Friday Flashback: Seattle’s Housing Bubble All-Star Team

Rather than focus on just one article for today’s Friday Flashback, I thought it would be fun to highlight a montage of brief quotes from a handful of local real estate professionals.

Marlow Harris on 360Digest, April 29, 2006: Housing Bubble Babble

Though I concede that we could be in for a market correction or a slowdown in housing sales and prices, I disagree that it will be of the mammoth proportions that many Bubble devotees believe it will be.

Everyone needs a home, and no matter what the value is, no one will lose money if they don’t sell it.

Here’s what Marlow had to say in the comments when I said that “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 25% drop from today’s prices”:

Tim, you’re obviously frustrated and frightened by the current real estate situation and you’re getting sick of living in a garage.

Have faith in your talents to stay employed, bite the bullet, get a “0”-down 5-year ARM and get in the game.

You won’t regret it. It may cost you more in the long run to stay out.

Wow, I had completely forgotten that gem. When pressed, she also gave me her definition of the “mammoth” correction that we wouldn’t be seeing:

Ok, let me think. “Mammoth Proportions”? 10%? That would be a lot. I’d be bummed out if prices went down 10% or more…

Susan Ryan at Seattle Real Estate Professionals, October 2, 2006: Just Say No to Bubble Talk (original deleted, link goes to the HousingPanic post)

As I’ve said repeatedly, stock market terms do not apply to real estate. There is no real estate bubble and never will be. A decrease in acceleration is not an implosion (or even a pop).

Ardell DellaLoggia at ARDELL’s Seattle Area Real Estate Blog, November 25, 2006: Seattle Housing – Appreciation Graph

When I went to the underlying article What will your House Be Worth in 2016, I had to say to myself, why would we be second guessing Forbes and Moody’s? Surely they have the data to deliver the most reliable results.

…generally speaking…I like the fact that we do seem to be the ONLY City with these types of numbers.

"Why would we be second guessing Forbes and Moody's?"

If you’re curious, here’s my 2006 post on these charts: Seattle Definitely Special

Jon Ribary at Rain City Guide, February 16, 2007: Housing sales fall in 40 states; but not in Northwest

Do people behind the Rain City Curtin have their blinders on? Time will only tell, but if history is any guide (and I am NOT a historian) I would guess in time, with a smaller supply of products, demand will eventually grown (sic) so even though sales may be sluggish, over a 3 year window sales will continue to grow.

Larry Cragun at RealEstateUndressed, October 16, 2007: The Trouble With The Bubble Talk

Ok, I admit it, I went and read a bubble blog. … I fore-soothed I would see the babbling and whining of children. See the little boy pout. His name is Tim. He posts on the bubble blogs. … Sorry Timmy, sorry Robbie, watch out Alessey, people have to grow up someday.

Perhaps a better solution kids, is to just grow up and be good kids. Get some education. Learn some disclipine. Save some money. Be a hard worker. And stop whining and crying and pouting, especially on line.

Leanne Finlay at Seattle Real Estate Professionals, March 29, 2008: Smart or Stupid

There are people who are hell-bent on saying it’s stupid to buy now; their advice shouldn’t be taken as ‘advice’ but perhaps more as drama. It’s dramatic to suggest real estate prices will skyrocket down, but unless we see major unemployment, I don’t see that happening in our market. Buy smart, there are some very nice properties out there just waiting for you to come in the front door.

Mack McCoy at Seattle Real Estate Professionals, July 7, 2008: When Will The Seattle Housing Bubble Burst?

Certainly, Seattle has felt the effects of recent economic events. But it seems to me that the predicted “bubble popping” has yet to occur, and that perhaps predictions of doom were, gee, what’s the word I’m looking for . . . wrong?

Well, somebody was wrong, anyway.

The purpose of our Friday Flashback series is to remind people why it’s never a good idea to base your home purchase decisions on the word of someone with a vested financial interest in selling as many homes as possible for as much as possible, no matter what. If you’ve got a good example of local home salespeople or other industry shills on record making fools of themselves in the years before the bubble burst, shoot me an email.

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.

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