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
    Matthew says:

    Is there are homeowner out there that doesn’t Zillow their house every week? I haven’t found one yet! Everyone I work with is Zillowing their houses like they are following their favorite stock!

    Wait till the prices start going in the other direction! This is going to be priceless!

  2. 2
    Deejayoh says:

    From what I have seen, some homes are trending down already – even in seattle. I still watch the market to see what is coming on, and every 2nd or 3rd property seems to show a drop in the last 2-3 months.

  3. 3
    Deejayoh says:

    Here is an interesting article explaining how, in the Silicon Valley at least, median home price does not truly show the picture for what is happening with overall home prices.

    Of course, we all know that the valley is not “special” like Seattle – an certainly Google is not creating millionaires like Microsoft, but it is interesting nonetheless

  4. 4
    Deejayoh says:

    Wait till the prices start going in the other direction! This is going to be priceless!

    here’s what will happen on the down side…

    Arizona bars online home price estimator

  5. 5
    Terry says:


    Excellent article on how median price statistics can be misleading. The example given in the article was one of the best I’ve seen with regards to explanation.

    ”….. despite drops in volume and price there can be a gain in the median price if the mix of home sales changes significantly from a year ago in favor of the high-priced areas….”

    I sometimes wonder how many people really understand the above quote.

  6. 6
    JP says:

    Anybody else watch Casey Serin on Nightline last Friday night?

    He admitted on national TV that he ‘lied’ about his income, but seemed pretty complacent about it.

    I wonder how many other Caseys there are out there that we are not aware of . . .

    You can watch the story online, go to iamfacingforeclosure.com to get the link.

  7. 7
    E-sidedave says:

    They just keep coming…

    5 lousy excuses for not buying a home (MSN article via SmartMoney. Not sure of the date. I apologize if this has previously been posted.)


  8. 8
    AwaySooner says:

    Not sure this has been psoted, but apparently the price of tea in China would soon pop the bubble in Seattle as well. :)

    Will China’s float sink the housing bubble?

  9. 9
    Matthew says:


    Good article, someone should do an analysis for Seattle just like that.

  10. 10
    Terry says:


    Two good reasons for not buying:

    1) It is bad personal economics to invest in an expensive asset that has a high probability of depreciating in the near future.

    2) It is a bad choice to commit a large portion of your income to service the debt of an overpriced house to the detriment of other aspects of your personal / economic life.

  11. 11
    Deejayoh says:

    5 lousy excuses for not buying a home (MSN article via SmartMoney. Not sure of the date. I apologize if this has previously been posted.)

    Current Bubble Stage: Denial

  12. 12
    Mike says:

    Just saw this:

    A large mortgage brokerage operation in the Pacific Northwest has been tardy paying some of its branches we’re told. At press time, one branch manager said he had not been paid in 18 days. Typically, he gets paid in 48 hours, he told us.

    Wonder who it could be?

    source: nationalmortgagenews.com

  13. 13
    Grivetti says:

    From 5 lousy excuses… article previously posted.

    Such people might also fear growing up, becoming their parents, owning guest towels, etc.

    WTF?… whatever. I guess its just plain immature to be financially wise and hold-off in an assett inflated market. Makes sense to me!…

    Heck, you don’t have to pay property taxes. And if you’ve got enough money for a down payment, why dump that cash into an expensive home when you could use it to buy something like stocks instead?

    Holy Smokes!! That’s making way too much sense! What’s the come back?

    Would you still rather build your securities portfolio than buy a house?

    Ridiculous question. For starters, this question says all home purchases are pure investment, which is a lie… secondly, if I’m going to invest, it ain’t going to be in a house. Diversify, diversify, and it only takes a little emminent domain, or a a few crack-houses (sorry crack homes) to kill your return.

    “They are choosier (women) and decide to be with men who they want to be with for emotional reasons, not financial reasons.”

    I guess this touchy-feely article was geared for chicks at the get-go. But to tell you the truth, the caveman hormone (still alive and well) does not have an override switch, if an attractive girl likes us more because we’re somebody of importance/status, the easier. We (me in particular) could really care less whether you own a home or not…

    I’m afraid of commitment.

    Change “commitment” to “suicidal toxic credit killing loans” and you’ve got a point.. but again, the anti-male jag of the article gets a punch in…

    Funny, we hear this excuse (fear of commitment) more from men. But seriously…

    …But seriously, bugger off… a stupid point altogether.

    Historically speaking, property values bounce back, especially if the disaster happens in a desirable area.

    One word: Chernobyl

  14. 14
    E-sidedave says:

    FYA: Author of “5 Lousy Excuses…” article: http://www.smartmoney.com/pr/index.cfm?story=debaise

    She has degrees in journalism and English, yet she is giving real estate advice. Nice.

  15. 15
    Scott says:

    A related topic to awaysooner’s link post is this from Reuters:

    “demand for mortgage-backed securities fell to a three-year low, a U.S. Treasury Department report showed.”

    “U.S. agency bonds, principally backed by home mortgages, saw their lowest net purchases by foreigners in nearly three years in February, as news of troubles in the subprime mortgage sector increased.”

    “Purchases of U.S. agency bonds, such as those issued by home loan funding company Fannie Mae, fell to $2.02 billion in February, their lowest level since net sales of $624 million in March 2004.”

    “‘It probably is related to general concerns about what’s going on in the mortgage-backed arena,’ said Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at RBS Greenwich Capital.” “

  16. 16
    Deejayoh says:

    Here are some interesting statistics for the city of seattle

    From ZipRealty
    Listings: 2797
    Price Reduced: 712 (25% of listings)

    From RealtyTrac
    Bank-owned: 713 (25% of listings)
    Pre-foreclosure: 13

    I’m not sure you can compare the RealtyTrac numbers apples to apples with listings – but it is interesting that ~25% of listings appear “distressed” and/or price reduced.

    Any RealtyTrac experts out there?

  17. 17
    refractedthought says:

    Re: 5 lousy excuses

    So basically she’s trying to taunt people into buying. Nice.

    I hope this chick likes the taste of crow.

  18. 18
    EconE says:

    great post Grivetti…I read the article also.

    Another funny article was this one from yesterdays NYTimes where they cherry pick a few renters and talk about how much renters sink into rehabbing their rental units.


    Any of you renters out there paying big bucks to remodel your landlords place?

    Didn’t think so.

  19. 19
    Mike says:

    222 NE 94th St, Seattle, WA 98115

    3 (4?) mortgages since 2003. The one taken out last February with New Century looks like it was the killer.

    Trustee sale is scheduled for June 29th.

  20. 20
    AwaySooner says:

    One of our own zipcodes make it to the top. :)

    Zip Codes with the Highest Median Single-Family Home Prices

  21. 21
    diddley says:

    New poster here (though I’ve been reading this blog occasionally for some time).

    Just stumbled across this article in Reuters where commodities guru Jim Rogers sees a US property crash on the horizon:


    (the article is a month old, so please forgive me if its already been quoted here or elsewhere)

  22. 22
    Mike says:

    Update: the Sales Manager at Huling Brothers that was charged with theft from a mentally disabled man has slashed the price of his Loyal Heights bungalow. 3006 nw 73rd st, originally listed at ~750K to 600K. Still ridiculously overpriced.

    Won’t somebody bail the poor man out?

    If that’s still too expensive, there’s a foreclosure sale at 2716 nw 65th st that just came on the market. The foreclosed owner bought 7 properties in the past year, and has defaulted on 5 now.

    Yup, Seattle is Different.

  23. 23
    Seattle Home Owner says:

    I am not sure what I have stumbled in on. This is the first time I’ve seen this blog. It seems as though this site is a place where people are trying to convince themselves that the Seattle real estate market is going to fail and that it will be a glorious day of vindication for some (most of the contributors) and crow eating (the rest of society).
    There are very few examples in the recent past of real estate being a bad investment over the long haul. It can be risky to buy if you know you need to sell in a couple of years. But if it is a place to live and you are planning to be there awhile it is probably the smartest investment you’ll make.

  24. 24
    Matthew says:

    Seattle home owner-

    Actually you are wrong. Historically, the stock market is the best place to invest. If you invested the same amount of money in 1940 in the market as you did real estate, you would come out much better of if you had invested in stocks.

    Please troll somewhere else, thanks.

  25. 25

    […] / Drive By CommentingDrive By CommentingBy The Tim on April 17, 2007 | 45 CommentsComments like this one crack me up:I am not sure what I have stumbled in on. This is the first time I’ve seen this […]

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