Welcome KING 5 Viewers!

If you’re viewing this blog for the first time today because you saw me (Tim Ellis) on KING 5 tonight, I’d like to take a moment to welcome you. Seattle Bubble is the Seattle area’s #1 resource for news, analysis, commentary, and community discussion on the local real estate market. This community site is focused on productive discussion of the local housing market, so that everyone involved can work toward a goal of improving understanding and dispelling myths.

Please take a moment to look around the site. I recommend you take a look at the following posts:

For those of you that aren’t new, and didn’t catch KING 5 news tonight (as of this post, you can still catch it at 11:00 PM on KING 5), I’m hoping to update this post later with the video clip. Check back later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Update: Here’s the story on the KING5 website: Housing prices predicted to drop (thanks Deejayoh!).

Update 2: Here’s the video. I apologize for the lousy quality. I had some issues with my TV capture card last night and had to use a roundabout method to digitize this.

Oh, one more thing… Here’s the Fortune article they’re referring to in the newscast: Real estate: Buy, sell, or hold?, and here’s their specific take on Seattle. It’s the same article I mentioned (but didn’t yet have a direct link to) a few days ago in the post: Fortune: Price-to-Rent Correction Forecasting.

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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
    squidier says:

    Nicely done, The Tim: keep spreadin’ the word!


  2. 2
    just_checking says:

    Hey I finally “met the man” – sort of on TV

    You kept that interview a secret from us regulars :)

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    I didn’t keep it a secret. I just didn’t know about it until about 4:00, and all I had time to do was carpool home from work, tidy up the house, shave, and write down a few points before Kim Holcomb and the camera guy showed up, then I had a prior appointment I had to rush off to. I did manage to post about it in the forum before hand though, but that’s all I had time for :^)

  4. 4
    squidier says:

    Fame and glory… what’s next?

    Affordable housing in Seattle?

  5. 5
  6. 6
    The Thom says:

    Interesting site. I’m glad I caught the news today and I’ll be looking forward keeping up with your insights :)

    One thing I’ve got to ask though, what is that thing on the wall to the right of your desk above the waste basket?

  7. 7
    The Tim says:

    Hah, that’s a pretty off-the-wall (er, no pun intended) question The Thom. I assume you’re referring to the heater.

  8. 8
    Joel says:

    I like that they pointed out that you’ll benefit from a price drop, but didn’t mention that Realtors benefit from no drop. No bias here, move along . . .

  9. 9
    NostraDamnUs says:

    Attention whoring w/the media… that beats having a home (or the ability to actually save for one). Nice job indeed!

  10. 10
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    NostraDamnUs, although Ramen isn’t very nutritious, it is filling and cheap. Good luck with that RE job!

  11. 11
    David McManus says:

    Did I hear that correctly at the end of that clip? That NAR will be playing radio ads talking about the favorable housing market conditions? What the hell are they smoking because I want some of it!

  12. 12
    brettro says:

    Good exposure, Tim! And kudos to King5 for actually doing a little homework rather than regurgitate industry propaganda

  13. 13
    The Tim says:

    Not coincidentally I’m sure, KOMO Radio (AM 1000) contacted me this morning for a radio interview. I’ll be on around 10:45 this morning, live.

  14. 14
    John says:

    You should think about selling ads on the site.

  15. 15
    CKT says:

    I know for a fact that Seattle-ites can see the writing on the wall, and I can tell they’re sick to death of being spun by the media that all is well. It’s about time reality gets some exposure in the media.

    Also the Tim, you should put up a link to some of the great posts by you and deejayoh on jobs, immigration, and housing, given the BS spouted by the guy suggesting that the best time to buy is at the peak of a market just as it’s tanking.

  16. 16
    David McManus says:


    Ever thought about running for office in Kenmore? I’d vote for ya!


  17. 17
    Jason says:

    Off-topic: how many syllables are in “Realtor” anyway? I’d heard it as two (“REAL-ter”) in the east, but here in 10-in-the-morning-football-land I’ve heard an extra syllable (“REAL-uh-ter”).

  18. 18
    David McManus says:

    Off-topic: how many syllables are in “Realtor” anyway? I’d heard it as two (”REAL-ter”) in the east, but here in 10-in-the-morning-football-land I’ve heard an extra syllable (”REAL-uh-ter”).

    I’ve also heard “REALT-WHORE”.

  19. 19
    blueskitten says:

    Re: how many syllables in “Realtor”

    As a Vocal Performance BA-holder speaking here, I think the variance could come from regional differences in how the consonant “L” is pronounced. There are two ways to pronounce an L, tongue pressing backward toward the back of the throat (which results in a more drawled “LLLL”), or the forward tip of the tongue lightly touching the roof of the mouth. When the forward motion ends, it can cause a brief unaccented vowel that sounds like “uh” (called a schwa).

    And also, if people who usually speak with a drawled L hear an unfamiliar word spoken with a flipped L, then the phantom vowel can work its way into the common usage.

    And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know. ;)

    And Tim, congrats on the newfound celebrity. My husband heard those Realtor ads on the radio this week talking about how “Selection has improved and the conditions are favorable.” So glad to hear that the local media is calling for a little bit of balance.

  20. 20
    Mike2 says:

    Good to see the Realtors are still sticking to the “permanently high plateau” theory to characterize the change in market conditions as “stable”. I think I saw one of those plateaus in the physics lab, right next to the perfectly frictionless surface.

  21. 21
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    No, it was next to the perpetual motion machine.

  22. 22
    A says:

    Tim, you live in a nice house. Most rentals hardly look that wellcoming.

  23. 23
    Mama says:

    LOL, I’ve been seeing the “great local market” ads on TV for about a week now and was thinking it must be real bad for them to dig that deep. But please don’t get too famous/rich off ads here :) This blog is the only thing that pulls me out of “we’ll never own a home depression” (even if you come out wrong, at least it’s entertaining)

  24. 24
    ken says:

    That Realtor was a Real Idiot. Can’t wait till theres enough momentum in the market that he can’t deny that its on the decline.

  25. 25
    Affluent Bitter Renter says:

    “Can’t wait till theres enough momentum in the market that he can’t deny that its on the decline.”

    No, no… the important thing is that you buy now for the Long Term. If you buy for the Long Term, then it doesn’t matter that prices drop 30% over the next couple years. (Well, you might of been better off waiting, but that doesn’t put food on a Realtor’s table now, does it?)

  26. 26
    Mike2 says:

    Can’t wait till theres enough momentum in the market that he can’t deny that its on the decline.

    Don’t hold your breath. Even after a substantial and irrefutable decline the Realtor will just change the subject to “this is a great time to buy, prices won’t stay low forever” and “You’ll miss the opportunity to buy at the bottom if you wait”.

    Sustained and expected price deflation is a salesman’s worst nightmare. It robs them of the ability to use urgency as a sales tool if they admit that the condition exists.

  27. 27
    TJ_98370 says:

    Wow! I missed the interview and I don’t know how. I’m really disappointed.

    I watched the 5pm to 6pm segment of King 5 News and I watched the 6:30 to 7pm segment also. How did I miss it? I didn’t stay up for the 11pm showing.

    The posted video clip doesn’t seem to work for me.

  28. 28
    TJ_98370 says:

    Okay, I missed it because it was on KONG at 10 pm, right?

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Wm Swanson says:

    I just recieved a cold call from some Coldwell Banker agent on the eastside here asking me if I am interested in selling my house. First actual call in months as I usually get their pretty little postcards and flyers in the mail. I told the poor lady if she has a buyer for my house at 1.5 million I will sell. My house is worth around 900K according to my Realtor friend.

  31. 31
    TJ_98370 says:

    King 5 News had a very short spot (approx 45 secs) on Seattle real estate pricing this morning. It referred to the Fortune magazine article’s prediction of a price drop over the next five years while showing video of houses with for sale signs. They ended with this guy:

    “That’s extremely speculative, and we just don’t think it’s reliable to look five years out,” said Russell Hokanson, Seattle-King County Association of Realtor

  32. 32
    DashPoint says:

    Why does the news even bother quoting realtors? Realtors should be billed when their “expert advice” catches a homebuyer on the downside.

  33. 33
    j says:

    would they feel better if it was 1 year out with a 20% drop?

  34. 34
    Orion says:

    Tim, I listened to the radio “interview” over the internet and you were able to get a sentence or 2 out of your mouth before they cut you off mid-sentence with a commercial, a whole bunch of commercials which combined with weather, traffic and other BS they ran it out til the end of the hour. That was it, no completion to the “interview.” What a bunch of maroons! Did someone hit a wrong button or did they pull the plug because the Master Builders Association (a big advertiser on KOMO) threw a fit? I can’t stand any of the MSM these days.

  35. 35
    The Tim says:

    Gahh! I know! I tried to record it off of the web stream, and had the same thing happen! I’m trying to get them to send me an mp3 of the interview that I can post on here. That’s pretty frustrating.

  36. 36
    biliruben says:

    I heard it live.

    Great job, Tim. You didn’t come off as a deranged nut-job, which on the radio is hard to do, so you can chock it up as a success.

    The dead air as you pondered a prediction (short-term or long-term Q), made you sound thoughtful.

    You hit all the high points and sounded very reasonable.

    A couple minutes before you were on, there was some fly-by-night brokerage commercial offering 5.79 fixed APR. I thought it was a nice juxtaposition!

  37. 37
    B&W Nikes says:

    It’s pretty funny, the same folks don’t think Fortune is being ‘speculative’ when it consistently rates Seattle as a great place to live or to do business. They even feel a pinch of prestige when it gets ranked as ‘most overpriced.’

  38. 38
    bigdollordog says:

    I seen you on TV, I though you were an older tuff guy but, your a young guy! and not tuff looking at all (cheap shot here), they did say something like, you tried to buy a couple of years ago, but you failed, I dont know if that was a slight slap or not, if you would have hooked up with a good Realtor that works in FIXERS or DISTRESSED properties, and not afraid of some “LESSER” areas around Seattle, I feel you could, have had a nice ride up the last couple of years, but I understand if not all are willing to roll up the sleeves and put in some effort with a hammer, still some fixer deals out there today, I would just put in an extra “fudge factor” in your offer, to make room for market swings and It may take 50 offers, just stay away from the vanilla Realtors -just my 2 cents. too many dont understand the value of an investment realtor and get stuck in the save a nickel to loose a dime attitude

  39. 39
    Ouch! says:

    It’s logically inconsistent to question Fortune’s speculation on prices over a five-year period when Realtors argue that they are right over the course of a 30-year loan. If they can predict 30 years into the future, I don’t see why Fortune can’t predict five years away. Not to mention the conflict of interest that’s inherent in believing the salesman is looking out for the customer’s best interest instead of his own.

    I predict that the Realtors are making a mistake running those “great time to buy” ads now when the tide is clearly turning. They will lose credibility, which is fundamental to their business model. Ordinary people will stop trusting them and begin looking in earnest at selling their homes using Internet tools.

  40. 40
    LotharBot says:

    Hilarious that anyone would insinuate The Tim is unwilling to roll up his sleeves and put in some effort with a hammer. He built that great looking room where he’s sitting at the start of the video (can’t watch from this computer, but I can see the opening frame.)

  41. 41
    The Tim says:

    Hey now, credit where credit is due. I built that room with the help of a team of dedicated friends, including Mr. LotharBot.

  42. 42
    CCG says:

    ‘Don’t hold your breath. Even after a substantial and irrefutable decline the Realtor will just change the subject to “this is a great time to buy, prices won’t stay low forever” and “You’ll miss the opportunity to buy at the bottom if you wait”.’

    You’ll know it’s time to buy when your friends and family look at you like an idiot for wanting to do it, and the realtors won’t be saying anything about it because they’ve gone on to the next scam (commodity brokerages maybe?).

  43. 43
    TheMachoMan says:

    I seen you on tv to and I thought you were a big tuff guy to, but your not as big and tuff as I though you were, but are less tuff then I thought you were, and theirs nothing wrong without being tuff, but I thought that if you act all tuff with your tuff web sight then you should be tuff in real life, because I think that if you were tuff you would have body slamed that realator guy who was not only not tuff, but old too, so I think you could have slamed him but good and shown him how a tuff guy deals with realators, but I understand that not every body can slam old man realators, so sometimes you just have talk, and talk, and talk, when action is what a man with a hammer would result too. but if you had a hammer then you would have a brought a fixer up house to, and we know that you wouldn’t be loosing your rent every month down the drain. oh and one more thing, the comma is youre freind, it let’s you make a good long sentence instead of alot of short little not tuff ones.

  44. 44
    patient says:

    Great interviews Tim! I remember a time when the bubble readers considered funding a newspaper ad or billboard in a desperate attempt to try get a word of of reason out against the overwhelming and frankly dangerous propaganda force of the re-industry. I’m happy to see that times has finally changed due to your perserverance with this great blog!

  45. 45
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    “the comma is youre freind”

    Not to mention a spelling/grammar checker. ;)

  46. 46
    Shawn says:

    beware of grammar karma. Whenever correcting anothers grammer, most certainly, you will commit a grammatical error yourself.

    “the comma is youre freind” and so is the apostrophe.

  47. 47
    Alan says:

    beware of grammar karma.

    You forgot to capitolize ‘beware’.


  48. 48
    A Guy from Portland says:

    Great interview. I wish the media in Portland would follow-up on the same story — we are predicted to fall 20% too.

  49. 49
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Actually, I believe that should be “capitalize”. ;)

  50. 50
    Zee Marketspice Meister says:

    Awesome interview! BTW, did you get that story I sent you that was in the BBC (I think)? It is amazing that they were able to find your place down that crazy drive, huh? Did they enjoy the magical ferrets? Too cool!

  51. 51
    _nathan_ says:

    Actually, I believe that should be “capitalize”.

    Actually, I believe the period goes inside, the quotation marks, “like so.”

  52. 52
    vancouverdr says:

    Excellent post, TheMachoMan! Elegantly stated response to the witty and incisive words of bigdollordog…

  53. 53
    deejayoh says:

    I would just put in an extra “fudge factor” in your offer

    This makes me nervous. really

  54. 54
    Angie says:

    Hey, I finally got a chance to watch the clip. Tim, you never told us you’re such a cutie!

    You came off as well-spoken and well-put-together. It’s hard to be relaxed in the media spotlight, but you pulled it off. Nice job.

  55. 55
    Rachel says:

    You even looked fine when they did that ridiculous close up on your nose. ;)

    By the way, the grammar police in this comment string are quite entertaining!

  56. 56
    Thatch Mound says:

    […] my home office is not really an office, but actually sits in the living room (of course, if you saw the King 5 report featuring Seattle Bubble, you already knew this).  This of course can sometimes lead to distractions, but since my wife and […]

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