Affordability Declined in Q3 as Housing Market Heated Up

The latest issue of Sound Housing Quarterly has been published. Sound Housing Quarterly is a subscription-based sister project to Seattle Bubble. Here are a couple of highlights from the third quarter issue.

The Real Estate Heat Index (a proprietary index I created that uses supply, demand, and home prices to calculate the general “heat” of the housing market) rose in all seven Puget Sound Counties in the third quarter, but still remains below pre-bubble levels.

Real Estate Heat Index: King, Snohomish, Pierce

Meanwhile, affordability dropped in every county but Snohomish, despite interest rates in the 5s.

Affordability Index: King, Snohomish, Pierce

The full version of Sound Housing Quarterly includes detailed data and analysis for King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, and Skagit counties.

Head over to to subscribe to Sound Housing Quarterly. You can also download a free single-page summary of this quarter’s report, or head over to the free archive to check out last year’s Q3 report in full.

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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

    I have to ask about this, because the increase on first review is surprising.

    If you just used price it wouldn’t show such an increase, because prices have been fairly flat (at least in King County–I don’t follow the other counties all that closely). So I can assume it’s volume sold (demand) and inventory (supply) that is driving the increase, right?

    Going further, I’d suspect more of the change is due to demand, because the volume in Dec-Feb was so low due to fear of total economic collapse which became apparent in September.

  2. 2
    Huck says:

    I too am curious about the details of that first graph. It’s a little perplexing to look at a graph and not actually be told what the lines mean.

  3. 3
    scotsman says:

    Come on guys:

    (a proprietary index I created that uses supply, demand, and home prices to calculate the general “heat” of the housing market)

    It’s a relative measure… and it’s “proprietary,” meaning Tim’s own calculus, and he’s not telling. But it doesn’t matter, as it’s historical, and relative. The only real question is, when the market bombs, will he shift the “y” axis, or is zero as low as it can go? ;-)

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