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
    meshugy says:

    November MLS report is up:

    Area Statistics Report for the Month of November King County

    Res Closed Median: 435K

    That’s down 5K from Oct but up YOY 46K from Nov 2005!!

    Active Res listings:7,040

    That’s down from 7,865 last month.

    Still looks like a very strong market…I thought we’d see more of a slowdown at this point. But with prices at historic highs and inventory tanking, I think we’re looking at another year of big appreciation.

  2. 2
    meshugy says:

    Homes for sale now listed on Zillow

    Zillow also is rolling out a service called “Make Me Move” that allows homeowners to list a dream price for their home and then entertain possible offers. Those homes will be marked on Zillow’s maps with a blue flag.

    I’ll take 2 mil for my house…any takers?

  3. 3
    Kaleetan says:

    Are people still going to stick to predictions of the bubble bursting in 2007?

    Or will it now be 2008?

    We should go ahead and make it a holiday tradition to move the timeline back. We will all say..

    “Next year will be the one, you just watch..a depression like no other .. Prices will be at 1997 levels, people will be out on the street in bread lines..All equity will vanish…Houses are just like Pets.com..Just like the nasdaq…blah blah blah.. “

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    First off, I don’t know anyone who has said “Houses are just like Pets.com.” That’s a straw man and I think you know it.

    Secondly, this month’s data falls pretty close to where I was predicting. I guessed the median price spot on, and was a little high for both inventory and sales. All in all, things are still shaping up pretty much like I predicted back in April.

    Also, I don’t believe that back in 2005 I was predicting a “crash” this year. One of the defining characteristics of a bubble is that it goes on for longer than any sane person thinks it will. I expect that this housing bubble will be no different.

    I expect prices to retract somewhat next year, and so far things seem to be headed in that general direction.

  5. 5
    Nolaguy says:

    The mess at Merit made one of my favorite macro-economic blogs:


    In addition to the Merit story, this was a good point:

    “When nobody remembers a time when housing dropped, then that complacency creates the perfect conditions for a trend reversal: “permanent” up switches to “permanent” decline. We may be in the first stages of just such a decline.”

  6. 6
    Grivetti says:

    I don’t know anyone who has said “Houses are just like Pets.com.”

    I mentioned the Pets.com reference, horribly taken out of context here, just paraphrasing a Shiller analogy about the shift in speculative manic driven investment from the tech-boom over to housing when Greenspan dropped the credit bomb.

    BTW, my predictions been, Recession Q2 2007, and I’m sticking to it. All econmic signs are pointing in this directiopn and even Berneke starting to go easy on his ‘soft landing’ B.S. as inlfations starting to spike…

  7. 7
    Hork says:

    Calculation of M3 is .. disturbing, but hardly surprising.

  8. 8
    CRichard says:

    “..with prices at historic highs and inventory tanking, I think we’re looking at another year of big appreciation.” – meshugy

    To continue with the cherry picking (King Co Residential):
    – Tot appreciation since June: $50
    – Tot appr. June 05-Nov 05: $14000
    (you lost 14K in appreciation!)
    – YOY chg in inventory: +28%
    – YOY chg in months supply:+33%
    – Last year tot Nov inventory was this high: 2003

  9. 9
    meshugy says:

    Hi Tim…nice prediction on the Residential Median Price!

    However, your condo prediction was way off….Condos shot up to $272,950. That’s up $13K from $259K in Oct. Everyone keeps predicting a condo glut, but it looks like they’re hotter then ever!!

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Our market in Vancouver BC has started to show some signs of weakness, but I think our price/rent ratio is farther out of whack than Seattle.


  11. 11
    deeplennon says:

    “and inventory tanking” – meshugy

    November King County Residential inventory went down from October an average of 9.55% over the previous six years.

    It went down 10.49% this year. How is this remotely unusual in Seattle’s normal annual housing market cycle?

    If you haden’t noticed inventory is still up 27.2% YOY and pending sales are still down 14.2% YOY.

    Supply also hit at a 34 month high in November, 3.55 months.

    Quite a bit higher than the six month stretch in 05′ (mar-aug) when inventory was below two months.

  12. 12
    deeplennon says:

    “Everyone keeps predicting a condo glut, but it looks like they’re hotter then ever!!” – meshugy

    Simple theory, it’s all that’s left that people can afford ;).

    Condo’s are up a psychotic 24.07% YOY.

    In the previous five novembers condos were up 5.35% YOY on avg. They far underperformed Houses, while now they’re nearly doubling them in appreciation.

    Which begs the question, what happens when those who chose condo’s because they can’t afford houses, can no longer afford condos? ;)

  13. 13
    The Tim says:

    However, your condo prediction was way off…

    Yes, I didn’t expect to be very close on that one. As I explained here, the condo market is much more volitile (i.e., unpredictable) than the SFH market. Plus, since I don’t follow the condo market as closely, I’m even less likely to make a very accurate guess.

  14. 14
    deeplennon says:

    Corrections to previous post, Condos -are- doubling Houses currently in regards to appreciation.

    Also, the 24.07 YOY appreciation posted by condos this month is the highest in the 6 1/2 year MLS record for either Houses or Condos. The high for Houses was 20% in Oct 05.

    While Condos avgeraged a 5.35% appreciation the previous five years Houses averaged 11.75% appreciation, more than doubling condos.

    To put that into perspective, houses are up 0.7% over their previous five year average while Condos are up 449.9% over theirs.

    AKA, holy shit.

    I’ll stick to my simple theory, condos are all that’s left for most people to afford. There’s no way that those numbers make sense any other way. But for how long will they be affordable?

  15. 15
    rentalbliss says:

    who needs affordability when you have appreciation?

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    You keep hoping for the best and trying to creat the meme that the bubble ain’t burstin’. You are fighting an uphill battle and if you think Seattle is going to be the only place in the United States that doesn’t have a drop off, then you’ve been eating some of those mushrooms that have pooped up after the rains.
    Look closer at the numbers from across the country, not just the “median” that you keep quoting because that doesn’t mean crud. Unfortunatly for us homeowners, it is not good news and it isn’t going to get any better. Everybody can specualte all they want and argue one way or the other, but the time is here that the cycle turns, rapidly or gradually doesn’t realy matter.

  17. 17
    Grivetti says:

    Look closer at the numbers from across the country, not just the median that you keep quoting because that doesn’t mean crud.

    hahahaha… you’ve stumbled across the Meshugy mind trick!

    He’s a one trick pony (or Troll?)… dump a handpicked MOM stats along with an adjective “falling fast”! or “very strong”! or “sellers paradise”, bitch at The Tim when he doesn’t use the proper adjective or when he overshoots a condo-prediction, than leave the turd in the punchbowl by not responding to any of it…

    Best to ignore him, although its almost too delicious not to at times!

  18. 18
    Grivetti says:

    I’ll take 2 mil for my house…any takers?

    Yeah… I’ll buy it, as long as it comes with the 1.9 mil worth of whatever you’re smokin’…

  19. 19
    The Tim says:

    ^^^Funniest thing I’ve read all day. :^D

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    Here is something that has been brought up before, tim did an excellent job of the comparison between San Diego and Seattle and combating the arguments that what is happening in San Diego, can’t happen here. this may all sound like beating a dead horse, but I wonder if anybody can find out where the Seattle migration came from that spiked the demand for housing. where do these people come from that can take the equity out of their home and pay top dollar, causing bidding wars on homes? Let’s look at where they are coming from and what is happening there. I bet that those cities that are now seeing massive declines in the value of the homes, are the culprits for the rise here. I spoke to an agent a few days ago and told her that I moved up here from California. (I actually am coming back home from being down there a while) and she said that they love seeing So Cal people because that meant that they didn’t care what the price of the home was. I told her that those days are over. the home I sold in the prime spot of Mission Hills San Diego, sold 100,000.00 less than the peak market value. Looking back at comps in my old neighborhood out of curiosity, I see a $200,000.00 drop from that. What would have sold at the peak 1.5 years ago for 1.1 mil, is now going for $700k. the “median” statistics don’t show that drastic of a decline, even for San Diego, but that is the reality. I feel sorry for the people who bought my house because they are now upside down.

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