Mid-Week Open Thread (2011-11-02)

Here is your open thread for the mid-week on November 2nd, 2011. 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.

35 comments:

  1. 1

    Stocks Are Up Today, They Say America Added 110K Private Sector Jobs

    What the Wall Street Crook driven MSM didn’t say is the Private Sector Job Force increase was seasonly driven….apple pickin’ jobs, etc….

    How did Seattle-Bellevue-Everett do YOY for total labor force, eliminating seasonly driven, i.e., like slave labor rate jobs at the eastern Washington farms????

    Flat Bubbleheads, 1.49 million in September 2010 and 1.49 million for September 2011.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.t03.htm

  2. 2

    In any case, 100k is just keeping even, if that.

  3. 3
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2RE: softwarengineer @ 1

    Those must not be very good jobs if 15% of the population, one out of almost six, is getting food stamps. That blows me away.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/11/01/some-15-of-u-s-uses-food-stamps/?mod=e2tw

  4. 4

    …And 16.7% of the population of the state of WA is on food stamps.
    The median household income in the city of Seattle is about 60,000 dollars.
    The average listing price for a single family home in Seattle is 566,302.
    I know we’ve got all kinds of higher income folks working for Microsoft and Amazon, etc. But even if the inventory of homes for sale is low, that leaves a lot of people out there who are not financially qualified to buy any home, and many of those who are qualified either already own a home they’re happy living in or are just not in the market. So who do these people trying to sell these expensive homes think they’re going to sell these homes to?
    Is this why there’s a proposal to offer permanent residency status to foreigners if they’ll buy a house?
    Just strikes me that there’s a disconnect. We’re seeing inflation coupled with lower income. Just how much demand is there for expensive houses? The cheaper stuff I can see. You gotta live somewhere, and if you can buy a place for the same amount as your rent? I can see why people would want to do that. But just how many Richie Riches are out there looking for an overpriced house?

  5. 5
    Pegasus says:

    Seattle home sales shoot up as prices hit 7-year lows

    September home sales in Seattle increased 26.2% when compared to the same month last year, DataQuick said Wednesday.

    Sales in the area were spurred in part by reduced home prices across the market, the real estate data firm concluded.

    http://www.housingwire.com/2011/11/02/seattle-home-sales-shoot-up-as-prices-hit-7-year-lows

  6. 6

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 4

    Ira, That Foreign Buyer Bill [bipartisan BTW] Died a Quick Death

    One legislature said it succintly IMO, why are we so concerned about keeping housing prices stable or even raising them by selling America to the highest bidder, when a lion’s share of the legal citizen population [the voters] wants housing prices to simply go down. Good point.

  7. 7
    Cheap South says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6

    I doubt that 55% of the population (home owners) want home prices to go down.

  8. 8

    RE: Cheap South @ 7

    I’m a homeowner and I do, for my childrens’ and the federal government’s sake….I’m not the only one.

  9. 9

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8
    I am also a homeowner and also think that falling home prices is a good thing.
    But face it: We’re probably in a minority. My opinion is different than most peoples on most things, so why should this be different?

  10. 10

    Hey Tim

    Cheapsouth brought up a good idea for a NEW poll.

    How many Seattle Bubble readers want real estate prices to go down?

  11. 11
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 8RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 9

    I own my place outright. For the sake of a LONG TERM healthy market – yes, the prices must go down in the short term.

    Chemo is never pleasant. But compared to the cancer…….I’ll take it every day of the week.

  12. 12
    Dirty Renter says:

    This was on the Housing Bubble Blog from a crazy dude named Jeff Saturday. Hilarious.

    “Perth, WA property in freefall as price slump shows no sign of ending”
    Tom Petty free fallin’

    It`s a big house, was just gonna flip it
    Gotta nice pool and granite tops too
    She’s a Realtor, crazy ’bout research
    Loves horses and her commissions too

    It’s a long day livin’ in Reseda
    There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard
    I’m a Deadbeat, ’cause I don’t make my payments
    I’m a bad boy for rentin` it out

    And It’s free, free fallin’
    Yeah It’s free, free fallin’

    All the Realtors walkin’ through the valley
    Move west down Ventura Blvd.
    And all the houses are standing in the shadows
    All the victims are home with broken hearts

    And It’s free, It’s free fallin’
    Yeah It’s free, free fallin’

    I wanna write down half of this mortgage
    I wanna take my name off this loan
    I wanna short sale so I don`t owe nothin’
    Gonna leave this house for awhile

    Cause It’s free, free fallin’
    Yeah It’s free, free fallin’

  13. 13
    Cheap South says:

    RE: No Name Guy @ 11RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 9RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 9

    Sure, I agree that price decreases will be helpful; but if it’s you that needs to move in the downturn, you won’t like it a bit.

    Remember, I am writing this from FL, probably moving back home next summer, I would love for prices in King to collapse. If I sell here, I could not even get what I paid the builder some 10 years ago; but I can get much more if I rent the place out. Enough to turn around and rent an apartment in the Eastside. And that’s the plan. FL pretty much bottom out (really). In 3 years I might sell in FL to buy in Seattle.

  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    Anybody up for a Seattle Bubble open house party this weekend? This home looks like a good candidate: 7310 19th Ave NW in Ballard.

  15. 15
    ChrisM says:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2011/nov/1/senator-wants-obama-reclaim-fannie-freddie-bonuses/

    “Accusing President Obama of rewarding failure, a top Republican urged him to reclaim millions in bonuses that were doled out to executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac despite the mortgage lenders’ recent dependance on taxpayer dollars.”

    [snip]

    “Ten top administrators of the two government-sponsored corporations were paid $12.79 million in bonuses on top of their regular salaries last year, Politico reported Monday. Approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the payments were to reward modest successes in achieving some benchmarks aimed at preventing home foreclosures.”

  16. 16
    ChrisM says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14 – What’s your criteria? Why not go for the gusto:

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1402-Mcgilvra-Blvd-E-98112/home/140121

    It has a better powder room.

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14

    See you there, say 2PM?

  18. 18
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 13

    Yup, it would be sh***y timing should I have to move…..but hey, sell in a down market, buy in a down market, it’s a wash IF you own free and clear. If you don’t….well, different story.

    And if I “had” to move right now, I’d keep it and rent – owning free and clear = big cash flow.

    Owning free and clear also equals my monthly shelter expenses is taxes plus some sinking fund for maintenance and upkeep, which is far less than renting would ever be.

  19. 19
    MacroInvestor says:

    By No Name Guy @ 18:

    RE: Cheap South @ 13

    Yup, it would be sh***y timing should I have to move…..but hey, sell in a down market, buy in a down market, it’s a wash IF you own free and clear. If you don’t….well, different story.

    And if I “had” to move right now, I’d keep it and rent – owning free and clear = big cash flow.

    Owning free and clear also equals my monthly shelter expenses is taxes plus some sinking fund for maintenance and upkeep, which is far less than renting would ever be.

    Why in hades didn’t you sell the FL home 4 years ago when it was worth something? Plenty of bloggers were screaming “bubble” back then. Oh well, spilled milk I guess… Now instead of adding bad investment on top of bad investment, try this. Buy in FL if you think it’s hit rock bottom. Sell in still over priced Seattle.

    If you think selling in one market and buying in another is a “wash”, guess again. You’ll lose 10% on each of the transactions. Don’t give away what little equity you have left.

  20. 20

    RE: MacroInvestor @ 19

    Good Point

    No one can time bottoms or crests accurately, but even the rough edged investor can see Seattle has a long ways down to go before the “new crop of low income buyers” can qualify.

    I laughed when a red neck type Conservative from Texas justified this disconnect with incomes and qualified home buyers by stating, “$10/hr is great pay, just get two jobs each and a spouse does the same and together we’ll make fantastic pay with four jobs”.

    The other anomaly to this wild allegation is the BLS would consider this theoretical couple as four people gainfully employed in the Labor Force…..

  21. 21

    The NWMLS October numbers are out, and they took quite a fall. $320,000 for the King County median (reported by the P-I as under $300,000 because for some reason they want to start reporting the SFR+Condo number combined.

    The median for bank owned is well under $200,000 by my reports! The volume of short sales is still pathetic. And even the median for non-distressed fell by a significant amount.

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

  22. 22

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21

    Wow Kary

    That is news. Ira said it for me, sure….MSFT and Boeing got some high incomes, but most of those already own a home and aren’t in the market.

    The new home buyer went the way of the dinosaur with globalization lowering wages and the budget cuts that Patty Murry and her Committee in Wash DC have about 3 weeks to develop a plan and they aren’t hopeful at all…..so don’t expect federal deficit principle buy downs and such to help either….we’re hopelessly broke with no foreseeable plan either.

  23. 23

    RE: softwarengineer @ 22 – You can actually get a pretty nice house for under $200k in the bank owned market. I was in one out in the Covington/Maple Valley area that was in pretty decent shape, modern design, that needed very little work, probably under $1,000.00.

  24. 24
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: MacroInvestor @ 19

    I don’t live in FL there Macro, nor am I interested in ever owning there. Yuck…..flat as a pancake, swamp city, lack of mountains and alpine…..nope. Not my cup ‘o tea. Not to mention a bunch of retired east coast types – nope….not for me.

    I bought here in the Seattle area back in the early / mid 90’s – the only home I’ve owned. I’m not interested in selling the place as I view my house as my HOME – a place to live, shelter, not as an “investment”. Now, should I need to move, my house would then switch to being an investment, as it would become rental property.

    Unlike the dolts who live paycheck to paycheck, when one lives by the “old school” rules – thrift, frugality, living below the means, etc, IF I had to move, it would pretty easy to buy a 2nd home (and yes….put 20% or more down – perhaps even pay cash, if the market I was moving to was cheap enough).

  25. 25

    By No Name Guy @ 24:

    I don’t live in FL there Macro, nor am I interested in ever owning there. Yuck…..flat as a pancake, swamp city, lack of mountains and alpine…..nope. Not my cup ‘o tea.

    You forgot to mention the humidity. I guess you get used to it eventually, but I find it unbearable.

  26. 26

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25
    And if you think this state has it’s share of wackjobs, try Florida. Carl Hiassen, a Miami Herald reporter, has made some great money writing novels based on true stories that took place in Florida. If you need a good laugh, read them.

  27. 27
    Pegasus says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 26:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25
    And if you think this state has it’s share of wackjobs, try Florida. Carl Hiassen, a Miami Herald reporter, has made some great money writing novels based on true stories that took place in Florida. If you need a good laugh, read them.

    Real estate agents actually read books? Who knew?

  28. 28

    By Pegasus @ 27:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 26:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25
    And if you think this state has it’s share of wackjobs, try Florida. Carl Hiassen, a Miami Herald reporter, has made some great money writing novels based on true stories that took place in Florida. If you need a good laugh, read them.

    Real estate agents actually read books? Who knew?

    Only fiction, just like the NAR material.

  29. 29

    RE: Pegasus @ 27 – I don’t read books. There’s enough reading material here on this one site to keep me happy!

  30. 30
    FenceSitter says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14
    Oh, wow! Great price for a house in Ballard!

  31. 31
    Natalia Orinko says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 5
    I just don’t want to buy a house (or anything for that matter) if its value will keep falling for five more years.

  32. 32
    Natalia Orinko says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 23
    That’s what i am looking for. A house that isn’t trashed and is reasonably priced.

  33. 33
    David Losh says:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 32

    No you don’t. He’s talking about Covington, and Maple Valley.

    You need to rent, and find a Real Estate agent. Actually you may find your deal in the rental market. A lot of land lords have properties they need to dump, or should dump, or will dump in the next five years.

    Be casual, there are good properties out there for good prices, but they are hard to see. Stay in city. You have some money, and if you can’t get a sceaming deal look at what you can afford to leverage, and pay off in about seven years time. Get a thirty, or fifteen year loans, but figure to amortize it in seven years. You guys can figure that out.

  34. 34
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 31

    Don’t buy a house now unless you’re willing to absorb the hit, figure at least 20%. If you can get a sreaming deal on bank owned, etc. then you may break even. Rent until you know the city. There’s no hurry to buy as selection and pricing will improve every month. Follow David’s advice- get a realtor- Ira, David, someone who has a balanced perspective and looks at the long haul.

  35. 35

    By David Losh @ 33:

    No you don’t. He’s talking about Covington, and Maple Valley.

    . . .

    Be casual, there are good properties out there for good prices, but they are hard to see. Stay in city.

    Not everyone wants to live in the city. It’s good for commuting, but there are downsides too. One of the biggest was back when the voters of Seattle decided to put a huge tax on their cars in return for nothing. Apparently not enough Seattle voters watch The Simpsons (monorail reference).

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