1. 1
    crashcadia says:

    Merry Crashmas to all.

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    Merry Christmas To All, And A Happy New Year!

  3. 3
    Everett_Tom says:

    Is this a caption contest?
    “Nooooo Pink Pony! Your the only thing keeping prices up, DON”T GO TO SAN DIEGO!!”

    Merry Christmas To all as well.

  4. 4

    I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in the picture. Either:
    1. There’s loud hip hop music being played, and the pink pony and the man are groovin’ on it and dancing, while the woman is holding her ears, hoping the music will change to Celine Dion.

    2. The oversized pink pony is physically assaulting both the man and the woman, who are doomed. You don’t want to be around the pink pony when he turns nasty and violent.

    Merry Christmas All.

  5. 5

    It would help if we knew where the house was. For example, the picture would mean something entirely different if the house was in Enumclaw. ;-)

  6. 6
    Ray Pepper says:

    Happy Kwanzaa, Christmas,Chanukkah, New Year, and my own personal favorite to you Bubble Heads…………………………..:


    I also find Tinsel very distracting!

  7. 7
    fabuladocet says:

    Happy holidays, bubble heads. As a smaller, younger Tim said, “God bless us. God bless us everyone”.

  8. 8
    mydquin says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 4:

    I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in the picture. Either:
    1. There’s loud hip hop music being played, and the pink pony and the man are groovin’ on it and dancing, while the woman is holding her ears, hoping the music will change to Celine Dion.

    2. The oversized pink pony is physically assaulting both the man and the woman, who are doomed. You don’t want to be around the pink pony when he turns nasty and violent.

    Merry Christmas All.

    Probably #1 considering Ballard is performing better (less bad) than most of the rest of the city. Strange times, indeed.

  9. 9
    Scotsman says:

    The photo is obvious- The pink pony is back! These sellers are saved, their negative equity soon to be erased! The crisis is over, the bubble re-inflating, happy days are here again! HELOCs will save us again in 2010!

    I hear Bain paid The Tim $500 to use that picture. Merry Christmas, Tim!

  10. 10
    EconE says:


  11. 11
    Scotsman says:

    For Kary- Merry Christmas!

    ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, Legal Version
    Author Unknown

    Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a
    certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general
    lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a

    A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by
    and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick
    a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at
    sometime thereafter.

    The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were
    located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal
    hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats,
    including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance,
    cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

    Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as
    “I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the
    second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a
    sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various
    forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)

    Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the
    unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said House, i.e. the
    lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance.

    The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to
    investigate the cause of such disturbance. At that time, the party of the
    first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a
    miniature sleigh (hereinafter the “Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very
    rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer.

    The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously
    referenced Claus. Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction
    and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically
    identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,
    Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen (hereinafter the “Deer”). (Upon
    information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional
    co-conspirator named Rudolph may have been involved.)

    The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer
    intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences
    located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the
    Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown
    origin or nature.

    Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied,
    the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the
    chimney. Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered
    with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a
    portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He
    was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation
    of local ordinances and health regulations.

    Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor
    children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small
    gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minor
    pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

    Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew,
    rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the
    Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as “lookouts.” Claus immediately
    departed for an unknown destination.

    However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said
    House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim:
    “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect.

  12. 12
    Anon says:

    Oh no, not another unicorn mauling!!
    That will teach you to move to Kent/Renton or any of those aweful aweful *south* towns.. ew..

  13. 13

    RE: Scotsman @ 11 – Although not from it, that reminds me of something from The Official Lawyers Handbook, by White. I just looked on Amazon and the lowest price is $59.00 for a used paperback! I wish I still had mine.

    Anyway, they had a chapter where an associate wrote: “The sky is blue.” After many revisions requested by the partner, it looked like something like that above.

  14. 14
    TJ_98370 says:

    Crystal looks different. What happened?

  15. 15
    TJ_98370 says:

    My “significant other” wants to know why Crystal is attacking the nice man.

  16. 16
    corncob says:

    caption: “you gonna get raped”

  17. 17
    Jonness says:

    I spent the last couple of days building some cool tools. I have the data flowing properly, but the descriptions of the tools still needs some work. The X-axis is not very useful because I have so much info crammed in there. So you have to mouse over the data points in order to determine dates and values.

    This one is the standard Case Shiller for 20 cities plus composite 10 and composite 20:


    This one is interesting. It is dynamic Case Shiller absolute prices set to Jan 2000 (got amounts from a friend of Mish’s). Prices for other periods are based on Case Shiller data. Typical Case Shiller stuff but displaying absolute price instead of percentage change.


    Now check out this thing. It’s Case Shiller absolute values for Seattle compared to OFM’s King County median household income. The bottom line is median household income. The next line up is 3x median HHI so you can compare to the median price line above it. Finally, there is a line for median price / median HHI * 100,000 so you can see the typically cited ratio. IOW, if you scroll over the data point 9/1/2009, 501527, it means price to income ratio is 5.02%.

    Keep in mind the charts are only useful if you mouse over the data points.


    The next chart is similar to the above chart, except it uses U.S. census figures for median HHI. Note, OFM and the Census info greatly deviate from each other for the most recent years. OFM data is newer, and I’m not certain why the large deviation exists. Apparently OFM made some heavy adjustments due to the recession.


    Why do I spend the time and effort to code these things? I don’t really know other than to say, I want to look at the data, and I don’t see anywhere else I can look at data like this. It’s really pretty interesting.

  18. 18
    Jonness says:

    It looks like my above comment is awaiting moderation and won’t allow the normal edit time.

    “IOW, if you scroll over the data point 9/1/2009, 501527, it means price to income ratio is 5.02%.”

    Oops, that’s 5.02 times, not percent.

    The last chart currently only has 5 of the 20 Case Shiller cities. That’s because the data is a bit hard to obtain and smooth. Speaking of smoothing, the median household income is per county and is smoothed to prevent stair stepping. IOW, it is yearly data, but the chart is monthly. Also, the Census has not released 2009 data yet, so from June 2008 to present is static. I”m expecting when the Census releases the actual data, it will go down some.

  19. 19
    AMS says:

    RE: Jonness @ 15 – My latest find for you!


    The whole site has great information, but that report is all about median prices and median incomes. It does, however, look at land use too.

  20. 20
    Jonness says:

    The last chart is the wrong link. Here is the right one: Sorry, I’m being quite the airhead today.


  21. 21
    Jonness says:

    RE: AMS @ 17 – Thanks. That’s a cool doc. I’ll spend some time digesting it better over the weekend, as it’s fairly action packed.

    I’ve been off the deep end on this house price to income thing lately, so new knowledge is welcomed.

    I’ve been thinking in terms of Copernicus’ MV=PQ formula, which, among other things indicates, if you increase the money supply (and don’t hold the excess money in bank reserves), all other things being equal, it will cause asset prices to rise. IOW, there is more money in the system to chase a limited number of assets, so they get bid up.

    I see two main avenues typical citizens can use to increase money. 1) Get higher incomes. 2) Get laxer and cheaper credit. Since credit contracted 3.6% in Q3, it’s doubtful it can cause home prices to V up anytime soon. So it’s up to increasing incomes. However, incomes are currently falling, and long term unemployment is at extraordinarily unusual levels.

    The sucking sound of money leaving the system creates a massive downward pressure on house prices. But the counter force is an unprecedented amount of government interference into the market. This is currently artificially propping up home prices. But from my perspective, stimulus stimulates at first, and later, the debt on that borrowed money creates a drag on the economy. It seems the government is gambling that it can extend it all long enough for the bugs to work themselves out.

    Personally, despite the fact we went from the first airplane flight to the moon in about 70 years time, I tend to place low expectations on government’s ability. It’s not so much that it can’t accomplish a great deal. It’s more a matter of that it won’t.

    Government is primarily reactionary, and I think the current economic crisis is a good example of this problem.

  22. 22
    AMS says:

    RE: Jonness @ 18 – As you are aware, I have a good appreciation toward your approach. Yes, there are some weaknesses, but there are some good strengths too.

    In any event, I’ve mentioned Ralph Rene’ before, but I offer you this book in regards to NASA:


    (I hope the link works)

    “The sucking sound of money leaving the system creates a massive downward pressure on house prices.”

    Raise the price of fuel $1 a gallon, and the world as we once knew it came to an end. How many gallons of fuel does the average person use per week?

    I installed a heater in my garage. I went to my one of those big box retailers and purchased a little natural gas heater, and then I went to another big box retailer and purchased the hardware, including some pipe and fittings, to install it. I guess it should be no surprise, but each iron fitting was marked “made in China.” I was a little dismayed. Don’t get me wrong, I loaded the bascart up with the crap. I checked all the connections for leaks, and the crap seems to work.

    Actually, for some items I would rather have “made in China” merchandise rather than “made in America.” There are some items where the quality of American made goods is too low because of the type of labor that’s attracted to compete. I am probably poisoning myself with some mystery Chinese chemical, much like those who are suffering from the Chinese drywall (note: the link is week, please see source below).


    I’ll keep pondering the median income issue. I’m sure I’ll find more on it. I do appreciate and read your updates.

  23. 23
    Pegasus says:

    The Grinch Has Stolen Christmas!

    6.84% of prime loans are now delinquent (at least one payment behind but NOT in foreclosure) and 3.20% are in foreclosure. This means that almost 1 in 10 PRIME LOANS are either late or in foreclosure.

    FHA loans are running close to 20% between delinquent and foreclosure-in-process. That’s one in FIVE.

    And of subprime loans, 41% are either delinquent or in foreclosure. Forty one percent!

    A mortgage that is at least two payments late almost never “cures” – that is, once you miss a second payment you’re virtually assured to eventually be foreclosed. (Some one-payment misses are legitimate errors or very temporary cash-flow disruptions.)


  24. 24
    AMS says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 23 – Maybe the Grinch is only setting the stage to steal many future Christmases?

    Instead of some pink pony violating the current and future homeowner, it’ll be the Grinch. The Scrooge lenders!

  25. 25
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    That is quite clearly a picture of Debt, the Fifth Horse of the Apocalypse (the pink one), bringing ruin to homeowners during the fabled housing Armageddon.

  26. 26
    Jonness says:

    By AMS @ 22:

    Raise the price of fuel $1 a gallon, and the world as we once knew it came to an end. How many gallons of fuel does the average person use per week?

    That’s cementing my desire to live close to where I work as opposed to getting a great deal in the country. How much will a person actually save by driving that extra distance? And what is the cost in lifestyle of putting in all that overtime on the freeway during rush hour?

    I recently did a study demonstrating what a good time it is to save a down payment. House prices are not appreciating against the saved amount, and this makes a major difference in how much can be saved toward purchasing a home.

    Having seen the median house price to median income ratio fall in San Francisco from 12.5x to 5.5x in a very short period of time (back to lows last seen in 1997) makes me reluctant to purchase in Puget Sound where the ratio is still very high. Option-Arms are no longer available to consumers, but the failure of past loans is alive and well. CA is a great example of this.

    The indicator is not a holy grail magic bullet, but I do believe it is one of a plethora of tools that is useful for analysis. There are numerous factors to consider.

    I recently looked at a beautiful close-in home with a great beach and an equally large price tag. My lender told me my back-end debt to income ratio was too high to qualify for the loan. I made some adjustments to my payment obligations and met the ratio requirement, but it was a real eye opener as to credit contraction in the system. A year or two ago, that loan would have easily went through without the need for me to make adjustments. The qualified buyer pool is shrinking.

    I haven’t yet bought the house. In a nutshell, I’m terrified of it. It’s hades and reminds me of the pain experienced during my first love.

  27. 27
    AMS says:

    RE: Jonness @ 26 – I am not suggesting that driving a far distance is a bad deal. In fact, I estimate that on average fuel is 20% of the cost of vehicle ownership.

    What I don’t fully understand is why so many people cannot afford an extra $20-$25 per week in gas. (Let’s say 20 MPG, $2/gallon initial price, $4/gallon spike, 10 gallons/wk = 200 miles per week = ~10,000 miles/yr. 30 MPG & 10 gallons/wk = 300 miles per week = ~15,000 per year).

    Cash flow margin of error is essentially zero.

    Yet many of these same individuals “own” their home that’s going down by $250 per week, or more. The change in home value has zero current cash flow, however.

    Do people drive hundreds of miles to work at low wage jobs?

  28. 28
    corncob says:

    buying where you work is only good if you know where you are going to work for sure for the lifetime of your home. these days you are just as likely to work on the eastside as in downtown.

  29. 29
    BillE says:

    The couple in the picture just heard from an association of industry professionals that the housing market is heating up again. The woman is screaming with excitement like a girl at a Backstreet Boys concert. The guy is trying to high 5 the pony. They’re already thinking about pulling equity out and going on vacation. But that’s not the eye of a friendly pony. I predict the pony will leave fresh manure on their sidewalk and continue running out of town.

  30. 30
    seattle says:

    Seattle housing market is certainly heating up. I am starting to see pre-crash scenarios like multiple offers and “good time to buy” mentality. In fact even with the market crash, those who got in prior to 2006 seem to be doing just fine ( if they have the means to pay the mortgage). Most of the east side has not been impacted much as you can see that the asking prices are above 2006 levels and they are selling!!

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.