I will try to subtly ask about his agent next time just to see if it helps him though ;).

    RE: jon @ 337

    Ah, makes sense. Thanks for the input!

  90. 340

    By Kit @ 339:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 334

    Oh, certainly. I think though the strong seller market doesn’t help the picture either. If the market was more balanced with fewer bidding wars and people not feeling like prices are jumping too high at once (feeling be the key word), he might focus on the agent and narrow it down. However, instead, it is kind of a jumble of data – agent + other offers with various points (price, contingencies, etc).

    Correct, the market makes it worse. Another time when the market was bad I had a very desperate seller. A buyer showed up whose agent was probably the most incompetent agent I’ve run into. The contract they drafted was so bad I had to re-draft it. No way would I consider dealing with that agent in this market, but when your client hardly has the money to keep the electricity on . . ..

  91. 341

    By Erik @ 338:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 303
    The RE attorney said that most people that do this make an LLC for the partnership and then put each property into a separate LLC. You can silo each property incase something happens at one property, you would only lose that property. Risk mitigation is a good thing.

    Yes, risk mitigation is a good thing, but it’s limited.

    Let’s say your LLC also bought a truck to carry materials around for the units. In the event of an accident, the LLC would be liable as the owner of the truck, as would be whoever was driving it, even if they were a member of the LLC.

  92. 342
    Doug says:

    Inventory at an all-time low and falling heading into spring.

    Justme, the 40% pullback is surely just around the corner.

  93. 343

    By Doug @ 342:

    Inventory at an all-time low and falling heading into spring. .

    Wow, inventory has really dropped since the last time I checked a few days ago. I thought you were exaggerating, and then when I pulled up the number I thought I’d made a mistake.

    For others, the Estately number is low by about its same approximate amount, so you can just adjust up.

  94. 344
    GoHawks says:

    Do any sellers consider retiring a year or two early with their real estate gains? Say if retirement was 2 years out, but you could get $100,000 more for your home than you thought it was worth, would you sell? Better to enjoy retirement while you are two years younger.

  95. 345
    Brian says:

    I think today marked the start of the Spring housing season. +60 units on Estately today. Usually lately wednesdays add maybe 20-25, and most of the week’s listings are added on Thursday. We’ll see how big of a jump there is tomorrow.

  96. 346
    Deerhawke says:

    I don’t know if I would encourage people to believe that older folks are going to suddenly sell en masse to free up inventory.

    We have friends who recently retired and they sold their place way out on the plateau to move into an area where they could get to Huskies, Mariners and Seahawks via lightrail. Those seniors are your competition for housing in Seattle.

    Another retired couple I know had originally thought about moving to someplace warmer and brighter in retirement, but their son is here and their friends are here and their doctors are here …. so long story short they kept their place Laurelhurst.

    The only older folks I know who are selling their places in Seattle are in their 80’s and getting pretty frail. They move in with their kids or into an old folks home. That is a normal part of fractional inventory– the only kind I am really seeing these days.

    When New York staged its comeback in the 80’s, it wasn’t just young people who flocked to the city. All the wealthy old folks sold their places in Massapequah and Rye and Darien and bought places near Lincoln Center. I would bet we will see the same thing here.

  97. 347
  98. 348
    screenname12345 says:

    Another record day for the stock market and more improving data from China last night. It’s over for the bears. You really will be priced out forever if you want to live in Seatown. Haha.

  99. 349
    MGSpiffy says:

    Re: Brian @333

    I don’t know what the more official numbers say, but I’ve been tracking house rentals suitable for families with kids in a couple good areas for the last few years. Supply of homes renting for under $5k a month is abysmally low – think all the tech workers with kids.

    The argument for renting instead of buying gets kinda moot if you can’t find a place.

  100. 350
    StupidLifeDecisions says:

    By screenname12345 @ 348:

    Another record day for the stock market and more improving data from China last night. It’s over for the bears. You really will be priced out forever if you want to live in Seatown. Haha.

    Hmmm, sure sounds like 1929 all over again to me.

  101. 351
    Brian says:

    By MGSpiffy @ 349:

    Re: Brian @333

    I don’t know what the more official numbers say, but I’ve been tracking house rentals suitable for families with kids in a couple good areas for the last few years. Supply of homes renting for under $5k a month is abysmally low – think all the tech workers with kids.

    The argument for renting instead of buying gets kinda moot if you can’t find a place.

    $5,000/mo? Holy cow. I doubt many people are looking to rent with kids in $1mil mansions. Those kind of people will probably buy a place since they can afford it and would want stability for their kids.

    I was certainly not talking about rent inventory at those price levels. More around $1500-2500

  102. 352

    RE: Deerhawke @ 346
    They Can’t Now in This Horrifying NWO Economy

    They have to keep dinky wage “Meat Head” and your daughter in the house a few more decades…until the parent(s) are dead [or go nuts….LOL].

    You know the house has Milenial Hotel Guests….why else is there 3-4 cars jammed in the driveway or hogging parking in the streets…look around Seattle and see for yourself, I do. Don’t ever trust the Fake News.

  103. 353
    GoHawks says:

    RE: StupidLifeDecisions @ 350 – There is a lot of euphoria in the air, but fundamentals from a supply and demand standpoint back it up.

  104. 354
    Eastsider says:

    RE: GoHawks @ 353 – On the other hand, the number of sales remains abnormally low. In a thin volume market, prices tend to be volatile, i.e. a small number of transactions can have disproportionate effect on prices.

    When there are more bulls than bears in this ‘bubble’ blog, perhaps it is time to be cautious.

  105. 355

    By Eastsider @ 354:

    RE: GoHawks @ 353 – On the other hand, the number of sales remains abnormally low. In a thin volume market, prices tend to be volatile, i.e. a small number of transactions can have disproportionate effect on prices.

    I think that may be overstating it a bit. A small number of transactions never have that much impact on the median. We could have had 20 sales of $10,000,000 last month and it would hardly budge the median.

    But it is clearly pushing it up by some significant amount. So it’s more the term “volatile” that I question.

  106. 356
    Doug says:

    RE: StupidLifeDecisions @ 350 – Compare today to the Reagan era leading up to Black Monday. Very similar environments; specifically deregulation and the Reagan tax cuts.

    There will be a crash, but not for a long time. This bull market in stocks and real estate is still young. Wait for the yield curve to tell you when the party is over.

    Justme still has a handful of years worth of pain before he’s finally vindicated.

  107. 357
    Deerhawke says:

    By Eastsider @ 354:

    RE: GoHawks @ 353 – On the other hand, the number of sales remains abnormally low. In a thin volume market, prices tend to be volatile, i.e. a small number of transactions can have disproportionate effect on prices.

    When there are more bulls than bears in this ‘bubble’ blog, perhaps it is time to be cautious.

    Good observation.

    I think that when it comes to Seattle real estate, I have always been a long-term bull and looking forward I don’t see a reason to change.

    In a decade:

    – Bertha will be done, the viaduct will be gone and there will be a beautiful waterfront park connecting
    the city to the waterfront

    – the University District and the Roosevelt District will look like small versions of South Lake Union rather than the nasty Ave. we have now

    – we will have invested a great deal in public infrastructure including a new a light rail system,
    expanded convention center, etc.

    – We will still be in the top 3 US cities for construction cranes

    – We will still be attracting new tech companies and company outposts

    – We will still be fostering the next new tech, media, retail, food, drink, etc. etc. companies

    – And as a result, we will still be attracting the best and brightest from across the country and across the globe. In part as a reaction to the intolerance and ignorance we see on display in the heartland and the other Washington, we will continue to be where smart, interesting, entrepreneurial people are going to want to live.

    Yes, there will be a downside. There will be more taxes to pay for it. We will have more homeless people and more traffic and less of the feel of the cool medium-sized town I moved to in 1990. But over time, we will feel more like a Northwest combination of San Francisco, Sydney and Vancouver.

    Will prices keep rising to reflect this rising national and global appeal? Absolutely. Will some people feel they have to leave because it is a really expensive place to live and raise a family? No question.

    But if you are a real estate investor, Seattle is not an easy place to bet against.

    On the other hand, I am more than ready to be a short-term bear. I too am troubled that “there are more bulls than bears in this ‘bubble’ blog” and that makes me think it is time to be cautious. The problem is the lack of data that would backstop a plausible argument for why we could have a nasty little downturn that could really hurt me financially.

    So until somebody can provide that data and make that argument (please, jump in and make your case) I am a short term bull as well.

  108. 358
    Umka says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 357

    Actually, in a decade I can see at least one (if not several) of the major IT companies finishing creation of the Artificial Intelligence (a program which is capable of developing other programs). That means that 90% of the IT jobs will be gone. The Seattle IT-boom is going to be over, and possibly the city will become more like a Detroit

  109. 359
    Umka says:

    And in the meanwhile “Boeing Is Cutting 1,800 Seattle-Area Factory, Engineering Jobs”
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/boeing-is-cutting-1800-seattle-area-factory-engineering-jobs/ar-AAnJdjj

  110. 360
    Anonymous Coward says:

    RE: Umka @ 358 – I’m going to disagree that said AI will not destroy the Seattle IT jobs. Why? Somebody’s still going to have to write the requirements… How else is said AI going to produce anything useful?

  111. 361
    jon says:

    Software development tools will continue to incrementally improve, and that makes the skills of the software developers who use them more valuable, and thus increases salaries. It also increases the rate at which other jobs are automated. So I would expect that to the contrary, progress in software technology will increase the number and value of jobs in tech hubs like Seattle, until such time as software development itself is automated. When that occurs, the rate of technological advancement will be so fast that it is unpredictable what will happen.

    But really I expect we will get hit with an earthquake before that happens.

  112. 362
    Voight-kampff says:

    RE: Umka @ 358

    With an AI sophisticated enough to replace 90% of jobs here, unemployment should be the least of your concerns. You should be thinking more along the lines of a terminator type of situation.
    AI will undoubtedly be part of our future, but to predict what that will look like is exceedingly hard.
    In the 1950’s they were sure Flying cars would make our roads obsolete!
    Instead we got uber.
    Haha

  113. 363
    Umka says:

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 360

    Well, you do not need a lot of IT skills to define requirements.
    Just verbally explain to a machine what you need – at it does the rest for you.
    No technical skills needed whatsoever…. That’s why it is called Intelligence

  114. 364
    Umka says:

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 362
    “With an AI sophisticated enough to replace 90% of jobs here, unemployment should be the least of your concerns. ”

    And it is one of my concerns. Who said that it is not?
    I totally understand that a lot of techies don’t like hearing this. I’m a techie myself. It’s nice to dream of ever rising salaries, and constant boom. But not, its not going to last forever.
    Also, in my opinion 50% of so called “IT jobs” here are not truly IT jobs. They are management jobs. Managers on the top of the managers. I have never seen so many managers as I have seen in USA. And in many cases “manager” means doing=producing nothing….

  115. 365
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Umka @ 358

    We will continue to see jobs change as automation, robotization and elements of AI are introduced into the workplace. I really, really doubt we are within a decade of the AI singularity or several decades for that matter.

    Seattle is a dramatically more diverse economy than when I arrived here in 1990 (Boeing, UW, fish, lumber, a small company called Microsoft, etc). It will certainly be a much more diverse economy a decade from now than it is now.

    Sure, Boeing is shedding jobs in the area. They want to hire in lower cost areas and that will go on until it causes the kinds of costly nightmares that plagued the 787 program. But the engineers who I know who that were laid off by Boeing either were ready for retirement (and were glad for the payout) or took a job at a Boeing vendor.

    The automated tools and robotic systems that are changing the workflow and workforce at Boeing are designed and developed by ElectroImpact, based in …. Everett.

  116. 366
    redmondjp says:

    By Umka @ 364:

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 362
    “With an AI sophisticated enough to replace 90% of jobs here, unemployment should be the least of your concerns. ”

    And it is one of my concerns. Who said that it is not?
    I totally understand that a lot of techies don’t like hearing this. I’m a techie myself. It’s nice to dream of ever rising salaries, and constant boom. But not, its not going to last forever.
    Also, in my opinion 50% of so called “IT jobs” here are not truly IT jobs. They are management jobs. Managers on the top of the managers. I have never seen so many managers as I have seen in USA.

    When you have unlimited Q. E. Yellenbucks raining down from Helicopter Ben looking for a home, creating multiple levels of managers is a quick and easy way to burn through them. If we eliminated all of the non-profitable companies currently employing tens of thousands of techies, how many jobs would be left? THAT’s what we should really be worried about.

  117. 367
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 357 – I don’t believe for a second that there is a lack of data. As soon as the correction happens, everyone will be looking back in hindsight and claims that it was so OBVIOUS. This happens every time. Hahaha!

  118. 368
    Deerhawke says:

    By Eastsider @ 367:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 357 – I don’t believe for a second that there is a lack of data. As soon as the correction happens, everyone will be looking back in hindsight and claim that it was so OBVIOUS. This happens every time. Hahaha!

    Yep. Monday morning investors are the same species as Monday morning quarterbacks.

  119. 369
    Brian says:

    Today has the most listings since Feb 5th – 1472 at the moment. I’d say the Spring market is here.

  120. 370
    Umka says:

    Ok, by reading some agent’s comments on the Redfin’s website I see more and more like this:

    “According to the listing agent, there were a total of 44 offers submitted on this property!!! My clients made a very strong offer waiving the Inspection, Financing, Appraisal and Title contingencies. On top of that they made their earnest money non refundable and instructed escrow to release the earnest money to the sellers immediately. They also escalated $132,000 above list price. Unfortunately this was still not enough to be the winner.”

    There is a lot of interesting going on. People are waiving Title contingencies? Wow. I wonder… But what amazes me the most is I already have seen multiple times stuff like “earnest money non refundable and instructed escrow to release the earnest money to the sellers immediately”. Shouldn’t this type of practice be considered as bribery? In my opinion it is bribery. Perhaps, chinese way of conducting business?

  121. 371
    Go Hawks! says:

    RE: Umka @ 370 – which means 43 buyers were tossed back in the buyer pool. Either to head to the sidelines or with the message to try harder next time.

  122. 372
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Umka @ 370 – The (Redfin?) agent should be fired.

  123. 373
    Umka says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 372

    I did not make it up. You can see it yourself. Just scroll this page down to the agent’s comments:
    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Clyde-Hill/8638-NE-19th-Pl-98004/home/2072652

    Here is another similar comment
    “Buyer offered 10K above asking price waiving inspection. Seller received 12 offers, all well above asking price with exceptionally strong terms and conditions. The winning offer waived all contingencies except for financing, had a significant amount of NON REFUNDABLE earnest money, highest price and a very short closing date.”

    From here https://www.redfin.com/WA/Bellevue/16398-NE-12th-Pl-98008/unit-b-1/home/113148534

  124. 374

    By Umka @ 370:

    Ok, by reading some agent’s comments on the Redfin’s website I see more and more like this:

    “According to the listing agent, there were a total of 44 offers submitted on this property!!! My clients made a very strong offer waiving the Inspection, Financing, Appraisal and Title contingencies. On top of that they made their earnest money non refundable and instructed escrow to release the earnest money to the sellers immediately. They also escalated $132,000 above list price. Unfortunately this was still not enough to be the winner.”

    There is a lot of interesting going on. People are waiving Title contingencies? Wow.

    Most offers don’t have a title contingency, nor are they needed very often. There is the condition for marketable title, but that too is seldom an issue. I doubt that was stricken because it doesn’t sound like the agent would know how to do that.

    Also, you don’t waive a financing or appraisal contingency as part of an offer, you would just not have a financing or appraisal contingency. And without a financing contingency you wouldn’t have appraisal provisions, and an appraisal contingency by itself would also be rather rare.

    Finally, as I’ve alluded to above, a seller accepting an offer without an inspection contingency is not necessarily a good thing. So perhaps they lost out for that reason—assuming that recital of events is true. Quite frankly it doesn’t sound like it was written by an informed agent.

  125. 375
    Umka says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 374

    Makes sense. But what would you say about the practice of non refundable earnest money disbursed to the sellers? Doesn’t it sound like bribery?
    Something in my guts is telling me that is a pure chinese invention…

  126. 376

    RE: Umka @ 375 – The main issue with nonrefundable EM is what happens if the seller can’t perform for some reason–for example a large judgment is entered against them. Also, in the past year I’ve heard of a couple of situations where sellers backed out of deals. Where would the buyer be in that event?

    The biggest issue is real estate agents probably aren’t qualified to write such terms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO-KcQSWscQ More than one change to the contract is required, and it would probably violate licensing laws.

    Without any contingencies, the EM would go to the seller if the buyer couldn’t perform, effectively make the EM non-refundable in the event of a buyer breach. Making it non-refundable is sort of unnecessary if there are no contingencies. The idea of using Form 22EF and no financing contingency I mentioned above would do the same thing (once past the inspection contingency if that existed–which it should IMHO).

    That said, I could see having some terms where the seller gets to keep part of the EM in certain situations. You don’t really see that in residential transactions, but there’s no reason it couldn’t happen. For example, you could have an inspection contingency but have the seller keep a portion of the EM if the buyer backs out. That would compensate the seller for taking the property off the market, and also prevent the buyer from asking for picky things. And part of the EM would be appropriate if say you had a 40 day close but the deal fell apart on inspection on day 7. The damages to the seller would be less on day 7 than day 40 (absent a significant economic event in-between).

    BTW, as to the video above, Annie mis-spoke. A seller cannot force a buyer to waive the financing contingency after the passage of X days. They can send a notice asking the buyer to waive the financing contingency and if the buyer doesn’t do so in three days then the seller can terminate the contract. But if they do that the EM goes back to the buyer (one of the many changes which would need to be made beyond just saying the EM is non-refundable). So just having a short period in the financing contingency doesn’t work–you need to eliminate it altogether if non-refundable EM is your goal for a buyer not performing.

  127. 377
    Go Hawks! says:

    RE: Umka @ 375 – non refundable earnest money has been around for a long time. Don’t stereotype.

    Buyers are consenting adults. If they have the financial confidence to put up their earnest money as a statement to the seller to secure a good property, then so be it.

  128. 378

    RE: Umka @ 359
    Exactly

    While Battle of Seattle rubber bullets were fired at Populists in 1999 over the NWO Open Border Pundits [like Clinton]; the media suddenly repressed news and stopped talking about Boeing Auburn Fabrication [most commercial aluminum cutting] being outsourced to mainly Japan…where were our Congressmen and Senators then….applauding with smiles on their faces.

    We’re run by traitors.

    How come the brand new giant commercial aircraft factory in South Carolina was the Presidential Boeing Visit and not Seattle? Boeing is a dinosaur in Seattle.

  129. 379

    By Go Hawks! @ 377:

    RE: Umka @ 375 – non refundable earnest money has been around for a long time. Don’t stereotype.

    Buyers are consenting adults. If they have the financial confidence to put up their earnest money as a statement to the seller to secure a good property, then so be it.

    Nonrefundable EM has been rather uncommon. The only time I’ve ever seen it was when a listing agent tried to change the terms of one of my buyers’ offers. That agent was one of those who thinks he’s an attorney but is really bad at drafting language. That deal never came together, but even ignoring the poor language used, the seller trying to make an EM non-refundable is entirely different than the buyer initially offering that.

    But for the buyer who is willing to take that type of risk, the non-contingent offer is a good way to basically accomplish the same thing. Note though in all this discussion I’ve been assuming the seller remedy is forfeiture of earnest money and not election of remedies. With no contingencies that effectively makes the EM non-refundable on a buyer’s failure to buy, once all the other time periods are past.

    And on the topic of non-contingent, there are other time periods during which a buyer can back out besides inspection or financing. Common ones include:

    1. The ten day information verification period of paragraph X of most P&S agreements. I’ve yet to see a buyer back out based on that.
    2. The three day Form 17 Disclosure Statement review period. I’ve only seen one buyer back out on that, and that was where the seller delivered it after mutual acceptance without answering a single question. Buyers will frequently waive that period when the document is an attached document to the listing. If the Form 17 is never provided the buyer can back out up until the closing.
    3. The three day lead disclosure statement period for houses built before 1978. That is almost always waived even where the form is not provided in advance by the seller.
    4, The 10 day Homeowners’ Association Review period of Form 22D. Seldom selected on non-condos in this market, but I’ve never seen anyone back out based on that item.
    5. The 3 day Neighborhood Review Contingency of Form 35 (Inspection). I’ve never seen an accepted offer select this item. Sort of stupid to offer to buy a property while simultaneously saying you want to check out the area more first.
    6. The 5/7 day review period for condominium resale certificate/public offering statements. Note that the 5 day period for resale doesn’t start until that is delivered and the deadline for that is 10 days. If the HOA doesn’t provide it in those ten days the buyer could claim breach, but if they don’t they still have 5 days from whenever the document is delivered. Backing out based on the contents of a resale certificate is somewhat common, but a public offering statement on a new or newly converted condo probably not common. Off the top of my head I don’t believe these review rights can be waived.

    Bottom line is the buyer typically has a few ways of getting out of a contract during the early days. The only one that typically lasts through closing is the financing contingency. And all of those probably have language returning the EM to the buyer, and unless all of those are stricken, just adding language purporting to make the EM non-refundable would create an ambiguous contract.

    And finally all this assumes the contract is a binding contract. If the agent(s) made some mistake then it could be the buyer will likely get their EM back no matter what the terms (or conversely the seller could breach without consequence).

  130. 380

    By softwarengineer @ 378:

    How come the brand new giant commercial aircraft factory in South Carolina was the Presidential Boeing Visit and not Seattle? Boeing is a dinosaur in Seattle.

    Because that is the only plant where the new model being released is built. There was no new model roll out in Everett.

    I would also note that the last time I checked, which was within the past year, the Everett plant seemed to be still producing more product.

  131. 381

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 379 – I missed the edit period on this. For a non-contingent contract I would highly recommend language providing for a delay up to 3 days if the contract doesn’t close due to no fault of the parties (e.g. lender’s computers go down, earthquake, snow, etc.). And if the EM is a significant amount I would highly recommend attorney review prior to making the offer for possible additional protections and to verify that the agent is doing things correctly.

  132. 382

    Stealth Boeing Layoffs Hit Seattle Times….Finally

    The numbers are WAY too small from my “snapshot sampling” Boeing plant observations at Toastmasters. They’re doing away with seniority rights too at Boeing, even the DOD has eliminated Veteran/Seniority Preference for the Trump down-sizing of government. Trump has been notified of this serious human relations problem by me.

    Performance appraisals are routinely done on degreed engineers [by recent policy now] and they HAVE NO ENGINEERING DEGREE by DOD too. Engineers are screwed.

    High School level Gates at MSFT….same conundrum…

    The unions do nothing about it too..

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/m/405cd921-3afa-3ace-9815-b40c366b1962/boeing-cutting-about-1%2C800.html

  133. 383
    Benvolio says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 379:

    And finally all this assumes the contract is a binding contract. If the agent(s) made some mistake then it could be the buyer will likely get their EM back no matter what the terms (or conversely the seller could breach without consequence).

    Is this also true for the non-refundable EM’s brought up earlier? Are there still ways to get your EM back in that scenario?

  134. 384

    By Benvolio @ 383:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 379:

    And finally all this assumes the contract is a binding contract. If the agent(s) made some mistake then it could be the buyer will likely get their EM back no matter what the terms (or conversely the seller could breach without consequence).

    Is this also true for the non-refundable EM’s brought up earlier? Are there still ways to get your EM back in that scenario?

    You never know what type of legal arguments an attorney will come up with in any given situation, but I think it would be likely someone would get rescission of an invalid contract, or some other similar relief, basically undoing everything that was done, including the return of any EM paid. If the money were already transferred to the seller there would be other issues that would pop up, such as any judgment collectible. And any such contested situation would possibly involve an award of attorney fees against the loser.

    All of that is probably a good reason to just stick with the use of standard contracts (e.g. Form 22EF instead of the financing contingency) instead of drafting “non-refundable” language. All of those standard forms would have provisions dealing with where the EM goes. But that doesn’t deal with the troublesome issue of an invalid contract.

    BTW, one more situation where the seller might not be able to perform–I ran into this on the buyer side with what was to be homestead property. One spouse goes into a coma or is otherwise unavailable after mutual acceptance. Without a power of attorney the seller may not be able to convey title because both spouses’ signatures would be required on the conveyance deed. (On the buyer side the spouse would probably not be able to sign a deed of trust on what was to become homestead property.)

  135. 385

    Warning–thanks to this March 2 Forbes’ article we’re going to get more BS stories of how many Chinese buyers there are locally. This one has statistics based on quotes of two whole agents!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellensheng/2017/03/02/seattle-real-estate-sees-surge-in-chinese-interest-after-vancouver-enacts-15-tax/#deb086e65e16

  136. 386
    Umka says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 385

    Well, I live in Bellevue and I totally believe because I can see how the demographics change here and who purchases the real estate lately.

  137. 387

    RE: Umka @ 386 – You might very well know their ethnicity, but it would be more unlikely you would know their citizenship or “legal status.” Even the language they speak wouldn’t tell you that. And in any case, you’d only know about your neighborhood.

    FWIW, I have a similar problem with agents being quoted on other market trends too, because even designated managers of large firsts typically only see a small part of the market. But at least most of those articles are backed up with some real data, like number of sales or median price, etc. The quotes are just filler. In the Forbes’ article the quotes are the meat!

  138. 388
    Brian says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 385:

    Warning–thanks to this March 2 Forbes’ article we’re going to get more BS stories of how many Chinese buyers there are locally. This one has statistics based on quotes of two whole agents!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellensheng/2017/03/02/seattle-real-estate-sees-surge-in-chinese-interest-after-vancouver-enacts-15-tax/#deb086e65e16

    And yet just one small sentence about increasing Chinese capital controls.

  139. 389
    Umka says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 387

    Let me tell you a few observations that I have done withing only 1-1.5 mile radius from my home.

    1. A house was sold about a year ago. For a few days after the sale closed I saw an Asian family in there, but in about a week they disappeared. The house now sits empty for over a year. I asked their neighbor what’s going on. They told me that the Asian family said that they are waiting for their relatives in China to get sufficient documents and move here.
    2. A house was on sale for like a month. I have never seen any prospective buyer, or an inspector , or an appraiser looking into this house. Not a single person. The house has been recently sold. HOW? I walked by a few days ago and saw a car with the British Columbia license plates. (There is another house few blocks away which was recently sold in the same manner).
    3. There is a new construction near by (condo/townhouse). The construction is still going on, but I already have seen agents bringing prospective buyers to the spot. All those prospective buyers were Asian.

    And I’m talking about Crossroads! Not even West Bellevue…. My observations might be subjective, but I see what I see…

    That’s why when I hear about “non refundable escrow money disbursed to the sellers” I immediately smell corruption. Bribery. Brought here by the foreign investors

  140. 390

    RE: Umka @ 389 – How many housing units are there within that 1.5 mile radius? And also, of the things you’ve reported, only one of them (the BC plates) would be any evidence at all of national origin or citizenship.

    But to be clear, I’m not saying it’s not happening. I’m saying there is not any real data on how often it’s happening or at what percentage. No one tracks it in its entirely.

  141. 391
    Dark says:

    RE: Umka @ 389

    Let me add my anecdotal evidence from someone that recently closed on a house in Bellevue– I looked at a total of 8 houses (Bellevue, Kirkland, Remond area), 1 hasn’t closed yet so I don’t know what the status of it is, but of the remaining 6 (discounting me), 5 were sold to Chinese buyers, while 1 went to a (fellow) Microsoftee. Of the 5 Chinese buyers, I would gather that at least 3 were not local (all cash, couldn’t find any local reference for the individual). It’s not even subtle here, especially when you see houses sell for something like $ ..,888 (8 being a lucky number in China). You really have to weigh how likely a house will have an all cash Chinese buyer when deciding to put an offer in (or more particularly, which house you should put an offer in on). It may be different story in Seattle, but the Eastside seems to be flush with Chinese buyers right now.

    I’m just as perplexed as you about the “luxury” townhomes that have been going up at Crossroads. When I saw the price, I thought it was ridiculous that someone would spend that much on a townhome when you could get an older house instead— but they are selling like hotcakes.

  142. 392
    Umka says:

    RE: Dark @ 391

    When I saw the price, I thought it was ridiculous that someone would spend that much on a townhome when you could get an older house instead— but they are selling like hotcakes.

    Exactly my thoughts. It’s crazy. It’s absurd.

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