Poll: In the next 30 years, the desirability of the Seattle area will:

Please vote in this poll using the sidebar.

In the next 30 years, the desirability of the Seattle area will:

  • Continue to grow. (45%, 83 Votes)
  • Plateau for an extended time. (30%, 55 Votes)
  • Begin to decline. (25%, 45 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

This poll will be active and displayed on the sidebar through 08.22.2009.

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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
    seattlerenter says:

    I don’t think we will decline so much as just plateau, we still have microsoft but they have peaked a few years ago. If boeing does leave the area or decrease employment here we will definately lose desireability. I think what the economy is doing is lowering all cities down a few notches so it becomes a wash. Does anyone know if the snohomish market has picked up? I watch one neighborhood in particular and a house just came on the market for about $70k over zillow and $60-70k over any recent sales. Happens to be about what they owe, I don’t think they are that delusional. Or do you have to try to get what you owe before you can do a shortsale?

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    Seattle has more potential, the West Coast has more potential, than other parts of the country. My feeling is that the Euro was a last ditch effort to keep Europe economically viable. Even though France and Germany are claiming an economic recovery we pretty much decimated them with our mortgage backed securities.
    Any European trading now is tainted by the fact they have limited resources for a future growth.
    All eyes will be on Asia from this point forward.
    Let’s also talk about Russia. Northern Pacific trade has got to be the hope of the future. China, Japan, Russia along with Canada and the Pacific Northwest make for some of the richest trade partners.

  3. 3
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: David Losh @ 2 – I completely disagree.

    I think that flyover country is poised for a massive comeback.

    For example, I think you will start seeing a town like Des Moines, IA competing directly with Bangalore, India for high-tech outsourcing. The price gap is narrowing. Rural Sourcing, Inc. http://www.ruralsourcing.com/ is a company that sees this now and I think they are dead-on.

    You will see families moving from their expensive, crime-infested, bankrupt, West-coast neighborhoods to live in the leafy tree-lined neighborhoods of the Midwest. These towns will be rediscovered as we change to value stability, frugal living, and peace. This will not save all rust-belt cities, but will have a massive positive effect on smaller towns and cities across the country.

  4. 4
    Scott Weitz says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 3

    I agree with this. The low cost of of living is going to pull a lot of people toward the center of the country for awhile.

    David @ 2 – Good point on the asian resurgence. Not sure it will be enough to keep the NW economy out of the gutter.

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 3

    Agreed- folks will seek out cheaper living, less crime, and a greater sense of community. And if there is to be a manufacturing resurgence it will most likely be in the Midwest where some of the required infrastructure still remains and the political climate, tax structure, etc. is more friendly.

    Seattle will be flat to declining (if Boeing moves) for some time. It’s nice here, but there are plenty of cheaper, nicer, drier, etc. places.

  6. 6
    softwarengineer says:

    Livability in Seattle will decline rapidly as overpopulation reduces per capita expenditures packing us all in tighter

    Unemployment will continue to get worse and worse, as wages chronically deteriorate with more and more uncontrolled growth. RE prices will continue downward in the next few decades, assuming uncontrolled growth continues; at best, they may plateau to “Haves” “Have-nots” separate communities; where horrifying degradation and poverty is in the “Have-not” communities….something like India today.

    More local governments butcher axing local government wages:


  7. 7
    Ryan says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6

    Hey software engineer….if you have time to post on this link maybe you could go back to the story on economic fundamentals and address the other people who called you out on your FHA nonsense (I think that was the discussion). Sounds to me like you don’t know what you are talking about….

  8. 8
    oberon says:

    RE: Wreckingbull @ 3 – High tech outsourcing in Des Moines? You’re nuts.

    Call centers are one thing, but high-tech work needs a population schooled in math and science. In India (and China), math and science are culturally considered “cool” and the numbers of skilled engineers and scientists are incredible, while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps getting in the way of what the Bible teaches. I don’t think you’ll ever find pervasive high-tech outsourcing in a culture where more than half don’t believe in evolution.

  9. 9
    Rack says:

    “while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps”

    You are so full of crap. Most of my uber geek CS friends are from the midwest.

    Arkansas, Iowa, and texas to name a few.

  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ryan @ 7


    Software Engineer has a point which is something that is lacking in so many anonymous comments. Global Population growth will make all other scientific matter irrelevant in a very short amount of time.

    1776 this country was a frontier, the entire North America continent was sparsely populated. 1492 Europe was populated to a point where they were looking beyond their borders. 1100 Europe was fighting for expansion. 1 AD Rome was conquering the known world,

    We have simply run out of room. Population grows exponentially. In the world of supply and demand that all looks good, more people more demand. That has been the basis of economic expansion, more people, more growth, more children, more wealth.

    As I’ve pointed out before condoms are the obvious solution, but the Catholic Church needs to grow.

    It really makes no difference the guy has a point. He says something, or anything. What’s your point? Who are you? What are you talking about?

  11. 11
    jon says:

    By Rack @ 9:

    “while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps”

    You are so full of crap. Most of my uber geek CS friends are from the midwest.

    Arkansas, Iowa, and texas to name a few.

    There are 10 years’ worth of enrollment data for MIT here http://web.mit.edu/bloggers/www/cristenc10/
    in case anyone wants to bother dividing by population.

  12. 12
    Scotsman says:

    RE: oberon @ 8

    University of Chicago?


    University of Michigan?

    Are you hoping to be taken seriously? You, obviously, are NOT a geek.

  13. 13
    Markor says:

    Nobody’s mentioned water yet? What happens when the so-called sand states scrape the bottom of the aquifers and rivers? I guess they could drain Lake Tahoe before emigrating to the PNW.

  14. 14
    vermillionsky says:

    By Rack @ 9:

    “while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps”

    You are so full of crap. Most of my uber geek CS friends are from the midwest.

    Arkansas, Iowa, and texas to name a few.

    Just a slight semantic clarification… All three of those examples might be considered “middle america,” but only Iowa is in the “midwest.” Arkansas and Texas are in the south (although, Texas is kind of its own separate entity).

    By oberon @ 8:

    RE: Wreckingbull @ 3 â�� High tech outsourcing in Des Moines? You’re nuts.

    Call centers are one thing, but high-tech work needs a population schooled in math and science. In India (and China), math and science are culturally considered “cool” and the numbers of skilled engineers and scientists are incredible, while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps getting in the way of what the Bible teaches. I don’t think you’ll ever find pervasive high-tech outsourcing in a culture where more than half don’t believe in evolution.

    That’s a really bigoted thing to say. I received a very good science and math education at public school in suburban Cleveland. Carnegie Mellon, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, and university of Texas all have top-rated computer science programs, and all are in middle america. There is no shortage of geeks in the middle america.. just a shortage of jobs for them when the graduate.

  15. 15
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: oberon @ 8 – I need to make a few points here, as there appears to be some misunderstanding.

    1. Outsourcing is primarily about cost. The talent is here, it is just more expensive. Yes, we are certainly lagging other countries in the sciences, but we are a long way from dead. My firm outsources one in five workers to India and for us, it is all about cost. However, that cost is rising each year.

    2. Companies that ‘rural source’ to areas with a high quality of life (good schools, low crime, low cost) are going to ATTRACT workers from all over the country. We are still a very mobile society. This is my main point. Workers are getting sick and tired of overpriced coastal areas. Ask any young Silicon Valley worker this. If he or she wanted to start a family, they would probably have to buy in a Sacramento suburb and commute the Bay Area each day. That same worker could have a very nice home and a 5 minute commute if they work for a company that has ‘rural sourced’.

    3. With smart immigration reform, the best of the best of those Chinese and Indian high-tech workers will be living in the U.S., helping our economy and our tax base.

  16. 16
    Ryan says:

    RE: David Losh @ 10

    I was merely pointing out that on another topic (i think it was two stories ago), softwareengineer made a couple of comments that several other people took issue with and basically said he didn’t know what he was talking about. He has yet to go back and answer those comments and instead has moved on to this thread. I was pointing out to him that if he has time to post on this topic, hopefully he could go back and answer the questions that others had posed to him on the other one.

  17. 17

    RE: David Losh @ 10

    Yes David

    You made me smile, you are an environmentalist for demography and science.

    As for FHA, [I’m sure the trolls can’t use a Yahoo search, they don’t have the brains?], look it up, I already posted it before a long time ago. The adequate and common sense credit rating requirement for current FHA loans to buyers is not specified or a clear government requirement….that’s why I smile when FHA isn’t in my current “have” community….God forbid it turn into a foreclosed “have not” Detroit to subprime unqualified buyers, just so some shucksters can sell more debt to our grandchildren’s grandchildren and ruin my neighborhood when they default anyway.

    Yes, some FHA loans work well….but I’ll bet a million bucks almost all the loans that worked, went to almost all qualified buyers with decent credit ratings. So why are we allowing yesterday’s mistakes to infect FHA requirements today again? Will we ever learn?

  18. 18

    RE: oberon @ 8

    What have they invented in their countries in the last couple decades without mixing in with American companies or hiring Americans [that do all the work?]? I know, you come up nada.

    How come the World Economic Forum has American professionals write almost all their globalist predicative papers and give almost all their speeches, with all this technology talent you allege overseas? You’d think the engineers/scientists from these alleged higher skilled countries would be leading the globalist band, not as you allege, subpar America.

    In part:

    “….More proof of my substantiated allegation is the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) 2007 Rankings of countries in technological innovation. America used to be number one, but with all its recent population growth, has dropped down to #7. That’s not bad [Japan’s #19, India’s #44, Mexico’s #49 and China’s #59]. But, dinky Denmark is #1 and almost all the top ten slots were grabbed by European countries; i.e., countries that controlled population growth!

    I’ll give you this historical WEF website reference:


    The URL above probably won’t work anymore and they stopped tracking population technological rankings at 2007….my guess is America isn’t in the top ten anymore with all its population growth and the WEF Rankings are also an apparent embarrassment to globalists outsourcing to the documented subpar Asian countries in technological Innovation .

    I saved it this Overpopulation website http://overpopulation-softwarengineer.blogspot.com/ , anticipating the “globalist politics” clouding/mitigating free thought [just scroll down to my 6/26/08 entree].

  19. 19
    David Losh says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 18

    Over population is a problem. Education may be a part of it, but any country can enforce population policy. They don’t. The Catholic Church could endorse population policy and it doesn’t.

    Africa, as the oldest population growth continent, is our example of what will happen globally. Disease, water, food distribution, and the resulting flight out of poverty are what all countries have to look forward to.

    You could say it’s education, but it’s more that there is no policy. No one is asking for policy. We are much more interested in what car we will buy with the Cash for Clunkers money. What we need is global health care, and a willingness for cooperation economically.

  20. 20
    oberon says:

    Ok, I was a bit unclear and perhaps a touch over-incendiary in my comment; let me clarify.

    Yes, there are excellent Universities with top science and engineering programs in middle America. And they produce excellent engineers. However, these graduates (who often move to the coasts after graduation) are not sources for low-cost high-tech outsourcing, as they’re not cheap. I’m talking about the base population who work for lower middle-class wages; in India and China, young people in those salary grades will tend to have very strong basic math and science skills, and can write code. Not so true in middle America.

    At the higher level, where we’re talking about scientific innovation, keep in mind that at least half of the Phd engineering students come from outside the US (Europe, India, China). In my field (computer science), it was over half when I was in graduate school. The innovation mostly happens in the US, but we import a lot of the talent that makes that happen. I can name countless technologies and companies started by Indians trained up to the end of undergrad in India, who then moved to the US to go to graduate school and stayed. Examples include the Pentium chip, Hotmail, and Sun.

  21. 21
    shawn says:

    RE: David Losh @ 19 – David, I have a suggestion, read a little. The Catholic church does have a population theory. I am left wondering if you are: a) unread, b) disingenuous, or c) both?

    ‘The archbishop noted that the Church is not against population control if the sanctity of human life is protected. He endorsed Natural Family Planning as one such population control method.”
    –Archbishop Angel Lagdameo

  22. 22
    Madrona says:

    What’s with the thinly veiled Catholic bigotry coming from David Losh?

  23. 23
    k2000k says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 15

    I agree 100% with your last point, the United States needs to make it easier for skilled workers to immigrate and stay in the US. Talent flows to where it is appreciated and rewarded, and the US has been that nation in the past.

  24. 24
    k2000k says:

    RE: oberon @ 20
    Is it such a bad thing to import talent? I believe our space rocket programs were jump started by a bunch of German transplants.

  25. 25
    oberon says:

    RE: k2000k @ 24 – Is it such a bad thing to import talent?

    Not at all; in fact, it’s crucially important. I’m just pointing out that isn’t middle Americans who fill the top middle American Universities, at least at the grad school level.

  26. 26
    Markor says:

    RE: shawn @ 21

    It’s been known for ages that the “family planning” method leads to overpopulation. The typical planned family includes several accidents. The Catholic Church knows that and counts on it.

  27. 27
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: shawn @ 21 – you got to be kidding me right, that is family planning? how about using a condom, it also has the great side affect of stopping the spread of HIV — major problem in Africa.

  28. 28
    shawn says:

    RE: Markor @ 26 – Markor, the idea is to sanctify life, that is it. I have no issue with people saying the plan does not work, or they don’t like it, etc., but to misstate the Catholic Church’s position or to imply that they have a hidden agenda is not accurate nor an honest representation of the Church’s intentions.

    Now you could say that “family planning” as prescribed by the Catholic church has not curbed over population due to this research (which you have not furnished). But for you to say that “family planning” has led to overpopulation is absurd. One of the major contributors to overpopulation is our global ability to help others. Look at past famines and plagues and how many people died then versus today.

  29. 29
    shawn says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 27 – I never said that “I” was against others using condems. I merely don’t like people mistating the Catholic Church’s positions. I totally respect your disagreeing with their plan, or believing it is ineffective, etc. Also, you show how easy it is to disagree with a positon without the need to fabricate the truth. Beyond that, you show that this topic has many complicated aspects, such as stopping disease with a condom is intertwined with birth control in a way that the pill is not, etc.

    To be on topic, I don’t see overpopulation having any effect on Seattle’s housing.

  30. 30
    Markor says:

    RE: shawn @ 28

    It’s not a hidden agenda, except for the gullible. More kids born to Catholic parents = more Catholics = more money & power for the church, at the expense of everyone else. That’s obviously the agenda.

    Apparently the plan backfired in countries where AIDS is killing Catholics faster than they’re being born. So in 2008 God decided that Catholics can use condoms but only when needed to stay alive.

  31. 31
    shawn says:

    RE: Markor @ 30 – Is that why Michael Moore is Catholic, for the power and money? Do you think he would be a part of that? All I can suggest is to read and research your position. Try some critical thinking, analyze your position, analyze your approach, analyze yourself, look inward and ask why.

  32. 32
    deejayoh says:

    By jon @ 11:

    By Rack @ 9:

    “while in middle America math and science is geeky and keeps”

    You are so full of crap. Most of my uber geek CS friends are from the midwest.

    Arkansas, Iowa, and texas to name a few.

    There are 10 years’ worth of enrollment data for MIT here http://web.mit.edu/bloggers/www/cristenc10/
    in case anyone wants to bother dividing by population.

    What? the most MIT students come from states with the most population or from those closest to MIT? shocking

    I downloaded some crapware from Sun to find this out? I hate Sun :OP

  33. 33
    Markor says:

    RE: shawn @ 31

    It’s the Catholic Church that obviously seeks money & power, not necessarily the members, who are pawns for the most part. I must’ve not fully analyzed my position, because it disagrees with yours right? That’s a common brainwashing tactic: if you don’t see it our way, you haven’t looked inward enough.

    Bottom line is, the church’s stance on contraception demonstrably leads to overpopulation, and I’m convinced that’s their intent. I should instead believe that leaving sperm in a testicular sack is somehow more Godlike than moving it to a condom? It’s not life either way. The church’s position is nonsensical until you see the ulterior motive.

  34. 34
    shawn says:

    RE: Markor @ 33 – Markor, the gauge that I use to determine if someone has researched a topic has nothing to do with my position. This is not about religion for me, it is about making an honest argument. It is questioning if the argument has been presented intellectually. One must present both sides with respect, no ad hominum attacks, no opinions presented as facts, it must logically state why one opinion is more valid than the other, etc.. All you have done is disparage the Church, and its members. You might benefit from studying “The Argument” and the use of modifiers.

  35. 35
    shawn says:

    RE: Markor @ 33 – Markor, to address your second paragraph, you need to read “why” they believe what they do to “understand” their position. I can tell you have not. I don’t remember where, but somewhere in the Bible it states that it is a sin to spill ones seed. It is believed that sperm and the egg are life. If someone believes that, and they do, then their positions, in that light, make sense. This is what you are missing: Investigating the other sides reasoning. Instead, you infer your own reason, and you choose one that is negative. Again, look inward as to why you do this, research “The Argument”, learn how to argue honestly and I will not find issue with your arguement. Again, this is not a religous debate for me as to if the belief is valid or not, it is how you present it in a disparaging disrespectful way.

  36. 36
    what goes up must come down says:

    Shawn to be on topic I agree over population is not the cause for the run up in housing prices. But I have to make a point and I am not trying to bash but when you call it “THE” church are you not putting a line in the sand?

  37. 37
    Markor says:

    RE: shawn @ 35

    It’s impossible to show that one opinion is more valid than another. Something found in the bible adds nothing to the church’s position. It’s just a book. You’ve made your case that the Catholic Church has a position on population control, and I’ve expressed my opinion that they are obviously disingenuous. If that disparages them, so be it, they deserve it. I won’t be looking further inward–I’ve made up my mind–so I say we leave it at that.

  38. 38
    Markor says:

    While overpopulation is not the cause of the run-up in housing prices, it’s a safe bet it will be a major factor in the desirableness of the Seattle area in the next 30 years. For example, we may lose our orcas in the next 30 years due to growing human impact on the Sound.

  39. 39
    shawn says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 36 – I only meant “the” church we were speaking of. I believe there are many roads to the top of the mountain, and not everyone may even want to go to the top of the mountain.

  40. 40
    shawn says:

    RE: Markor @ 37 – We can leave it at that. My point is that if you can take the time to see the other person’s reasoning, you might see the other in a different light. I remember the story about the blind girl that was given glasses so that she could now see. A little later she saw a man kill another man. She quit wearing her glasses. One day her brother grabbed her, took her to a place where a woman was giving birth to a child. Next, the brother put the glasses on his sister, and the girl saw the birth.

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