November Stats Preview: Closed Sales See Expected Surge

With November now in the rear view mirror, let’s have a look at the monthly stats preview. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County Records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the “preview,” drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Here’s your preview of November’s foreclosure and home sale stats:

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with the county:

King County Warranty Deeds

Not unexpectedly, sales declined slightly month-to-month, but saw a huge year-over-year increase: 66%. Since most of these sales probably went pending well before the tax credit was extended to beyond its original expiration at the end of November, it is not at all surprising so see such a huge surge in closings, and in fact we have been forecasting exactly this phenomenon since early this summer.

I suspect that a large part of this spike will end up having been borrowed from sales that would have otherwise taken place in the already normally slow December through February. Don’t be surprised if we see a massive drop-off of sales next month.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Still showing a sizable (45%) year-over-year increase, as well as an increase over last month. Since January seems to be when foreclosures around here really started ramping up, it will be interesting to see if we still show a year-over-year increase in a couple months.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Up 57% from last year, but down from last month, mimicking the pattern seen in trustee sale notices back in June-July.

Lastly, here’s an approximate guess at where the month-end inventory was, based on our sidebar inventory tracker (powered by Estately):

King County SFH Active Listings

Just like every year, the number of homes on the market is declining significantly as we head into the usually “dead” winter months of real estate.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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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.

64 comments:

  1. 1
    Scott Weitz says:

    We’re slowly, ever so gently, approaching the cliff in Seattle. Now sure when it happens, but we are going to see a huge drop within a year.

    “Gets worse more slowly is not a recovery”.

  2. 2
    Kevin says:

    Care to back up the claim for the “cliff in Seattle”?

    I am worried about the fiscal policy of the country and the unavoidable decline of “American empire”, but I can’t see what’s particularly bad in Seattle.

  3. 3

    I think you have the wrong focus on the sale volume data. The main reason for the 66% increase isn’t the tax credit this year, but instead the extreme fear that was present in November 2008 (actually September, 2008). Sales fell off a cliff after Paulson’s announcements last year, and so the YOY comparisons on volume will be rather extreme for the next several months.

    The interesting comparison when the NWMLS releases it’s volume numbers will be to November 2007 and 2006, the former of which had it’s own bit of fear factor built in, but nothing like November 2008. Also, I’d add that looking at those numbers we’ll be able to see the effect on the SFR and condo markets separately.

  4. 4
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3 – In some way I think this is having it both ways. I hear a lot of claims about “how it’s different in the Seattle area,” and now I hear “extreme fear” was present. How have prices reflected the “extreme fear?”

    Could you separate the two factors, tax credit versus extreme fear, and assign a weighting to each?

  5. 5

    RE: AMS @ 4 – I don’t think there is a way to separate out each factor. But prior to September we did have the tax credit factor, but not the fear factor. Volumes were not up 66% at that time. So I would say from that, most of that 66% is due to the fear factor.

    Here are the King County SFR volume numbers from September 2008. The numbers for March-August 2008 were all in the 1500s:

    1415 Sept 2008
    1319
    869 Nov 2008
    929
    674 Jan 2009
    661
    968
    1004
    1312
    1655
    1727
    1609
    1618
    1758 Oct 2009

    The trend increase in 2009 was both a factor of the tax credit and people feeling better about the economy (or having short memories). As to price, that’s another issue altogether, but the lower volumes would tend to result in lower prices. So perhaps that’s where the tax credit has had more of an impact.

  6. 6
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – Too many people targeted a November closing. After I linked the database, The Tim posted some CFC charts. There were spikes when the program was going to end. (One at the fear of the 1st Billion running out, and another at the 3 Billion mark, the true end.)

    Part of the problem with coming with this new theory this late is that there has been so much discussion of the rise in sales to match the November 30 income tax credit deadline. I’d also suggest that when the tax credit was extended, that only relived some of the pressure for some sales. The majority of buyers and sellers were already set to close on a given day, whatever that might be.

    Maybe there was “extreme fear,” but it seems a bit late to notice it now.

  7. 7

    RE: AMS @ 6 – How is it just noticing it now? We noticed it as soon, if not before, the release of the November sales data in December 2008. When you look at those sales numbers I posted, the fear in the market is evident.

    I think we might see a lull in the December numbers because of the gap period where there realistically was no tax credit. Technically the credit never expired, but there was a period where only cash buyers could close in time to expect to get the credit.

  8. 8
    The Tim says:

    By AMS @ 6:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – Too many people targeted a November closing. After I linked the database, The Tim posted some CFC charts. There were spikes when the program was going to end. (One at the fear of the 1st Billion running out, and another at the 3 Billion mark, the true end.)

    Here’s that chart again, for reference:

  9. 9
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Let me go this route: I didn’t notice much mention of the fear back in 2008. As always, there is the normal background noise. Did you post the fear theory here back in 2008 or early 2009?

  10. 10
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 8 – I suspect we will see a similar pattern in housing with the Income Tax Credit, but the final sales peak may be spread over a 60 day period, so the last peak won’t be as easy to recognize. Even with some smoothing from the flexibility of closing, I suspect there will be a spike at the finish line.

  11. 11
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – CR just posted about auto sales. On a national level, the fear of November 2008 doesn’t seem to be so obvious. I agree that the sales were declining, but the decline began prior to August 2008. It was August 2008 when Treasury Secretary Paulson was suggesting that the markets were resilient, no big problem, blah, blah, blah. We all know how fast his opinion changed in less than a month.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/12/ford-us-november-sales-flat.html

  12. 12

    Still the Bottom Line

    Hardly no first time home buyers qualify in Seattle’s high priced market. Even with all these type of useless lures:

    Article in part:

    “…Mortgages Programs

    FHA Loans

    FHA loans aren’t just for first time homebuyers! It’s perfect for people with very little to no credit, and people with no credit scores. If the purchase price is 300K or less this is the way you should go! Some great aspects of obtaining an FHA loan are:

    · 3.5% Down Payment
    · Up to 6% in seller contribution
    · Low monthly mortgage insurance
    · Low interest rates
    · Maximum loan limit: $288,750

    USDA Loans

    This is a great alternative loan for borrowers who do not have enough income to qualify for conventional financing and have no money to put down. And this is not just for first time homebuyers!!

    · 100% Financing (No down payment assistance or grants you’ll have to pay back)
    · Up to 6% in seller contribution
    · No monthly mortgage insurance
    · Low interest rates
    · No maximum loan amount
    · No first time homebuyer guidelines
    · Borrower must meet income requirements
    · Home must be located in a USDA designated area

    Conventional Financing

    This loan is for people with near perfect credit (700 scores)

    · Minimum down payment 5%
    · $417, 000 max loan amount

    Jumbo Loans

    · Loan amounts over $417,000
    · Minimum of 15% down
    · Must have at least a 720 FICO Score

    VA Loans

    This is for the people who served our country

    · 100% Financing
    · No monthly mortgage insurance
    · Low Interest rates….”

    Rest of URL:

    http://www.centraltexashomerebates.com/html/get_a_loan.html

  13. 13
    DrShort says:

    By AMS @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Let me go this route: I didn’t notice much mention of the fear back in 2008. As always, there is the normal background noise. Did you post the fear theory here back in 2008 or early 2009?

    Kary’s been talking about this fear thing for a long, long time. I believe he feels the numbers (sales & price) were significantly impact 4th quarter 2008 by the market meltdown.

  14. 14
    AMS says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 12 – 1. “First time home buyer” does not mean “never owned a home.” The non-ownership period is three years.
    2. Notwithstanding #1, in just about every market there are participants entering and exiting. Just because prices are high doesn’t seem to stop entrants.
    3. Like many other higher priced areas of the country, the conforming loan limit is currently higher in the Seattle area. The limits were recently raised. If the limits are reduced back down, downward pressure on prices will be the result.

  15. 15
    AMS says:

    RE: DrShort @ 13 – I had not noticed that. I guess I’ll have to go back and read. Thanks. (I wasn’t about to go looking unless there was a chance that the claims were present)

  16. 16

    RE: AMS @ 14

    Except Tim’s Data Show’s a Zombie Like Buying Atmosphere Today

    Perhaps the only few ones buying just don’t care if they pay too much?

  17. 17

    RE: AMS @ 14

    Also….Don’t Ever Discard First Time Home Buyers as Unimportant

    They’ve always been the “first domino” in real estate and they always will be.

    If we were building jobs at Boeing and Microsoft this year, you might of had a small point, RE: mitigating unqualified first time home buyers as unimportant, but that hay day is long gone. Smell the coffee.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18 – Does that really suggest “extreme fear” of consumers? FWIW, I didn’t find a single instance of the word ‘fear.’ It also doesn’t seem so extreme.

    Lenders were starting to fail as documented at ml-implode.com

    Are sales seasonal? If so, what is the normal reduction in November sales m/m expected? I suspect that the reduction this year is much less than past years, but this is just a guess.

    That’s said, do you have a ‘fear index?’ How much fear is in the market today? Looking up to comment #1, certainly there is a level of fear, but how much does that impact the market?

  20. 20

    RE: AMS @ 19 – Well, I might not have used the word “fear” in the piece, but I did say: “The average person’s worst case scenario was suddenly not just ending up homeless on the street, but ending up homeless and finding out there no longer are any streets.” I was discussing concern over the possible complete collapse of our economy. If that doesn’t generate fear, I don’t know what would.

    If you read the comments to that piece, the sales reduction for November was in fact very low by historical standards. And the following months were down roughly 30% from there.

    Here are the volume numbers going back to 2/2006 (which is as far back as I have them recorded). And remember there was a financial mini-crisis in the fall of 2007 too, so the numbers from late 2007, early 2008 were affected by that.

    1679 Feb 06
    2386
    2344
    2606
    3000
    ???
    ???
    2,358
    2,300
    2,081
    1901

    1558 Jan 07
    1572
    2286
    2173
    2537
    2632
    2501
    2310
    1697
    1659
    1525
    1340

    1037 Jan 08
    1148
    1503
    1551
    1533
    1592
    1562
    1533
    1415
    1319
    869
    929

    674 Jan 09
    661
    968
    1004
    1312
    1655
    1727
    1609
    1618
    1758

  21. 21

    By AMS @ 19:

    That’s said, do you have a ‘fear index?’ How much fear is in the market today? Looking up to comment #1, certainly there is a level of fear, but how much does that impact the market?

    I don’t have a fear index, but in the piece I was pointing to consumer confidence. That would be broader though than just the housing market.

  22. 22
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21 – Did you see the CR piece on auto sales? A sudden change in consumer confidence didn’t seem to be reflected there. The decline that began about January 2008 continued.

  23. 23
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20 – Here’s back through January 2005 in graph form:

    November 2009 was higher than November 2008, though both are still below 50. Also, when you look at their “Present Situation Index” vs. the “Expectations Index” it is interesting to note that the Present Situation Index is actually significantly lower today than a year ago (21.0 vs. 42.3).

    The confidence recovery has been entirely in the Expectations Index, which sits at 68.5 vs. 46.2 last year.

  24. 24
    mukoh says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 12 – You are quoting loan limits from texas, in Seattle it is $417k on FHA I think.

  25. 25

    RE: The Tim @ 23 – I’m surprised the CC index started down so early in 2007. The mortgage crisis wasn’t for a few months later.

    Is there someway you could superimpose KC SFR sales volume on the CC index graph, perhaps with both measures in August or September 08 being equal? Just going forward from there would be fine. But my guess is they would have roughly the same pattern.

  26. 26

    By mukoh @ 24:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 12 – You are quoting loan limits from texas, in Seattle it is $417k on FHA I think.

    I believe those are the limits on conventional (conforming), FHA and VA. Per Rhonda’s posts over at Rain City, the high balance conforming limit is 567,600.

  27. 27
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – The general conforming limit is $417k. Some higher priced areas are identified for a higher limit.

  28. 28

    From around November 08 through March 09, house sales were awful, pathetic, way lower than they’d been in years. It’s not like the numbers this year are all that great, just that last year’s were so horrible, so a 66% improvement over almost nothing appears to some like it’s a big recovery.
    The combination of home prices free falling, brokerage houses and banks going belly up, stock markets crashing, etc., the immediate future looked pretty grim, and the spinmeisters didn’t have enough time to look convincing.
    It’s a year later, and politicians have acted, bailing out banks, enacting a first time buyer’s credit, etc.
    I’m not at all suggesting that they did the right thing, or even that things are really better now at all. Just that the PR machine got very busy. In reality what has happened is that instant calamity has been delayed.

  29. 29
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25 – I’ll agree that consumer confidence was low during the last Quarter of 2008, and I’d suggest that the current level of consumer confidence is being bolstered with CFC, income tax credits and lower energy costs.

  30. 30
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 23

    That’s good- reality verses expectations. I wish I knew where the faith in the future comes from though- personal ability, general economic improvement, or government intervention and support? Who will save us? That would be the most interesting info for me.

  31. 31

    By Scotsman @ 30:

    RE: The Tim @ 23

    That’s good- reality verses expectations. I wish I knew where the faith in the future comes from though- personal ability, general economic improvement, or government intervention and support? Who will save us? That would be the most interesting info for me.

    Personally I think small and medium size businesses (and even people who have not yet started a business) will be more likely to safe us than government or big business. The impact of thousands of people trying to improve their situation can be significant.

  32. 32
    AMS says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 28 – I remember hearing in 2008 that foreclosures in the Detroit area were only up 60 some percent. That’s was considered a major improvement, even if the foreclosure number was at an all time high. Just slowing the forward pace was a positive sign.

    “In reality what has happened is that instant calamity has been delayed.”

    I know a gal who is about $80,000 underwater on a rental. She loses, by just about any measure, every month. Negative cash flow. There is little doubt that her expenses are higher too, GAAP or otherwise. There really is no way to put a positive spin on her situation.

    I asked, “Do you want to bleed a very slow death, or would you like to take the big hit today?”

    I’m watching the slow death. She’d better hope that the expected unexpected does not happen. It almost goes without saying that her overall financial condition is such that she won’t be able to support this forever. There are high income earners who could support many cuts and bruises for many years. This particular person purchased her first rental in July 2006.

    A “motivated Seller?” No.

    A “motivated landlord?” Yes.

    In fact, when the unit went empty earlier this year, I watched the Craigslist ads. The initial asking price was very high, well above the competition. But, her price reductions, and changes in other terms, got the place rented. It went from a deposit requirement of twice the rent to allowing someone to accumulate the deposit in monthly payments. I don’t recommend this, but she was “motivated.”

    Desperate is as desperate does.

  33. 33
    AMS says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 30 – Ever ask a young girl what Disney Princess she wants to be? I am not sure where those answers come from. Certainly not from any economics.

  34. 34
    The Tim says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:

    Is there someway you could superimpose KC SFR sales volume on the CC index graph, perhaps with both measures in August or September 08 being equal? Just going forward from there would be fine. But my guess is they would have roughly the same pattern.

    Interesting idea. I tried plotting the raw numbers but due to the strong seasonality of closed sales and basically no seasonality in the Consumer Confidence Index, I had to create a seasonally-adjusted version of closed sales.

    My interpretation of this chart is that it would seem to go against your assertion that consumer sentiment is the primary driving factor in the uptick in home sales over the last few months.

  35. 35
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 34 – …and the housing income tax credit might be the driving force to cause the rise in consumer confidence starting approximately February 2009.

  36. 36
    DrShort says:

    By AMS @ 35:

    RE: The Tim @ 34 – …and the housing income tax credit might be the driving force to cause the rise in consumer confidence starting approximately February 2009.

    Most consumers who aren’t in the market for a house know very little about the tax credit. The stock market rise is probably the bigger driving force. People aren’t afraid to open their 401k statements anymore.

  37. 37

    RE: The Tim @ 34 – Thank you. The long term correlation though is very interesting.

    I wonder though how much of that recent uptick is just the result of seasonal adjustment? If you just look at the raw numbers, the sales were pretty flat, except for October (which I suspect was really impacted by the then expiration of the credit).

    The raw numbers from June to October are:

    1655 Up from prior month
    1727 Down FPM
    1609 Down FPM
    1618 Up (barely) FPM
    1758 Uh (huge) FPM

  38. 38

    By AMS @ 35:

    RE: The Tim @ 34 – …and the housing income tax credit might be the driving force to cause the rise in consumer confidence starting approximately February 2009.

    What’s amazed me is almost no one knew about the prior $7,500 credit, but somehow the $8,000 one became well known.

  39. 39
    AMS says:

    RE: DrShort @ 36 – That’s like suggesting that I had no impact on new car sales beyond my one CFC deal. I think you are well aware that I am very happy with the deal, and I am happy with the new car.

    Like many newly married, first time home buyers are generally a happy group. House warming parties that include their friends and family are common. Often they talk about it, blog about it, celebrate, and so on long before the closing. After the closing come the parties, purchases.

    Can the impact these buyers have on others be ignored?

    Then possibly a divorce a few years later.

  40. 40
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38 – The $7,500 was a just a loan with the term ‘credit’ somehow attached. A zero interest loan from the IRS was not that attractive to some people, who fear the IRS and their collection ability.

  41. 41

    RE: AMS @ 40 – But people didn’t even know that! I’d ask people if they knew about the credit and they’d say no. Now almost everyone says yes. Back before the $8,000 credit I used to wonder how people didn’t know about the credit, but just about anyone could tell you whether interest rates were going up or down. I once suggested people had an innate ability to receive interest rates wirelessly.

  42. 42
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 41 – For some reason people understand and are instantly attracted to free money.

    IRS loans? Not so much.

  43. 43

    By AMS @ 39:

    RE: DrShort @ 36 – Then possibly a divorce a few years later.

    Yet another area where you need to warn people the future might not be like the past! ;-)

    http://www.theweek.com/article/index/103580/Banning_divorce_in_California

  44. 44

    By AMS @ 42:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 41 – For some reason people understand and are instantly attracted to free money. IRS loans? Not so much.

    With the recapture rules, depreciation is pretty much just a loan. And if tax rates head up, today’s loans will be bad ones.

  45. 45
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 43 – Do you think there will ever be a day when one cannot divorce their home?

  46. 46
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44 – Ordinary people understand free money.

    recapture rules, depreciation? Not so much.

  47. 47
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44 – I think we need another one of those ‘simple’ polls:

    Do you understand:

    1. Free money
    2. recapture rules and depreciation

    (If you think it’s to your advantage, I’ll even expand #2 to include book values, differences between book values and market values. If you’d like, we can include the mark-to-market concept. Different depreciation schedules. Asset classifications, asset groupings, GAAP accounting versus IRS accounting…)

  48. 48
    Scotsman says:

    RE: DrShort @ 36

    Yup, I’ll second the stock market rise on this- it frees up down payment money and gives some the sense that the worst may be over.

    As an aside one thing I’ve been noticing more in my reading is a growing distrust of the government in general and more specifically its ability to “fix” the economy with it’s current bag of tools. The fuss over the global warming science scandal will probably further reduce confidence in government motives and integrity. We’ll see, but my best guess is that these trends will result in a further pull back of consumer confidence and spending. When the future looks more uncertain we tend to hold on tightly to whatever we have in terms of cash, employment, etc. and are much less adventurous. One consequence would be fewer home sales.

  49. 49
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44

    “If” tax rates head up? With this crew? Can we talk?

    Plan for it.

  50. 50

    By Scotsman @ 48:

    RE: DrShort @ 36 – As an aside one thing I’ve been noticing more in my reading is a growing distrust of the government in general and more specifically its ability to “fix” the economy with it’s current bag of tools. The fuss over the global warming science scandal will probably further reduce confidence in government motives and integrity.

    As to the first part, a lot of that is just ignorance. Not that they might not be right, but they don’t know enough to have a valid opinion.

    As to the second point I think it was This Week with George Stephenwhatshisface that they were discussing how people would care less about the environment, etc., when their own financial situation was at risk.

  51. 51
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50

    Environmentalism is certainly seen as a luxury by most- there’s almost a perfect inverse relationship between concern for the environment and personal economic well being. Conservation, energy efficiency, relatively clean air and water are all good things. But I’d guess most of the more marginal recycling efforts and the Seattle garbage police will be short lived if things really turn down economically.

  52. 52
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50

    As for the government’s ability to fix things, I’m becoming more skeptical. While I’m generally more in the prissy-boy-scout-love-America camp and not into tin foil hats, I’m really starting to see the whole process as corrupt with the whole political class and their banker friends as out of control. It’s not the little people who are really being saved here, is it?

  53. 53
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 51

    Do you remember this one? When the US banned DDT in the 1960’s, the 3rd world refused to follow suit. When asked about the continued use of DDT, one of their political figures said they would continue to use DDT to protect crops because they were starving to death faster than they could poison themselves.

  54. 54
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38 – By the way, I was reminded about how that $7.5k loan works:

    1. The qualified buyer buys a home.
    2. The qualified buyer then can take advantage of the IRS loan ($7.5k credit)

    Now we have problems. What to do with the $7.5k.

    If one pays the down the debt, then the IRS payments might be more depending the interest rate and type of note. Thus you actually end up paying more per year, but those payments start in a couple of years. Ideally the money would be paid on the note, and then borrowed back, or, alternatively, placed in a risk-free vehicle that paid as much as the loan on the house cost.

    Second option:

    Spend the case, and end up with an added debt of $7.5k that you owe the IRS. No one really knows how that debt will be handled by the IRS, but I assume if one pays it back, then there should be little problem. Even if you are 100% correct with the IRS, there are times when it’s cheaper to pay. Like a cheap traffic ticket–you may be right, but the cost of a good traffic attorney is just too much, and you may end up losing anyway.

  55. 55
    truthtold says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 53 – Agent orange vs. agent apple.

  56. 56
    Jonness says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    I think looking at the mix could be revealing. It seems to me if most of the sales were for distressed REO’s, it doesn’t say much for buyer confidence. But if most of the sales were non-distressed, it of course sends a different signal.

    A lot of people bought cars to get the tax kickback as well. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I imagine most of them were econo-deluxe.

    I suspect a sign of decreased fear will be a return to a normal mix. Otherwise, I suspect the only affordable houses are the cheap ones.

  57. 57
    Jonness says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 52 – It seems to me everybody acts in their own self best interest. It’s not like corporations and politicians are basing their policies on the long-term well-being of the country. In fact, it’s probably the opposite, get everything you can get while the gettings good. If other people get burned, at least you lived good on their share of the pie. If the financial crisis taught us anything, it’s about greed in the short term.

    If DDT is found to harm people, it makes the news. At that point, becoming a good Samaritan makes sense because it takes people’s eyes of more important issues behind closed doors.

    Baaah humbug. Sorry I’m a scrooge. Hey, Christmas is coming though. It’ll be fun to see how little money gets spent this year. :)

  58. 58
    Ray Pepper says:

    Remember when I said people are NOT stupid…

    I was WRONG.. They ARE!

    http://www.king5.com/news/local/Friend-of-Clemmons-He-was-a-good-guy-78282017.html

  59. 59
    Scott Weitz says:

    RE: Kevin @ 2

    Kevin,

    1)enormous shadow inventory held by the banks,
    2) shadow inventory held by delusional sellers that are waiting for the ‘recovery’ before they sell,
    3) the ever increasing unemployment,
    4) unsustainable government intervention,
    5) massive increases in foreclosures notices and bankrupticies, and
    6) the fact that high end homes can’t get any financing (generally) as the FHA is not backing the loans like they are with the less expensive markets,
    7) the rent/ buy ratio is still tilted significantly in favor of renting, and
    8) the real estate price/ income ratio is still far to high.

    Don’t believe the recevory. We’re playing ‘make believe’ with the banks, and are to afraid to face our financial issues, which is the only way we can actually have a lasting, sustainable receovery. Our reaction to the crisis, and the policies we’ve implemented will only prolong the misery. At some point, our garbage debt needs to be unwound, and prices need to return to genuine market levels (without govt props).

  60. 60

    By Jonness @ 56:

    I think looking at the mix could be revealing. It seems to me if most of the sales were for distressed REO’s, it doesn’t say much for buyer confidence. But if most of the sales were non-distressed, it of course sends a different signal.

    I’m not sure if this is what you’re after, but I’m showing less than 10% of sales of November SFR in King County being short sales, and less than 15% being REO. The median excluding such sales is still around $400,000.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not compiled or guaranteed by the NWMLS.

  61. 61

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 58 – That’s not the only example of people being stupid. David Horsey of the P-I had a piece this week on the stupidity of voters, and surprisingly he covered both the left and the right. And then there’s also the people that might not be stupid, but they are not well educated.

  62. 62
    truthtold says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 61 – Well-educated + stupid describes primary commenters of late.

  63. 63
    AMS says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 58 – Rather than talk about what a good guy he was, my defense would be something along the lines of I feared for my life if I didn’t help him. When someone who is accused of killing four officers shows up with the stolen gun of one of the slain, how could I refuse? Yes, I wanted him to go to jail as soon as possible, but I am not a law enforcement professional.

    Suggesting that he was ‘a nice guy’ and having that published in the paper? CRAZY!

  64. 64
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: AMS @ 63

    She is an idiot with most likely a poor family upbringing. Pure and simple. I would turn over my father, mother, brother, sister, and YOU if I knew you did this.

    Anyone who wouldn’t is an IDIOT. These people that aided and assisted him should get no less then 5 years for being idiots. Maybe 5 years they can be educated properly. The guy who drove away after the murders with this killer needs to go away for Life. Nothing less.

    If my father/mother got in the car with blood on them, and I knew they did this. I jump and run to the closest phone. I cannot understand the arguement against. My parents are in their 80’s and YES, I would turn them in on a dime.

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