Puget Sound Counties June NWMLS Update

Let’s check in on the NWMLS statistics from around the sound.

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

King – Price: -4.3% | Listings: +25.4% | Sales: -27.2% | MOS: 6.0
Snohomish – Price: -9.0% | Listings: +8.1% | Sales: -35.0% | MOS: 8.0
Pierce – Price: -6.6% | Listings: -4.6% | Sales: -15.3% | MOS: 7.4
Kitsap – Price: -12.0% | Listings: +5.3% | Sales: -33.1% | MOS: 10.3
Thurston – Price: -7.5% | Listings: -9.3% | Sales: -22.0% | MOS: 6.1
Island – Price: -11.8% | Listings: +12.1% | Sales: -37.2% | MOS: 14.6
Skagit – Price: -14.5% | Listings: +6.9% | Sales: -44.0% | MOS: 10.4

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

King and Kitsap counties were the only two Puget Sound counties to see a median price bump from May to June. Everyone else declined between $1,000 (Pierce) and $27,000 (Island). Doesn’t look like much of a bottom anywhere just yet.

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 9%
Kitsap – Peak: September 2007 | Down 12%
Thurston – Peak: July 2007 | Down 7%
Island – Peak: August 2007 | Down 21%
Skagit – Peak: June 2007 | Down 14%

Despite the supposed strength of the “core” markets of Seattle and Bellevue in King County, so far Thurston County holds the prize for the smallest decline.

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

Everybody’s in negative YOY territory, with King seeing the smallest YOY declines at -4.3% and Skagit’s -14.5% pulling up the rear.

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

Puget Sound SFH Listings
Click to enlarge

Only Island County saw listings continue to increase in June. In every other county, it would seem that a large number of sellers just giving up and pulling listings off the market caused the total number of listings to drop.

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

Puget Sound SFH Listings YOY
Click to enlarge

Thurston and Pierce both dipped into negative YOY listings with the big delisting party in June.

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

Puget Sound SFH Pending Sales
Click to enlarge

Snohomish County continues to sit in the gutter, while King County finally broke above the January 2006 sales mark. In June.

Lastly, here’s the YOY graph of sales:

Puget Sound SFH Pending Sales YOY
Click to enlarge

Most counties had a little bump there, but even the best-performing county (Pierce) still had 15% fewer sales in June ’08 than June ’07.

With over 14 months of supply, prices in Island County are being absolutely hammered. Down 21% from the peak? Ouch. Hope none of you bought a second home on Whidbey as an “investment”…

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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
    Chris says:

    Whidbey was ripe with second home buying from 2004 through last year. Now it is getting absolutely hammered. There are for sale signs hanging everywhere. There’s a house at the end of the alley that our family cabin is on that was listed a year ago for $825, now its down to $699. I’m sure it has a long way to go.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Someone told me that 1 in every 25 SFHs is listed on Whidbey. That’s how bad it is.

  3. 3
    SeattleMoose says:

    Okay, so prices have finally fallen. Obviously this is the bottom.


  4. 4
    Bits_of_Real_Panther says:

    That would be somewhere on the order of 500 SF homes, seems a tad high but who knows. If I was in trouble and had to choose between dumping the vacation home and eating it wouldn’t be a tough choice

  5. 5
    deejayoh says:


    Windermere shows 872 listings across Oak Harbor, Freeland, Greenbank, Coupeville, Langley, Clinton.
    Not an area I know well, but looks like that’s all the major population centers.

    how many houses on the island?

  6. 6
    NotaBull says:

    “how many houses on the island?”

    I believe there are 873.

  7. 7
    Bits_of_Real_Panther says:

    Rechecking the back-of-the-envelope math, there are about 30,000 households in Island County, about 80% of those are on Whidbey, maybe 90% of those are SFH, so 1 in 25 of 21.6k would be 864, so I guess Chris’s friend is right

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Roger says:

    Deejayoh, census says roughly 32,000 SFH.

    I live in Clinton, and while it doesn’t quite seem like the entire island is up for sale, things are definitely stagnant.

    There are also a lot of really pricey places out here, which is hard sell in a community which doesn’t have any real jobs, per se. Million+ retirement homes don’t seem to be in high demand these days.

    Whidbey also seems to be a hotbed of “MLS for owners” and plain-jane FSBO sales, so active listings aren’t the whole story.

  10. 10
    Bits_of_Real_Panther says:

    My numbers are a little low – I forgot that vacation homes and otherwise unoccupied homes aren’t counted as households and those must make up about 10% of Whidbey SFHs

  11. 11
    BanteringBear says:

    Haven’t posted here in quite some time. Nice to see the negative numbers. Any sign of Kool Aid withdrawals, or is the tap still flowing with denial running deep? Wonder how my aunt feels who bought last year. She adamantly and forcefully proclaimed that prices “will not be going down around here”.

  12. 12
    BanteringBear says:

    Was looking for raw land in the area a few years back, and couldn’t believe the prices people were paying for small acreage. I wondered who these idiots were. It’s now apparent who some of them are, as massive spec homes sit unsold on what used to be pristine land. A lot of these builds were funded by local banks. Oops. For those who think that the overbuilding, overbuying, over renovating wasn’t epidemic here, take a look around you. Nasty.

  13. 13

    This ride has barely gotten started. hang on tight boys and girls.

  14. 14
    Tsuru says:

    I agree – if Freddie and Fannie truly are insolvent, this is not going to be good.

  15. 15
    Mike2 says:

    Someone told me that 1 in every 25 SFHs is listed on Whidbey. That’s how bad it is.

    Freeland lost their biggest employer, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, back at the end of last year. Over 100 jobs went away.

    For any of you engineers, the story is pretty interesting. Classic case of a major materials defect that started a chain of events leading to bankrupcy 5 years later.

    I was at the christening ceremony for the first boat that experienced the hull cracks.

  16. 16
    CCG says:

    “I agree – if Freddie and Fannie truly are insolvent, this is not going to be good.”

    I was short of FNM four years ago when it “lost” over $9B under Franklin Raines. At the time I was naive enough to think we actually had a free market, as opposed to a socialist one. In that circumstance, a little more patience is required before the consequences of moral hazard, incompetence and corruption actually arrive.

  17. 17
    s.data says:

    Isn’t anyone starting to think that maybe Seattle really is going to weather this storm? I find it hard to believe that it could be, but I’m starting to doubt that I will see the correction I believe necessary.

    Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Island County…I don’t know or care about where that is. This site is about the Seattle bubble, but I don’t hear anyone acknowledging that it is holding up surprisingly well.

    Please, talk me off the ledge and tell me it will happen…I’m losing faith.

  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    Patience, Grasshopper. The end is just beginning.

  19. 19
    b says:

    s.data –
    if previous bubbles elsewhere are any guide, this thing will play out until 2010-2012 before things start to level off… and the declines will be a combination of price drops and inflation.

  20. 20
    Richie says:


    …maybe Seattle really is going to weather this storm…

    I don’t think so. The bubbles are slowly popping even in great neighborhoods. Look at this 3410 square-feet house with partial Green Lake view: http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/2107-N-63rd-St-98103/home/304596. The house has been on market for 10 months. The owner has dropped the price from $949,000 to $739,000 and still no taker.

    Believe me! This is not an isolated incidence.


  21. 21
    mikal says:

    Maybe, but that thing is hideous looking. What idiot paid nearly a lillion for that thing? Makes me want another beer.

  22. 22
    Garth says:

    Nobody ever bought that place for a million, purely a listing hope. A 3400 square foot house on a strange shaped 3600 square foot lot that ugly is not worth a million.

  23. 23
    Civil Servant says:

    Well, nobody paid nearly a million — the current owners merely asked that much and were denied. I walk past this place often and from an architectural perspective it is truly a dog, an awesomely bad house. Note too the distinctive approach to interior design. Last sale was for $335K in 1996. If we applied the inflation rate, the appreciated value would be a lot less hilarious.

    That said, there are a few properties in the same area that have had sequential price reductions and/or where the owners will be in hole after transaction fees *if* they get their current asking price. Also still quite a bit of inventory in the Yeah Right department, like this one:

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/5818-Woodlawn-Ave-N-98103/home/304105 ,

    which looks rather shabby from the street. I’m also interested in the narrowing price differential in this and nearby neighborhoods between SFHs and tricked-out new-construction townhouses, how that will play out.

    But seriously s.data, do not panic. I too have occasional moments of insecurity and oh-god-what-have-I-done. But if you look at the data — don’t neglect Case-Shiller; median price isn’t the whole story — the worst case seems to be that we’re on a plateau. So if you’re saving anything at all, you’re fine.

  24. 24
    deejayoh says:

    I’d like that Green Lake place if it had a little more chintz. Decorations are perfect for an assisted living facility. Too bad about the stairs.

  25. 25
    david losh says:

    Having the government step in to take over IndyBank is bad. Fannie and Feddie being in trouble and having government solutions floating around is bad.
    Whatever I may have thought about the state of our national economy is changing and that changes my view of the Seattle Real Estate market.
    The two Green Lake house examples are kind of perfect indications of how much reduction it’s going to take to get a location sold. The larger is at $217 per square foot and the other is really kind of an over priced piece of poop that has been on the market since 2004. It was purchased for $458K in 2001 and it may be headed to that price again.
    Who’s buying? I understand buying a bargain, but for those places that are listed at retail, who’s buying? Seriously.
    Who buys those town houses when the price of a house with dirt, Real Estate, is at or close to the same price?

  26. 26


    Just because ya can say “we told you so” and we warned you years ago….doesn’t mean we can all be haughty about it.

    Great data spreads Tim.


  27. 27
    Demersus says:


    Be patient, it’s like falling dominoes. The outter regions begin collapsing first, and it works its way to the center. Another bank failed today, 7th largest in history to be seized by the FDIC. We’ve got some major financial problems looming on the horizon, and the prices of homes increasing by ridiculous rates isn’t going to be one of them, not for a good long time again.

    Save, save, save, and perhaps do some contrarian investing.

  28. 28
    david losh says:

    Save for what?
    I wanted to clarify about my comment that price per square foot is an investors tool. You take an area, determine the mean price per square foot, then add and subtract for items you have an interest in, like number of bedrooms, baths.
    Larger square footage is priced lower while smaller houses are priced higher per square foot. It has to do with the lot the house sits on and the utilization of the “foot print” of the structure in relation to the lot.
    OK too much information but, the point is that $100 per square foot was a good deal not that long ago. Then $150 to $200 made for nicer places. Those numbers were anticipating an appreciating market. Now that the Real Estate market is without question depreciating these numbers may become normal again.

  29. 29
    david losh says:

    Sorry I meant to delete the saving question. It was rude. We all have strategies. I apologize.

  30. 30
    Demersus says:

    Ok then, how about spend, spend, spend and do some mob-mentality investing.

  31. 31
    davey jones' locker says:

    I wish Redfin had forums for publicly asking questions of the listing agent/owner for each property, but I doubt they’d tolerate the smart alecs long. My first question would be, “WTF does peekaboo view of the lake mean, anyway? That you can’t see squat?”

    I guess I have a peekaboo view of the Space Needle, if you lean our my front window in winter after the leaves have dropped, but when it’s not too foggy or dark to see and the wind is blowing the tops of the trees just right so they bend out of the way, letting me have a peek.

    I guess in the end it’s all marketing, and they’re just embellishing the description, hoping for some interest.

    BTW, I’m seeing lots of for sale condos not on Redfin here on Capitol Hill.

  32. 32
    davey jones' locker says:

    Also, from the SFH active listing charts, it looks like inventory typically peeks in Aug/Sept, yet this year we already see a drop. Tim mentioned this. I too would like to know the psyche of the typical seller right now. Are people waiting for things to turn around next summer? (Which means the summer selling season is over) Are people deciding to stay put? (Economy bad, reduce risks/stay with knowns) Are they stuck here? (That job in San Diego fell through)

  33. 33
    S. Marty Pantz says:

    Re: Post #20: Don’t you just love the brass ram hanging in the foyer and the dining room wallpaper?

  34. 34
    masaba says:


    I like your idea of the price per square foot argument. However, it is really hard to do that in Seattle. My wife and I are looking at houses now, and I would say that about 75% (rough guess) have an inflated square footage. The inflated square footage will include unfinished basements with low ceilings, attics, finished areas that were done by a do it your-selfer that really were probably better off before. Additionally, there is definitely no consistency in what is counted. Some agents include the garage as square footage, for example. We have seen homes that were listed at 1700 square feet that were really about 800.

  35. 35
    david losh says:

    You’re very correct about the false square footage. It has become a practice of some Real Estate agents to include garages, storage areas, and unfinished basements. The basement in particular is divided into those that have head room of over seven feet or under.
    For an agent we have the luxury of the tax report to correspond with the pictures of the property. Nothing compares to seeing the property in person. It’s the negotiation of a purchase price that makes the difference about the price per square foot.
    When you make an offer on an over priced listing you can hammer the usability of the square footage. When I make an offer on a property I do a Comparative Market Ananlysis. I use my numbers to establish an offering price.
    The listing price is an asking price. If bad numbers where used to establish that price the seller should be made aware of that.
    Sellers are asking why agents don’t make offers. I have the same question. If you like a property why not make an offer? That low offer today may seem reasonable in a few months.
    There are investors, as the pepper will attest to, that just make low offers all day every day. We all have formulas, square footage is one of mine.

  36. 36
    Sorin says:

    All the more reason that the price per square foot needs to drop. It’s pretty clear with condos. Who in their right mind pays $500 a square foot for a ballard condo that doesn’t even have a view?

  37. 37

    Even if the basement area is quite “liveable”, the basement square footage still doesn’t value out at the same price per squre foot as the “above ground” square footage. Also, the main floor square footage values at a higher rate per square foot than any other level.

    No one should buy a house without knowing the main floor footprint. Say you have two houses that are 2,200 square feet ,and neither has any bedrooms on the main floor. The one with 950 square feet on the main level is still worth less than the one with 1,350 suare feet onthe main level, even if total square footage is the same.

    Style is also a factor. A 2,200 sf two story home will almost always be worth more than a 2,200 square foot split entry or tri-level home.

  38. 38
    Richie says:

    Marty Pantz

    It wasn’t too bad in the dining room. You are right that the Ram decoration in the foyer is an eyesore. Besides, why would someone put a Jacuzzi tub in the open space of the master bedroom and a fireplace in between? It reminds me a Jacuzzi suite in Bellagio of Vegas or Moon Palace of Cancun Mexico. The exterior looks like an ugly townhouse building sprouting everywhere in Seattle.

  39. 39
    Richie says:


    Not only had some sellers cheated the square footage, but some even cheated the number of bedrooms or bathrooms. I looked a house that was listed five bedrooms but it was basically a three bedroom house. Apparently, two extra rooms were converted from storage rooms. One can fit a twin bed and the other can fit a sleeping bag. Many houses only had showers but listed as full bathrooms.

  40. 40
    Jonny says:

    If you make an offer on a house, square footage is always verified by the lender’s appraiser. The only fudging of square foot I have seen has been in townhomes where they include garage and storage in s.f.

  41. 41

    “If you make an offer on a house, square footage is always verified by the lender’s appraiser.”

    True, but if it appraises, the buyer doesn’t have a legal out as to this “new information” and often the appraisal is done after all other legal out clauses expire. Not good to rely on the appraisal for corrections on square footage as a buyer of real estate.

  42. 42


    Indy Mac [a fairly large California Bank] just declared banruptcy this morning and FDIC covers the 1st $100K per investor [$250K on 401Ks], there’s many today that found out they can only withdraw 50 cents on the dollar this Monday. The bank’s doors were closed today.

    They can use the withdrawl limited cash machines….lol.

    Save, save, save: but “can cash”, not a bank?

  43. 43
    Jonny says:

    If someone was truly concerned about the square footage, they could easily measure it themselves, or have their inspector measure it, make the deal contingent upon verifying square footage, not having it appraise due to less square footage, etc.

    There is no reason this “new” information can’t be used to get out of a deal. Lawsuits in RE transactions in the past have been started over less…

  44. 44
    jonness says:

    I building a web tool that displays historical median home prices from 1985 to present. Right now it is in rough form but works. You enter the cities in the form that you want to see data for, and it builds a line graph of the cities you picked. You can mouse over the lines to get popups of the year and price data. Eventually, I’ll build a flash front-end for it, but it works ok for now. If you want to search again, just hit the back button.

    For this rough version, you have to enter the city, state info with a comma and abbreviate the state. I.E. Redding, CA

    Check it out and let me know if it works. Right now it is limited to comparing 5 cities at once, but when I finish the flash front end, I’ll probably not put a limit on it.


  45. 45
    mikal says:

    Software engineer, I bet you are a blast at parties. Your cheering the end of your country. Good thing you didn’t post on the fourth. You probably think the Road Warrior is our future.

  46. 46


    The suits to date, going back to the early 90s, have awarded a monetary price per square foot difference, not a rescission of the contract. But to the best of my knowledge those suits were brought after closing and not before. The buyers didn’t want to get out of the contract, they wanted the monetary difference.

    I agree with you that if the buyer wanted out, and they hadn’t closed yet, a lawyer could likely get them out.

  47. 47
    david losh says:

    Jonness #44
    Hey! There’s no data for Seattle,WA or Redding,CA.

  48. 48
    EconE says:

    Redding, CA is no mans land. Similar to some of the places that Pepper is buying up real estate….like Sparks, NV. At least he has a bounty of the “worlds oldest profession” in that area so my guess is…he may have made a good bet. ;o)

  49. 49
    jonness says:

    David Losh #47

    The data is there for both Seattle and Redding. You have to leave a space between the comma and the state or you won’t get the data. The tool is in pretty rough form. I put it out before I was done with it because I found it was a lot of fun to play with. Try it again with:

    Seattle, WA
    Redding, CA

    Eventually, I will have a clickable flash map so you won’t have to type anything in. In the meantime, I will write more robust queries to handle a broader range of inputs. I pretty much just started coding this thing, so it’s a work in progress.

    On another note: I am considering buying a house, but it is a strange situation. It was listed at $499k up until Friday when the price was reduced to $325k. It is listed as a pre-foreclosure short sale. I looked the home up on RealtyTrac and found out $457k is owed on it. Is it normal for a short sale to be this much below the actual default amount? Or is the seller just hoping someone will pounce on it and then they will ask the bank if they will take it? The auction date is 8/22/2008 on the court house steps. I take it the owner has until 11 days prior to that date to come up with the money? Any input will be greatly appreciated as I’m pretty new to this whole foreclosure stuff.


  50. 50
    EconE says:


    I agree with you WRT softwareengineers posts being a bit over the top. However, I don’t think you will find a single person on this board that cheers the utter destruction of our economy. As much as we like to argue about house prices (condo and townhome prices not so much)…I think that the bubble blogs are where you will find the people that are trying to think one (if not two) steps ahead of the curve…and not just about “house prices”. Right now, I think that both BH’s and HB’s are both concerned about the “bigger picture” and really don’t have much more to offer than theoretical situations and outcomes.

    I don’t know your background, but I’m assuming that you come from an educated family from an Eastern Bloc or possibly Former USSR (solely based on the spelling of your name). Don’t worry…no xenophobia here. Perhaps you could provide insight about what it was like for their economies, societies etc. in their transitional periods? I think that we are heading into a time where there will be a whole lotta change when it comes to the “American Lifestyle” compared with the last 25 years or so. Forgive me if I am being presumptive, but I for one would be fascinated to hear first hand accounts.

    WRT where to put your “money”…I thought the same thing when Indymac went under. My dad had a 100k CD there. He’ll lose a couple thousand in interest but the FDIC is gonna cut him a check…really no big deal. However…I was speaking with him today and asked him what would happen if he deposited that FDIC check into (insert next bank to fail here)? Wouldn’t FDIC in essence be bailing out the same account twice? I don’t know how much FDIC has in reserves to cover the accounts in the country but if it has to cover the same persons money twice (who knows…maybe more), should that not present overall concern about our “system”?

    Cash in a can? LOL. Got Gold?

  51. 51
    frank says:

    david losh #47

    You have to leave a space between the comma and the state abbreviation

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Scotsman says:

    Re: Post 44. I did a little quick work on a printed copy of the Seattle data. Best guess for reversion to the mean puts us at a median price of $307,000 sometime between 2009 and 2011 when projecting out the historical trend. It would be interesting to computer fit a line and see where the 2010 price falls.

  54. 54
    jonness says:

    I built a better form for inputting the data. I made separate text boxes for cities and states in order to get rid of the comma nonsense..Also, leading and trailing spaces no longer make a difference. This is proving to be a great tool to get a feel for what’s going on in the national housing market and how Seattle fits into the picture. Comparing all the cities in relation to current economic fundamentals gives me the feeling Seattle house prices still have a long ways to fall.

    We are living in interesting times. I’ve been talking about the coming economic crash so much lately that my GF won’t let me buy my dreamhome that just got discounted from $499k to $325k. I might have to lighten up a little bit.

  55. 55
    mikal says:

    I’m froom Minnesota. Scandanavian. Fourth generation. You probably know more about the Eastern bloc than me. I agree that the American lifestyle is going to change. Deregulating the banks wasn’t a very good idea.

  56. 56
    david losh says:

    OK so where do you get the data?

  57. 57
    deejayoh says:

    I suspect it;s OFHEO data – that’s the only time series that goes back that far.

    If it is, there’s a pretty good tool for this already available at http://www.papereconomy.com/HPI.aspx

  58. 58
    jonness says:

    david losh #55:

    The data is from a leading economic research firm called Global Insight.


    Does anyone know what the typical hit a bank will take on a short sale? I’m interested in a house that the owner owes $458,000 on but has listed for $325,000. Any input would be appreciated.

  59. 59
    jonness says:


    It is based on the OFHEO data. However, Global Insight adjusted it to be a little more accurate.

    “House prices pertain to median values for single-family dwelling units and are based on the 2000 Census of Housing. That point-intime Census estimate is then extrapolated, based on price indices published by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). Because OFHEO has acknowledged that these price indices overstate increases when refinance activity is strong, we further adjust the data to correct for this influence.”

    Had I known there was already a tool out there, I probably wouldn’t have built this one. Mine is arguably more accurate though due to the Global Insight adjustments. It was fun to build, so I’ll probably build a few more. High quality data is plentiful. I’m currently editing some rock videos, so I might not get to it right away though.

  60. 60
    AlexN says:

    To EconE

    Actually, talking about former USSR economy, I can tell from my own experience (Russia).

    The prevailing attitude was “do not trust your government, ever. If you have money now, you better spend it now, because tomorrow it might worth nothing because of inflation or bank collapse” And surprisingly, thinking about retirement you still had to rely on government, because there was no way to save on decent retirement, other than building some country house (dacha), where you can grow some food for yourself. This is how it was 15-20 years ago. Now, situation is very different, but attitude toward savings is basically the same. I do believe that America in general got into economic trouble with spending beyond their means, but comparing very fundamental things: trust to the government (do not laugh here, I am serious), and general belief that hard work is a good thing which can lead to the personal economical stability will help to overcome this economic difficulty.

  61. 61
    deejayoh says:

    Had I known there was already a tool out there, I probably wouldn’t have built this one.

    Hope I didn’t come across as trying to discourage you. I just figured if you were going to the effort, you might as well know what was there already. The multi-market comparison doesn’t seem to work at Paper Money – and your graphing is much cooler.

    I do like being able to index all the compared markets to 100 as an option there

  62. 62
    david losh says:

    Short sales are based on what the bank will take on that day.
    The process is that once you make an offer it goes to a representative who tries to get financial data on the seller of the short. They want two years of tax returns, W-2s, Bank Statements, assets or other liabilities. They try to see if they can bully the seller into making more payments and call the seller twice a day. Once exhausted your offer goes to a negotiator. Many are doing a Brokers Price Opinion where they pay a local agent to do a Comparative Price Opnion on the property then negotiate the price based on that.
    Investors buyers don’t negotiate, home buyers may kick in what they can. The bottom line is that a lender wants more than they can get at auction without the expense of going through foreclosure. I have had a lender say fine we’ll take it, the first week after they got the offer. Money in hand is better.
    If we know auction is brining 73% of fair market value and you add in that it costs about $5K to foreclose, plus six months or more of not having the money to lend again, an offer of 70% seems fair.
    What is happening more now is that price reductions until a lender gets an offer is called what the market will bear. So if it looks good and you are happy with the numbers why not?
    The trick today is knowing what value is. I would use the http://www.vestus.com or http://www.foreclosuresolutionsnw.com because those properties have already been through the system and they hit at about 65% to 73% of what they consider fair market value.
    Too much information?

  63. 63
    jonness says:

    david losh:

    That’s definitely not too much information. Thanks for enlightening me.


  64. 64
    tacomarenter says:

    Fannie and Freddie may be getting bailed out but there is a lot of speculation their shareholder value will be wiped out. Which is the least they should do. It would not be fair to bail out private shareholders with public money.

  65. 65
    david losh says:

    As no other Real Estate professional stepped in I’ll mention shorts are the best way to buy First you have time, Second you can get a loan, (auctions are for cash) and Third you are dealing with the lender directly, in house.
    The representative and negotiator get spiffs for settling a file They also have to account for thier time, so a good resolution makes them look good. All lenders, representatives, who are seasoned, (many now are new), and negotiators agree they have never seen anything like what we have today.
    In order to buy well you need to have your financing in place. This is a stumbling block because some lenders don’t want to waste time on a short sale file. In the past they have been long drawn out affairs, they still are, but that’s a different topic for another day. Be prepared it may be a long transaction.
    Here’s the thing; banks are also looking for multiple offers, and trying to get the seller to pay up. One misstep and your file gets buried. So it’s important to be nice, and most of all professional. The offer should be clean, inspection taken care of, appraisal in short order, and the numbers should look right.
    You can ask for closing costs, and/or down payment, but no inspection crap. No renegotiating so get that out of the way. Once the files in it’s in.
    The commission should be 5% or less, I have held out for 6% if it’s a problem file. Most importantly the person who is dealing with the bank should know how to conduct themselves. I’ll go so far as to say they should have a stake in the transaction. There’s a distressed property or sort sale expert on every corner, don’t trust them with your file. They will shop it, forget about it, get pissed off, and go onto the next one. These people have thousands of clients so they don’t need your deal.
    You can e-mail me if you have more questions.
    Best of Shopping,
    You made Cool Graphs

  66. 66
    Seeker says:

    I was in Istanbul – turkey for vacation.. 2 room 1100ftsq under construction apartments are being sold for 70k and being resold in 6 to 12 months for 100k to 150k right after the construction is completed.. WTF?? How come that part of the world still has a booming real estate market? They dont have mortgages but anyone having 70k to 100k cash can roll good money…

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