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New King County SFH Inventory Record

For those of you that are not Seattle Bubble forum readers (but should be), it is worth noting here that yesterday the total number of King County single-family homes on the market passed its previous (September 2002) high of 9,176, setting a new all-time record high.

According to Windermere property search, the MLS (as of this posting) has 9,240 houses on the market in King County, a number which has been climbing by about 250 listings per week. If that rate holds up, next month’s NWMLS report will show over 9,700 listings on the market as of the end of June. I expect there will be at least 9,400 listings.

In related news, OC Renter over at the Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking blog has posted a pair of interesting graphs comparing Seattle to our favorite sister city, San Diego. There’s an eerie similarity between the two…

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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.

30 comments:

  1. 1
    j says:

    through the forum. what’s up with this listing?
    MLS# 27056422: 1420 Terry Ave #2702

    +100% appreciation in 1 year? woo hoo!!!!!

  2. 2
    Mike2 says:

    RE: 1420. It looks like it was either a remodel or originally sold unfinished. BTW, there’s a forum thread on audacious flips and rehabs.

  3. 3
    deejayoh says:

    I love the San Diego comparison.

    Check out the Dataquick headline for Feb 2006 for SoCal
    Five-year low for Southland home sales
    February 15, 2006

    Now check out their assessment of Seattle last month….
    Seattle April 2007 Home Sales
    May 28, 2007

    The Seattle region held its place among America’s strongest housing markets in April, when its median sale price rebounded to match the record set earlier this year. But there were also signs of cooling: Sales dropped to a four-year low and the annual rate of price appreciation fell into single-digit territory for the first time since spring 2005.

    And then the headline for SoCal by the end of 2006…
    Southland home sales slow to ten-year low
    November 14, 2006

    Why, it’s almost like havin’ a crystal ball!

  4. 4
    jeff says:

    Was it not a couple weeks ago that Meshugy was touting record low inventory?

  5. 5
    Tyler says:

    MAJOR Comment issue. When I’m getting into the coments I’m seeing the name and e-mail address filled with SOMEONE ELSES information, e-mail adress included. This is a MAJOR problem.

  6. 6
    synthetik says:

    San Diego reference? Why on earth would anyone compare Seattle to San Diego?

  7. 7

    AMERICA’S DEMOGRAPHY IS CHANGING FAST

    Yes, to quote Lou Dobbs, “since when did it take two incomes in America to get by?” How does the mainstream approx 1 worker family get by in Seattle?

    I was looking over the historical demography of America and guess what? There’s more incomes than ever with OVERPOPULATION immigration added in, but there’s more “single incomes” in America than ever [about 60% of the women are still single], causing the demography per household to stagnate around 1.2 workers per household.

    What does this mean? Plenty, if you’re a 1.2 worker household (the real Middle Class). Since wages in America are plummetting for the real Middle Class and workers per household stay stagnant around 1.2 with a stagnant GDP (0.6%) growth for 2007…how do we justify more cheap OVERPOPULATION slave labor in America with 1.2 workers per household?

    If you’re a lucky American family with 2 workers, don’t laugh, you also have twice the probability of having an income outsourced away than a single income family that can’t afford anything in America anymore with OVERPOPULATION slave labor diluting the GDP. American OVERPOPULATION and outsourcing is definitely putting 2 income households at high risk of losing one income. Let’s face it, all things flat and you’re the boss, who would you lay off in a Recession, the single income in a household or the double income?

    HORRIFYING thought isn’t it.

  8. 8
    wreckingbull says:

    While I don’t quite take that exact angle, I will say this:

    Today’s global economy and ease of both white and blue collar outsourcing virtually assures that salaries will not catch up to home prices. That only leaves one option for a return to equilibrium….

  9. 9
    Alan says:

    Tim, you should add a counter on the front page that displays the number of SFR on the market in real time. You don’t have to update it all of the time. Just get the rate of increase and have some javascript rewrite the value at the right time. Update the count every few days and voila.

  10. 10
    MisterBubble says:

    I second Alan’s comment. Also, please include a pink pony counter!

  11. 11
    S-crow says:

    And with this, everyone have a good weekend!

    “‘It’s going to be tough,’ said Adam L. Stein, president of the Washington Association of Mortgage Brokers near Seattle. ‘I talk to people every day looking to get the fixed rate. You give them the current rate and they say, ‘That doesn’t do anything for me.’”

    And with that, therein lies the conundrum for those with 2/28’s or other ARM’s that are adjusting that bought in 2004-05. Not only are lending qualifying getting tougher, the interest rate rise over the last couple weeks are causing problems.

    People need to READ, DECIPHER and UNDERSTAND their loan terms. In many (most really, in my experience reviewing loan docs) cases the ARM terms allows for the 1st adjustment to rise to the max interest rate cap (4-6 points HIGHER than the original start rate.). For example, if your start rate is 6.125%, your cap may rise to 11.125% AT THE FIRST ADJUSTMENT PERIOD. Take an average $400,000 I/O loan payment at 6.125% and move it to 11.125%. Do the math. Not a nice result.

    Lots of consumers think that their interest rate movement is capped at 2% at each adjustment period. Not necessarily the case. For most loans I see, the rate is capped at 2% or so, AFTER the 1st adjustment period. A-F-T-E-R. I know this may seem condescending but my intentions are not. People need to really understand their loan terms long term and have a plan.

  12. 12
    ella says:

    I have been trying to retrieve the May data for KC and the state from NWMLS. I have consistently gone to the same web page at the NWMLS that posts the data. This month, they still have the April PDF’s up and not the May.

    Any idea what is going on? Could it be that since the market is no longer smoking they have decided not to provide the info to the public?

    Any idea how I can access the pdf files with the data.

  13. 13
    Greg Kirkos says:

    My neighborhood (in Seattle) still doesn’t have much available. In fact, there’s less than there was at the
    same time LAST YEAR. What gives? Where are all
    these new listings?

  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    To Tyler and the others at MS who are having the comment form issue (where other people’s data shows up):

    I have been looking into the comment form issue, as you’re not the first person to bring it up. What I know for sure is that it is only affecting the group of you that post from within Microsoft, all from the same IP I posted a question about this on the WordPress support forum, and was told that there is no IP-based form fill, and that it is probably due to some sort of caching web server.

    Do any of you know anything about Microsoft’s outbound web setup? If there truly is some sort of caching proxy, there’s not much I can do about it. Although I have heard that the problem is eliminated if you create an account on Seattle Bubble, since then it automatically logs you in based on a cookie.

  15. 15
    The Tim says:

    ella,

    I assume you’re referring to this page, which used to be where they posted the monthly press releases and pdfs. For reasons unknown, the latest edition can be found here, which is just a one-off page.

    I found that by going here and clicking on “Housing Market Continues Trend” on the left. Also worth noting is that they changed the filename format of the pdfs. I don’t know whether these changes are permanent or just for this month.

  16. 16
    Ballard Bob says:

    My neighborhood (in Seattle) still doesn’t have much available. In fact, there’s less than there was at the
    same time LAST YEAR. What gives? Where are all
    these new listings?

    Greg – not to doubt your drive-by observations, but the numbers don’t lie… Seattle inventory is up 60% over last year – in every area. Some are worse than others, but based on my research the trend is pretty pronounced everywhere.

    I’m curious, in what area do you live?

  17. 17
    deejayoh says:

    oops – that’s me above.

  18. 18
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    But Meshugy said inventory is at record lows!

  19. 19
    stlgal says:

    Just moved here from St Louis. The RE market is already pretty chilly there but we were able to sell our house for full price because we had an unusual house in a high demand area. We are not over the sticker shock yet. I have been tracking this blog for over 6 months, knowing we would move. We are a 2 income, white collar couple, no kids and still would never dream of being able to afford a house in a desirable area. That’s pretty sad. We have no plans to buy as we also think things are way over priced here. It’s nice but it’s no world class city. Most of the places here don’t even have ordinances against leaving truck parts in the front yard. Boy that’s classy when you’re dropping 500-600k on a house. I saw a sign in Renton saying exquisite homes from the 600’s. No offense but you couldn’t really pay me to live there, and definitely not for that kind of money. I am amazed at how provincial some of these neighborhoods are, and what they dream of asking people to pay to live there. A lot of people are not maintaining their homes. How can prices keep going up if the junk next to them is so bad? Don’t forget people, after tax income is what you have to pay a mortgage with.

    We’re happy to rent for awhile if it means we can live in a nicer area with some real amenities. My husband works for Microsoft and one of the contractors he knows sold his house in Kirkland last year and is now renting and waiting for a dip to buy back in. His dad is a developer so he knows a thing or two about real estate. To quote him he said to my husband “you and I are making good money and if we can’t afford the house prices now, what does that say?”

    Also, everyone says that housing prices can’t go down when jobs are strong. That’s not true in St. Louis. We have an extremely diverse economy and yet houses are slipping. We have a lot of biotech, health, financial (A.G.Edwards/EdJones Headquarters), don’t forget the beer-ABusch, strong union jobs that can’t be outsourced (i.e. the plumbers), education, non-profit. You name it, we have it. Wages are going up there, but housing isn’t, at least not right now. You can still sell a house for good money, but it needs to be in perfect shape to do so.

    On another note, I went to San Diego earlier this Spring. Prices are off almost 25% from their all-time highs. The market is still healthy and people view it as a necessary correction. They are still selling out condos, there’s just not as many being built. There are still houses that move very fast because they are in a certain area or face the ocean or whatever, but that’s not the norm.

  20. 20
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Although I have heard that the problem is eliminated if you create an account on Seattle Bubble, since then it automatically logs you in based on a cookie.

    I’m afraid this isn’t necessarily true. I stay logged in, and usually on my first visit to the page, I see the login blanks with someone else’s information. Reloading the page fixies the issue and shows that I’m logged in and just gives me the comment box, but that first visit of the day shows someone else’s name and email, presumably because they visited via the cache/proxy server more recently than I have.

  21. 21
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    It’s may also be important to note that I’ve been to other sites that have similar comment mechanisms (HBB, RCG, the old SB, etc) and do not ever remember seeing this issue. I’ve only seen it since you moved to WordPress.

  22. 22
    Beth says:

    “Let’s face it, all things flat and you’re the boss, who would you lay off in a Recession, the single income in a household or the double income?”

    If I were the boss (and to a tiny extent, I am) and I had to let go of someone, I would keep my best workers & let go of the others.
    It is true that if the work each did were of very similar quality, I would keep the one with only one income, but often some people are better suited to their jobs than others.
    The more I have good workers, the more likely it is that I’ll continue to have funding, so it is best for all the remaining people to keep the ones that are most productive.

  23. 23
    deejayoh says:

    I’m afraid this isn’t necessarily true. I stay logged in, and usually on my first visit to the page, I see the login blanks with someone else’s information.

    I see it at home as well as at work too. Sometimes it says I am “logged in as deejayoh” but not always.

  24. 24
    EconE says:

    It depends on what browser I’m using. One had my info automatically where the other requires me to fill in the Name & Mail boxes. I have noticed however in the forums that some of the words on the right hand side are cut off.

  25. 25
    BanteringBear says:

    “Was it not a couple weeks ago that Meshugy was touting record low inventory?”

    Speaking of Meshillguy, he seems to be fading away like most of the deluded mouthpieces. Probably getting his overpriced POS ready for the market…

  26. 26
    shawn says:

    shaggy is where all the other reality challenged folks are, hiding away hoping no one asks them what is going on. Where are all the people who said the tech stocks could rise forever, even though they had not business plans and were selling nothing? Where are all the people who were saying Florida’s real estate prices would climb for the rest of the decade?

  27. 27
    CCG says:

    ‘To quote him he said to my husband “you and I are making good money and if we can’t afford the house prices now, what does that say?”’

    So true.

    “On another note, I went to San Diego earlier this Spring. Prices are off almost 25% from their all-time highs. The market is still healthy and people view it as a necessary correction.”

    Heh, show me someone who acts cheerful about a 25% haircut and I’ll show you someone whose ego is tied up in their investment.

  28. 28
    KernalPanic says:

    Here is an interesting take on US Dollar collapse
    http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/jun/11dollar.htm

  29. 29
    Ella says:

    Tim,

    Thanks for the link to the NWMLS stats. There is something very odd going on down in Clark County. The NWMLS is reporting far less listing and sales activity then the local Vancouver newspaper and what can be seen on the Windermere web site.

    And to think the BLS relies on the MLS to give us the existing homes sales data.

  30. 30

    […] homes on the market in King County passed the big round 10,000 mark (see the left sidebar). Since surpassing the previous confirmed high (Sept. ‘02 – 9,176) last month, inventory has grown at an average rate of about 26 homes added per day, despite decreasing by over […]

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