Tulips!

January Reporting Roundup: NWMLS Tulips Edition

It’s time once again for the monthly reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).

To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:

Spring market "not waiting for tulips" but limited inventory frustrates homebuyers

Home sales this super bowl season outpaced a year ago as sidelined buyers emerged to compete for limited inventory, according to brokers who commented on January activity.

New figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show year-over-year increases in pending sales, closed sales, and prices, while inventory fell by double digits.

“The current inventory of homes available for sale has never been lower in my 22 years as a real estate broker,” lamented MLS director George Moorhead, designated broker and owner at Bentley Properties.

Moorhead believes inventory shortages are due in part to hesitant sellers. “Sellers who would like to enter the market are holding off for two main reasons,” he suggested, adding, “Either they cannot find the next home to move up/down to, or they purchased between 2005 and 2007 and may still be underwater.” Sellers who were foreclosed or completed a short sale during the Great Recession are becoming eligible to purchase a home again, Moorhead noted. “This will bring an altogether new segment of buyers who are more savvy and cautious” so they won’t repeat past mistakes.

Moorhead also credits new loan programs, revised loan programs, and a general easing of guidelines for buyers with making home buying more attainable. “The only holdback is inventory or credit scores,” he suggested.

Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson echoed that notion. “It’s almost the perfect storm: low interest rates, low inventory, pent up demand, and a pipeline of sidelines buyers who could not buy because of a past short sale or foreclosure.” Their two year to three year waiting period is up and they are looking again, he reported.

Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo, said the spring market is not waiting for the tulips this year – “spring has already sprung. We are seeing an increase in traffic at our open houses with more buyers out looking at our limited inventory.”

When we’re talking about the housing market, it is definitely a good idea to bring up tulips, but not for the reason Mr. Wilson seems to think.

Tulip Mania!

Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.

Seattle Times

Sanjay Bhatt: Tight house supply pushes prices up in King County

Last month’s median price of single-family homes sold in King County was $441,500, nearly 8 percent higher than in January a year ago.

Inventory remained tight, the MLS said, with a two-month supply; a supply of four to six months is considered a balanced market.

Brokers say the shortage is worse than the numbers show because a significant chunk of the two-month supply isn’t in salable condition.

“We’re a fast-growing area with not enough houses and condominiums on the market,” said Alon Bassok, a researcher at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. “We can expect to see housing prices go up.”

That comment about “a significant chunk” of homes on the market not being in “salable condition” is super worthless. How much exactly is a “significant chunk”? Is the number or percentage of current inventory that isn’t in “salable condition” larger than it is in a typical market? Much like “open house traffic,” this is one of those claims that home salepeople like to throw out there to make the market sound hotter than it is, without having to provide any hard data to back it up.

Seattle P-I

Aubrey Cohen: Supply of houses for sale in Seattle remains tight

Prospective home buyers continue to have little selection in and around Seattle, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday.

“We just really are a fast growing city without enough inventory on the market,” said Alon Bassok, a research scientist at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington. “Limited inventory, in this case, means to me that we’re going to see prices go up even further.”

In addition to the lack of homes currently for sale, the rental market is also tight and construction of new homes isn’t keeping pace with demand, Bassok said. “So there’s pressure on all sides.”

In a listing service news release, George Moorhead, designated broker and owner at Bentley Properties, said: “The current inventory of homes available for sale has never been lower in my 22 years as a real estate broker.”

Prospective sellers are holding off because they can’t find another home or because they still owe more than their homes are worth, Moorhead said. Meanwhile, he added, new buyers are hitting the market, thanks to a new federal program for people with low down payments, an easing of lending guidelines and the expiration of waiting periods during which people whose homes were foreclosed on or who went through a short sale during the recession were not eligible for another mortgage.

Bassok agreed these factors are at play, but said they are secondary compared with the general influx into Seattle and lagging construction of new homes. He said people able to buy again after a foreclosure or short sale aren’t able to compete with new arrivals. As for homes still being worth less than the mortgage balance, he added, that could be the case in some outlying areas, but not in the core of Seattle, between Sodo to the south and 85th Street to the north.

Hah! Gotta love a little academic smackdown. Calling out home salespeople on their nonsense.

Tacoma News Tribune / The Olympian

C.R. Roberts: Home prices up, inventory down in Pierce and Thurston counties

Home prices are up; the inventory of available properties is down; and now is the time to buy, if you’re looking to buy.

That was the message Wednesday as the Northwest Multiple Listing Service released the latest data concerning home and condominium sales activity and prices.

“The numbers are as good as we could hope for,” said Dick Beeson, a member of the service’s board of directors and the principal managing broker at Tacoma’s Re/Max Professionals.

His advice for people considering buying a home?

“You’re going to have to make decisions more quickly,” Beeson said. “You’re going to have to step up to the plate and do your homework. You won’t have the luxury of picking and choosing that you had last year.”

JUMP IN NOW! DON’T THINK! JUST DO IT NOW!

Puget Sound Business Journal

Ben Miller: Where are the Seattle-area homes for sale? Inventory shrinks

There are a lot fewer Seattle-area homes for sale right now than there were a year ago.

In King County, there are only about two months of home supply for sale; real-estate brokers say a healthy balance between supply and demand is a four- to six-month supply.

Brokers lamented the tight inventory situation.

The PSBJ article this month was very light. I’ve quoted almost half of it above.

(Sanjay Bhatt, Seattle Times, 02.05.2015)
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I, 02.05.2015)
(C.R. Roberts, Tacoma News Tribune, 02.05.2015)
(C.R. Roberts, The Olympian, 02.05.2015)
(Ben Miller, Puget Sound Business Journal, 02.06.2015)

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

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.

47 comments:

  1. 1

    You Left Me Speechless Tim

    There’s so many contradictory facts in your article, making a credible Bull or Bear prediction, assuming either can be proved true in today’s market, is like getting a camel through the eye of a needle.

  2. 2

    Tim, love the tulip reference, but two posts in a row? ? ;-)

  3. 3

    I’m not sure how you would possibly determine how many are not in salable condition. You could determine how many require you to have unnecessary dealings with a bank (short sales and REOs) and you could determine how many have been on the market over 60 days, but that might be a price issue more than a condition issue. Absent personally visiting all the listings, I think it would be impossible to even estimate.

  4. 4

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @

    I would consider not priced within salable range “not in salable condition” moreso than a sold in 7 days REO property. YMMV

    At present just over a third of Single Family Home inventory in King County is on market for three months or more. I’d call that “a big chunk”. And that doesn’t count the ones that started their DOMs over again from 0 after the 1st of the year. 13%, which I’d call “a sizable chunk” :) on market for 6 months or more.

    If a seller puts his home on market for double what the market will bear, that home is not “in salable condition”.

    Disclosure: These stats do not include condos, townhomes,houseboats or mobile/manufactured homes. Required Disclosure: Data in this comment is not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  5. 5

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ – I consider the word condition to mean condition. If a house is over-priced it is not properly marketed. Changes in condition can take months to rectify, assuming the condition isn’t a listing status of Short Sale or Bank Owned. Changes in price minutes.

    And yes I realize that virtually any house can sell if you drop the price to a sufficient level, but that is not always the best solution to a problem sale.

  6. 6
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Craig Blackmon @ – Based on this weather pattern, February tulips are going to be a real thing. I have lived here for 45 years and have never seen a winter like this.

  7. 7

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @

    I know you do. But most home-buyers would consider grossly overpriced to be “not in salable condition”.

    If it is currently priced so out of range that it can’t “come together” as a sale, then it is not really “inventory” to people who are looking for a home to purchase. So in terms of a “big chunk” of homes on market not being “in salable condition” from the standpoint of people looking to buy one…I’d have to include all impediments to sale including asking price being too high.

    Given MANY poor condition properties by your definition actually DO sell, and often more readily than those that are just priced way too high, I would use the dictionary definition of “salable” vs yours when it comes to housing inventory. Definition: “capable of being sold”.

    Until it becomes “capable of being sold”…it is not really “inventory” to the average home buyer.

  8. 8

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ – Whatever. I think my first post clearly distinguished between price and condition as being separate factors, but even accepting your non-literal definition of “salable condition” you still could not define the percentage with the sort of certainty that Tim was seeking. Just focusing on price, there’s no way you could say with any certainty that 10, 15 or 20 percent of the listings are overpriced by some percentage. It would just be more of the broker quote nonsense that Tim doesn’t like.

  9. 9
    Erik says:

    Us potential sellers aren’t willing to sell unless you buyers agree to pay more. Can’t afford it you say? Try to pick up extra shifts at work. Work nights! Save Save Save! I think eventually buyers will raise their bids, we just gotta wait them out. Everyone needs a shelter and they can’t hold out forever. If us home owners never lower our prices, buyers will have to pony up. Every man has his price, it just isn’t high enough yet.

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ – And “the listing is special.”

    The Spot: A title card reads “The Debate.” We fade in on a couple standing in their kitchen, arguing about whether to buy a new house. The wife is the aggressor; the husband has his doubts. “Suzanne researched this,” says the wife in exasperation. As we’re wondering who Suzanne is, the ad cuts to an image of the couple’s kitchen telephone. “This listing is special, John,” says the voice of their real estate agent over the speakerphone. “You guys can do this.” The husband caves. “This is awesome,” says the wife. We see a picture of the agent’s Century 21 business card.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/ad_report_card/2006/04/the_nastiest_wife_on_television.1.html

  11. 11

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @

    Again I disagree. I’d say 13% on market for more than 6 months and 36% on market for more than 3 months to be a fairly “definitive” breakdown. That you can’t break down the why they were not sold is somewhat irrelevant as to why they were “not salable”.

  12. 12
    Deerhawke says:

    If we put the definitional debate aside, it is pretty striking to me that 13% of listings are on the market for more than 6 months and 36% are on the market for more than 3 months. I have been in this business for a fairly long time and that is definitely news to me. I would have guessed the actual figures were less than half that.

    Certainly some of this is like the “Make-me-move” listings. In other words, if you are crazy enough to pay me that much, I will be gracious enough to sell it to you.

    How is it that something that has been on the market for 6 months is still counted as part of “active inventory?”

  13. 13
    Erik says:

    RE: Blurtman @
    Hahaha! Yeah, that one is my favorite.

    On the micro level, that’s how prices got so crazy last time. When I sell again, I will ride into the sunset again with the all of that guy’s money that caved. That’s what he gets for being a little b!tch! I would have told her to kiss my a$$. Probably why I’m not married.

  14. 14

    RE: Erik @

    I’m With You Erik

    Single and smiling….when I was married in the mid-90s my ex-wife had to have the perfect home, newly totally remodeled, then complain about how cheap I was [maybe I married the wrong one, I imagine there’s many women that think like a lot of us male investors too, albeit I still think they’re rare if they do]. No way would she let me flip foreclosures and make money, if she had to live there temporarily until the next flip.

    Now, I’ve been single for 20 years in the Seattle area and you know, I don’t like sharing the TV remote, turning the sound way down [and wearing my hearing aids for her], let alone sharing my closets and other storage room. She’d likely want my home bar tore down and replaced with a china cabinet…LOL

    I knew one pretty one that was 43 years old, but got a brain vein blockage requiring brain surgery for the stroke…almost married her before the health bills and a sick spouse to care give would have been thrust on me, whewwww….that was close. Even younger wives get terribly sick. Now, I can visit them at the hospital, be their friend and use love and charity [prayer too]….but I’m not financially and socially, personally and legally, attached to their serious problems.

    Don’t be haughty though…us men can go to pot health-wise too….but statistics document, make it past all the “old dog” diseases to 65 and you have an average 19 years left of life….keep a younger care giver type that would marry you on a wink in the background though, and treat your kids like gold too, you may need any of them too, for the same reasons…LOL

  15. 15

    By Deerhawke @ :

    How is it that something that has been on the market for 6 months is still counted as part of “active inventory?”

    Well because for one thing, maybe they have recently reduced their price. Or maybe their competition has changed over that time. Also, how would you actively adjust such a rule for differing markets? If the market were such that there was over six months inventory . . ..

    I think the point not discussed is that there is always overpriced inventory and houses that don’t sell quickly! That’s part of the reason there was so much inventory in 2007–some people put their homes on the market just to see what would happen. And there is no way to quantify that. There is no check box in the NWMLS’s Matrix system: “Overpriced.” And even if you went to personally see all 2,700 “active” listings, you still would not know.

    And as a practical matter is doesn’t matter. Very few buyers are interested in just buying any house of any size and any price anywhere in King County. In this market there are so few listings that most buyers will be able to figure out what’s going on in the market they are following, and that’s in part because so little new inventory is coming on the market.

  16. 16
    David B. says:

    Basically, there’s very little inventory. And much of what “inventory” there is tends all too often to be stuff which is has not sold for one or more very good reasons.

    Not much for the prospective buyer to do but stick to one’s standards and hold out for something which meets them. It’s one of the many completely valid reasons for choosing to rent: waiting for something worth buying to come available.

  17. 17
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @
    You almost got put through the ringer twice it sounds like SWE. Bury me with my stacks of money and I will be satisfied.

    David B.
    Those buyers will keep renting then. Us home owners aren’t selling until the buyers fork over the cash. We can rent our homes to potential buyers until those renters/buyers pay off our mortgages and pay more in the end anyway.

  18. 18
    David B. says:

    @eric – I just bought a home, after searching (mostly in vain) for nearly a year. There was very little on the market which I considered even remotely close to what I wanted, at any price. (I did eventually manage to find something suitable, but it took longer than I would have liked and I had to offer slightly above asking price.)

    I tend to think Deerhawke’s comment on another recent thread is probably going to prove accurate. When prices level off (and maybe start dropping a bit even), then the market will get “un-stuck” and inventory will recover, as sellers realize that’s basically all they’re going to get.

    Or, to look at it starting a bit earlier in the cycle: the inventory will start recovering when prices get to the point that the price alone motivates a significant chunk fence-sitters to list their properties. That injection of supply will stop prices from going up more, which will then trigger Deerhawke’s scenario.

  19. 19
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ – A recent and sensible trend is buy a refurbished food truck. A friend lives in a very tastefully refurbed Wanda’s Pleasing Pies truck. It always smells like the holidays inside.

  20. 20
    Erik says:

    RE: David B. @
    I don’t think it is that complicated. Apply the rule of supply and demand here. When supply is low demand goes up. Prices represent demand here. Prices are definately going up. Not sure how long, why, or when supply will go up. seattle is booming and I think that will continue for a few years.

    Personally I think supply will stay low and demand will stay high in seattle. That means prices go up. I do not have stories to tell like dearhawk. Last time I replied to deathank, he thought prices were on the up.

  21. 21
    Erik says:

    RE: Blurtman @
    People that do that are called contractors like the commenter, corndogs. They drive a motor home or food truck at park it at work. No house payment. Then they work lots of overtime and just save their money. I have seriously been considering this way of life.

  22. 22
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ – Let your freak flag fly: http://van-life.net

  23. 23
    David B. says:

    It’s supply and demand, with a twist.

    In classic microeconomic theory, every would-be seller has his/her price, a numeric quantity of money which will prompt him/her to sell. What we have here is many sellers whose price isn’t some fixed numeric quantity but is rather “the peak” whatever that ends up happening being.

    If I’m correct on that, it means that when the perceived peak hits; if enough prospective sell, there will be a sudden flood of new listings hitting the market and the inventory shortage will be over quite suddenly. Note that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy; if enough folks believe prices to be at the peak indeed it will be the peak!

  24. 24
    Erik says:

    RE: David B. @
    I don’t think we can get that detailed in predicting the future. Also, I dont see a sudden increase in inventory, but I don’t really know. It just seems improbable because the Seattle area is doing great and we have plenty of buyers. I think it is more likely that we will have years of low inventory and increasing prices.

    I think Everett may get slammed after this 777x project is over. Much of the work will be done out of state, but some assembly will be done in state. After Washington state got tricked into thinking more jobs would be created in the state for the 777x, I don’t think we will get the next plane design. Based on everett’s history, I predict bad news. Seattle and the eastside will flourish with computer nerds.

  25. 25
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Blurtman @ – Cute, and good for Erik’s type, but if you want to get serious, join the big boys.

    http://earthroamer.com/

  26. 26
    boater says:

    RE: David B. @ – I think your incorrect that they want the peak price. I think what most sellers want is to know that they can buy something desirable after they sell. I think that is what is breaking down here. The supply of houses is so tight and the price increases have been going up so quickly that no rational person wants to sell at time X for Y dollars and have to wait X+N years to buy at Y+Z dollars where N and Z can be large numbers. I find it’s generally best to assume everyone is actually acting in a rational manner according to their interests. If I want to trade up then I either need to get someone to agree to a contingent purchase or I need to make enough on my home sale to make the risk minimal. If housing prices are increasing by 10% a year and the inventory is extremely limited who’s going to do that? If it takes 3 years to find a desirable house I might see home prices appreciate 33% by the time I can buy a reasonable home. I think if we just start to see housing prices stabilize with more modest -1% to 3% annual appreciation then you’ll start seeing folks say I can sell and buy in two years and not be screwed. That might open up the inventory a bit. Another potential inventory inducer would be if interest rates drop even more. With interest rates negative in parts of the world we actually could start to see US rates drop again. After all if the dollar keeps gaining foreigners would see a real positive return even with zero or negative rates. That would help folks who think they could never get as cheap a loan again rethink and possibly list.

  27. 27
    Jonness says:

    What’s up Erik? How’s life treating you these days? Are you back to engineering, or are you chilling for a while longer?

  28. 28
    Jonness says:

    BTW Tim, when’s the next bubble bash?

  29. 29
    Saffy The Pook says:

    I don’t think there’s a bunch of people waiting to sell at the peak. That’s for speculators (flippers, contractors, etc.). The majority of the market consists of people who want/need to up- or down-size within the region or are entering or leaving the region. They don’t have much control over the timing of their transaction and probably figure that in the ~7 years average home ownership period, market dynamics will overcome whatever short-term timing miss they face.

    BTW, The Tim, the tag that reports the number of comments per story isn’t updating correctly on the front page. It generally says “0 Comments” until you click through on a story, only updating to the correct number a lot later (weeks).

  30. 30
    Rudolfo says:

    “The majority of the market consists of people who want/need to up- or down-size within the region or are entering or leaving the region. ”

    This shows wisdom.
    Since there are more entering than leaving, inventory is reduced.

    Additionally, the large Millennial demographic group is leaving rentals and looking to buy houses.

    The one demographic force (aged ~50-70) that should play a greater force to increase demand is the Baby Boomer retirees, who will be downsizing. Maybe we’re a decade away from that migration kicking into gear.

  31. 31
    Erik says:

    RE: Jonness @
    Going alright. I got a job after getting laid off from boeing, but I quit cause I didn’t like it. I had it for about 7 months. I have been working on my remodel getting things all squared away. Pretty close to done. Not sure what I’m going to do with my current place. If I can make my current place a rental, I can leave to get a new job I like maybe? Recruiters call me all the time to live somewhere I don’t want to live. I only have a little unemployment left, so I need to do something soon. All the good aerospace composite structure design and analysis jobs really aren’t in Washington state right now because Boeing is doing the engineering in other states. I really don’t want to take a job I don’t really want that much and settle, but I may have to. The worst would be to have a great job and be unhappy with where I live. I have gotten recruiters wanting me to apply in California, but I’m not a big fan of that state. I just got off the phone with a recruiter from Northrup Grumman in Redondo Beach, which is probably a good opportunity, but I really don’t want to move. I bet if I made $100k/year I would be poor in Redondo Beach.

    How are things going for you? The Seattle area is a great place to be a computer person right now.

  32. 32
    ongsomwang says:

    By Rudolfo @ :

    “The majority of the market consists of people who want/need to up- or down-size within the region or are entering or leaving the region. ”

    This shows wisdom.
    Since there are more entering than leaving, inventory is reduced.

    Additionally, the large Millennial demographic group is leaving rentals and looking to buy houses.

    The one demographic force (aged ~50-70) that should play a greater force to increase demand is the Baby Boomer retirees, who will be downsizing. Maybe we’re a decade away from that migration kicking into gear.

    I’m a millennial looking to buy a house in the next 1-2 years. But I am not very optimistic about what I see in King County.

    The fact is lots millennials simply can’t afford the prices in King County (especially a long I-90). I was out in Snoqualmie Ridge/North Bend recently, and home prices seem outrageous for a little tiny home that looks like it should be 250K, but selling for at least 500K.

    I guess if you want to buy in Federal Way or Kent you might find something.

  33. 33
    Erik says:

    RE: ongsomwang @
    You are better off living in a condo in a nice area as opposed to nice big home in the dirty south sound in my opinion. I learned this from living in north everett for years. The nasty areas will likely make you less happy. My life began after leaving north everett.

  34. 34
    Erik says:

    On a side note, holy crap King County(KC) inventory is low! 2543 when I looked at it. I think we are looking at a few more years of rapidly increasing prices in KC. Like the wealthy realtors say “Buy now or be priced out forever!”

  35. 35
    Erik says:

    RE: wreckingbull @
    Yeah, I’m more of a refurbished taco truck kind of guy. Plus, I can sell tacos for cash if I need a few extra bucks.

  36. 36
    Anonymous Coward says:

    RE: boater @ – We upgraded this past summer and what we did was to buy first and then sell (list before the ink is dry on the purchase contract), given that selling is so much easier than buying. It requires being able to fund the down payment from cash on hand, being able to pay the monthly nut on both properties for a couple of months, and being conservative on the estimated sales cost of the old house.

  37. 37
    m-s says:

    I think its all about “the Churn” and income inequality. Flat (and low) incomes except with a big gradient (and SMALL numbers of people) near the high end. The small gradient means there is no movement toward the “next higher” price house, so, as has been said above, nobody wants to (or can) sell to move. No churn (inventory), no opportunities to buy up a notch. Self-sustaining, seems to me, until we get rid of the income inequality and put more slope in the income graph.

  38. 38

    By Erik @ :

    RE: ongsomwang @
    You are better off living in a condo in a nice area as opposed to nice big home in the dirty south sound in my opinion. I learned this from living in north everett for years. The nasty areas will likely make you less happy. My life began after leaving north everett.

    You sure like to paint with a broad brush, don’t you? It’s not like every part of Everett is the same, and it’s not like every part of Federal Way is the same. There are million dollar homes overlooking the water in Federal Way, where you wouldn’t have a clue that you’re a mile or two away from scuzz. I live in Renton” The Dirty South” where it’s mostly boring, safe suburbia. Sure, if I want to buy some crack I don’t have to travel far, but it doesn’t affect me.

  39. 39
    Erik says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @
    The dirty south sound is great, but it’s just not for me.

  40. 40
    boater says:

    RE: ongsomwang @ – I grew up in Federal Way. From my perspective it has experienced a non stop downward spiral. There’s nothing inherently bad about it or the people living there but as a collective I see the homes being poorly maintained and neighborhoods looking more and more run down. I see multiple non moving/running cars parked on lawns and yards poorly maintained. Houses with failing paint and siding. It’s sad to say that because I grew up there and have fond memories of what it was like. I really hate to say it’s not a place I’d return to but I wouldn’t go back.

  41. 41
    boater says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ – I keep wanting to see those areas appreciate and for folks to realize they are not horrible crime ridden areas but honestly it’s not where I would put my investment or retirement dollars. I think for every dollar you see of real estate gain in Federal Way/Renton/Kent you’ll see two for any area on the Eastside or desirable parts of Seattle. It sucks but it feels like it’s been true for most of my life.

  42. 42
    redmondjp says:

    RE: boater @ – I agree with your assessment of those areas, but as an Eastsider for the past 20 years, we are turning into wall-to-wall McMansion Generica that is completely devoid of any charm, character, or lasting architectural styles. The whole Rose Hill area north of Bridal Trails is undergoing signicant Californication as I type this (2-lot short plats replacing older, smaller homes that actually had yards with trees and green space where kids used to actually play outside).

    And most of these new homes do not age well either (compounded by our wet climate, low-quality building materials and construction techniques, and lack of maintenance). Also, I do have to drive farther to get crack than Ira does.

  43. 43
    Rudolfo says:

    In Seattle, you can have the high prices, small lots and the crack.

    I see why demand is so high!

  44. 44
    Mike says:

    RE: Erik @ – Redondo Beach, yes. But Torrance is just over the hill, has good schools and is priced similar to Ballard. Lots of 1950’s houses there to flip.

  45. 45
    Erik says:

    RE: Mike @
    Yeah, if I could work and Northrop Grumman and do a flip, that would be pretty cool I suppose. We’ll see… I haven’t got the job yet. Just an option.

  46. 46
    ongsomwang says:

    By boater @ :

    RE: ongsomwang @ – I grew up in Federal Way. From my perspective it has experienced a non stop downward spiral. There’s nothing inherently bad about it or the people living there but as a collective I see the homes being poorly maintained and neighborhoods looking more and more run down. I see multiple non moving/running cars parked on lawns and yards poorly maintained. Houses with failing paint and siding. It’s sad to say that because I grew up there and have fond memories of what it was like. I really hate to say it’s not a place I’d return to but I wouldn’t go back.

    Sadly I agree with you.

    I have noticed since I graduated in 2006 that South King County (especially Federal Way, and the Valley floor) are in a downward spiral. Sadly I believe this is part of a bigger trend we are seeing in all of our suburbs. Lots of delapitated strip malls, lots of empty box stores, and things just don’t look very well kept.

    The hard part to accept is the fact that the most afforable places for young famlies right now is the outer ring suburbs (that appear to be in decline).

    I-90 corridor is an exception to this rule.

  47. 47
    Blurtman says:

    RE: redmondjp @ – It has been happening in Sammamish and continues and these homes appear to be selling.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.