Announcing Sound Housing Quarterly, a Puget Sound Housing Journal

I’m proud to announce the latest project that I have been working on related to Seattle Bubble: Sound Housing Quarterly.

Sound Housing Quarterly is a subscription-based journal of the Puget Sound residential real estate market. It was created for people who like the kind of analysis and insight offered on Seattle Bubble, but crave…

  • …greater accessibility.
  • …coverage of counties other than King.
  • …less cluttered charts.
  • …all the latest information in a single package.

Sound Housing Quarterly was created for anyone involved in the Puget Sound housing market in any way—as a home buyer, a home seller, or a real estate agent.

If this describes you, head over to the website at to download a free preview of the first edition and to learn more about what Sound Housing Quarterly is and how to subscribe.

If you have donated $25 or more to Seattle Bubble in the past few months and would like a complimentary copy, please contact me via email.

Feel free to leave feedback on this post about the journal or the project in general.

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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
    David Losh says:

    Well we are ahead of Saturday when I would make my pitch for people to donate generously to the Seattle Bubble. The contribution button is right below the I Buy Houses ad on the right.

    As far as the data for a quarterly report about Real Estate, there is a sucker born every minute so there will be those people who will “join the club.” It will be an obscure place where people meet to discuss the next conspiracy theory about why we can’t buy a house.

    The charm of this blog is the personalities. If someone were smart they would anounce the right to use and republish the discussions here. The archives would close every three months and be sold. Maybe a book, a news letter, a retrospective, of what’s been discussed would make good reading. Someone would have to edit itm of course.

    I would really like to see what Renters Are Losers would be saying today, but then again we have rules here now.

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    Great idea, Tim!

    I’m sure you’ll find a huge number of subscribers in the professional real estate community. Your data might turn out to be the key that listing agents need in order to convince sellers to price realistically. Best of luck!

  3. 3
    jonness says:

    I’m getting gibberish when I download the free preview in Firefox 3.0.3 What is a pdf.htm file anyways?

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    Hmm. looks like a strange quirk of the download manager I’m using. Click “Save file” instead of “Open” and it should download the pdf just fine.

  5. 5
    alexu says:

    You need to set “Content-Type” in the headers to “application/pdf” to make FireFox recognize it as pdf.

  6. 6
    stephen says:

    Hey Tim, when are you going to update the Thatch Mound blog about your progress?

  7. 7
    Jillayne says:

    Hey Tim,

    As a subscriber, can I use the graphs in my presentations to Realtors and lenders? I think you’ll say yes. So then how would you like me to credit you….do you want me to send people to SB, or Housing Quarterly….or both?

    Thanks for publishing the newsletter. This is a great value to someone like me who must have current stats (not the propaganda offered by the REIC) avail and complied in one easy to find place on a moment’s notice.

  8. 8
    Ray Pepper says:

    David why the pitch to always give Tim money? I see you have been doing this for a long while. When Tim needs contributions (like last time 2500) we all pitched in. I’m sure he will let us know when its time. Right?

  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    jonness & alexu – I fixed the problem with the bad headers. Opening the pdf in Firefox should now work fine. (Well, to be more specific, the fine author of the download counter plugin I’m using on the site fixed the problem.)

    stephen – This week actually. I have to catch up on the two lost months, post a couple good related articles I’ve read lately, and update on the Sound Housing Quarterly project.

    Jillayne – Absolutely, please feel free to use the graphs in presentations. At a minimum, I’d prefer credit for Sound Housing Quarterly (to hopefully point some more paying subscribers my way), but both would be fine too.

  10. 10
    alex says:

    Hey Tim,
    There’s been a couple “broad market” news that point to the beginning of a recovery of the real estate market nationwide – like this one:

    It would be interesting to see your analysis/commentary on those.

  11. 11
    Mike2 says:

    Alex, how do sales down 33% from a year ago and prices down 9% point to a recovery? Looks more like a continued slide.

  12. 12


    If you’re a buyer, patiently waiting on the sidelines for the next several years.

  13. 13
    Curtis says:

    I am thinking 2009 spring – right after February – would be the good time to buy a house..

  14. 14

    I’m inclined to subscribe to support your efforts, but have a few questions.

    1) Who is we? Who beyond The Tim is “we”?

    2) Does the data come from NWMLS or County records or both?

    3) If I susbscribe in support of you, will you later flame me for having done so :)

  15. 15
    The Tim says:

    Hi Ardell,

    1) Right now I’m the sole writing force behind the newsletter, but I want to leave room for contributions from local market experts in the future. Also, technically the company is co-owned by my wife and I, and she does help me in an editorial capacity.

    2) I used a number of data sources – NWMLS, county records, Case-Shiller, OFHEO, Washington State Office of Financial Management, Washington State Employment Security Department, and a few others.

    3) I promise not to flame any subscribers. :^)

    To be honest, I would certainly appreciate your support, but an agent such as yourself that is paying close attention to the market already and doing frequent stats pulls from the NWMLS database probably won’t gain any new insight from SHQ. We have two target audiences in mind for SHQ: A) Agents that either don’t know how or don’t have the time to pull market stats (from the NWMLS and elsewhere) of their own. B) Consumers.

    Again though, I’m definitely not going to tell you not to subscribe :^)

  16. 16

    The Tim,

    Yes, I do stats much more frequently than I post them. But your influence did reduce my agent bias, and I can not guarantee even to myself that I am totally without agent bias. So your stats as a double check on my thinking from time to time…quarterly if not daily, is well worth the price of admission.

    Plus, I do want to support your efforts to thank you, in hindsight, for helping to pull my brain out of my butt so many times in the past.

  17. 17
    The Tim says:

    Well thank you, I appreciate your support as well as your kind words.

  18. 18
    Amarjit says:


    Diversification is always better not only for you but for the education of the community.


  19. 19
    David Losh says:

    This site was truly a bright spot in the Real Estate world in addition to a very broad forum. It was fun.

    The original premise you chose was a good one. Real Estate people or people associated with the Real Estate industry are sales people. In fact you could also say that doctors or lawyers today are sales people.

    Once you align yourself with these sales people you become one of them.

    My concern is that your sales charts and graphs will go down the same road as Trends Graphix. I have the vision of some Real Estate sales guy pulling out your quarterly report to beat up a seller.

    I’d just like to point out how far this site has come in the past year. It seems to me that there is a profit center here while maintaining integrity.

  20. 20
    economist says:

    There’s been a couple “broad market” news that point to the beginning of a recovery of the real estate market nationwide – like this one:

    That housing data is from September. This is October.

    Nuff said.

  21. 21
    Demersus says:

    Wasn’t there some FHA program that was ending the last day in Sept? Methinks this has much to do with the spike in new home sales for Sept. It will drop back down again for Oct and beyond.

  22. 22
    Jillayne says:


    Yes, it was the seller-funded downpayment assistance programs. FHA gave them the ax.

  23. 23
    David Losh says:

    Good Morning!
    My inbox this morning is full of Real Estate news today. Trends, predictions, technique come in every morning. I mentioned Trends Graphix without a blip from the Real Estate community here at the Seattle Bubble.
    As a Real Estate professional, whether you work or not, there are tons of news letters, sales tools, or pontificates on Real Estate matters.
    To answer Ray’s question, my hope is that Tim will continue to be a conduit for matters larger than a Real Estate guru, there are thousands of those, especially on the internet.

  24. 24
    Ben says:

    Is there any way this post could not sit on top permanently? That’s kind of annoying… :)

  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    It’s only scheduled to stay on top through the end of the week.

  26. 26
    cougar says:

    Is this the end to SB content? Pay for stats…..

  27. 27
    anonymous says:

    Can we assume SB is over now? In favor of a quarterly newsletter? That would be very unfortunate.

  28. 28
    garth says:

    If you look at the fundraising total during the drive and the charts on Tim’s thatchmound blog for the months where the drive was going on, it becomes pretty clear why he has to do this. The idea that tim should do this for free or that his integrity is somehow compromised by needing to make a livable wage is just silly.

    It is pretty much impossible to consistently support yourself on donations or advertising at Tim’s size, and agents and companies will pay $75 a quarter for charts they can show their clients that don’t say “seattlebubble” on them. Instead of complaining the bubbleheads should be sending the link to every real estate agent and fence sitting buyer they know, so tim can keep seattle bubble alive. He tried to do donations instead of advertising and it failed to meet his needs. I didn’t donate because I don’t donate to companies, but I did send his link out to a number of real estate people I know.

  29. 29
    The Tim says:

    anonymous @ 27,

    Absolutely not, Seattle Bubble will continue as normal. This is in addition to the regularly scheduled Seattle Bubble content and updates.

  30. 30
    The Tim says:

    Also, for the record, the plan was never to sustain a livable wage entirely on donations and advertising. The advertising income has been growing steadily, and the donation drive was a stop-gap measure to help tide things over as other revenue streams were established (of which advertising is just one part), which it did nicely.

    Thanks for your concern though.

  31. 31
    Ben says:

    I wish that the other Ben would call himself “Other Ben” since I was here first :)

  32. 32
    Other Ben says:

    @31 – That I can do.

    And Tim, sorry if my original comment sounded snippy – it actually just took me quite a while to realize that there were actually new posts, since I don’t use a feed reader to read your blog… I just thought you were out of town for a while… =P

  33. 33
    Alan says:


    How much is Sound Housing Quarterly paying Seattle Bubble for that advertising?

    Yes, I know they are both you, but surely they have separate accounting books.

  34. 34
    The Tim says:

    Alan, it’s all under the same company, Thatch Mound. So no, I don’t really have separate books.

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