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.


  1. 1

    If the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett Total Labor Force Stays Stagnant at About 1.9 Million

    Like it has the last 5 years…..stagnant interest rates won’t help. We need more jobs, if we add more population like we’re doing. And don’t blame the legal American citizens either, we’re depopulating at a current 1.7 birthrate.

  2. 2

    I feel like “chicken little” because of how long I’ve been saying rates will trend higher… with that said, I think rates will trend higher to the 5% range by 2015… which is still historically low.

  3. 3
    Shoeguy says:

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 2

    Why do you feel like Chicken Little? It is universally agreed on that interest rates have to go up. This isn’t news. ZIRP is incredibly destructive and completely unsustainable.

    And 5% interest may be “historically low” but home prices are “historically high”, and the housing market nearly died of a heart attack when rates jumped from a ridiculously low 3.75% to a ridiculously low 4.5%. Thankfully (for underwater owners and RE Agents) all cash investors shoved a shot of adrenalin right into the heart of the housing market, sustainability be damned.

  4. 4

    5%+….So that the current administration can then lower the rates during 2016…an election year.

  5. 5
    mike says:

    RE: Shoeguy @ 3 – I’ve seen some analysis that QE didn’t substantially depress rates below market levels, but it helped keep them low and relatively steady. The jump in rates when the taper started was outsized compared to the actual impact of a cut back, which leads me to believe the jump was pricing in the end of QE, not that we’ll see a .75% gain every time the fed tapers by $10B. Granted, the future is hazy, but I think the end of QE is priced in more than not. With sluggish economic growth and lingering deflationary pressures, rates probably shouldn’t be at 6% just yet.

  6. 6
    Macro Investor says:

    It’s silly to predict rate trends for the next year. Look out 5-7 years — the average time it takes to break even, or the average time most people stay in one house. If you think rates will be a couple percent higher, you’ll be under water and stuck there. If you think they’ll be steady to down, you’ll have equity to play with. All else being equal, it’s that simple.

    Rates don’t usually change much over 1 year. Last year was an exception because the fed told everyone money printing and historically low rates wouldn’t last forever. Shouldn’t have been a shock, but it was.

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    By the end of 2015, rates will be 5.25%.

  8. 8
    Reg says:

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 2 – If Robert Shiller can get it wrong, then, you can certainly get it wrong.

    In June of 2004, Shiller said the following. “Interest rates around the world are poised to rise.”

    Ten-year rates at the time? 4.7%, peaking another 1/2% higher over the next TWO years, averaging 1-2% lower ever since in many cases.

    Shiller would have been hard pressed to find his projection come true in just about any economy as much as 5 years out, with the exceptions of Armenia, Congo, Madagascar, or, Mozambique.

    So much for the 2013 Nobel laureate in economics, Professor of Economics at Yale University and the co-creator of the Case-Shiller Index of US house prices.

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