Case-Shiller: Everybody get on board the Seattle real estate rocket ship!

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to July data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.6 percent June to July
Up 13.5 percent year-over-year.
Up 20.2 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.6 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 11.2 percent.

To get a sense of just how nuts it is here in Seattle compared to pretty much everywhere else, consider this chart of year-over-year home price changes in all twenty Case-Shiller cities over the past year and a half:

Case-Shiller Year-Over-Year Home Price Change

Seattle is not only the city with the highest year-over-year home price growth (by a wide margin) but it has also seen by far the strongest growth in year-over-year home price changes in recent months. Since December, eight cities have seen declining year-over-year home price growth, another eight cities have seen an increase of less than a percentage point, three more have increased between one and two percentage points. In Seattle it increased 2.7 points.

How do you spell unsustainable? S-E-A-T-T-L-E.

Here’s a Tableau Public interactive graph of the year-over-year change for all twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities. Check and un-check the boxes on the right to modify which cities are showing:

Seattle’s rank for month-over-month changes did fall off a bit in July, down from #2 in June to #9 in July.

Case-Shiller HPI: Month-to-Month

Hit the jump for the rest of our monthly Case-Shiller charts, including the interactive chart of raw index data for all 20 metro areas.

Seattle’s year-over-year price growth hit another new post-peak high. The highest level since October 2006. Yet again in July, none of the twenty Case-Shiller-tracked metro areas gained more year-over-year than Seattle. Not even close.

The same eight cities as last month hit new all-time highs again in July: San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Portland, Dallas, and Seattle.

Here’s the interactive chart of the raw HPI for all twenty metro areas through July.

Here’s an update to the peak-decline graph, inspired by a graph created by reader CrystalBall. This chart takes the twelve metro areas whose peak index was greater than 175, and tracks how far they have fallen so far from their peak. The horizontal axis shows the total number of months since each individual city peaked.

Case-Shiller HPI: Decline From Peak

In the 120 months since the price peak in Seattle prices are up 20.2 percent.

Lastly, let’s see how Seattle’s current prices compare to the previous bubble inflation and subsequent burst. Note that this chart does not adjust for inflation.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Price Index

Here’s the Seattle Times story about this month’s numbers: Seattle home price growth is nearly double any other U.S. city

Check back tomorrow for our monthly look at Case-Shiller data for Seattle’s price tiers.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 2017-09-26)


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.

92 comments:

  1. 1
    QA Observer says:

    *Yawn*

  2. 2
    Brady says:

    This is truly remarkable and shows that the economy is playing a part in this boom. Being far above everyone else can only be explained by the tech boom led by Amazon. Of course the appreciation won’t continue, but it is nice to see that the appreciation is based on the economy rather than low interest rates and constricted supply.

  3. 3
    Kmac says:

    By Brady @ 2:

    ….. but it is nice to see that the appreciation is based on the economy rather than low interest rates and constricted supply.

    I’m not entirely sure about that thought

  4. 4
    Doug says:

    It’s easy to look at a parabolic chart and simply say it’s not sustainable, but knowing exactly where we are in the growth story is impossible. Are we at the top or do we still have room to double? How much appreciation has Justme missed out on since his first bubble call god knows how long ago?

    Maybe we are finally starting to roll over with the announcement of HQ2 and the unwinding of the balance sheet, but it’s good to keep things in perspective:

    https://www.mikestewart.ca/real-estate-board-of-greater-vancouver-rebgv-monthly-sales-statistics/

    https://pensionpartners.com/put-these-charts-on-your-wall/

  5. 5
    Doug says:

    RE: Brady @ 2 – Yes, Amazon has contributed, but is still only a fraction of the overall landscape. Low interest rates and constricted supply are the majority of the growth story.

  6. 6

    By Doug @ 4:

    It’s easy to look at a parabolic chart and simply say it’s not sustainable, but knowing exactly where we are in the growth story is impossible. Are we at the top or do we still have room to double?

    I would agree and add (again) that it will likely depend on some completely external factor–external to our local RE market. You’re not going to find the answer to “how high?” in the graphs above. If anything the graphs above could suggest further price growth because fewer people are going to want to sell while things are going up so much, particularly while inventory is so tight making it difficult to move.

  7. 7
    N says:

    By Doug @ 4:

    Are we at the top or do we still have room to double?

    Double? That would be a bold prediction. What, 13% annual gains for the next 7+ years. Will Amazon stock also double or will the downward trend continue (down 10% in recent months but still up 25% ytd) yet real estate won’t skip a beat.

  8. 8

    By N @ 7:

    By Doug @ 4:

    Are we at the top or do we still have room to double?

    Double? That would be a bold prediction. What, 13% annual gains for the next 7+ years.

    FWIW, that would be more like 10.25% for 7 years. Google the Rule of 72.

  9. 9
    Eric with a "c" says:

    The hopeful item to me in the Case Shiller data is the national trend for YOY change. We’re up to three straight years now with the gain no more than a percentage point in either direction from 5%. Western cities seem to be joining that trend. I thought a time of volatile change was inevitable, but maybe there’s a chance we can enjoy some years of a calm, stable market.

  10. 10
    Deerhawke says:

    When you look at the first graph (YOY change in home price) it definitely looks unsustainable.

    But then you drop down and look at the chart of change in price since the peak and it looks quite reasonable.

    That is, given how many more people are here and all that has happened in this city since 2008. Up 20.2 percent in 120 months since the price peak…. not such a big deal.

  11. 11

    RE: Deerhawke @ 10

    I just did the Kirkland stats on a 12 month rolling basis 9/16/16 to 9/15/17 and both zip codes, done separately, were up 19% each. From 9/2013 to 9/20017 the per year of 98033 was 8% then 17% then 8% then 19% as if the heavy growth was every other year. 98034 was 5% then 6% then 17% then 19% with their bigger push coming when the 98033 homes got too pricey after the first 25% push in the early two years. So that pushed 98034 up 17% in the following year and sustained +2

    I don’t see 19% holding. Probably back to the every other year 8% for 9/2017 to 9/2018. Still running the rest of the Eastside but I’m thinking Bellevue will top 98033 based on what I have been seeing. But sometimes the data surprises me.

    Just dropped out of a 98033 with 17 offers. We dropped out at $125,000 over asking and I think it went for $153,000 over asking. Not closed yet and that was the cap, so maybe it didn’t go all the way to cap. But still crazy and not a great house either or a great location. Needed a roof and updates and on a semi-busy road. Still a whole lot of crazy going on.

    I have a Woodbridge Redmond to do later next month so I’m hoping it hangs in there before taking a Holiday break.

    Required Disclosure: Stats in this comment are hand calculated by Ardell and not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  12. 12
    andrew says:

    Is it finally time to cash out?

  13. 13
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: andrew @ 12

    “Is it finally time to cash out?”

    If you are retiring on the peninsula or up near Bellingham, sure. If you are moving to Detroit to be an urban pioneer and entrepreneur, sounds like a cool plan.

    But if you have local roots and are planning on staying around here, why would that be even remotely a good idea?

    Real estate is not like stocks. It is a much more illiquid asset. It is time consuming and expensive to get in and get out. And timing the peaks and troughs is that much harder than with stocks or currencies.

  14. 14
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 13
    Teach me how to time stocks.

    Real estate is somewhat predictable. You wouldn’t want to sell real estate when inventory is very low for example, would you? Amazon acquiring a new headquarters opens the possibility of Seattle real estate having a downturn. Inventory is still low, so I think it would be foolish to sell.

    You’re a builder, I would imagine you watch this like a hawk. Investors like builders need to take their foot off the gas when we get to the hyper supply phase of inventory. We aren’t there, so keep trucking. I won’t flinch until inventory gets above 6000 in king county.

  15. 15
    wreckingbull says:

    By Erik @ 14:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 13
    Teach me how to time stocks.

    Buy a diverse mix of them each month, at a fixed dollar amount, with a low expense ratio, for 30 years.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Brian says:

    Here’s my latest Craigslist rental inventory stats. Significant uptick in inventory lately – will have to see if that’s because of the start of college classes or some other seasonal reason.
    https://i.imgur.com/012BDzc.png

  18. 18
    uwp says:

    RE: Erik @ 14 – I would prefer to sell when inventory is low than when it is high.

    The trick is to sell before it gets high ;)

  19. 19
    Matt P says:

    RE: Brian @ 17

    Wouldn’t we expect it to go down at the start of college as apartments get filled for the coming school year and then go up as leases run out in June or would you typically run a 1 year lease and students move in/out in September? But we’d expect no spike as there are the same number of students moving in and out.

    Maybe this finally the long anticipated largest supply ever of new apartments starting to come online? Supposedly there are more new apartments being built in Seattle in the next couple years than in the last X decades combined with X being some number between 1 and 5 depending on which article you are reading. If that is the case, we can expect your index to keep rising.

  20. 20
    Brian says:

    By Matt P @ 19:

    RE: Brian @ 17

    Wouldn’t we expect it to go down at the start of college as apartments get filled for the coming school year and then go up as leases run out in June or would you typically run a 1 year lease and students move in/out in September? But we’d expect no spike as there are the same number of students moving in and out.

    Sorry, I worded that wrong. I meant like you said – The increases since June might be due to expiring college student leases. What is TBD is if inventory counts start trending down now that college students seek apartments for the start of school. However, it seems like they would have secured an apartment lease by now (classes have either already started or will very soon).

  21. 21
    uwp says:

    I don’t know on the hard data, but I do recall in my Seattle college days it was easier to find places to rent in the August/Sept time-frame than most other times of the year. Although my searches would have been constrained to areas near campus.

  22. 22
    Matt P says:

    RE: Brian @ 20

    Yes, they should have an apartment now, so this points to something else unless there is just a lag in landlords taking their listings down in a timely matter.

  23. 23
    N says:

    The college angle on rental inventory is interesting. Traditionally most think of the normal seasonal trends being driven by families and primary school schedules and the desire to move May – August due to better weather and school schedules. It’s typical to have longer rent times as you get into fall and winter. No one wants to move during the holidays in Nov/Dec or during the cold/rainy weather.

    That said, a slowdown in market rents would not surprise me at all and the numbers I believe already show the increases are slowing.

    Here is one such report, which shows 6 out of the top 10 markets having year over year change of 0% or less. The October report will be out in a few days.

    https://www.zumper.com/blog/2017/08/zumper-national-rent-report-september-2017/

  24. 24
    Dustin says:

    RE: Brian @ 17

    Maybe this finally the long anticipated largest supply ever of new apartments starting to come online? Supposedly there are more new apartments being built in Seattle in the next couple years than in the last X decades combined with X being some number between 1 and 5 depending on which article you are reading. If that is the case, we can expect your index to keep rising.

    I think a supply glut of new apartments is likely to precede any significant decline in the value of houses in the Seattle area. When rent prices no longer justify the list prices for homes, demand will take the hit, then home prices. A surplus of apartments that are too small to convert to condos for aging millennials may trigger a decline in rents as the rental market for them thins out. Developers who are building family sized apartments with 2-3 bedrooms right now may be ahead of the curve.

  25. 25
    N says:

    @ Dustin 24 – I think in many cases rent prices already don’t justify the for sale prices. But then again its often more expensive to buy compared to renting (not even factoring in repairs and maintenance).

    Another words its cheaper to rent a comparable house than buy. At least that has been my experience, to say nothing of the down payment needed.

  26. 26
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Erik @ 14

    “Teach me how to time stocks.”

    Sure thing. It is really pretty simple. If I buy a stock, that is the time to immediately sell it. If I sell a stock, that is the time to immediately buy it.

    Seriously, I figured out a long time ago that I do not have the magic of stock picking. I do well with real estate but never with stocks.

    So I stick to broadly diversified mutual funds like the Vanguard 500 or Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. I really also like Vanguard Primecap but that is closed to new investors.

    My point in this context is that if it is, as everyone knows, difficult to time the stock market, it is that much more difficult to time the real estate market.

  27. 27
    justme says:

    NAR statistic of nationwide pending home sales Mo-Mo has been dropping for 5th month of the last 6 in August,

    https://mishtalk.com/2017/09/27/pending-home-sales-dive-economists-miss-the-boat-by-nearly-3-percentage-points/#more-48289

    QUOTE: Yun says “Housing demand overwhelms supply”. Nonsense! Sales prove there is a dearth of demand at market prices.

    Obligatory Overoptimism: Seattle is different!

  28. 28
    Blake says:

    What seems very interesting to me is that for YEARS the price changes in Portland and Seattle moved in lock step. Then, just about a year ago, they started to sharply diverge. And it’s not like Portland’s prices stopped keeping up with Seattle’s… Portland’s price appreciation suddenly decelerated!

    Anyone with more knowledge of the Portland economy and market have any insight into this?

    btw: If you want *try* to time the market… Seattle will probably lag the rest of the US – – again.

  29. 29
    Blake says:

    btw: I highly recommend everyone take a few minutes to watch John Oliver’s terrific piece this week on how monopolies and oligopolies are destroying small businesses, competitiveness and consumer choice. This is very important and as usual John does a wonderful job presenting very complex information in a clear and very entertaining way. Truly brilliant.
    Gee… dunno why the corporate media are not covering this… except on a “comedy” show? (sarcasm…)

    John Oliver on the Ways We All Get Screwed by Mergers and Acquisitions: The comedian and his team dive deep into corporate consolidation and its ill effects for us as consumers and entrepreneurs.
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300817#

    Comment: Note that the Dems and Reps function like an oligopoly to controls our political system and Big Business controls them! That’s why they have allowed all these non-competitive merges to happen has happened… and unless we change this the economy will stagnate along with wages and consumer spending. Left and Right should unite on this topic…
    (There’s some hilarious stuff with Jim Cramer in John’s piece… including a part where Cramer (Cramer!) is shocked that the government is allowing a merger that reduces the aluminum can manufacturing market from three to only two businesses!)

  30. 30

    By Deerhawke @ 26:

    RE: Erik @ 14

    “Teach me how to time stocks.”

    Sure thing. It is really pretty simple. If I buy a stock, that is the time to immediately sell it. If I sell a stock, that is the time to immediately buy it.

    LOL. It’s even easier than that though. The first thing to learn is to not ask advice from anonymous people on the Internet. Getting advice from friends and family is also probably suspect.

  31. 31
    Market Timer says:

    Perhaps this is shared elsewhere, but to me, there is still a massive difference between apartments and houses. Much like in buying, where there is some set of people who could buy either a condo or SFH, the majority of buyers and to a lesser extent, renters, are going to pick one or the other.

    While a bunch of apartment capacity has been built, I know that the renters I’ve had have all strongly preferred renting my SFHs. What would be interesting is to see the data split.

  32. 32
    Erik says:

    RE: uwp @ 18
    Yeah, not at record low inventory as many of us our doing today. I’m gonna sell one next spring cause I have too much money invested into it. I plan to use the money for leverage so I can buy more housing.

  33. 33
    Erik says:

    RE: Market Timer @ 31
    Condo Erik here! I’ve rented out houses and condos. Condos are for lazy people that like to make easy money. Houses are for landlords that want to feel like they earned their money and feel powerful with full control of their more risky asset.

    Price fluctuations seem similar between both property types. I’d take a small condo in a hot area in Seattle or the eastside any day over a big plot of land in a not so great area without question.

    That said, Mr Peppers got rich renting houses in the dirty south sound, but he had to get creative.

  34. 34
    N says:

    By Erik @ 33:

    RE: Market Timer @ 31
    Houses are for landlords that want to feel like they earned their money and feel powerful with full control of their more risky asset.

    Price fluctuations seem similar between both property types.

    I love condos as a living choice but for an investment in most areas its pretty clear that condos are more risky, tend to appreciate less and have more downside in a recession versus SFH. I’d be interested to hear why you believe its the opposite.

  35. 35
    GoHawks says:

    6,043 job openings in Seattle at Amazon. The sky is falling.

  36. 36
    Erik says:

    RE: N @ 34
    It kinda depends on the year, which one appreciates more. I here’s my first condo… previously sold for $305k in 2007. I bought for $92.7k in 2011. Sold for $233k in 2013.

    Next condo I bought for $300k in 2014. It’s worth $550k on Zillow, which seems about right. I went on a condo buying spree this year before Amazon’s announcement , so we’ll see how it turns out. All in hot areas. All rent easily to excellent tenants. I expect to make a killing, but I could be wrong. Condos are super easy to rent out. You only gotta fix the inside and pay assessments if they come up. Cheaper and therefore less risky than a house. In a house, someone could cook meth in there and you’d never know. With a condo, the hoa will be on it.

  37. 37
    Jake says:

    Erik, just curios. Would you consider Lower Queen Anne a “hot area”?

  38. 38
    wreckingbull says:

    By Doug @ 16:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 15 – VTSAX.

    Indeed. To take it a bit further, the three-fund model has served me incredibly well for a long time. I am finally at the point where I can easily live off the income alone, and at this point appreciation is icing on the cake.

    https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio

  39. 39
    Doug says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 37 – Well done, I’m envious! So you’re FI, but what about RE?

  40. 40
    Deerhawke says:

    My own experience with my SFH rentals is that since the late summer of 2016, the market has not been as strong. Fewer people looking, more competition, no real sense of urgency by renters, more bargaining on rent rate and upgrades, etc. Even though taxes have gone up considerably, there is no room to pass on that increased cost to tenants in the form of higher rents.

    I think the structure of both demand and supply have changed a lot.

    On the demand side, more people seem to want to be able to walk to work or school. Not bike or take a bus. They want to walk. And I think the attraction of a “Friends” style living arrangements is waning. So instead of having 4 grad students getting together to rent a 4 bedroom house in Wallingford or Greenlake, you have 2 groups that each rent a 2 bedroom apartment (or even a 1 bedroom with a pull-out sofa) in the U district where they can walk to school. Or all 4 of them rent out these new 250 sf efficiencies.

    On the supply side, you have a lot of people who want to leave the area (retirement, job transfer), but don’t want to sell their house. They might want to move back to Seattle at some point and are afraid of being priced out. They might feel that by selling in a rising market they are giving up a lot of potential price appreciation. So they get a property manager and rent it out.

    Also on the supply side, I also see a lot more small investors (many Asian) buying houses to rent out.

    What does this mean for the for-sale market?

    Up until now, the diversion of single family homes into the rental market has contributed to the lack of inventory which has put upward pressure on prices– while creating downward pressure on rents.

    Eventually I think the cycle will turn around. As price appreciation slows down and rents stagnate, more people will be tempted to sell. (Or at least stay away from buying to rent out.) This will temper prices somewhat in the for-sale market– although I don’t see a big price drop coming.

    Will rents strengthen? Probably not in the near term. There are going to be a lot of high-end apartments and small 250 sf efficiencies coming on the market.

    I am counting on rents at my SFH rentals being at the same basic level that they are now for the next few years.

  41. 41
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 38

    I never heard of the three fund model. Thanks for that insight.

  42. 42
    ess says:

    By Deerhawke @ 41:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 38

    I never heard of the three fund model. Thanks for that insight.

    A basic model of the “lazy portfolio” strategy. A lazy portfolio is one that uses anywhere from two to about seven different index funds (with an occasional managed fund) to provide virtually complete diversification in the world of investing. The idea being that one can’t outguess the markets, and that it is best to be in all markets with various funds in proportion to one’s age and ability to accept risk.

    If anyone should be getting the US Medal of Freedom, it is John Bogle, who not only revolutionized the mutual fund industry by introducing index funds, but established Vanguard Mutual funds that forced the entire industry to lower their fees to compete. He has quite a following – thus the term “Boglehead” is applied to that website.

  43. 43
    N says:

    By Erik @ 36:

    RE: N @ 34
    It kinda depends on the year, which one appreciates more. I here’s my first condo… previously sold for $305k in 2007. I bought for $92.7k in 2011. Sold for $233k in 2013.

    Next condo I bought for $300k in 2014. It’s worth $550k on Zillow, which seems about right. I went on a condo buying spree this year before Amazon’s announcement , so we’ll see how it turns out. All in hot areas. All rent easily to excellent tenants. I expect to make a killing, but I could be wrong. Condos are super easy to rent out. You only gotta fix the inside and pay assessments if they come up. Cheaper and therefore less risky than a house. In a house, someone could cook meth in there and you’d never know. With a condo, the hoa will be on it.

    All of this during the current upswing. It’s in a down market when condos perform much worse than SFH.

  44. 44
    N says:

    @ Deerhawke 40 – Great post. I couldn’t agree more but regardless of whether I agree I really enjoy your posts and insight.

  45. 45
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: ess @ 42

    My wife and I have been long-time Vanguard investors and think Bogle has really changed investing for the better. I didn’t know that Bogle had a fan club, but I can sure see why he does. And again, I have never really heard of the three-fund model or the lazy portfolio strategy, but that is just what we have constructed for ourselves.

    This week, I had a couple of guys who took me to lunch to try to talk me into managing my money in retirement. All was going well until I asked them how their portfolio had performed over the last 20 years against the S&P. And I think they realized this was going to be an especially tough sell when I started talking about Vanguard and their low expense ratio on index funds, especially if you have Admiral shares. They thought it was a great deal that they only charged 1% of assets under management.!

    Still it was a nice lunch and they paid for it.

  46. 46
    Matt P says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 45 – Not so much a fan club as a forum and wiki about investing the Bogle way using low cost index funds.

  47. 47
    ess says:

    By Deerhawke @ 45:

    RE: ess @ 42

    My wife and I have been long-time Vanguard investors and think Bogle has really changed investing for the better. I didn’t know that Bogle had a fan club, but I can sure see why he does. And again, I have never really heard of the three-fund model or the lazy portfolio strategy, but that is just what we have constructed for ourselves.

    This week, I had a couple of guys who took me to lunch to try to talk me into managing my money in retirement. All was going well until I asked them how their portfolio had performed over the last 20 years against the S&P. And I think they realized this was going to be an especially tough sell when I started talking about Vanguard and their low expense ratio on index funds, especially if you have Admiral shares. They thought it was a great deal that they only charged 1% of assets under management.!

    Still it was a nice lunch and they paid for it.

    Yep – I get lots of invitations for a free lunch and dinner so I can hear a “presentation” of how folks are going to make me lots of money.

    But on the subject of Lazy Portfolios and their effectiveness, probably one of the most entertaining books I have read on the subject is William Bernstein’s The Investors Manifesto. A nice discussion why he believes passive investing is superior than managed investing, the benefits of rebalancing, and various model portfolios for investors of different ages and abilities to internalize risk. I believe he only uses Vanguard funds for his examples, but these days Fidelity is giving Vanguard a run on a few low cost index funds as well.

  48. 48
    Erik says:

    RE: Jake @ 37
    Most definitely. Expedia is moving in that area soon.

  49. 49
    Erik says:

    RE: N @ 43
    I don’t plan to sell when prices tank.

  50. 50
    OA says:

    Interesting article on how fast Amazon is hiring…

    “Amazon said during its quarterly earnings call at the end of July that the company’s base of software developers and engineers, as well as its salesforce — particularly in Amazon Web Services and advertising — grew at a faster rate than the overall company growth.

    “Most of the growth, especially in the last year, has been in in software development engineering jobs and sales roles, in addition to fulfillment operations talent,” CFO Brian Olsavsky said.”

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/usamazon-report-says-tech-giant-created-jobs-last-year-46-states/

  51. 51
    justme says:

    RE: Erik @ 49

    >>I don’t plan to sell when prices tank.

    Just a few months ago you were going to sell in 2022 or some such, before the prices tank.

  52. 52
    QA Observer says:

    By OA @ 50:

    Interesting article on how fast Amazon is hiring…

    “Amazon said during its quarterly earnings call at the end of July that the company’s base of software developers and engineers, as well as its salesforce — particularly in Amazon Web Services and advertising — grew at a faster rate than the overall company growth.

    “Most of the growth, especially in the last year, has been in in software development engineering jobs and sales roles, in addition to fulfillment operations talent,” CFO Brian Olsavsky said.”

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/usamazon-report-says-tech-giant-created-jobs-last-year-46-states/

    That is interesting! I have a few friends that are part of the AWS sales force and they indicated that they were seriously struggling to meet their quota of $900k a month. Apparently it used to be easy to hit it, but due to tremendous competition coming in from Google, Microsoft, and Oracle who are providing similiar services for less, they mentioned potential cuts could be coming soon. May be I read it here or may be it was the friend who said that Netflix dropped AWS for some other provider.

    This could be foretelling of the future for Amazon. Didn’t someone mention that AWS was their only money making venture? Also as a follow up to the last post, that mobile marketing company I mentioned laid off 9% of their staff today.

  53. 53
    Timothy Crosley says:

    I think AWS, Ad services, and the like are the bubble this time, and will have secondary effects in housing over the longer term. All of these services get an insane amount of money pumped into them by startups that are not profitable (Uber, Snapchat, etc…) but have gotten money thrown at them by investors regardless. As these services either implode or simply tighten up on ad spending while putting the cloud providers in a bidding war against each-other, picking the very cheapest in order to finally have a chance at reaching profitability, it will have a secondary effect on all the bigger tech companies that have started to see cloud computing as a bigger and bigger portion of their bottom line. They’ll survive, but a reduction in workforce and investment seems likely to me.

  54. 54
    Erik says:

    RE: justme @ 51
    I don’t understand. Yes, I suspect prices will be up at that time, so I will consider selling. I want hold a lot of cash before the real estate bubble bursts again. Pay cash for the home of a displaced software worker.

    I don’t have hard and fast rules for myself. If inventory is high and credit has expanded, and it’s near 2024, I’ll be selling.

  55. 55
    ess says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 40

    As a result of the student loan debt that college students have acquire, often for degrees that have no intrinsic financial value, the supply of renters will remain as many can’t afford to buy a house. That should keep some pressure on rental prices.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/student-debt-is-delaying-millennial-homeownership-by-seven-years-2017-09-18

    Rents in this area ebb and flow, but over time increase as the general cost of living goes up.

  56. 56
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: QA Observer @ 52

    Really solid post on Amazon hiring.

    It seems to me that with AWS and Microsoft here in the region, Seattle is becoming (or has become) a leader in cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud everything.

    The French sociologist Jacques Ellul said that the existence of a technology creates its own imperative. For example, now that body cameras exist, we expect police (and eventually firefighters and paramedics and…) to use them. Where does that massive amount of digital information go? How is it accessed and manipulated? Now that you have the ability to put things in the cloud, why should any data ever be destroyed? Wouldn’t that seem suspicious if there were a liability suit? (So Dr. Jones, you say you don’t have that information because…you erased… the file….?) So employers, hospitals, public entities all will feel a need to keep this information, virtually forever. I am a builder and feel a need to keep every photo and every video of every room at every stage of the building process. It is an absurd amount of information, and it is up in the cloud as well on my hard drives.

    So to answer Timothy Crossley, I think we can count on the price of cloud computing and cloud services to come down. It already has. But the demand is quite literally– exponential.

    Where the rubber meets the road for Seattle real estate is that people will be coming here to do cloud related work for quite a while.

    But Amazon is more than just the cloud. When the Seattle Commons was rejected by the voters, Paul Allen re-cast South Lake Union as the new biotech capital. Great idea and there are a fair number of biotech companies and biotech initiatives there. But who saw that the area would become the home of a retail? Who saw that the area would become a home of the cloud?

    I only know half a dozen people who work at Amazon and so I have a pretty limited view of what they do. But even from my limited perspective, I get a picture of a whole range of businesses and industries that they are changing in dramatic ways.

    One is a book reviewer– ok, no big surprise there, except for the fact that part of her job is creating book groups and online communities based on books. This is one step beyond selling to really owning the customer experience.

    Two are in the outdoor products world. Their goal is to outcompete and outsell REI and so of course they are based in Seattle. And they too are talking about creating and maintaining regional and national online communities.

    One is a fashion designer. She was recruited from NYC and is now putting together whole lines of ready-to-wear items for women. Higher end, better fit, lower price, on your porch in two days.

    One is a movie producer. He used to be in LA but now he is based here. He is still back and forth to LA and NYC but does more and more of his work right here.

    I have no idea what other businesses and industries Amazon is disrupting, but the home of that disruption is going to be here in Seattle for the next few years and probably led from here for a lot longer. You may want to bet against Amazon — although I wouldn’t. But it is harder to bet against technological change. And that is going to be based here as much or more than anywhere else in the country for the forseeable future.

    So, yes, count me as long-term bullish on Seattle real estate, but you can see that there are some valid reasons why.

  57. 57
    Sid says:

    By justme @ 51:

    RE: Erik @ 49

    >>I don’t plan to sell when prices tank.

    Just a few months ago you were going to sell in 2022 or some such, before the prices tank.

    I think he mentioned the month in 2022 also when the prices tank. lol.

  58. 58
    Market Timer says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 40

    Great analysis, thank you. I have on in 98105 (the nicer side) and rent has been strong, but steady for the last few years. when we put it up for rent, i did have 15 prospects show up, but that was 3 years ago.

    our eastside rental house prospective rent has gone up significantly, and i’m wrestling with how much to pass on to the user.

    i’m at a cross roads where to fund construction on my primary home, i need to likely sell one of the two rentals, and am trying to decide which one to see or whether to try to hold onto both as long as possible (a few more years) and then sell one

  59. 59
    uwp says:

    RE: Sid @ 57
    Erik knows 3 things:
    1. The year, date and time the housing market will roll over.
    2. How to take advantage of software developers.
    3. Everett sucks.

  60. 60

    The Seattle Area Home Owners Still Enjoy its 50 Year Land Shortage for Building New Homes

    Most of the Millenials and the middle class didn’t get tickets to the ELITE party…most of Seattle’s population and voter base are losers to the American Dream here.

    Perhaps its HORRIFYINGLY fitting that we watch this same open border Elite home owning crowds condemning the Star Spangle Banner at Seahawks games….have ya noticed lately, practically no Seahawk shirts are wore lately by the middle income voters.

  61. 61
    Blake says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 56
    I think Timothy made two important points that you don’t really address:
    1. A lot of the current demand for cloud services comes from silicon valley start ups- “Unicorns” – that are propped up by investments and most of them will fail.
    2. AWS is facing severe competition and losing some market share and AWS is basically Amazon’s ONLY source of profit now!
    Yes, there is more data being stored, but it is always getting cheaper to store data. Perhaps AMZ can buy out and monopolize cloud storage and then make huge profits, but I doubt it. It’s too easy for competitors to join the field.

    And re this: “…putting together whole lines of ready-to-wear items for women. Higher end, better fit, lower price, on your porch in two days.”

    Call me old fashioned, but I think trying on clothes to see how they fit and look before buying them is not going away!

  62. 62

    By softwarengineer @ 60:

    .have ya noticed lately, practically no Seahawk shirts are wore lately by the middle income voters.

    Wow, I would think that determining whether someone is a middle income voter is probably even harder than determining the citizenship of someone at an open house! Do you ask to see their voter registration? ;-)

  63. 63
    Deerhawke says:

    One of my sons works in marketing for Amazon’s local competitor in the cloud. He said the demand is coming from literally everywhere (not just Unicorns) and while there is tough competition between them, both companies are doing very well. When I told him about speculation that AWS would have to slow down, he shook his head, laughed and said ” Wishful thinking.”

    Today is garbage and recycle day in my neighborhood. Walking down the street to the corner, I counted 20 Amazon and Zappos boxes in front of just 8 houses. And those are only the ones too big to fit in the recycle bins. You could say this is some kind of sampling error, but the next block was about the same. Maybe people like to go to the mall to try on clothes, but they are buying everything else on Amazon.

  64. 64
    Doug says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 60 – To be fair, the Seahawks suck this year so the bandwagon will shrink accordingly.

  65. 65
    Matt P says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 63
    Lots of people buy lots of stuff on Amazon, but that doesn’t make the company any money.

  66. 66

    RE: Matt P @ 65

    I buy almost everything on Amazon. Two boxes came today, a bench for a house I’m staging in Redmond and a plant stand to go with. Neither box says Amazon on it.

    Why do they not make any money on it? More importantly, why do they do this if they don’t make money on it? Not that it will change the fact that almost everything I buy is through Amazon.

  67. 67
    Erik says:

    RE: uwp @ 59
    I did 6 years hard time in North Everett. I know first hand it’s nasty.

    I don’t know exactly when the housing market will tank, but I do know it won’t now. Not enough inventory or credit expansion.

    Yah, I’m gonna sell property to unsuspecting software developers right before the market does crashes. Then I’ll buy more property from the bank at a steeply discounted price. I’ve been pretty transparent about my plans.

  68. 68
    Erik says:

    RE: Sid @ 57
    Statistically speaking, the next crash should be 2024. If it’s 2022 and we have low supply and little credit expansion, I won’t sell. Regardless, I’ll have my finger on the trigger. I want to double my investment and get out. Rebuy at the bottom.

    I won last time when I made a windfall of cash and rubbed it in these filthy software people’s faces that frequent this site.

  69. 69

    Yet another incredibly stupid real estate data study. They could have more easily concluded that people living on these streets like it better, but even that would have probably been an incorrect conclusion.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/house-prices/dumb-womans-lane-titty-ho-streets-four-times-harder-owners-sell/

  70. 70
    wreckingbull says:

    By Doug @ 39:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 37 – Well done, I’m envious! So you’re FI, but what about RE?

    I have retired from corporate work in my mid 40s. I work part time now, for myself, so I can do two things

    – Qualify for Obamacare subsidies and cost sharing
    – Fully fund a solo 401K. This is one of the best kept secrets around. You can contribute $53,000 per year and this serves as a great vehicle to tune your MAGI so you can maximize Obamacare subsidies.

    I’ll be the first to admit how ridiculous Obamacare is – that someone like me can get maximum subsidies, but one has to play within the rules – I can no longer get catastrophic-only plans. I am forced into this framework, so I change my behavior to use it to my advantage. Simple economics.

  71. 71
    ess says:

    By wreckingbull @ 70:

    By Doug @ 39:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 37 – Well done, I’m envious! So you’re FI, but what about RE?

    I have retired from corporate work in my mid 40s. I work part time now, for myself, so I can do two things

    – Qualify for Obamacare subsidies and cost sharing
    – Fully fund a solo 401K. This is one of the best kept secrets around. You can contribute $53,000 per year and this serves as a great vehicle to tune your MAGI so you can maximize Obamacare subsidies.

    I’ll be the first to admit how ridiculous Obamacare is – that someone like me can get maximum subsidies, but one has to play within the rules – I can no longer get catastrophic-only plans. I am forced into this framework, so I change my behavior to use it to my advantage. Simple economics.

    Ah wreck – you let out the little secret about Obamacare – that folks with lots of assets, but minimal expenses can get on the Obamacare dole and have other taxpayers pay for it while they continue to live the good life and accumulate wealth.

    The example I give to folks who didn’t quite get it when Obamacare first appeared on the scene;

    Couple A – both work for themselves, thus they must buy their own health insurance. Each makes 60K a year, and thus don’t qualify for subsidies. They own no assets, because they have to pay outrageous Seattle rent, as well as student loans, credit card debt, car payments, and they eat out a great deal to qualify as hipster Seattlelites. Without any kids – they are in a very high federal tax bracket, and their ability to save is minimal.

    Couple B – they own their own home in Seattle that is increasing in value each year, as well as vacation property both without mortgages. Both cars are paid for, and they have no credit card debt other then their monthly payments. They have a million dollars of modern art on their walls. Their coin and stamp collection in the safety deposit box is worth another half a million dollars. This couple gets by operating their own part time business generating 40 – 50K a year in income because life is more than working the employment grind.

    These folks can easily pay for their own insurance by selling assets, but surprise – they qualify for a insurance premium subsidy. And better yet, after all the deductions such as expenses and retirement plans , the MAGI is even lower and they qualify for an even bigger insurance premium subsidy.

    This is the problem when the only means test for huge subsidies is MAGI and not net worth. We have ended up with those on the economic treadmill without assets subsidizing those with substantial assets for medical insurance. And those subsidies for older folks – those often with the means to pay, but with reduced debt, can be ten thousand dollars a year or more.

    Or as I tell people – to win at Obamacare, especially if one is older and no longer wishes to work full time, but to get one’s medical insurance subsidized, the secret is for a couple to have a hundred thousand dollar lifestyle on under 50 thousand dollars a year gross income.

  72. 72
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: ess @ 71 – You give a good example. The key is managing your expenses when you are young. I shared my details because I hope people younger than me here on SB can take note. Working for the man in your 40s, 50s and 60s is not fun. Plan your future so you don’t have to.

    I do cringe a little bit when I see people in their mid-twenties buying million dollar Seattle homes. Yes, they can pull it off, but at what cost? The biggest life lesson I have learned to date is that money is best spent on freedom, not things.

    As far as Obamacare is concerned, I’d much rather have a reasonably priced catastrophic plan instead of the Kafkaesque mess that is Obamacare, as I live a healthy lifestyle. Not possible now, those plans are now illegal.

  73. 73
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 70

    My wife and I have a family 401K Plan that is under the same basic body of tax law as the solo 401K. It is a really powerful tool for investing if you have a self-directed 401K. I use mine to build houses and the profit is completely tax deferred.

    But I don”t see how you can max out your Solo 401K AND qualify for Obamacare.

    The employee elective contribution is up to 100% of compensation up to the annual contribution limit but the employer nonelective contribution is limited to 25% of compensation.

    Or am I missing something?

  74. 74

    Obamacare also encourages tax cheating, for obvious reasons. The doctors who came up with the scheme don’t care however–they just want everything they do to be paid for.

  75. 75
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 74

    C’mon Kary. Seriously?

    So every doctor has to spend 4 years in school forgoing an income (and for most of them it would be a solid six figure sum because they have significant STEM skills) while accumulating substantial debt. Then they spend the next 3-5 years living on a subsistence wage while in a residency program and working 60-70 hour weeks on call. Many of the people they are treating from the last year of medical school through residency are the poor, the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill, etc. So after year 7, they make the kind of money they could have made that first year they went to medical school, but still have a major debt to pay. Even without including compounding and other opportunity costs, the average young person choosing to be in medicine forgoes between $450,000 and $1.25 million in earnings and accrues $250,000 and $350,000 in debt. And during that time in school, they spend a good deal of their time dealing with the people most would like to pretend do not exist. After they finish their residency, most doctors spend about 20% of their time on non-billable cases and do a lot of pro-bono work in underserved communities.

    It is frankly kind of amazing to hear a real estate agent talk about doctors wanting to get paid. That is really rich.

    It takes you three weeks of classes and costs $500 to become a real estate agent. I have been in this business a very long time and I have yet to hear of a real estate agent doing a pro-bono listing or sale.

  76. 76
    esskar says:

    By wreckingbull @ 72:

    RE: ess @ 71 – You give a good example. The key is managing your expenses when you are young. I shared my details because I hope people younger than me here on SB can take note. Working for the man in your 40s, 50s and 60s is not fun. Plan your future so you don’t have to.

    I do cringe a little bit when I see people in their mid-twenties buying million dollar Seattle homes. Yes, they can pull it off, but at what cost? The biggest life lesson I have learned to date is that money is best spent on freedom, not things.

    As far as Obamacare is concerned, I’d much rather have a reasonably priced catastrophic plan instead of the Kafkaesque mess that is Obamacare, as I live a healthy lifestyle. Not possible now, those plans are now illegal.

    Yes, Wreck, we reside in a hyper consumerism society, and the young have especially adopted that lifestyle. Consider the fact that the young are running up all sorts of debt to attend college, and much of that debt subsidizes fancy residences that apparently is much in demand that no one lived in when I was in undergraduate school. And all the other stuff such as the latest computers and phones and the plans to run them. And everyone now has credit cards – I never had a credit card until my first job after grad school. I didn’t even learn to drive until I was 22 years old, let alone have a car.

    Now everyone wants everything immediately, and are willing to incur massive amounts of debt to get it. And most don’t even consider that they are paying with after tax dollars – so they have to earn even more just to afford to buy stuff that may not be necessary when one has no accumulated assets, let alone 6 months of emergency reserves.

    The million dollar homes may be excessive – but at least it is an asset that has a decent chance to increase in value over time. On the other hand, we are very happy in our 1000 sq foot house in a fairly affluent town surrounded by houses worth 2-3x the amount of our abode. Even our former residence which was converted to a rental house is bigger.

    I concluded at a relatively young age that one can have two approaches to money, debt and assets. Either one can purchase a great amount of stuff that in the short and long run is meaningless, and be a slave to debt. Or one can do with a bit less, and let assets and investments supplement one’s income so that one can be free to do the things one really finds important. Life is much easier when one has assets and one can get off the treadmill. We took over a year off to travel in the western US, Europe and the Middle East. Highlight of my life. But try telling that to the young – for the most part – its just contributing to global warming. I tried to explain the benefits of maxing out one’s employer retirement plan to someone in their 20s to take advantage of time and the compounding of accumulated assets – might as well talk to my house wall when I am painting it for better understanding.

  77. 77
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 73 – You are correct. I should not have used the term “fully fund”, as it is synonymous with “max out”‘ I max out the employee side, but not the employer side. I use a solo 401K to tune my MAGI so I maximize Obamacare cost sharing and subsidies.

    Anyway, let me just end with this. Live frugally, save like a madman, especially in tax deferred plans, and you will be able to game the system. The system assumes you are debt-laden with a high monthly nut.

  78. 78
    S-Crow says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 77 – “The system assumes you are debt-laden with a high monthly nut.” – That’s a very correct assumption. Unfortunately.

  79. 79
    Merritt4 says:

    Re: Deerhawke @75, I just want to say “thank you”. You hit it the nail on the head. My husband did 7 yrs of training after Med school. The debt that is incurred does not include having to save up for a house. Many don’t stop to think of that. Between mine & my husband’s immediate families, there are 6 physicians. Everyone lives comfortably but no one is living a glamorous lifestyle. I’ve advised our families not to move to Seattle as it’s become too expensive. We can only afford it bc of help from my side of the family, otherwise there is no way we could live here. One of my BIL’s just bought his first house in his 40’s in FL – much cheaper than here. My other BIL is getting ready to take off again soon to do another medical mission trip, which he does on his time. There are corrupt doctors I’m sure, just as there are corrupt CPA’s. I grew up in home building – there can be corruption there too. No one sees their physician pouring over material for their patients, disheartened when something doesn’t work, etc. So yes, Kary. Physicians appreciate being paid. They work many hours beyond the hospital that others don’t see and can carry a weight many of us couldn’t or wouldn’t want to fathom.

  80. 80

    By Deerhawke @ 75:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 74

    C’mon Kary. Seriously?

    So every doctor has to spend 4 years in school forgoing an income (and for most of them it would be a solid six figure sum because they have significant STEM skills) while accumulating substantial debt.

    This is not about that, but thanks for the reply. I’m not complaining about how much doctors make. What I’m complaining about is the AMA wanting every procedure for every condition to be covered by insurance paid for by consumers.

    What I’m talking about is the AMA, drug companies and insurance companies judging legislative proposals on healthcare solely by weather or not it maximizes their revenues. They want absolutely everything to be covered for everyone, because that increases the demand for their services and allows them to charge even higher prices. They don’t care about having a good health care system that works for people.

    If you want to analogize this to real estate it would be as if the federal government required buyers and sellers of real estate to use a real estate agent under any circumstances–even transactions between family or transactions between real estate attorneys. That would be really great for real estate agents, and undoubtedly NAR would support such legislation. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the Republican health care legislation proposals have been good, or even that they might improve things. I don’t think that at all. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t pay any attention to what the AMA thinks of proposals in the health care area because they only care about maximizing revenues.

  81. 81
    uwp says:

    By esskar @ 76:

    We took over a year off to travel in the western US, Europe and the Middle East. Highlight of my life. But try telling that to the young – for the most part – its just contributing to global warming.

    Yeah, the idea of taking a year and traveling the world is totally unappealing to young folks these days!

    Man, I can’t wait to be old and complain about the kids on the lawn. I will probably be complaining about how in my day we had use our fingers with the computers, and not just think thoughts with the micro-chips implanted in our heads. Spoiled brats!

  82. 82

    RE: Deerhawke @ 75

    “I have been in this business a very long time and I have yet to hear of a real estate agent doing a pro-bono listing or sale.” I have. Not bragging, just giving you an instance since you haven’t heard of one. I have a long standing policy that my commission will never cause a client to fail. It doesn’t happen often and most often it’s a veteran because they have that “residual income” component to their loan approval that is hard to predict and often causes surprises. I walked away with nothing so the client (an Afro-American veteran) and his family could get the house. I have offered and been ready to do the same many times, but only once that I can remember was it necessary to walk away with nothing.

  83. 83
    Deerhawke says:

    Kary, I would agree with you completely when it comes to drug companies and health insurance companies. The AMA has had a different role. You shouldn’t lump them together.

    The AMA has had a checkered history when it comes to a national health care system. Under Eisenhower, we were well on our way to having a modern Canadian or European-style national health care system. The AMA conducted one of the most effective lobbying campaigns in modern history to color it as a step toward communism. It went down in flames.

    In more recent times, the AMA has reflected the views of its fairly progressive membership and has had a more positive role in the movement for a national medical system. Much of their lobbying has been for data-based outcomes emphasizing preventive care and treating the whole patient. Some of the movement for capitation and other ways of paying for medical care based on overall health outcomes has been supported by the AMA.

    It is not a perfect organization but it does mainly reflect the views of its mainly progressive members. They are no longer generally solo medical entrepreneurs who have their own lucrative private practices (other than dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons). Most doctors these days work in or through hospitals. Given their training, doctors have to spend a lot of time treating the poor, the mentally ill, etc. They realize that if people have medical insurance and see a doctor regularly, they are less likely to show up in the ER needing an absurdly expensive string of procedures.

    The Republicans spent seven years railing against Obamacare. But they could not repeal it because, while really imperfect, the system was producing substantial and measurable health care gains in red-states like Kentucky, West Virginia and Alaska. Interestingly, people in those states were adamant that they were not on Obamacare. They proudly stated that they got their care through the ACA.

  84. 84

    RE: Deerhawke @ 83 – Have they ever supported single payer? Did they support Obamacare in the first instance?

    I think you underestimate how much insurance benefits the doctors, hospitals and clinics you mention. It’s not just making sure that they get paid for services, it’s making sure that they can charge as much as possible. As I mentioned a long time ago, I was seeing a doctor at the Mason Clinic downtown for something. He mentioned I needed a tetanus update. I agreed to let him give me the shot. When I got the bill I was charged for the visit, the shot, and for sitting in the room. The $90 shot triggered an $80 room fee. But for the shot I would have only paid for the visit, and oddly if I had gone to one of their remote clinics the fee would not have been charged for the room. People with traditional insurance wouldn’t even care, because that room fee would be paid by their insurance company, making thousands of dollars for the clinic in return for nothing.

  85. 85
    OA says:

    Hey all,

    My wife and I are looking to buy a home in Fall City, we are pregnant and are expecting in April 2018 (first child). We are looking to live there long term.

    Quick question – The school district in that area is Snoqualmie Valley. How good are the schools? How comparable are they to do the highly rated Issaquah schools? I’ll appreciate all feeback.

    Thanks!

  86. 86

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 82 – I think that’s something that people often overlook. The agents’ commission(s) is/are often used to get through some things that the parties can’t or won’t deal with themselves that pop up mid-transaction. Typically it’s not all the commission, but if you’re only paying a small commission the sale is more likely to fail because of the lack of those funds.

    That said, I don’t think that is anywhere near like when an attorney takes on a client pro bono.

  87. 87
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 82 – There had to be an exception that proves the rule. I might have known it would be you.

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 84

    Kary I will agree that the AMA could be more progressive on national health policy. They went from being outright destructive on national health care to being not very helpful on the ACA. They are currently supportive of the ACA while being dragged along toward single payer by its younger members. They are actually losing membership because a lot of the more progressive young doctors are not joining. Contrary to popular belief, being a doctor does not mean you are a member of the AMA.

  88. 88
    Anonymous Coward says:

    RE: OA @ 85 – First, congrats! Second, here’s my free advice (worth everything you’ve paid for it): she’s pregnant and the nesting instincts are only going to intensify until the kiddo arrives. Figure out your budget now and DO NOT let her even look at anything that’s likely to sell for anything above your your budget. Don’t go look at anything with a list price above your budget. Don’t go look at anything with a list price within your budget that’s likely to have a post-bidding-war sales price above your price range. And plan on having your own bidding war reserve. So don’t go look at anything at the high end of your price range (unless it’s been languishing for weeks) where you don’t know you’ll be able to win the bidding war. (Redfin’s “recently sold” filter is super useful for figuring out what you’re likely to have to pay for a given place.) Note further that the more you exceed your budget, the more your agent will get paid. You don’t want your wife to find the “perfect house that we can afford” and then you end up stuck trying to argue against the agent and explain through her tears at 10:30p on a Monday or Tuesday night why you really won’t* counter another $30k (it’s only another $150/mo, and you were already planning to pay $$$$/mo, and besides, most of that $150/mo is tax deductible) and that you really are better off wasting another two weeks looking at more houses none of which are as likely to be as perfect as this one. *”Won’t” not “can’t”. Because you really can afford another $30k; you just might have to work another two years until you retire; and that’s a long way off; and maybe the markets will do better than the x% you have in your retirement spreadsheet… My wife was pregnant when we bought and we agreed on this strategy before we started looking. And we still went $15k over budget.

  89. 89

    RE: OA @ 85

    Median Price for Issaquah School District homes using sold in the last 365 days is $900,000 compared to $651,000 in Snoqualmie Valley District. The main reason the prices are lower is because it is a bit “far” vs “close in” and not due to the reputation of the schools as far as I know.

    You can do your own comparison, as to Elementary Schools anyway, by going to GreatSchools.org and just typing in the district name and change the filter to “public” schools. They appear to be comparable. There is no ranking there for Snoqualmie Valley Middle or High Schools.

    I have had people end their search at the beginning of that School District, but not because of the quality of the schools.

    (Required Disclosure: Stats in this comment are hand done in real time by Ardell and not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service)

  90. 90
    OA says:

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 88

    Thank you, that’s helpful. Appreciate it.

  91. 91
    OA says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 89

    Thanks!

    We’re thinking somewhere right in Fall City (about 10 min drive from Issaquah Highlands). I’ve read and heard that the schools there are comparable to Issaquah’s. I just want to make sure that they’re not bad.

  92. 92
    Eile says:

    RE: Brady @ 2 – Someone is going to hurt on this. I don’t know who, but some people will make money, some people will buy at the high.

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