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
    Nolaguy says:

    “Big Lies, Small Lies and Felony Lies: Welcome to Real Estate 2006

    Deceptive lending, deceptive listings, deceptive borrowers, deceptive buyers, deceptive sellers–has there ever been an industry more rife with corruption and lies than the current real estate market? Really? Where?

    As astonishing as the endless layers of lies is the complacency and droll acceptance of the deceit which reigns supreme in the real estate and mortgage industries. “Business as usual,” now that “the market is returning to normal.” Is business based on deception “normal” now?”


  2. 2
    synthetik says:

    WaMu ‘rebuilding’ takes a bite out of profit

    Translation: WaMu is feeling the pinch of its asinine lending practices.

    WaMu blamed the drop on a tough operating environment, particularly in the home loan business, as well as moves it made during the quarter.

    WaMu said earnings are also being hurt by the current interest rate environment. With the Federal Reserve’s series of increases in short-term rates, net interest margins (the difference between what it collects on loans and pays on deposits) have been squeezed.

    In addition, the home mortgage business isn’t making much of a contribution. In the third quarter, WaMu’s home loan unit reported a loss of $33 million; in the year-ago quarter, it made a profit of $302 million. Loan volume was down 34 percent from a year ago.”

    “WaMu is hoping that the economy, while slowing, will remain “in a modest growth scenario,” Killinger added. “We enter 2007 with the belief it could be a very good period for us.”

  3. 3
    synthetik says:

    >we enter 2007 with the belief it could be a very good period for us

    translation: Long WM puts

  4. 4
    meshugy says:

    More corruption:

    Two title companies face lawsuit

    Several Washington homeowners are suing two title companies, claiming that inducements the companies illegally paid to get business referrals drove up the cost of their title insurance policies.

    Kreidler reported companies spending thousands on things such as food and drinks, tickets to sporting events and trips for golf, skiing and shopping. He asserted that this added to the cost of title insurance, because insurance fees are the companies’ sole source of revenue.

  5. 5
    4 Percent Realtor says:

    Hey guys,

    I am not sure if you have seen this blog yet (If you have sorry for the redundancy), but I think it really puts a face to the trials of people who got in over their head during the housing boom. Granted this guy screwed up, but I think he knows it too. I believe the real culprit here is these seminars that make people think real estate investing is such a snap and requires zero experience. Anyhow, take a look for yourself: http://www.iamfacingforeclosure.com

  6. 6
    wreckingbull says:

    4 Percent:

    Heard that on NPR this morning. My first thought was “Why is this clown not being prosecuted for mortgage fraud?” I agree that the lenders are the other half of the problem, but I look at it this way: If a store places merchandise on the sidewalk, it does not make it OK to steal just becuase it is easy to steal.

    Perhaps he and Kendra Todd will have a love-child together.

    We will all pay for Casey’s sins, whether we own a home or not.

  7. 7
    synthetik says:


  8. 8
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Welcome back, Shug. We were worried about you.

  9. 9
    EconExchange says:

    Why ingnore the TRENDS?

    YOY by month King County
    May – 16.88%
    June – 15.34%
    July – 14.71%
    Aug – 12.02%
    Sept – 8.6%

    Anyone see where this is headed?

    Eastside is looking NASTY!!!

    May – 16.56%
    June – 24.99%
    July – 20.49%
    August – 6.74%
    Sept – 2.39%

    YOY the EASTSIDE median is up only 2.39%. But what everyone overlooks is how much the median is ACTUALLY DOWN since it peaked in june.

    May – $484,500
    June – $514,975
    July – $496,405
    August – $475,000
    Sept – $460,000

    It’s going to get bad. LOOK OUT BELOW!!!!!

  10. 10
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I’ve definitely seen a change on the ground in the eastside over the last year. There’s a lot more houses for sale than before, and many of them are now sitting for months at a time. Even six months ago they would have flown off the market. I havent been watching prices, with a few exceptions, so I have limited info on that. The latest trend I’ve noticed is houses coming off the market without selling. Of the eight houses on my route to/from work, three have just dropped off the market without selling in the last two weeks. One of them is now up for rent. That’s more than have sold on the same route in the last two months.

  11. 11
    Eleua says:



    We have had to bring in people from RCG, just for entertainment purposes.

    Glad to hear you are still alive and well.


  12. 12
    meshugy says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome back….

    This is the busiest time of the year for me….and biz has doubled this year on top of it so I don’t have much time to follow RE. We’re also having another kid next month so I won’t have much time to post.

    Anyway, it’s been an interesting ride the last month or so. Sort of looked like we might be going the way of CA. But now inventory is going down again so I think we just had the normal Fall slow down. We’ll know more when the MLS #s come out…

  13. 13
    Mikhail says:

    meshugy said: “inventory is going down again”

    It’s not definitive, but I see that the listings on ziprealty for my area (East Bellevue, 98008) have continued to keep creeping up. We are at 87 listings as of this afternoon. We were in the 70s during September.

  14. 14
    Richard says:

    meshugy I don’t have much time to follow RE…

    …But now inventory is going down again so I think we just had the normal Fall slow down.

    It shows!

  15. 15
    Matthew says:


    apparently you’ve been away. The Tim posted awhile ago that inventory has NEVER increased in the month of Oct as far back as his data is reliable. By looking at housingtracker.net, it looks like we could have the first inventory increase for the month of October since 2000. That would be significant. Even if inventory does go down slightly, it reinforces the bubble in my mind, if we were “bubble-less”, their should be a dramatic increase in inventory, which we are not seeing.

  16. 16
    EconExchange says:

    “…But now inventory is going down again so I think we just had the normal Fall slow down.”

    Ummmmm. Where are you getting your data? The official numbers have not shown a decrease AND unoffical number’s from the housingtracker site which tend to be pretty on point as far as trend shows we are UP again

    04/2006 10,175
    05/2006 11,094
    06/2006 11,953
    07/2006 12,831
    08/2006 13,632
    09/2006 14,099
    10/2006 14,720
    10/16/2006 14,921

    So, ummm where is the slowdown?

  17. 17
    Matthew says:

    sorry, to edit my last post the last sentence should say DECREASE not increase. My bad.

  18. 18
    Mr the Horse says:

    I can tell you there is more inventory. I work for a large regional bank. I compared construction loans from this month last year to this year. I also qualified it by looking at homes/townhomes that are 100% complete with 100% of construction loan money disbursed, but not paid off. In just Seattle alone there are over 120 complete projects, about 1/3 of these are 4 plex town homes. Last year at this time there were only 10 outstanding construction loans, none of which were multifamily, and that is in all of King County, not just Seattle only.

  19. 19
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I will not be surprised if the inventory drops for the fall. As I’ve posted in other threads, I’m seeing houses come off the market in my neighborhood without selling. I’m assuming these are people that were fishing for a buyer at a high sell price, but have no hard proof of that. What’s interesting is that several of these have already been vacated, which makes me wonder if they now have two mortgages, i.e. they traded up but have been unable to sell the old place. I think the real downward pressure on prices will come from ARM resets that people will not be able the refinance because of stalled or negative appreciation.

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