Think niche deals can be found? Think again.

Let’s go over what we’ve learned about the Seattle real estate market. Single family homes: cost increasing, supply decreasing. Condos: cost increasing, supply decreasing. Geographic range of Seattle’s bubble: north to Mount Vernon, south to Olympia. Today we learn that the bubble’s effects stretch even to the obscure niche markets, such as houseboats.

“At one time this [Lake Union] was a poor neighborhood where bootleggers lived and was sort of a waterfront ghetto-type area with only shanties and shacks,” he said. Today, the floating homes range from about $400,000 to $1.3 million, he said, and the median price is about $513,000.

“There’s been tremendous increased interest. There’s very high demand and very low supply,” he said. Very low indeed, considering there are only about 500 floating homes on the lake. The dwindling supply has cut into sales, with Minor’s floating home sales going from 14 last year to four so far this year.

The bottom of the range is $400,000, for a house with no land and monthly moorage fees. What a steal. Maybe you can still afford to buy a house in the Seattle area if you go underground, or in a tree, perhaps just plop a house on top of an existing building, or maybe just one that floats in the air. Speaking of air, I think I’ll just bide my time until the air comes out of this insane market.

(Jessica Swesey, Inman News, 08.11.2005)

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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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Van Housing Blogger says:

    Howdy, neighbour. Welcome to the bubble-sphere. I look forward to reading future posts.


  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Speaking of supply, what can be said about the rental market in Seattle–is it a renter’s market, where rents are substantially below what a mortgage for a comparable property might cost? What percentage of Puget Sound area sales are to investors? Around here (SF Bay), it’s estimated at 30% or more. Certainly the reason for our rental glut.

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