Will 2015 Be the Bottom for Listings?

Let’s see how listings have been doing in the last couple months.

First up, here’s a look at new listings for just the last month, compared to July of every other year, and the same chart but for the last three months combined:

Total New Listings: July 2000-2014

Total New Listings: March - May 2000-2014

New listings had been recovering somewhat in 2013 and 2014, but this year they have reversed course as we stretch into the summer, falling to a three-year low. Bad news for buyers hoping for more selection and an easing of price pressures.

Here’s a long-term view of every month back through 2000:

New Listings 2000-Present

Before the housing bubble burst, it was common to see more than 3,500 listings every month April through September, often more than 4,000 a month. It looks like this year we won’t quite hit the 3,500 mark, despite passing that level at least once in each of the past two years.

Here’s a look at how the on-market inventory is building up so far this year compared to past years:

On-Market Inventory Growth 2000-2015

This view looks a lot worse than the previous two years, which had been back in a normal level. So far in 2015 we’re looking at the fifth-smallest growth in on-market inventory since 2000.

The next chart shows the difference between the number of new listings each month and the number of pending sales. Prior to late 2011 this number was almost always positive, except in December, when very few new listings hit the market. From October 2011 through March 2013 this measure was negative, indicating very tight inventory.

New Listings Less Pending Sales 2000-Present

Again, 2015 is more dismal than 2013 and 2014. While both of the past two years turned in some weakly positive numbers here through the summer months, 2015 has been floating along just barely above zero. Listings are going pending at nearly the same rate that new listings are hitting the market.

Finally, let’s take a look at the “stale listings” measure, which uses the total listings, new listings, and pending sales counts to estimate how many listings are “carried over” from one month to the next.

Stale Listings 2000-Present

At least this number turned from the unprecedented negative range back into the positive, but we’re still looking at the lowest summer numbers ever.

Here’s hoping that 2015 is the bottom for listings.

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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
    Matt the Engineer says:

    Interesting that we’ve gone into negative stale listings. How is that possible? Let’s see if I can puzzle through the math: Stale = total listings – new listings – pending sales?

    Perhaps if total listings is very low, and there are some pending sales that no longer count as listings or were never on the market?

  2. 2
    Erik says:

    A while back, I posted an alert to all owners and potential sellers to hold out for more money and really squeeze every cent out of these buyers as possible. I see my words were heard.

    Alert to sellers: these buyers have more money they are holding back. They have college funds for their children, vacation plans, and assets they can sell off. Squeeze every last cent possible. They’ll just be another bailout and everyone will be safe. There is no supply and high demand buyers. You hold all the power right now. Selling right now is foolish. Wait until supply goes up to 7000 in kc before you even think about selling.

  3. 3
    ess says:

    And don’t forget, these numbers are better or worse depending on which side of the potential sale you are on than they were a decade ago. There are more people in the area than 12-15 years ago, so as a percentage of the population there is actually less available for sale.

    Furthermore, the type of buyers have changed – more foreigners and people with big time cash, so that also impacts the situation. We didn’t hear about all cash buyers as we do now a decade ago.

    Great news for those who own their homes and those have some rental properties. For renters – less money for other goodies and more roomates in their future.

    With the Urban Growth Management Act, as well as a variety of ordinances making it even more expensive to develop what little single family lots there are left in the area, perhaps there will be even more price pressure on what little housing inventory is left. Lets hope people keep on moving here, and Seattle and area becomes Silicon Valley north.

  4. 4

    RE: ess @ 3

    Do You have Written Proof That More Foreigners are Buying Seattle Real Estate?

    Or is just a fable you like to believe?

    Low listings mean one thing, high prices with no selection. Erik, I wish you well with your flipping luck. But in the end most investment decisions are just that, pure luck. Ask SWE about his stock profits he sold this year.

  5. 5

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4

    Chinese Investors Have Lots of Cash to Prop Up Seattle Real Estate? SWE says no.

    Snippet:

    “…•What happens to the billions and hundreds of billions that has gone into the build out of massive commercial office space and residences in and around all of China? Most of those are now lying vacant if not abandoned halfway through construction?

    We might not ever really know how bleak things are in China at the moment. However, the data that has been released thus far by the government there paints a pretty dismal picture for the here and now.

    Expecting China to continue to be the engine of global GDP growth, at least in 2015, is more than wishful thinking.

    It’s drinking that Kool-Aid….”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysomaney/2015/08/19/chinese-gdp-growth-of-7-in-2015-dont-drink-the-kool-aid/?utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix

  6. 6
    ess says:

    By softwarengineer @ 4:

    RE: ess @ 3

    Do You have Written Proof That More Foreigners are Buying Seattle Real Estate?

    Or is just a fable you like to believe?

    Low listings mean one thing, high prices with no selection. Erik, I wish you well with your flipping luck. But in the end most investment decisions are just that, pure luck. Ask SWE about his stock profits he sold this year.

    As you and everyone else can see by the proof below – it is no “fable” that foreign investments are driving up the local real estate market. And as the information below provides, the Chinese government is encouraging investors to go overseas and invest in stable markets such as the US. Thus there may be even more investments and house buying by the Chinese in the US, and in the Puget Sound area as the Chinese economy undergoes problems. That would be great for homeowners and landlords.

    Furthermore, the information provided below indicates that foreign investors make up more and more of the market. And for every purchaser or investor that purchases an expensive house on the Eastside, there is a disappointed buyer that must search and bid for another house, and that chain continues on down the line.

    It only takes a few thousand wealthy foreigners determined to buy an expensive house to skew a small market as in Bellevue or Seattle. Even in the worse recession or depression, there are always many in each country that are not affected by the recession, and are still able to obtain whatever they want. Many view countries such as Canada and the United States as a safe haven for both their money and their personal well being.

    Between the Urban Growth Management Act, growing economy, lack of buildable lots for single family houses, increasing rents for all housing, and a shortage of moderate price housing, it is most likely that housing will continue to increase in price both to rent and purchase in the foreseeable future. Of course there will be ups and downs over time, but the trend is definitely higher real estate prices, especially in a desirable area such as Puget Sound.

    If Amazon hires the amount of employees that they are building office space for, that alone will impact the Seattle and surrounding housing market. And Seattle and area, with its highly educated workforce, is a magnet for other companies that have recently established offices in the area.

    For those who can’t observe or don’t believe the trends, by all means continue to rent or sell. But I certainly hope there isn’t complaining about increasing rents, which is bound to happen in an area that is both a popular residential destination and has a housing shortage. And that area is now Seattle, Bellevue, and surrounding areas that are accessible to those cities.

    http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/bellevue/2015/02/18/foreign-buyers-fuel-west-bellevue-real-estate-boom/23656099/

  7. 7
    greg says:

    RE: ess @ 6

    a local brokerage in my part of the Eastside has a “Tea Room” for their upmarket clients from Asia …

    I have dealt with the managing broker a number of times, she is not the sort to waste money on a fancy tea room unless she has clients for it. The brokerage targets higher end homes / waterfront properties.

    I think we need to accept that there is some truth to the myth.

  8. 8
    ess says:

    By greg @ 7:

    RE: ess @ 6

    a local brokerage in my part of the Eastside has a “Tea Room” for their upmarket clients from Asia …

    I have dealt with the managing broker a number of times, she is not the sort to waste money on a fancy tea room unless she has clients for it. The brokerage targets higher end homes / waterfront properties.

    I think we need to accept that there is some truth to the myth.

    Thank you for that information. It is good news for both homeowners and those who own rental property that these foreign buyers are coming to the Seattle area to purchase real estate. Hopefully they will continue to pump money into both the local economy and the real estate market, and housing and rents will continue to increase in cost. Both are a sign of a healthy economy.

    Perhaps Seattle and area will follow the path that Vancouver BC has taken. Foreign money and immigration both by foreigners as well as natives has so overwhelmed that city that not only did the population of Vancouver BC increase from 400 thousand to 600 thousand in forty years, but virtually any single family house in Vancouver cost well in excess of one million dollars.

    We can see some of those changes in Seattle. For years the population of Seattle hovered about five hundred thousand people. Now that Seattle population is over six hundred thousand, with tens of thousands more hoping to move both to Seattle and the area. As a result, housing prices are starting to heat up as they did in Vancouver BC some years ago. On the other hand, one hasn’t seen a truly hot housing market until one has visited Vancouver BC and viewed that market in person as I have.

    While there are some problems associated with this growth, there are also positives. More and greater density of population increases the goods and services in an area, which makes an area more popular with future residents.

    And traffic problems? Vancouver BC is considered one of the most desirable cities to reside in. Their traffic situation is a nightmare compared to Seattle. I have been stuck in Vancouver and suburban traffic in which it is typical to move a mile in half an hour. If at all possible, I won’t even drive in Vancouver BC anymore. Give me Seattle traffic any day. But yet the positives of an exciting dynamic city such as Vancouver BC overwhelmingly overshadow the negatives such as their almost impossible driving situation that Vancouver constantly rates at the top of the world’s most livable cities. Hopefully Seattle will someday compete with Vancouver BC for that honor.

  9. 9
    wreckingbull says:

    I heard this all in the late 1980’s. The Japanese would own us all. Oh, by the way, is anyone paying attention to the actual Chinese economy? Pretty interesting stuff.

  10. 10
    Erik says:

    I think the bottom for listings will be 2017. From 2017 til 2023 we will see more and more inventory in Seattle. 2024 we will reach a peak. 2025 til 2028 will be the next bubble burst. The economy could stay down a while this time because the Feds won’t keep interest rates low in fear of repeating the cycle.

    You heard it here first folks. Another 18 year cycle is on the horizon. Only this time it’s my turn to hold the vampire inventory.

  11. 11
    Erik says:

    RE: Erik @ 10
    Learn from count peppers, the greatest vampire of all time!!!

  12. 12
    ess says:

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    I heard this all in the late 1980’s. The Japanese would own us all. Oh, by the way, is anyone paying attention to the actual Chinese economy? Pretty interesting stuff.

    Different situation. The Japanese were buying commercial property, they weren’t moving to the US or Canada to reside in it. And apparently the Chinese government is encouraging its citizens to invest in countries such as the US and Canada.

    Vancouver BC has over 50% residents whose first language is not English, and about 30% ethnic Chinese. A remarkable transition for a city that was once primarily ethnically European even 30 years ago.

    Seattle is traveling along the same demographic path that Vancouver has blazed. Population from the far east is growing and there are no signs that it will abate anytime soon. As a matter of fact, if the rich in China are getting uneasy about their own economy, it may encourage them even more to relocate in a favored western country such as the United States, Canada or Australia.

    Furthermore, when one puts 20% or more down payment on a property, they have skin in the game, and are not likely to walk away when the next down turn comes along. And that downturn will definitely come – we just don’t know when it will happen and to what degree it will be. But most property owners of all stripes will survive future economic downturns as they have in the past. As we have seen over and over on this website, defaults and foreclosures are a very small part of the real estate picture. And the risk is less if the purchase makes economic sense, and the property owner does not utilize their property as their personal piggy bank as many did in the past, thus wiping out any equity that they had developed.

    There are going to be those who wish to rent, and that is great. I would never encourage anyone who doesn’t wish to buy either a residence or income property to do so. If they believe that the economic end is near, and that purchasing a residence to live in or to rent does not make economic sense, then I totally support that decision on their behalf. Whom am I who has owned one type of rental property or another for over 40 years to discourage business and to encourage competition? After all, it is my tenants who have paid most of my rental home expenses, including the mortgage, the repairs the taxes and insurance. Meanwhile, I get those tax benefits and the appreciation of my property, and they get my heart felt thanks when they move out.

  13. 13
    wreckingbull says:

    By ess @ 12:

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    I heard this all in the late 1980’s. The Japanese would own us all. Oh, by the way, is anyone paying attention to the actual Chinese economy? Pretty interesting stuff.

    Different situation. The Japanese were buying commercial property, they weren’t moving to the US or Canada to reside in it. And apparently the Chinese government is encouraging its citizens to invest in countries such as the US and Canada.

    Vancouver BC has over 50% residents whose first language is not English, and about 30% ethnic Chinese. A remarkable transition for a city that was once primarily ethnically European even 30 years ago.

    Seattle is traveling along the same demographic path that Vancouver has blazed. Population from the far east is growing and there are no signs that it will abate anytime soon. As a matter of fact, if the rich in China are getting uneasy about their own economy, it may encourage them even more to relocate in a favored western country such as the United States, Canada or Australia.

    Furthermore, when one puts 20% or more down payment on a property, they have skin in the game, and are not likely to walk away when the next down turn comes along. And that downturn will definitely come – we just don’t know when it will happen and to what degree it will be. But most property owners of all stripes will survive future economic downturns as they have in the past. As we have seen over and over on this website, defaults and foreclosures are a very small part of the real estate picture. And the risk is less if the purchase makes economic sense, and the property owner does not utilize their property as their personal piggy bank as many did in the past, thus wiping out any equity that they had developed.

    There are going to be those who wish to rent, and that is great. I would never encourage anyone who doesn’t wish to buy either a residence or income property to do so. If they believe that the economic end is near, and that purchasing a residence to live in or to rent does not make economic sense, then I totally support that decision on their behalf. Whom am I who has owned one type of rental property or another for over 40 years to discourage business and to encourage competition? After all, it is my tenants who have paid most of my rental home expenses, including the mortgage, the repairs the taxes and insurance. Meanwhile, I get those tax benefits and the appreciation of my property, and they get my heart felt thanks when they move out.

    I’d love to hear some stats which back up these grand predictions you make. So far, I am rather unconvinced. The best discussion I have seen occurred right here:

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2014/09/22/chinese-driven-boom/

    Unlike you, I don’t find a ‘tea room’ that interesting. That is (presumably) good market segmentation, not a trend. Lastly, please spare us the ‘thanks for paying my bills, dirty renters’. That tired meme has been overplayed here for 10 years and counting.

  14. 14
    nathan118 says:

    By Erik @ 10:

    I think the bottom for listings will be 2017. From 2017 til 2023 we will see more and more inventory in Seattle. 2024 we will reach a peak. 2025 til 2028 will be the next bubble burst. The economy could stay down a while this time because the Feds won’t keep interest rates low in fear of repeating the cycle.

    You heard it here first folks. Another 18 year cycle is on the horizon. Only this time it’s my turn to hold the vampire inventory.

    So the economy will stay down…but house prices will stay nice and high?

  15. 15
    ess says:

    For the most part, I have had wonderful tenants that have taken care of the places and paid their rent. I have never categorized them as dirty – perhaps they should have cleaned the stove or bathtub a little better when they left…….

    But you can’t avoid the fact that for the most part, it is the tenant that is paying the majority of the expenses for any rental, whether it be a single family house, a mom and pop small apartment, or large complex owned by some major corporation. I merely bring that up because there is so much misinformation provided here by some people who have never owned either a house or a rental property.

    Just do the math – a person or couple renting for twenty years at 1500 dollars a month, not a huge amount, will have paid 360,000 dollars in rent and have nothing to show for it. By buying a house, is it absolutely guaranteed that they will save or even make money? Of course not, but there are no guarantees in life. But for most people, long term ownership in real estate has proven to be a very positive investment.

    I am all for more people deciding to rent rather than buying. It just makes my life easier when it is time to rent out the properties.

    And as to foreign investors, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks, because what matters is what I think will happen as per my own rental properties. And because I am actually in the rental market and housing business, I not only do the hard research on a regular basis, but attend open houses for both rent and sale, talk to realtors and prospective buyers and renters, and follow legislative actions such as the Urban Growth Management Act, various tax and development issues and mass transit issues as they pertain to the rental properties.

    For example, due to my previous research activities, I understood the housing market was out of whack before the great recession, because payments on similar houses as compared to the amount I was charging for my rentals was twice as much as the rent I was charging. At that time I understood it didn’t make sense to buy, when one could rent for half the price. And I was correct in my assessment. So for a few years I lowered our rents a bit and had no problems renting out the two houses.

    These days with a decent down payment and the tax advantages afforded to homeowners as well as the equity portion part of the monthly payment , it may be cheaper to own than to rent. I am amazed at what people will pay for rent these days, but that is the reality we deal with at present. Can it change? Of course. But as most new development is on the higher end of the rental market. and the small affordable rental house is harder to find, my assessment for the time being, the rental market will be strong.

    And because of both foreign and domestic investment both in businesses and housing, coupled with the inevitable shortage of housing that will occur to do all sorts of reasons that have been reiterated previously, I believe the path is bright for Seattle in short and middle term.

    Others need to assess the situation for themselves, and act accordingly, and whatever they do will be best for them. I have no quarrel with them, indeed, I believe they need to act on their own perceptions and their own realities. It is a big and free country, with room for all.

  16. 16
    Erik says:

    RE: nathan118 @ 14
    Housing prices will top out 2024 and crash shortly after. I could be wrong, but an 18 year housing cycle is a good guess and based on how things are coming together, it looks very possible. Watch inventory. When there is too much inventory, you know it’s time to sell. 6 months inventory in kc is too much. If we have over 6 months inventory in kc, be afraid. We are at around 2 months now and there are still a lot of buyers that have given up temporarily. That will keep inventory low for a bit. It will take additional years to build inventory. Sell when inventory increases over 6 months in kc.

  17. 17

    RE: ess @ 6

    You Obviously Don’t Know China

    It is against the law to take money out of the country to buy American real estate, if caught expect Chinese prison time.

  18. 18
    nathan118 says:

    By Erik @ 16:

    RE: nathan118 @ 14
    Housing prices will top out 2024 and crash shortly after. I could be wrong, but an 18 year housing cycle is a good guess and based on how things are coming together, it looks very possible. Watch inventory. When there is too much inventory, you know it’s time to sell. 6 months inventory in kc is too much. If we have over 6 months inventory in kc, be afraid. We are at around 2 months now and there are still a lot of buyers that have given up temporarily. That will keep inventory low for a bit. It will take additional years to build inventory. Sell when inventory increases over 6 months in kc.

    So you think after the worst recovery ever…we’re going to have the economic gains necessary to prop up housing for another 9 years? No recessions on the horizon?

  19. 19
    Erik says:

    RE: nathan118 @ 18
    We may have a recession, but I don’t see seattle real estate declining significantly in price until 2025. We could stall and flounder a while. That’s when people on this site will say I was wrong. But I think it will just be a stall and we will continue our upward movement in home prices.

    Recession does not equal house price decline. Home owners in Seattle will get shafted at some point, but not for another 9 years.

    I cannot comment about places like spanaway or Everett. Many of those people want to move to seattle, but can’t afford it. Stay out of those areas at all costs. They are high crime and will not appreciate as well.

  20. 20
    sleepless says:

    By Erik @ 19:

    RE: nathan118 @ 18
    We may have a recession, but I don’t see seattle real estate declining significantly in price until 2025. We could stall and flounder a while. That’s when people on this site will say I was wrong. But I think it will just be a stall and we will continue our upward movement in home prices.

    Recession does not equal house price decline. Home owners in Seattle will get shafted at some point, but not for another 9 years…

    RE: Erik @ 19 – Because the housing prices always keep going up… oh, wait a second…. never mind…

  21. 21
    Erik says:

    RE: sleepless @ 20
    I think they will go down 2025 dum dum. That’s not going up forever.

  22. 22
    ess says:

    By softwarengineer @ 17:

    RE: ess @ 6

    You Obviously Don’t Know China

    It is against the law to take money out of the country to buy American real estate, if caught expect Chinese prison time.

    I would suggest that the following is what is actually happening in many western countries

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-04-03/us-homes-lure-chinese-buyers/53977638/1

  23. 23
  24. 24
    nathan118 says:

    By Erik @ 21:

    RE: sleepless @ 20
    I think they will go down 2025 dum dum. That’s not going up forever.

    Haha…you bear you.

    Stocks are tanking. GDP sucks. Real unemployment sucks. Rest of the world economy sucks. Prices won’t go down for 10 years! Why? Who knows…

  25. 25
    Megan says:

    Why are you asking people? You do understand that hurts everyone as a whole hurts when we squeeze every last penny out of buyers and the people you are speaking about are the middle class. Cashing in college funds? Why is foreign investment good? This leaves local citizens not able to buy a house. Capitalism at its worst with an unfair playing field. Look at Vancouver B.C. that has 50% of their condos sitting empty. We as citizens of the U.S. don’t have the opportunity to earn money in the same way the Chinese investors have given we have rights for workers and certain standards and policies that protect people. Its frankly wrong. One thing to consider is that as the city council realizes we need increased density and more houses are able to be built that prices may could go down. Or with interest rate hikes and coming inflation inevitable that is another problem with overpaying for these homes.

  26. 26

    RE: nathan118 @ 24
    And They’re Now Stating

    China May Be Heading for a Great Depression.

  27. 27

    RE: softwarengineer @ 26

    Ohhhh….How About the DOW Today?

    Down a 1000 points in August.

  28. 28
    Erik says:

    RE: nathan118 @ 24
    Housing prices in Seattle won’t go down much because the financial industries in the US are stable. Seattle will become more desirable as the Californians are forced up here by global warming. The University of Washington is a great university and is getting better in engineering, which will translate to more innovation in Seattle.

    I’m probably right again, but you never know… Don’t take my advice and I’ll take my advice. Let’s meet up back here in 5 years and you can apologize to me then.

  29. 29

    RE: Erik @ 28RE: Erik @ 28

    LOL….Engineering Jobs in the NWO?

    The rest of the world doesn’t believe in producibility, RE: engineers needed in the local factories to watch factory workers for errors and design changes. That’s why 250K techs were laid off in Detroit, Boeing is reducing engineers in masses; while making a 787 that sells at a $30M loss each since 90% outsourcing on the 787 by Mulally, the chief source reason. Ohhhhh….and MSFT, you know, the company that in-sources foreign workers to replace our local community college graduates that made the Windows 98 [you know the past high quality O/S that didn’t need weekly patches for Windows 7 or virus S/W] and has subsequently given us the piece of junk called VISTA, [Windows 10 too?]. I’ll talk government too….NASA rocket scientist engineers basically all laid off, now the plan is to reduce the 100K of engineers in DOD alone, with the $500B defense spending cut?

    Detroit can’t design a transmission on their own now….they lack engineers.

    And we need foreign H-1Bs for up to 50% less wages? Ya get what you didn’t pay for…..LOL. I’m glad I’m retiring now.

  30. 30
    Bob says:

    The approximate 10% stock drop last week in tech stocks, including Microsoft and Amazon, should take some steam out. Plus, the China currency devaluation last week means Chinese investors just lost 2-3% off their firepower. Then, you have the Fed starting to raise rates. Then you have the negative article on Amazon that may scare potential new hires away.

    I believe 2015 is the top, and it should be fairly obvious to many. I expect many people will be starting to list their appreciated properties (and downsize) in an attempt to monetize the gain.

  31. 31
    ARDELL says:

    RE: ess @ 15

    Just wanted to give you a big thumbs up. Fabulous comment!

  32. 32
    boater says:

    By Bob @ 30:

    The approximate 10% stock drop last week in tech stocks, including Microsoft and Amazon, should take some steam out. Plus, the China currency devaluation last week means Chinese investors just lost 2-3% off their firepower. Then, you have the Fed starting to raise rates. Then you have the negative article on Amazon that may scare potential new hires away.

    I believe 2015 is the top, and it should be fairly obvious to many. I expect many people will be starting to list their appreciated properties (and downsize) in an attempt to monetize the gain.

    So all of what you say sounds reasonable. If this whole market is overheated and based off of stock gains and foreign investors this should hurt the market.
    If however it’s based off of jobs and just true growth in the market I wouldn’t expect things to cool much. Rents are a counterbalance to arguments that this is all stock market based. The Amazon article is more likely to help Amazon employment wise than hurt them. It paints them as a high quality highly competent tech company. If you do well at Amazon you can do well anywhere. Similar to how the top accounting agencies and law firms set you up for an excellent start to your career.

    I’d also add that real estate is not a very liquid market and has high transaction costs. You can’t jump in and out like you do in stocks.

  33. 33
    Verdant says:

    RE: ess @ 15

    You assume that the poor misinformed renters don’t invest the money they saved by renting–which they would have forked over for a bloated mortgage, innumerable house repairs, and property taxes. Stocks might arguably be a better investment than taking the routine middle class suicide of buying property in an inflated market.

  34. 34
    ess says:

    By Verdant @ 33:

    RE: ess @ 15

    You assume that the poor misinformed renters don’t invest the money they saved by renting–which they would have forked over for a bloated mortgage, innumerable house repairs, and property taxes. Stocks might arguably be a better investment than taking the routine middle class suicide of buying property in an inflated market.

    Perhaps stocks are a better investment – if people can actually save money to invest in the market. Most people, from what I have read find it difficult to save anything, let alone invest in the market other than their employment sponsored retirement accounts .
    And then they often lose money, because statistics have indicated that as a result of poor market timing, churning of stocks, and high priced mutual funds, investors often do worse in the market than the market indexes themselves for any given period of time.

    Housing on the other hand, with a normal 30 year mortgage tends to have a fixed cost over time for the principle and interest. Yes there are repairs (which can turn into a learning experience for those wishing to save money), but I can assure you that renters also pay for repairs as those various expenses are built into and are a component of the rent.

    But you know – there is no one way to get ahead in this world – it is what works for every individual and what is possible. There may be times and situations where housing is overpriced compared to renting, as well as the reverse. There is an old saying that “all politics is local”. I think that also applies to all real estate markets. Every situation is unique and different and must be assessed as such. So there is no right or wrong answer, only what works for people.

  35. 35
    ess says:

    By ARDELL @ 31:

    RE: ess @ 15

    Just wanted to give you a big thumbs up. Fabulous comment!

    Thank you for your kind words

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