After mentioning how much the real estate reporting in the Seattle Times has improved, I thought it would be fun to take a look at a classic piece from November 2006, less than a year before home prices in the Seattle area peaked (emphasis mine).
Prospective homebuyers who’ve been frustrated by too much competition for too few homes — your time is now.
But don’t expect to find widespread price breaks, because home prices are up.
Increasing inventory is giving buyers more clout, said Lennox Scott, chairman and chief executive of John L. Scott Real Estate.
“We’re adjusting from a frenzied market back down to a strong market,” Scott said. “Buyers have selection.”
“I’m amazed the market was basically on steroids for as long as it was,” [Windermere Ballard assistant manager Bob] Melvey said. “It makes sense it’s going to have to take a rest. But even with this absorption rate, it’s not as if the market has tanked and the sky is falling.”
It’s a two for one deal! Classic Elizabeth Rhodes and classic J. Lennox Scott.
This article is built 100 percent on data talking points and quotes from home salespeople. Zero input from any serious economists, academics, or researchers, just a very lightly rehashed press release. It was an extreme disservice to Seattle Times readers at the time, but hey at least we get a laugh out of it eight years later.
Aubrey Cohen’s article about the same data in the Seattle P-I was considerably better. I can’t find the original article on the P-I website anymore, but here’s part that I quoted in my post at the time.
It’s a buyer’s market, if buyer’s loaded.
More and more home sellers are chasing fewer and fewer buyers, but those who did buy in October paid more than buyers did the month or year before that, according to housing statistics released Tuesday.
“They keep saying it’s a buyers market,” he said while looking over a Montlake home last month. “Prices haven’t changed. I don’t see any reduction.”
Zand, who is planning to move back to the area from San Jose, Calif., said prices have declined there.
The statistics show the market is returning to normal, said Glenn Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.
Glenn Crellin’s analysis at the time wasn’t all that on point in my opinion, but at least Aubrey talked to buyers and an economist, not just salespeople.
Here’s what I had to say about all of this at the time:
Is it possible that while the housing market collapses in the rest of the country, Seattle just “returns to normal”? Sure, anything is possible I suppose. However, with the inventory still increasing YOY at a faster rate every month, and sales still on the decline, I have to wonder what mysterious force is going to stop these trends once the market has become “normal”?
So much for that orderly return to normal.
It would be good keep all of this in mind as you think about the current market frenzy…