Puget Sound Counties April NWMLS Update

Let’s check in on the NWMLS statistics from around the sound. I realized this month that if I’m going to include Skagit County in the Puget Sound wrapup, I should probably include Island County as well. So from now on we’re looking at seven Puget Sound counties. I’d change the name of the site to “PugetSoundBubble.com,” but I wouldn’t want to sacrifice the name recognition we’ve built up over the last few years. Anyway, here’s a little graphical look at what the market looks like around the sound.

Here’s where the YOY stats stand for each of the six counties as of April 2008:

King – Price: -3.6% | Listings: +49.4% | Sales: -27.8% | MOS: 6.2
Snohomish – Price: -6.7% | Listings: +27.7% | Sales: -42.9% | MOS: 7.9
Pierce – Price: -3.6% | Listings: +13.1% | Sales: -26.3% | MOS: 7.9
Kitsap – Price: -4.4% | Listings: +24.0% | Sales: -34.8% | MOS: 9.8
Thurston – Price: -2.7% | Listings: +0.9% | Sales: -17.1% | MOS: 5.9
Island – Price: -13.5% | Listings: +24.4% | Sales: -30.6% | MOS: 12.1
Skagit – Price: -6.5% | Listings: +20.8% | Sales: -31.7% | MOS: 9.3

Following below are the graphs you’ve come to expect. Click below to continue reading.

These graphs only represent the market action since January 2006. If you want to see the long-term trends, feel free to download the spreadsheet (or in Excel 2003 format) that all of these graphs come from, and adjust the x-axis to your liking. Also included in the spreadsheet is data for Whatcom County, for anyone up north that might be interested.

First up, it’s raw median prices.

Puget Sound Median SFH Prices
Click to enlarge

Prices were up month-over-month in King, Pierce, Thurston, and Island, and down in Snohomish, Kitsap, and Skagit. This is more likely to be a little seasonal bump than an indication that prices in these counties have hit bottom.

Here’s how each of the counties look compared to their peak:

King – Peak: July 2007 | Down 7%
Snohomish – Peak: March 2007 | Down 9%
Pierce – Peak: August 2007 | Down 7%
Kitsap – Peak: September 2007 | Down 11%
Thurston – Peak: July 2007 | Down 3%
Island – Peak: August 2007 | Down 20%
Skagit – Peak: June 2007 | Down 14%

The total declines are diverging a bit, as some counties experience the spring bump, and others continue to decline. Island County is getting totally hammered, with April’s median at $279k vs. the August ’07 peak of $350k. Of course, it’s difficult to draw any strong conclusions from that data, since they have had less than 100 closed sales each of the last seven months.

Here’s another take on Median Prices, looking at the year-to-year changes over the last two years.

Puget Sound Median SFH YOY Price Changes
Click to enlarge

Island, Snohomish, and Skagit Counties are all racking up losses in excess of 6% YOY, with everyone else dropping between two and four percent.

Here’s the graph of listings for each county, indexed to January 2006.

Puget Sound SFH Listings
Click to enlarge

Pretty much the same picture as last month, with King County leading the pack, and Thurston taking up the rear. So far King and Skagit are the only counties that exceeded last year’s peak inventory in April.

Here’s a look at the YOY change in listings.

Puget Sound SFH Listings YOY
Click to enlarge

Every county had more inventory than the year before, but the rate of buildup is slowing across the board.

Lastly, let’s check out pending sales, also indexed to January 2006.

Puget Sound SFH Pending Sales
Click to enlarge

Sales in Snohomish County continue to be absolutely anemic. What is going on up there?

Lastly, here’s the YOY graph of sales:

Puget Sound SFH Pending Sales YOY
Click to enlarge

Every county around the Sound is having serious trouble finding buyers, with pending sales dropping 17% YOY on the low end in Thurston and 43% on the high end in Snohomish.

I’m surprised that Snohomish is getting hammered so hard on sales, worse than Skagit or Thurston even. The data from Island County is pretty much what you’d expect, what with the increasing price of gas and ferry trips. Overall, things seem to still be on the decline across the board.

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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.

58 comments:

  1. 1
    Slumlord says:

    I suspect the reason that Snohomish County’s sales are showing such a dramatic reversal is twofold. First, many buyers have jobs in King County. As prices ease in King, there is less incentive to commute from Snohomish (where houses are less expensive). Second, Boeing is Snohomish’s biggest employer. Boeing had been on a hiring spree, which I think is now tapering off. Fewer new local jobs and housing that is finally at an attainable price in King makes Snohomish vulnerable to declining sales.

    Of course, this could all be wrong. Maybe people just don’t want to buy all the cheap detached condos that got their permits during the bubble era (circa 2005).

  2. 2
    Roger says:

    I live in Island county (south Whidbey), and while there still seems to be rife speculation price-wise out here, the only stuff that is reliably selling is waterfront and “inexpensive” houses.

    Just down the street from me a place was listed at $650…they took the first offer, which was $499. Other less realistic seller’s places have been on the market for months (and even years with the really high-end stuff) at high-bubble prices.

    Appraisals out here seem to be stuck higher than actual market, which I think gives buyers unrealistic expectations. There’s a place down the road we looked at in 2005, priced then at $475…the sellers now want $675–and the house is in worse condition than it was then.

    Armpit Harbor and its navy base aside, this is a retirees and work-from-home area. I dunno if that makes it more or less sensitive to the falling dollar, inflation, etc.

  3. 3
    monkey says:

    What happen to Snohomish county is that people are still thinking about 2005-2007 price. It is too pricey. For a new homes, 2004-2006, it is over 500K, i am talking about over half a million and no yard. What is going on with those people?

  4. 4
    Dave says:

    I think that the primary problem in SnoHo county is the high rate of construction of new homes. It drives up the inventory of homes, which puts downward pressure on prices. In addition, a builder with slow moving inventory can be very aggressive in cutting prices. New homes sold cheap make lousy comps!

  5. 5
    Sniglet says:

    I don’t quote see why everyone is all agog over Snohomish. It seems as if King County is really on the cutting edge of rot right now, with increases in inventory that just blow everything else out of the water.

  6. 6
    b says:

    Its the same as every other bubble area. The exurbs that saw sudden, irrational amount of homebuilding for outrageous prices fall the quickest. Not many people actually want to live there, they just drove out from Seattle until they could afford something. As those prices crash, next will come the suburbs and then finally Seattle. There never was any fundamental growth in people wanting to live in these places (for example the abomination that is Snoqualmie Ridge), it was growth in morons and “investors” and “buying to not be priced out forever”. Now that those people are gone you can only count on knife catchers, most of whom operate under the assumption that there is no knife to catch as long as they are close to the city.

  7. 7
    budbrad says:

    I think one reason Snohomish County is getting drilled is because many buyers there chased the lower property taxes in that county as a way to get into an even bigger home. (I know LOTS of people who purposely bought across the border to chase the $2-5k in annual tax savings.)

    This leads to a market that is less firmly rooted and more susceptible to market swings.

    That was always a sucker’s game.

  8. 8
    Michael says:

    The data for Seattle has to change relatively soon. The entire downtown corridor looks like one big luxury condo project. I’m sure most of this was planned before the bubble but I’ve lived in downtown for 10 years and I’ve never seen so much construction.

    If we have one more “concept in living” or “desintation address” I’m going to throw up.

    Every time I walk through the area I feel like their must be an entire Seattle that I do not know. Most of my friends are professionals but definitely not the millionaires that are required to afford these types of places. I mean who can afford this junk? Are a bunch of Saudi Oil Tycoons going to show up one day and buy eight hundred square foot “luxury” one bedroom’s for $500,000. Who is this market? I certainly don’t know any of them.

  9. 9
    David McManus says:

    “‘There never was any fundamental growth in people wanting to live in these places (for example the abomination that is Snoqualmie Ridge)…”

    I agree with your assessment that Snoqualmie Ridge is an abomination. I drove out to the falls a few weeks ago with my family who was visiting from out of town and I literally wanted to start crying as a I drove through there. Sickening, really. Beautiful land scarred with McMansions and Starbucks! It really takes a lot to upset me and I’m not anything close to an environmentalist.

  10. 10
    Sandy says:

    New construction is the main reason Snohomish is getting hammered worse than elsewhere. Builders did what builders do, which is try to cash in on a boom by building and (hopefully) selling as much as possible, and got caught with their pants down. Happens every time we have one of these cycles. Now the big builders will slow down and reduce price and do what they have to do to clear out their standing inventory, small builders will do none of that and get driven out of business, and eventually the ship will right itself. How long is “eventually” that’s really the only mystery.

    I don’t think property taxes really explain why people have been moving to Snohomish, it’s really more about affordability. Taxes are a little lower here but not as much as some on this board have suggested. Mostly the reason taxes appear higher in King is because the home values are higher. You take two homes the same price in both counties and taxes are different, but not enough to justify what it would now cost in gas to do the driving. However, houses have been cheaper than King and that is the attraction for most people. It also bears mentioning that Snohomish county is not just a bedroom community for King. We have a pretty strong job base here too and a lot of residents who also work in Snohomish county.

  11. 11
    laxtosnoco says:

    I like all of the discussion of Snohomish County all of a sudden, although I’m surprised that the discussion hasn’t turned to meth, mullet haircuts, and El Camino automobiles.

    The interesting thing about watching the market here is that it’s not as homogeneous as most people think. You’ve got the rampant McMansion overbuilding in the SW & SE parts of the county, condo conversions in Edmonds, craptastic row houses on the outskirts of Lake Stevens and Everett, all of the way up to the cul-de-sac developments in Arlington/Stanwood. Interestingly, all of the MLS areas of the county are seeing similar price and volume declines.

  12. 12
    b says:

    David –
    I found it surreal and disturbing, much like the Issaquah Highlands. The reason people used to move out to the plateau or Snoqualmie was to get a nice piece of land in a relatively unspoiled area. The row houses, condos and McMansions they packed in there on tiny Seattle-sized lots is just insane. I don’t know who is going to want to live there in 5/10/20 years, the only people living there now when they are brand new is because of a lack of affordability for closer in areas or for “investment”. They are already ghost towns and sadly I think they will remain that way for a very very long time. While driving around out there I heard a commercial for some part of Snoqualmie Ridge and their pitch was, I kid you not, that its “like living in the Truman show”. I am guessing that a lot of people along the approval chain there did not actually watch the entire movie.

  13. 13
    NotaBull says:

    “While driving around out there I heard a commercial for some part of Snoqualmie Ridge and their pitch was, I kid you not, that its “like living in the Truman show”. I am guessing that a lot of people along the approval chain there did not actually watch the entire movie.”

    Is this why I’ve never met anyone that lives there? Are they stuck? Those poor people…

    Snoqualmie ridge is a sad place. I have never understood the desire to live out of town quite a ways AND live right next door to someone in a bland suburb. I can understand wanting one of the two, but not both together – that just seems pointless.

  14. 14
    mike2 says:

    I’d like to see some Whatcom County stats as well. That area saw some of the largest gains during the bubble years, and because a good deal of the $$$ flowing in was from Canadians, the contrast with the Seattle Metro part of Puget sound should be interesting.

  15. 15
    mike2 says:

    You take two homes the same price in both counties and taxes are different, but not enough to justify what it would now cost in gas to do the driving. However, houses [In Snohomish Co] have been cheaper than King and that is the attraction for most people.

    It is interesting though if you drive right along the county line in Woodinville/Bothell how the houses within 5 blocks North include significantly more sprawling Mc Mansions than 5 blocks to the south. Zoning?

  16. 16
    Emma Anne says:

    How is Redmond doing? I have some friends who I fear bought at the peak, last summer.

  17. 17
    Sandy says:

    mike2–zoning, yes…I believe that area was only recently rezoned down from requiring larger lot sizes. McMansions are kind of a more recent development.

  18. 18
    Renter says:

    I read on this site a while ago (i.e. before the drop) that there is a huge difference between rents and house owner ship costs that is one of the major reason why housing bubble will collapse. That happened.
    Things have changed in past few months. So I have few questions I am hoping gurus here can answer.
    Given that rents increased a lot in EastSide (I am paying 10 % more for similar apartment after a year) and house prices dropped around 3.6% (and mortgage interests dropped as well). So is the difference between rent and house still high?
    Are the rents going to increase more to narrow the gap or house prices decrease more. Or is housing crisis over? I dont know how interpret the phenomenon.

    Is this the right time to buy a condo/town house if the mortgage payments are similar or few hundred dollars more than the rent I am paying?

  19. 19
    WaitingForSanity says:

    “I think that the primary problem in SnoHo county is the high rate of construction of new homes.”
    This is not the “problem”. This is a solution.

  20. 20
    Everett Renter (Used to be Buyer) says:

    “This is not the “problem”. This is a solution.”

    Yes indeed.

    Build on…

  21. 21
    economist says:

    I read on this site a while ago (i.e. before the drop) that there is a huge difference between rents and house owner ship costs that is one of the major reason why housing bubble will collapse

    It’s not a major reason, its the only reason. Everything else is just greasing the skids.

    Beautiful land scarred with McMansions and Starbucks! It really takes a lot to upset me and I’m not anything close to an environmentalist.

    You are now. Sort of like how people suddenly become believers in constitutional rights when the police arrest them and accuse them of doing things they didn’t do.

  22. 22
    Buceri says:

    One more wild-card is what will happen to the job market in the next few months. Throw in there the horribly depressing winter the area had, and I wonder how many of those that get lay off and were originally out of towners, will stay in the region.

    Meanwhile, yesterday I drove behind another WA plate (just about one a month in the past year) here in Central Florida. “Parkland Chevrolet in Tacoma” was the plate frame (and they look like the type that will fit right in here in FL!!!)

  23. 23
    Mirtika says:

    Renter,
    Don’t forget to factor in that when you’re the owner–as we are, so trust me when I say it ADDS UP!–you get to do all the work. If something breaks, you fix it, you pay for it. Roof. Painting. Landscaping. Insect-control. Plumbing. A/C. Updating flooring and cabinets when needed. Treating (remodeling) if mold takes hold. Taxes and insurance. (Insurance is way pricey in Florida post multiple hurricane whammies, so ouch.)

    Also, in the even of a disaster, as a homeowner, you deal with it. As a renter, you can leave and find something else. (I’m still fixing stuff from a hurricane three years ago. Think: earthquakes, floods, freakish blizzards.)

    So, looking for something at your level or above means you will pay even more than you do now when you consider the other costs of ownership. Factor in the extra costs, consider the benefits, too, then see how it works out for you.

    It’s really nice to have your own place, I’ll admit, and not be at the whims of a landlord. But it comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s not just , “Call the landlord to fix it, ” anymore.

    Mirtika

  24. 24
    Sniglet says:

    Renter,

    Rents will have to increase a LOT in the Eastside before they start becoming more expensive than owning. Things have gotten way out of whack over the last 15 years.

    Also, don’t forget that home-owners face rising costs too. Property taxes and maintenance costs have been going up on the Eastisde quite a bit. It’s not as if home-ownership costs are static.

    Lastly, keep in mind that we have seen this exact scenario play out in nearly every other market that was transitioning to the down-side. Rents always rise RIGHT at the top of the market, when rental inventory is taken away as landlords try to cash in with condo conversions and SFH sales. It is only after the downturn has picked up in earnest that many of these condos and SFHs come back on the “shadow” rental market that rents start to come down again.

    The irony is that rising rents is a sure sign that housing prices are about to take a dive.

  25. 25
    NotaBull says:

    “Property taxes and maintenance costs have been going up on the Eastisde quite a bit. It’s not as if home-ownership costs are static.”

    How much have these costs gone up? Where did you get this information from? Is this speculation, or do you have some information to back it up with. Not trying to be combative, but trying to figure out if this is actually true or not.

  26. 26
    NotaBull says:

    “So I have few questions I am hoping gurus here can answer.
    Given that rents increased a lot in EastSide (I am paying 10 % more for similar apartment after a year) and house prices dropped around 3.6% (and mortgage interests dropped as well). So is the difference between rent and house still high?”

    The difference is still high, historically speaking, and I’m pretty sure you will continue to see the difference decrease over the next year or two. Rents may decline or stagnate for short periods of time, but the overall trend long-term is up. So it’s a short term game. Rents will likely be lowest when there is a lot of inventory and housing is the worst. So this will continue to look like a bad time to buy. Ultimately you have to take the long term view, and eventually you’ll have to bite the bullet and get into the game. Now, however, is probably a little too early.

  27. 27
    biliruben says:

    Housing tracker keeps a running tally of the affordability measures – price/rent, price/income etc..

    http://www.housingtracker.net/affordability/

    Unfortunately they haven’t updated since Q3, 2007 but we are still way out-of-wack.

  28. 28
    Sniglet says:

    How much have these costs gone up? Where did you get this information from?

    My landlord has told me his property taxes on our Bellevue home have gone up. He’s also griped about how expensive it is to get things fixed or replaced these days. He was appalled at the costs of fixing the drainage in the back-yard (i.e. heavy rains were leaking into the basement).

    I also have colleagues who gripe about the price of contractors and property taxes in the East Side. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that taxes have gone up in the last few years as well as the costs of labour for maintenance. Even the prices for lawn care have risen!

  29. 29

    Renter,
    Just because home prices have dropped and rents are rising doesn’t mean that’s not going to continue. We “gurus” disagree with each other here. I personally can’t see rents dropping much if any.
    So, yeah, if you can find a townhouse or condo where the monthly payments would be the same as or slightly more, it doesn’t hurt to look. But don’t forget that condos and townhomes have HOA dues, which can add several hundred per month to the total costs, and poorly managed and poorly maintained ones ca add thousands.

  30. 30
    b says:

    Renter –

    First, make sure you add in HOA and taxes/insurance to your calculations. I know that some of the newer condos have ridiculous $500+ HOA dues, which are only going to increase over time (probably significantly since they are all built as shitty as possible). Second, it does not make sense to buy when prices are dropping with no end in sight unless either you think its the bottom right now or that its so much cheaper to buy that the difference makes up for any loss in price. Right now you are still probably going to be paying 2x rent for an equivalent condo, maybe even more if you want to consider maintenance, transaction fees, etc. Wait until it becomes basically equivalent, and that you don’t think prices will drop that much more, before entering this market. Just remember that in deep housing busts, like Texas in the 80’s and everywhere in the 30’s, at the bottom there is a decent premium to _rent_ compared to buying the same place because its less risky. RE agents will tell you that “you can’t time the bottom, just buy right now, blah blah blah” which is crap. The run up in prices was intense starting in 2003. Once we bottom this market and things return to normal, prices will appreciate at a normal rate. At that time waiting until 6 months after the bottom is not a big deal, prices are not going to rocket shot to the moon again for another 30+ years (long enough for everyone to forget).

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Renter says:

    Thanks Gurus for the input.
    Thanks Biliruben for the chart (http://www.housingtracker.net/affordability),

    Its a nice chart. So mortgage to rent ratio in seattle is 1.55. Thats a lot. What is the magic number? Should one wait for 0.85 (to account for home owner dues, taxes ….) or 1.1+ to account for supply demand in Seattle because of Microsoft, Boeing etc…

  33. 33
    biliruben says:

    I figure we were about 50% over-priced at the peak, so a 33% decline gets us back into the land a of rational ratios. I just look at the historical relationship for our area, which (based on limited history) seems to be about 1, and shoot for that.

    My plan is to start seriously looking after seeing 20% decline, knowing that we will likely see 10-20% decline after I buy. I figure by then (hopefully next spring) the psychology (i.e. panic at falling prices) will be such that buyers, though not getting a bargain, will be able to extract considerable concessions, both monetary and otherwise. I don’t want to wait too long, however, because (on top of personal reasons) I expect that at some point the mortgage industry is going to come to their senses and start asking rates that are commensurate with their risk.

  34. 34
    mike2 says:

    Ira, I live in a much wealthier county than King, I don’t see why, unless incomes increase substantially, that Seattle won’t see rent decreases. Rents in my area flatlined this last year on all but the least expensive apartments, and show no signs of increasing – despite a 2% unemployment rate and a median household income over $110K/yr. County wide, house prices are down 15% YOY.

    Different area, but until King county starts seeing some major income growth, there’s no good reason to believe that an upward trend in rents is sustainable.

  35. 35

    mike2,
    I can see that. I’ve lived in King County for 30+ years, and have been both a renter and a landlord( and am neither now.) I’ve experienced periods of several years long where rents were flat, and I can easily see something like that happening now. What i have trouble visualizing are significant drops in rent prices. That was always something I wished for as a renter. I can see home prices dropping 20% from the peak, but rents? Maybe 5% drop max?

  36. 36
    Spencer says:

    Our business in the inspection industry has remained steady with an increase in commercial inspections. Our average is now 2-3 commercial inspections a week with the residential having dropped about 19%.Condo market remains strong and our inspections are also on a 23% increase from end of 2007.

  37. 37
    NotaBull says:

    “My landlord has told me his property taxes on our Bellevue home have gone up.”

    :) My previous landlord told me their property taxes went up too, so that’s why they were raising the rent by $100 a month (5% increase). Well, turns out that the tax had gone up – by $100 a YEAR. They just wanted to increase the rent and not be the “bad guy” in the story. If they had just told me that 5% was the increase due to market price, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed. I guess they figure that most renters don’t know you can look this stuff up.

    I’m not saying that your landlord’s taxes have *not* gone up, but have they gone up more than inflation? I recommend you check it out for yourself on the place you live in. Zillow will give you a number of years of history, and then check out the King County Assessors for what the 2008 taxes are. Edumicate yourself, so you can find out if your landlord is making this shit up.

    Using a specific example of a house that I used to own in Issaquah, here is the property tax history:

    2004 – $3149
    2005 – $3453
    2006 – $3641
    2007 – $3641
    2008 – $3864

    That’s a little over 5% a year increase for the last 4 years running, which is hardly stagnant, but hardly rampant increases either.

    In the example above, the house is an 1800 sq ft house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Kinda a medium sized family home in Issaquah and right in the middle of the pack when it comes to price (about $500K right now I would guess). A family in this house would likely be in the 25% tax bracket and so the cost of those taxes would be about $240 a month.

    People always bitch about how expensive their property taxes are, especially if they bought in the bubble during lax lending standards and don’t pay them as part of their mortgage payment, but instead get a bill for $2000 twice a year.

  38. 38
    NotaBull says:

    “My landlord has told me his property taxes on our Bellevue home have gone up.”

    Just looked up another house in my neighborhood in Sammamish (didn’t want to use my house in this public forum). It’s history:

    2004 – $5042
    2005 – $5123
    2006 – $5159
    2007 – $5159
    2008 – $5416

    This is a 2% annualized increase. Of course, I’m sure some of the other owners around me bitch about how expensive their taxes are. Sure, it’s expensive in absolute terms, but in my neighborhood it seems that taxes are getting CHEAPER, in real terms, when compared to everything else we’re spending money on.

    I think property taxes on the Eastside are highly dependent on the city that you live in and how much they want to add to the King County tax for their own city purposes.

    YMMV.

  39. 39
    Rentersarelosers says:

    With a very low 3 or 4% vacancy rate, 4% unemployment, and potential buyers sitting on the sidelines, you renters can expect to be squeezed hard.
    Stop whining about your 50 to 100 buck a month increase while you laugh at homeowners watching thousands drop every month. If you don’t like the rents, buy. If you don’t wanna buy stop F#ckn whining.

  40. 40
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Prices were up month-over-month in King, Pierce, Thurston, and Island, and down in Snohomish, Kitsap, and Skagit. This is more likely to be a little seasonal bump than an indication that prices in these counties have hit bottom.
    ………………………………..

    Or, maybe, you just missed the bottom, renter.

    After all, if you were a bottom spotter, you would be a multi millionaire on the stock and real estate markets, but from what I understand, you are a renter.

    Oh well, everyone has their place in society.

  41. 41

    Right now in the Seattle area, you can rent a million dollar+ home for 3000 dollars per month or less. A mortgage payment for this same house would be 6500-7000 per month..In New York City, there are a fair number of multimillionaires who are lifelong renters.
    Not all renters are losers.

  42. 42
    Rentersarelosers says:

    In New York City, there are a fair number of multimillionaires who are lifelong renters.
    ……………………….

    Ira,

    I note that you had to travel 3000 miles to one of the most densly populated cities on the planet in order to find a renter that isn’t a loser.

    ‘Nuff said

  43. 43
    Everett_Tom says:

    Rentersarelosers,

    apparently you missed Ira’s first sentence.., which references an area 0 miles away from the current discussion.

    Right now in the Seattle area, you can rent a million dollar+ home for 3000 dollars per month or less. A mortgage payment for this same house would be 6500-7000 per month

  44. 44

    Rentersarelosers,
    I’m a former landlord. One of my tenants was a professor at the UW, and made far more money than I did. She chose to rent simply because she didn’t want the responsibility of homeowning. She had a lot of investments, but not in real estate. Was she a loser? No. She simply made a different choice than some of us. Some people just find homeowning a burden.
    I’ll grant you, most people who have purchased homes don’t regret it, and over the long haul, owning a home can prove beneficial, both emotionally and financially.
    By the same token, there are plenty of people nowadays who are recent homeowners and owe more money than their house is worth. I’m not going to label them losers either, even though at this point they are, at least financially.

  45. 45
    Rentersarelosers says:

    Ira,

    Regarding King County closed sales being down 28% in April, it would be interesting to find out hame many sellers have told their lowball buyers to take a friggen hike with their slimeball offers.

    I have turned down 2 offers in May so far from wannabe homeowners that are back to their high priced 600 sq ft boxy bug infested rentals.

    I have developed a rather high dislike for the current wave of so called “buyers”.

    Buyers have developed a nasty attitude that sellers must sell at any price. Got news for y’all. You want in? Now is a real good time. You wanna wait? You are going to pay more.

    The US Economy is not in recession, we have less than 5% unemployment, a low dollar that is starting to rise, energy prices will come down as the dollar is way oversold and is now rising. The rising dollar will also control inflation. This is an election year and the mantra that the Democrats want you to hear is that we are in big trouble. A pile of crap. Seattle unemployment runs less than 4%. That’s full employment in my books, there is always 3 or 4% that would rather get drunk and live under I-5.

    Check out the stock market, holding just fine, not tanking.

    My two cents.

  46. 46
    Everett_Tom says:

    I have turned down 2 offers in May so far from wannabe homeowners that are back to their high priced 600 sq ft boxy bug infested rentals.

    How’d you decided on the price your trying to sell for? (oh, and are you sure that you didn’t turn down move-up buyers? Can you really be sure they were renters? When we sold our place in CA we didn’t have any idea if the people making the offers were renters / or move ups..)

  47. 47
    Rentersarelosers says:

    How’d you decided on the price your trying to sell for? (oh, and are you sure that you didn’t turn down move-up buyers? Can you really be sure they were renters? When we sold our place in CA we didn’t have any idea if the people making the offers were renters / or move ups..)
    …………………………………………..

    How did I know they were renters? Look at their address on the offer to purchase.

    As far as the price goes, we have lowered multiple times, based on our listing agents recommendation (over 20 years experience here and always has 20+ listings)

  48. 48
    Everett_Tom says:

    How did I know they were renters? Look at their address on the offer to purchase.

    Ah.. If our buyers were renters, they were renting a house…

    As far as the price goes, we have lowered multiple times, based on our listing agents recommendation (over 20 years experience here and always has 20+ listings)

    That’s tough…

  49. 49
    b says:

    Rentersarelosers –

    Your investing genius astounds all of us. The market is so fucking hot right now that you’ve had to lower your price multiple times AND you have not sold yet. Brilliant.

  50. 50
    Rentersarelosers says:

    You are correct, I have not sold. I have turned down offers as previously stated.

    What do you know about my investing genius? Nothing!

    You haven’t got a clue dude.

  51. 51
    S-Crow says:

    Rentersarelosers,

    You bring up an interesting topic. Did your agent suggest that you overprice your property? Or, did your agent suggest a reasonable price at the beginning of the listing, you elected to list higher and the market spoke to you in terms of lack of interest or time on market or a combination?

    Just asking, because from the conversations I have with a couple excellent agents our office works with is that they are turning down listings from homeowners who are still in denial that the market has changed. At minimum, they have an understanding that if the initial price does not generate any interest they are immediately making a price “improvement.”

    Did the agents presenting the offers to you suggest their clients hold off? Did you get any feedback from your agent in that regard?

    One of the most frequent Bubbleheads on this blog, Biliruben, just received multiple offers on his house because it was presented and listed at a price to move. Maybe Biliruben can offer a glimpse into his conversations with his agent (in a general manner.) I don’t know what your price range was but his was under $350K IIRC.

  52. 52
    Rentersarelosers says:

    I am in the 5-600,000 price range. The difficulties in obtaining Jumbo mortgages has probably had a lot to do with moving homes in this price range.

  53. 53

    rentersarelosers… you are correct once again, we DO NOT know much about your investing genius… BUT… we DO know something about your ability to communicate / interact with people.

    For your sake, I hope you are a good day trader.

    I was initially a fan because you represented the much needed ‘alternative opinion’… I now understand that you will disagree just for disagreements sake with traces of factoids to reinforce your chosen argument… a truly professional troll… I will skip your posts starting today.

    Enjoy being ignored and good luck with the curse of genious.

  54. 54
    S-Crow says:

    Rentersarelosers-

    Rhonda Porter discussed Jumbo financing on her blog. Check it out.

    Jumbo Rates

  55. 55
    Peter Taylor says:

    Rentersarelosers – I think you should fire your listing agent and let your “neural network algorithms” handle selling your property. Just train that neural network to sniff out filthy flea-ridden renters and you’re in business!

  56. 56
    NotaBull says:

    “I have developed a rather high dislike for the current wave of so called “buyers”.

    Buyers have developed a nasty attitude that sellers must sell at any price. Got news for y’all. You want in? Now is a real good time. You wanna wait? You are going to pay more. ”

    LOL! Now we see why you have this attitude. I’m betting it went like this:

    1) List house, confident the market is going to be fine and you’ll sell. After all, your house is the best on the block, right?
    2) No traffic. Mild concern.
    3) Low-ball offers. Significant concern.
    4) Search on Google for “Seattle real estate bubble”. Find this site.
    5) Spew hatred on the “dirty renters” on this site that are waiting to buy and are “costing” you money by not buying your house.

    In a market like this there are enough sellers that HAVE to sell for the amount of buyers out there. Once a buyer low-balls you and discovers that you don’t have to sell, they’ll just move on to someone else that does.

    Again, choosing a name like “rentersarelosers” is NOT having a different opinion, and complaining about people’s response to you is NOT about them being intolerant. You’re just an offensive individual that’s pissed off that your paper profits have evaporated and you still can’t sell. You’re angry, and you need to take it out on someone. That says something about your character.

    I’m a homeowner BTW, so don’t bother with the “you’re a loser renter” thing. You’ll have to find another way to direct your rage towards me….

  57. 57
    NotaBull says:

    “Rentersarelosers – I think you should fire your listing agent and let your “neural network algorithms” handle selling your property. Just train that neural network to sniff out filthy flea-ridden renters and you’re in business!”

    Peter – great idea! Also, when receiving an offer from a “dirty renter”, why not tell them they’re a loser? After all, it’s the truth, right? It’s just “shooting from the hip” which is fine and not objectionable at all. If they have a problem with the label, that’s their problem and they’re being intolerant of other views.

    First Amendment! First Amendment!!!

  58. 58
    biliruben says:

    I’d be happy to give some insight into the market for our unhappy homeowner who wants to rid himself of the albatross with a lawn:

    The market is falling, and it’s falling fast. I studied the comps very closely. I priced the house where other houses were actually selling, ignoring where the comp were listing at. The pattern was clear, people pricing at 2007 levels were not getting any interest, dropping their prices aggressively, and sitting on a stale listing at the price near where I originally chose list at, with no dirty renters bothering to come back for a second sniff. Those going the chase-the-market-down route, seem to be paying a number of unnecessary mortgage payments and selling below what they would have got if they priced it correctly.

    My advice: drop your price significantly and stop chasing the market, or you will never attract a dirty renter. Either that or call your dirty renters with offers back and plead with them to reconsider your house.

    The market is just at very the beginning of a 5-10 year decline. That’s how long typical downturns last, and this is much worse than a typical downturn. Only morons chase the market down in this environment.

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