"Boom is Likely to Continue"

An anonymous reader pointed out the following blurb in an MSN Money “Home Price Report.”

Real estate in the Pacific Northwest is still being pumped up by fleeing Californians. Californians (retiring baby boomers in particular) see that their homes have reached record prices and they’ve been selling. They are flooding into neighboring states with pockets full of cash, buying homes larger than the ones they sold for prices that seem, by comparison, pretty low and, in the process, driving up prices in the Northwest, particularly in the Portland, Ore. and Seattle metro areas.

The Northwest’s real-estate boom is likely to continue, albeit a bit slower, because those Californians are still moving around and also because that region’s economies are strong, Yun says. Both cities are riding a strengthened technology sector. Seattle is going strong on orders for Boeing aircraft and increased international trade at its port.

Ironically, the title of the report is “Boom to bust, almost overnight.” So, they acknowledge that things can rapidly turn around, while at the same time assert that strong growth will continue, apparently indefinitely. How delightful.

(Marilyn Lewis, MSN Money, 09.04.2006)

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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
    Anonymous says:

    Yun works for NAR.

    I refuse to believe the diarreah that comes out of his mouth.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Does anyone see that this is only a short-term boost? I mean, there are only so many Californians “cashing out”. And for every one of them, I bet 2 of them already own property here as a speculative investment. Once they go belly up back home, which property do you think they’ll unload first, their primary residence?

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    The Intel layoffs should have an interesting effect on the PDX real estate market…as for Seattle, I hear Ballard is pretty hot ;-)

  4. 4
    john_law_the_II says:

    Seattle is not the only area Californians are going too. it’s also probably the only place not experiencing a shake-up.

  5. 5
    richard says:

    “All real estate is local,” quips Lawrence Yun, an economist with the National Association of Realtors.

    Perhaps Lawrence Yun will replace David Lereah as NAR’s public expert, seeing as how Lereah’s grandiose predictions turned out to be junk.

    In 12 months, Lereah went from “10 year boom” to “We need help from the Fed” to “sizeable downturn” this August.

  6. 6
    KAP says:

    Hmmmm, Californian’s are not going anywhere right now because they can’t sell the homes they are in. At least in my neck of the woods. There are so many homes for sale. Our has now been on the market 37 days and only this last Saturday did we FINALLY get a potential buyer to look at our home. Three days later and no offer has come of it. Our agent told us they absolutely LOVED the home, however, they will need to sell theirs first. And, they still did not make an offer, contingent or otherwise. We have now dropped the price for the third time and are the lowest and one of the best priced homes in our Comps. Even with the Feds lowering the rate again, my agent told me that they maybe got 2 or 3 calls from potential buyers all weekend. And then in the gym today, the topic of discussion was how people were now moving to Texas because you could still get a great value for the money. I think Seattle (and Portland close behind) has received enough Californian’s that have boosted the home prices to such high limits that it is no longer financially desirable to move to Washington. Thus, the Californians no longer want to buy in Washington. Honestly, although we are competitivley priced with todays market, I think our home is over priced by 50k (as are the others in our Comps) However, if we lower it to where it should have been (before the maniac housing price increases), we would not be able to buy in Washington or California unless other sellers followed suit.

  7. 7
    matt says:

    So when are we goin’ to Mars?

    Because that’s the only way Seattle’s going to avoid this massive black hole… We’re immune I tell ya’! Our little warp bubble of ever-lasting prosperity! Apparently something has made us here in Seattle immune to recessions in the last 4 years, not sure what it is exactly… superhero powers?

    Because we got thrown under the bus the last recession

    “The Seattle economy is still the weakest in the state.”

    Yuck, not so good. 2003, we hardly knew ye’! Looks like we’ll be meeting your big brother, 2007 :( very soon.

    how soon we forget… anyway, if someone could illucidate me on why we’re different exactly?


  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    Yun is the schmuck who said Seattle would appreciate 30-40% more and that he “wished HE could buy a house here”.

    That was last fall.

    Well, we all know he was lying then.

    If a head economist for the NAR couldn’t be bothered to buy a home in Seattle , with 40% appreciation in 2 years “in the bag”, what are we to think?

    Once again, he’s grabbing at straws.

    Abd the LAST straw to grab at is, you guessed it, Californians.

    IMO, that admission by the NAR means they know we’re cooked here.

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    However, if we lower it to where it should have been…, we would not be able to buy in Washington …

    That’s where the Option ARM gives you a helping hand. Even with sales WAY down in Cali, some people are still able to sell – and move here. People still have alot of equity to tap.

    Most amusing about your post is the sense of entitlement X-Calis have about buying in the Seattle market.

    You think YOU’RE priced out? Boo hoo. Wait until you’re priced out of Spanaway then complain.

  10. 10
    dash_point says:

    there are only so many Californians “cashing out”. And for every one of them, I bet 2 of them already own property here as a speculative investment.

    Regarding investment, Cali speculators are getting hammered in CA, so they’ll likely offload any Seattle investments they have before the local papers stop plugging real estate.

  11. 11
    marin_explorer says:

    Thus, the Californians no longer want to buy in Washington.

    Any Californian worth his salt is in “standby mode” to see what happens to the market. They won’t buy in SF, Portland, or Seattle. Remember that CA has suffered through this housing BS a long time, and by now know the average flipper is fuxored, no matter where overleveraged on our coast.

  12. 12
    Eleua says:

    All this talk of Californians propping up our market, and what happens if they get trapped in their California house has me thinking…

    Where have we heard this before?

    Let that be a lesson to you, boys and girls. Don’t EVER doubt the The Big E.

    The Big E is always right.


  13. 13
    dash_point says:

    Don’t EVER doubt the The Big E.

    You are the anti-Mesh.

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    It’s either the Californians, or the retiring boomers, or BB stepping in to drop rates, or whatever. Everyone is desperate for an out. The people who have been making multiple six figures in the game the past 5 years are saying anything they can to keep it going. It’s scummy, because it will convince at least a few people to make really really bad decisions, but that’s life.

  15. 15
    SeattleMoose says:

    “You are the anti-Mesh”

    And how weird is it that E and M have the two coolest images?

    In one corner sits Baby Blue the banjo player and in the other….the Man in the Iron Mask.

    Classic wrestle-mania!

    My money is on E.

  16. 16
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Any aging metalhead knows that man in the iron mask. Bang Your Head!

  17. 17
    Eleua says:

    Yes indeed!

    It is the album cover to Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health.”

    Gold star for you!

  18. 18
    Jackson Wallace says:

    LOTS of places on the coast of CA make Seattle look boring.
    Do you want to stare at bikinis or hefelinas every day?
    Dont forget Seattles gray winter locker and CAs endless summer.
    This is prob a good time for Seattleites to buy into the CA dream
    on the coast in Santa Barbara or somewhere. Just gotta stay away from
    the homies, whiuch are infesting WA too anyway.

  19. 19
    uptown says:

    California –
    there is a reason it’s called “shake and bake”

  20. 20
    KAP says:

    Anonymous said…

    “That’s where the Option ARM gives you a helping hand. Even with sales WAY down in Cali, some people are still able to sell – and move here. People still have alot of equity to tap.”

    An option ARM will only allow me to join the ranks of all the others who purchased more than their salary would otherwise have allowed. The majority of those people are now losing those fantastic Option Arm financed homes to short sales and foreclosures becuase they can no longer afford the payment. Some of those folks may even being trying to sell and get their equity before the bank takes their house. BUT, if they tap into their equity too much, then they will still not have enough to buy at todays prices. Either way, they lose.

    And as for “some x-Cali’s still have equity to tap…..” The number of those X-Cali’s buying in Washington is way less than what it was even a year ago.
    As for the Boo Hooing and complaining…I’m not complaining. I am simply relaying the attitude of the “would be” X-Cali’s. That article was obviously written by someone who has not been to California lately, Northern or Southern.
    Other than the fact that not being able to sell our home “right now” will keep my husband commuting via plane for the next two years, I am very content to sit and wait this whole mess out…..as I did in the early 90’s.

  21. 21
    Anonymous says:

    You tell ’em Kap. Some people can’t read.

    Good to hear updates from those in the know.

  22. 22

    […] moving up and driving prices up.   The bulls argue that our booming market is fueled by a never-ending flow of California equity, and that this situation is unlikely to end because Seattle is just-so-special.  The bears point […]

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