Weekend Open Thread (2010-12-03)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday December 3rd, 2010. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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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.

15 comments:

  1. 1

    9.8% Unemployment

    Need I say more.

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1

    Manufacturing dropped too. But here’s the killer- the velocity of money, sort of the flip-side of the money multiplier effect, is heading down at an astounding rate. Hard to believe, since it was already below one. The economy is in the equivalent of a flat spin and we’re all dead. But no one believes it since we haven’t hit the ground yet. They will.

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    Things may never return to the previous normal. The question is, what will the new normal become?

  4. 4
    Cheap South says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 3

    If we keep equating our blessings to the number of iPods, HDTVs, or number of bedrooms in our homes, we are screwed, as it has been shown by studies that have many other nations (including developing countries) ahead of us in the “satisfaction” index.

    The new normal will hopefully have us valuing experiences.

    On housing..
    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/430989_townhouse30.html

  5. 5
    Hugh Dominic says:

    US adds just 39,000 jobs in November. What a joke.

    This is the “Internet dividend.” The Internet has made millions of jobs obsolete. Look for big productivity gains, corporate profits, and no need to replace workers. Same thing happened in ’95 when the PC revolution of the ’80s finally led to job loss.

    It’ll take a few years for the economy to find new investment-driven growth. How long depends on how friendly the government is to tech and R&D investment.

  6. 6
    deejayoh says:

    I think this was written just for this web site. And it’s from Seattle too!

    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1619190174.html

    Best line:

    “Oh yes, federal loans. I’ve got $40,000 of those, which are in “forebearance” right now because I’m unemployed, meaning that the feds are paying the interest for a while, which is convenient for me, but not for our government which is now owned by China. ”

    Gawd I love best of craigslist sometimes…

  7. 7
    Dirty_Renter says:

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  8. 8
    Pegasus says:

    Housing outlook darkens with price drops up to 10% expected

    Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told HousingWire that he expects home prices to be depressed during 2011 and into 2012. He is anticipating a 5% to 10% decline in prices until mid-2011. “We won’t see modest growth until 2012,” he said.

    Zandi also believes that demand and supply for homes are bottoming out, though an increase in distressed sales will continue to drag values.

    He mentioned back in October, during a webinar hosted by HousingWire, that he felt the bottom was getting closer but until employment improves in the United States, improvements in the housing industry will not feel measurably better.

    http://www.housingwire.com/2010/12/03/housing-outlook-darkens-with-price-drops-up-to-10-expected

  9. 9
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 8 – Moody’s? Ha ha ha ha ha…
    I am sure if it’s Moody’s, it’s really, really accurate. What a totally discredited brand.

  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 6

    “For example, since 1987, higher education expenses have gone up 450 percent, while personal income in this country has gone up 87 percent, making tuition IMPOSSIBLE to afford without special financing. ”

    I’ve known this, but it’s still mind boggling. How did they expect people to keep paying? What did they spend it on? And finally, why are the national results so much less effective than they were 30 years ago? The U.S. no longer sits at the top, except when looking at the very highest levels- our best are still the best, but the middle has fallen significantly.

  11. 11
    TheHulk says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 6

    Yep, there was a time when I could have written such a thing myself. Thankfully, I kept trying to learn new stuff while I was unemployed and that led to my first job.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Macro Investor says:

    I can’t believe nobody notices the altos chart on Tim’s home page. The Seattle median has come down nearly 10% in the last 5 months. No need for Moody’s or anybody else’s future predictions. Winter started back in July. That is for Seattle – the strongest sub market we have.

  14. 14
    Macro Investor says:

    By Cheap South @ 4:

    RE: Blurtman @ 3

    If we keep equating our blessings to the number of iPods, HDTVs, or number of bedrooms in our homes, we are screwed, as it has been shown by studies that have many other nations (including developing countries) ahead of us in the “satisfaction” index.

    The new normal will hopefully have us valuing experiences.

    On housing..
    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/430989_townhouse30.html

    I think you’re on to something. We don’t have a happy society overall. Just look at the obesity rate. That implies a lot of stress. Traffic jams, long work hours, falling standards of living. There’s more to life, but most people are in a daze.

    “Dense Seattle neighborhoods could start looking a lot more like those in cities like San Francisco…”

    San Francisco looks a lot different. Their houses were built a long time ago and are nice looking stucco exteriors built to last. If those pictures are representative of what was built in Seattle, the future of the city is more poor people in the urban core and wealthier people getting out.

  15. 15

    By Macro Investor @ 13:

    I can’t believe nobody notices the altos chart on Tim’s home page. The Seattle median has come down nearly 10% in the last 5 months. No need for Moody’s or anybody else’s future predictions. Winter started back in July. That is for Seattle – the strongest sub market we have.

    I’m not sure of the source of those numbers. Perhaps they are Seattle only, which I don’t track, but if so I would expect some of those numbers to be over $400k. The thing is though, the range isn’t that far off of the King County median per the NWMLS, it’s just that it shows the median too high for most months. Here are the NWMLS numbers since January, 2010:

    375,000
    373,000
    367,250
    375,000
    379,000
    383,000
    399,950
    380,000
    379,950
    375,000

    Depending on what November comes in at, the range might not be much different. But the trend would be considerably different.

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