Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Pass 25% Off Peak

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to February data,

Down 1.1% January to February.
Down 5.6% YOY.
Down 25.3% from the July 2007 peak

Last year prices fell 1.5% from January to February and year-over-year prices were down 15.4%.

Hilariously, Bloomberg continues to run a headline on the Case-Shiller data that implies that home prices rose in all twenty cities tracked by the index. From Home Prices in U.S. Cities Rise Less Than Forecast:

April 27 (Bloomberg) — Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose less than forecast in February from a year earlier, a sign a housing recovery will take time to develop.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index of property values in 20 cities increased 0.6 percent from February 2009, the first gain since December 2006, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 1.3 percent advance.

See, what they did there was to suddenly switch which data point they are talking about. In all their stories for the last six months or so, they have been focusing in on the month-to-month change in the seasonally-adjusted value of the 20-city index. But this month, the 20-city index fell month-to-month, even if you use the semi-bogus seasonally-adjusted data (more on that below). Hey, no problem! Just find a different data point that suits the narrative of “home prices rise.” So all of a sudden, they switched to reporting the year-over-year change in the 20-city index. Classy.

Oh, and by the way, even when we look at the year-over-year comparison, it is still inaccurate to say that “home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose.” Prices are up year-over-year in nine cities, and down year-over-year in the other eleven.

I bring this up to point out the reason that I do my best to remain consistent in which data points we discuss on Seattle Bubble each month. When “journalists” pick and choose whichever data is convenient for the story they want to tell, it is difficult for the readers to really understand what is going on.

So, here’s our offset graph—the same graph we post every month—with L.A. & San Diego time-shifted from Seattle & Portland by 17 months. San Diego and LA have added to their YOY gains. Portland slipped slightly, and the rate of increase in Seattle’s YOY change has definitely stalled. Portland came in at -4.8%, Los Angeles at +5.3%, and San Diego at +7.6%, still all better than Seattle.

Case-Shiller HPI: West Coast

Note: This graph is not intended to be predictive. It is for entertainment purposes only.

Here’s an interactive graph of all twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities, courtesy of Tableau Software (check and un-check the boxes on the right):

Nine of thirty Case-Shiller-tracked cities are now in positive YOY territory: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Washington DC, Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Dallas.

In February, seventeen of the twenty Case-Shiller-tracked cities experienced smaller year-over-year drops (or saw year-over-year increases) than Seattle (two more than January). San Francisco at +11.9, San Diego at +7.6%, Los Angeles at +5.3%, Washington, DC at +5.0%, Denver at +3.6%, Cleveland at +3.2%, Minneapolis at +3.0%, Dallas at +2.3%, Boston at +1.8%, Atlanta at -0.9%, Phoenix at -1.6%, Charlotte at -2.5%, Chicago at -3.0%, New York at -4.1%, Miami at -4.4%, Portland at -4.8%, and Detroit at -5.4%.

Only two cities still have home prices falling faster year-over-year than Seattle: Tampa, and Las Vegas. Even Detroit is falling slower now. Ouch.

Here’s an interactive chart of the raw HPI for all twenty cities through February.

Here’s an update to the peak-decline graph, inspired by a graph created by reader CrystalBall. This chart takes the twelve cities whose peak index was greater than 175, and tracks how far they have fallen so far from their peak. The horizontal axis shows the total number of months since each individual city peaked.

Case-Shiller HPI: Decline From Peak

In the thirty-one months since the price peak in Seattle prices have declined 25.3%, yet another new post-peak low.

Here’s a complementary chart to that last one. This one shows the total change in the index since last March for the same twelve markets as the peak decline chart.

Case-Shiller HPI: Bounce Since March 2009

Hmm, only San Diego seems to still be experiencing the tax credit high.

Lastly, I thought it would also be worth pointing out a little tidbit that came out earlier this week from S&P. I have avoided using the seasonally-adjusted data in most of my posts on the Case-Shiller releases, because it has always struck me as somewhat arbitrary. As it turns out, the data analysts over at S&P are starting to feel the same way (pdf, via Calculated Risk):

For the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, S&P reports two data sets – before seasonal adjustment and seasonally-adjusted. In some recent reports the two series have given conflicting signals, with the seasonally-adjusted series rising month-over-month and the unadjusted series declining. After reviewing the data, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index Committee believes that, for the present, the unadjusted series is a more reliable indicator and, thus, reports should focus on the year-over-year changes where seasonal shifts are not a factor. Additionally, if monthly changes are considered, the unadjusted series should be used.

Obviously, we will continue to build our charts on the unadjusted data.

Check back tomorrow for a post on the Case-Shiller data for Seattle’s price tiers.

(Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor’s, 04.27.2010)

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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.

53 comments:

  1. 1

    Tim wrote: “I bring this up to point out the reason that I do my best to remain consistent in which data points we discuss on Seattle Bubble each month. When “journalists” pick and choose whichever data is convenient for the story they want to tell, it is difficult for the readers to really understand what is going on.”

    I appreciate that point, but I would also say that other things do need to sometimes be pointed out (or examined). As an example I often give, back in early 2007 I was focusing on the YOY increases in price and was only moderately concerned that the market was going up too fast. If I’d instead been looking at the annual rate of increase for only a few months, I would have been very concerned. The annual rate for the first six months of 2007 was over 20%.

    As to these most recent C-S numbers, my impression is that it’s the more outlying areas that are causing the drag, and in particular, Snohomish County.

  2. 2
    Lukasz says:

    Can we get a “rewind” chart please?

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    RE: Lukasz @ 2 – As you wish.

    Highlighted in blue there is the month I started Seattle Bubble. ;^)

  4. 4
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1
    “As to these most recent C-S numbers, my impression is that it’s the more outlying areas that are causing the drag, and in particular, Snohomish County.”

    I doubt it, as I understand it C-S is mostly influenced by where the main volume of transactions are and my guess is that Snohomish is not dominating volume.

  5. 5

    Uncharted Bailout Bubble Waters

    America’s bailouts in 2009/2010 of the banking and reale estate represent a conundrum very like the UK. An UK article in part:

    “…UK house prices have now risen by nearly 10% from the March lows as a consequence of unprecedented measures such as near zero base interest rate, mortgage banks arm twisting to limit repossessions and £200 billion of money printing. All of which leave the governments coffers empty and the Bank of England with little ammo to fire at future crisis which therefore suggests that the Bank of England should start to focus in the near term to tepidly begin to unwind the ultra loose monetary policy by starting to gradually raise interest rates though without wanting to unravel the work done so far in stabilising the banking system which therefore is suggestive of small steps spread out rate increases as the Bank of England adopts a cautious wait and watch attitude for any negative impact before each subsequent rate rise….”

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article16450.html

    The recent YOY rise in America’s house prices was more like 1%, not 10%; but still the UK conundrum is much the same in America too, even Bernanke agrees with me. Today’s article in part:

    “…Bernanke again urged the White House and Congress to come up with a credible plan to reduce the nation’s red ink, which hit a record $1.4 trillion last year.

    Failing to do so would push interest rates higher — not only for Americans buying cars, homes and other things — but also for Uncle Sam to service its debt payments, he said.

    “The path forward contains many difficult trade-offs and choices, but postponing those choices and failing to put the nation’s finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage to our economy,” Bernanke said….”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-urges-bipartisan-effort-apf-13936878.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

    So, do you still think the “never-ending” bailout debt is the way to a lasting house price recovery? Obama and Bernanke don’t.

  6. 6
    MacroInvestor says:

    It won’t really matter until we see how the market behaves after the tax credit runs out. Do the number of buyers dwindle again, or do they stay active? Do the banks dribble out their REO’s? Do pent up sellers try listing again?

    My guess is the market stays weak for another year. Option arm resets will be increasing. Employment is picking up, but only a little bit.

  7. 7
    Cheap South says:

    RE: The Tim @ 3

    This confirms what I noticed looking at the properties I get from Redfin and their sale history. We’ve been sitting at about mid 2005 prices for about 18 months now.

  8. 8
    MacroInvestor says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Doesn’t every realtor try to say their particular area is strong? We know from Tim’s numbers that every area is going down, except perhaps Ballard where the demand is insatiable.

  9. 9

    RE: MacroInvestor @ 8 – First, I don’t have an “area” unless it’s the Puget Sound area. I have listings right now in four counties.

    Second, if you look at the C-S area, the King County NWMLS numbers are fairly flat, while Pierce is down some and Snohomish down considerably. I actually just had an agent from Snohomish tell me he felt their numbers are going down 1% a month up there (not that such opinions necessarily mean much, but it’s not too far off from the county-wide numbers).

  10. 10

    By patient @ 4:

    I doubt it, as I understand it C-S is mostly influenced by where the main volume of transactions are and my guess is that Snohomish is not dominating volume.

    First, I don’t think C-S works that way. Second, Snohomish and Pierce accounted for over 46% of the closed sales in March.

  11. 11
    Tim says:

    Can’t wait until the tax credit frenzy is over. I’m guessing demand falls of a cliff and tough price negotiations will really start to heat up. Up here in Bellingham most everything priced above 320 or so is having a rough time.

  12. 12
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10 – I see that you are trying to convey the message that King Co. is up. It’s not working. If C-S is down it’s a pretty sure bet that King Co. is down as well. Outlying areas will not dictate C-S. Now you added Pierce as well but you still come up with less than 50% of the transactions. Your argument doesn’t hold.

  13. 13

    By patient @ 12:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10 – I see that you are trying to convey the message that King Co. is up. .

    Read what I said again: “As to these most recent C-S numbers, my impression is that it’s the more outlying areas that are causing the drag, and in particular, Snohomish County..”

    Where does that say King County is up?

    Or this: “Second, if you look at the C-S area, the King County NWMLS numbers are fairly flat, while Pierce is down some and Snohomish down considerably.”

    Again, where does that say King County is up?

  14. 14
    DrShort says:

    By Tim @ 11:

    Can’t wait until the tax credit frenzy is over. I’m guessing demand falls of a cliff and tough price negotiations will really start to heat up. Up here in Bellingham most everything priced above 320 or so is having a rough time.

    RIght now, I think interest rates are WAY more important than the tax credit.

  15. 15

    By patient @ 12:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10 – I see that you are trying to convey the message that King Co. is up. .

    BTW, you might want to refer back to the first table in this thread:

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/04/14/puget-sound-counties-interactive-march-update-2/

    (Although note I would call up .9% flat.)

    Or here’s February, so it’s the same month: https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/03/17/puget-sound-counties-interactive-february-update/#comments

  16. 16
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 3

    This is the most clear of the charts that you post. When people talk about returning to 2005 prices you can see that’s a big spread.

    It was my opinion that we would return to 1998 prices plus 4% appreciation in pricing since then. That would add about 30% to 40% to 1998 price levels. Now I’m much more inclined to take incomes, unemployment, and loss of over all wealth into account just to say we are going to see another 25% price decline from where we are now.

    My concern is for rents. Residential investment properties seem to be the lagging indicator here. What I mean is if you started building a Real Estate portfolio in the last twelve years, you would now need to pay it off to realize a return on your holding costs. Once you take appreciation out of the formula you’re screwed.

    However, in the next couple of years, if you start building a portfolio then, you will come out dollars ahead. I do think inflation is unavoidable within the next two Presidential elections, so it makes sense to buy next winter season.

    Look it, the inventory isn’t going anywhere. All the people who try to sell this year are declaring an intent to sell. Even if they go off the market they will still be fair game, if the numbers work. The question is if you can afford to hold.

  17. 17
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 15 – Kary, the median and c-s measures different things. The median measures the sales mix not home values as c-s does. You are comparing apples and oranges.

  18. 18

    RE: patient @ 17 – They may measure different things, but they are so closely correlated that argument is not very well taken. As a practical matter though, both are practically completely irrelevant for the average home owner, buyer or seller. They don’t tell anyone squat about any particular piece of property.

  19. 19
    The Tim says:

    By David Losh @ 16:

    It was my opinion that we would return to 1998 prices plus 4% appreciation in pricing since then. That would add about 30% to 40% to 1998 price levels.

    We’re not too far from that point. If prices keep dropping at the rate we’ve seen recently, we’ll probably reach it before the end of the year.

    The purple “forecast” line there is just a mirror image of the runup, flipped over to the other side of the peak.

  20. 20
    Scotsman says:

    “Close the hatches, seal the ports. Front planes twenty degrees down, blow the ballast tanks, full power ahead, we’re going down!” “Dive, dive, dive!”

  21. 21
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18 – The correlation is sometimes close but sometimes it’s not so why use the median as a general home price indicator when c-s is the better option. It’s risky and often misleading to do so.

    I also disagree that c-s is irrelevant for buyers and sellers. If you are planning to buy or sell c-s gives you a good idea of what has happened to prices lately. Your bargaining position as a seller or buyer changes significantly dependent on if you have had appreciation or depreciation and it can also impact your timing decision.

  22. 22
    DrShort says:

    By patient @ 21:

    RE: – The correlation is sometimes close but sometimes it’s not so why use the median as a general home price indicator when c-s is the better option. It’s risky and often misleading to do so.

    c-s is not the better option if you want to see prices for the city of Seattle. Or anything smaller than the three county total. c-s doesn’t tell you that homes are selling quickly in the Greenlake area, but sitting for months on Vashon. It’s just one big regional number.

    What Kary was alluding to looks real — the far out suburbs are doing much worse than the close in, traditionally more desirable areas.

  23. 23
    patient says:

    RE: DrShort @ 22 – It’s a big regional number but at least it measures what you are looking for not something very different. And I disagree it does tell you a lot about the city of Seattle since it’s a very large piece of the transactions. It is less useful for outlying areas but it gives a good indication of what’s going on in the most populated areas. You are probably right that outlying areas areas are doing terrible but King Co. incl. Seattle City is doing bad as well, just not as bad according to your info.

  24. 24
    BacktoBasic says:

    Unfortunate the CS is lagging behind the price change. The market turns around before the CS curve. The CS natioanl price is already up which this forum web won’t tell you purposely. The interest rate is already up from its bottom. The tax credit will be expired this Friday. All this will lead to higher house payment. Hope this will not price out some of the potential buyers. The cost increase won’t shoot up over night, it is a slow process. Don’t buy when even the shoe polisher tells to buy in 2006. The opposite is also true.

  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    RE: BacktoBasic @ 24 – Such a compelling argument.

    1) This “forum web” is purposely hiding information that is included in two separate charts above.
    2) “Interest rate is already up.”
    3) “The tax credit will be expired.”

    Therefore, home prices are going up and will keep going up, faster than can be measured by the Case-Shiller HPI! Except that it’s slow. Slow and fast at the same time. Or something.

    Of course! It all makes perfect sense to me now.

  26. 26
    Anon. says:

    RE: BacktoBasic @ 24

    What?

  27. 27
    tomtom says:

    By BacktoBasic @ 24:

    The opposite is also true.

    Umm, ok.

  28. 28
    Scotsman says:

    RE: BacktoBasic @ 24

    ” All this will lead to higher house payment. Hope this will not price out some of the potential buyers.”

    Or:

    “All this will lead to ever lower house prices. Hope this will not depress or bankrupt sellers and realtors.”

    There, I fixed it for ya! Carry on!

  29. 29
    BacktoBasic says:

    RE: The Tim @ 25

    Total housing expense (P&I) will go up which against your wishes.

  30. 30
    The Tim says:

    By BacktoBasic @ 29:

    Total housing expense (P&I) will go up which against your wishes.

    BacktoBasic has declared it, therefore shall it come to pass.

  31. 31

    RE: DrShort @ 22
    That’s very true. The market for Craftsmen homes in Ravenna is a whole different creature than the market for 80’s tract homes in Kent. Just as there are weather microclimates in the Seattle area, there are real estate microclimates. Sure, they’re both impacted by the local and national economies, but, since the July 2007 peak, some areas in these parts are down 40%, while others have held up much better, and seem to be down closer to 10-15%

  32. 32
    CCG says:

    Here’s what 15 years (at the time) of extend and pretend did for Japan.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EconomistHomePrices20050615.jpg
    Doesn’t look like any return to 4% annual appreciation there. After 25 years at 4% it should be 100 * 1.04^25 = 266. It’s already been adjusted for inflation.
    Demographics undoubtedly has something to do with this, but that’s going to happen here too.

  33. 33
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: CCG @ 32

    Correct me if I’m wrong CCG, but I think the total amount of appreciation as well as all the fundamental ratios like price to income and gross rent multiplier in Japan far exceeded the deviation from prior norm for those metrics in the US. Not to say our bubble is OK, but the underlying fundamentals aren’t exactly the same.

  34. 34
    Dan says:

    BacktoBasic is generally right about bubble psychology.

    When every grandma, taxi driver and stylist says “don’t buy, rent!”, then we’ll have truly reached bottom. But we’re not there yet. Not even close.

    And when real estate blog commentators are predicting Dow 5,000 (remember that?) then maybe it’s time to buy stocks. 80% increase since March 2009.

  35. 35
    buystocks says:

    RE: Dan @ 34
    Dow can still go to 5000…
    secular bear market is not done with us yet…

  36. 36
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Dan @ 34

    How much higher do you think the Dow will go in this rally?

  37. 37
    Leigh says:

    By David Losh @ 16:

    RE: <a href='#comment-99622'
    It was my opinion that we would return to 1998 prices plus 4% appreciation in pricing since then. .

    I cringe when I hear someone state a set % annual increase because it leads to exponential growth. Sure, 4% sounds conservative but think about 10 years of 4% growth and what do you get?! This applies to discussions about population growth, ‘sustainable’ growth, energy use, etc.

    This guy might come off as boring but it’s well worth your time: Albert Bartlett. His lectures can be found on YouTube.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bartlett

    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

  38. 38
    Herman says:

    By BacktoBasic @ 29:

    RE:
    Total housing expense (P&I) will go up which against your wishes.

    I see. Americans will simply choose to spend more of their money on housing.

    Are we talking about the same Americans that just watched their 401k’s see-saw, got laid off, spent 99 weeks on unemployment insurance, were threatened with or now face tax increases, saw health premiums rise, paid more for gas, and could no longer qualify for a loan?

  39. 39
    deejayoh says:

    By CCG @ 32:

    Here’s what 15 years (at the time) of extend and pretend did for Japan.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EconomistHomePrices20050615.jpg
    Doesn’t look like any return to 4% annual appreciation there. After 25 years at 4% it should be 100 * 1.04^25 = 266. It’s already been adjusted for inflation.
    Demographics undoubtedly has something to do with this, but that’s going to happen here too.

    Here’s a US only comparison

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2008/11/03/comparing-the-us-and-japanese-housing-bubbles/

  40. 40
    ray pepper says:

    RE: MacroInvestor @ 8

    Went to Ballard yesterday to show 2 homes. Got stuck in a McDonalds with my CRV stuck behind the yellow crime scene tape. Had to sit and wait for this “event” to unravel. Needless to say I never did get my shake. Not a big fan of Ballard right now.

    http://ballard.komonews.com/content/pedestrian-killed-car-ped-accident-market-street

  41. 41
    Scotsman says:

    Here’s why you can’t afford that house- the median income doesn’t even come close- you’ve got to be in the top 10% to afford a Ballard Choc-O- Box.

    http://www.mybudget360.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/us-income-distribution.png

    ( For humor only- I’m pretty sure this is individual, not household income.)

  42. 42
    Scotsman says:

    .

  43. 43

    By patient @ 21:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18 – The correlation is sometimes close but sometimes it’s not so why use the median as a general home price indicator when c-s is the better option. It’s risky and often misleading to do so.

    I also disagree that c-s is irrelevant for buyers and sellers. If you are planning to buy or sell c-s gives you a good idea of what has happened to prices lately. Your bargaining position as a seller or buyer changes significantly dependent on if you have had appreciation or depreciation and it can also impact your timing decision.

    First, I disagree it’s a better option. It doesn’t tell you squat. What does 143 mean to anyone?

    Second, you’re joking when you say “timely” and help you time a decision, right? This is almost May and we’re discussing February.

  44. 44

    By patient @ 23:

    RE: DrShort @ 22 – It’s a big regional number but at least it measures what you are looking for not something very different. And I disagree it does tell you a lot about the city of Seattle since it’s a very large piece of the transactions..

    Just who does it measure? Those looking for $1,000,00 houses? Those looking for $200,000 houses? Those looking in Skyway? Those looking in Mercer Island? It doesn’t measure any of those.

    Also, the city of Seattle proper is not that big of a piece of the pie. King County is just over half, but only a relatively small part of King County is Seattle.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Hugh Dominic says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 41 – this is probably a good time to remind everyone that Ballard sucks.

  47. 47
    David Losh says:

    RE: Leigh @ 37

    The appreciation rate is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which is tied to inflation. 4% is a Real Estate Industry standard. The expotential effect is one thing that makes Real Estate attractive.

    However, in 2005 which is what we are discussing, the appreciation rate went up by the first double digits. That was the red flag. After that every double digit appreciation rate was alarming. When it was assumed that property values doubled first every ten years, then every seven years, by the Real Estate community it was time to panick.

    Now, in hind sight, you would have to take out some of the earlier appreciation rates. Before 2005 even a 7% appreciation is suspect. 4% may have been pushing it.

    We unwind to 1998 because that was the beginning, but what if those were false values? In 1995 the Dow was at 4000. When you look at the rate of climb like in this chart, http://stockcharts.com/charts/historical/djia1900.html you can see that there has been some very big gains that could be called inflationary.

    So then we could go back to 1988. What if inflation, taken as a part of the over all good feeling economy, was only built on credit? What if credit were no longer fashionable?

    I can’t stop thinking that we have been living in a false economy, and at some point, just like with the Federal government, we will have to start living within our means.

  48. 48
    hp says:

    RE: BacktoBasic @ 24 – so looks like you need two things, “how to read the charts” lesson and a grammar lesson.

  49. 49
    Leigh says:

    By David Losh @ 47:

    RE: Leigh @ 37

    The appreciation rate is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which is tied to inflation. 4% is a Real Estate Industry standard. The expotential effect is one thing that makes Real Estate attractive.

    ….
    I can’t stop thinking that we have been living in a false economy, and at some point, just like with the Federal government, we will have to start living within our means.

    I wish my wages would increase exponentially but I get your point.

    As for your last sentence…very sad, but that’s exactly why I don’t expect a recovery. This is the new normal: single income households, older cars, smaller homes, and living within our means. I mean really, our economy was based on everything real estate, ie building, remodeling, landscaping, the home ATM. The only thing that we invented during that time was those fancy stock market/investment deals, ie derivatives, etc.

  50. 50
    Daniel says:

    By David Losh @ 47:

    The appreciation rate is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which is tied to inflation. 4% is a Real Estate Industry standard. The expotential effect is one thing that makes Real Estate attractive.

    If that is the industry standard, that tells you about the industry, plain and simple. All just castles in the sky.

  51. 51
    patient says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44

    “Also, the city of Seattle proper is not that big of a piece of the pie. King County is just over half, but only a relatively small part of King County is Seattle.”

    Oh sorry, a few outlying areas does of course have much bigger impact than the densest area in the metro. Or not. Kary you just got this one wrong, it happens, don’t take it to hard ;-)

    “Second, you’re joking when you say “timely” and help you time a decision, right?” This is almost May and we’re discussing February.”

    No joke, I would not advice to make a decision that it’s a good time to buy or sell based on two months data or less . Real estate moves relatively slowly, two months changes very little. You are much better off using the historic cs trend than a short-term view of the unreliable choppy median.

  52. 52

    By patient @ 51:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 44

    “Also, the city of Seattle proper is not that big of a piece of the pie. King County is just over half, but only a relatively small part of King County is Seattle.”

    Oh sorry, a few outlying areas does of course have much bigger impact than the densest area in the metro. Or not. Kary you just got this one wrong, it happens, don’t take it to hard ;-).

    Is there any limit to what you assume incorrectly? Seattle is about 35% of King County sales.

    http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/getRpt.cfm?obj=KCbreakouts (Page 1 or Page 2)

    I’m not even sure why you would possibly think Seattle would be that big.

    If that link doesn’t work, try: http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/index.cfm?action=ptype&county=kin

    Then Marketing Statistics and then King County Breakouts.

  53. 53
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 52 – Direct-linking to the NWMLS pdfs doesn’t work. They’ve got a program that denies access if you click on a link from anywhere other than their own site, so you’ve got to go to the link below and click the “Current King County Breakouts” link at the top of that page.

    http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/mktg.cfm

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