Real Estate Heat Index off the charts in 2017

After the final 2017 Seattle-area real estate sales data was released last week by the NWMLS, I updated my chart of the “Residential Real Estate Heat Index” for King County single-family homes and condos.

As a reminder, the “Residential Real Estate Heat Index” is an index that rolls changes in the median price, new listings, total inventory, pending sales and closed sales all into a single number to measure the relative “heat” of the market. Note that this index only looks at the real estate sales market. It does not factor in any other economic conditions such as wages, interest rates, rents, etc.

Below is the latest data for the heat index of King County single-family homes and condos. It has been quite a while since I last updated this chart, and… holy cow.

King County Residential Real Estate Heat Index

At 213.9, the latest King County heat index dwarfs the average level seen during the last bubble (42.6). Keeping with the trend we saw during the previous bubble, the condo heat index is even more out of control, coming in at 334.3 in the fourth quarter (more than five times the 61.4 average during the last bubble).

Based on this measure, we have been well into bubble territory since late 2015, and things have gotten seriously out of control since then.

However, as I mentioned earlier, this index doesn’t account for external economic factors at all. The current situation is definitely very different from last time, and we need to look at a more complete picture before we can definitely say this is a new bubble. I’ll be updating some of those broader charts later this month.

Still though… damn.

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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

538 comments:

  1. 251

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 207
    Open Border Progressives

    Would never admit the Populist movement in America is a good thing, because even the RINOs [Establishment Reps] want foreign control of [LOL] foreign engineered “made in America” sales. They want their Toyotas no matter how many legal technicals get destroyed. The foreign controlled California Court decided Japan can make CLEARLY deadly safety errors [computer and acceleraltion module] but its just the floor mats. The terrorists mixed in with immigration is another inconvenient truth.

    Trump is aware of this and has already condemned Boeing for shipping/planning 737 [Boeing’s single line commercial manufacturing mainly] to Asian Manufacturing [includes China with Japan]. Trade tarriffs are a tool only Trump will use and our founding fathers used this against the Mideast pirates too. Its definitely Constitutional and within the laws of the land, the NWO cringes.

  2. 252

    RE: Kmac @ 232
    Flu Shots and Overpopulation

    Did you get your useless flu shot for the 2017 strain that doesn’t help with the 2018 strain that hasn’t been developed yet? The useless shot has likely mercury in it too. I learned this fact from the hospital management and doctors I volunteer Bio engineering research and publish articles.

    The flood of Noah’s Ark is archeologically scientific and all religions [Muslim, Assyrian, Christian, etc…] document it historically correct [scientists too]. It cured overpopulation too [destroyed all the humans] and saved the animals. Most evangelical Christians won’t admit it because they think man is always right to overpopulate….so your analogy about SWE is ALL WRONG.

  3. 253
    Kmac says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 252

    I don’t do flu shots. I take my chances.
    I think it is a bunch of big pharma hype…..

  4. 254
    N says:

    More evidence of the Chinese outflow policies affecting the Vancouver market. Is it different here?

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/vancouver-luxury-market-slows/

    West Vancouver real estate, which is some of the most highly coveted real estate in the world, has seen dollar volumes plummet since peaking in 2015. Detached home volumes peaked in 2015 at $3.1B CDN and have since plummeted 42% to $1.8B CDN in 2017.

  5. 255
    Blake says:

    By softwarengineer @ 252:

    RE: Kmac @ 232
    Flu Shots and Overpopulation

    Did you get your useless flu shot for the 2017 strain that doesn’t help with the 2018 strain that hasn’t been developed yet? The useless shot has likely mercury in it too. I learned this fact from the hospital management and doctors I volunteer Bio engineering research and publish articles.

    The flood of Noah’s Ark is archeologically scientific and all religions [Muslim, Assyrian, Christian, etc…] document it historically correct [scientists too]. It cured overpopulation too [destroyed all the humans] and saved the animals. Most evangelical Christians won’t admit it because they think man is always right to overpopulate….so your analogy about SWE is ALL WRONG.

    I worked on vaccine development for many years and have a little bit of knowledge in this area. They have used thimerosal – a mercury-containing organic compound – as a preservative in multi-dose vaccines since the 30s. Thimerosal is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Ethylmercury is an organomercurial that should be distinguished from methylmercury, which is toxic and does not break down. High amounts of methylmercury can harm the nervous system. A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal as a preservative contains approximately 25 micrograms of ethylmercury per 0.5 mL dose.

    For comparison, this is roughly the same amount of elemental mercury contained in a 3 ounce can of tuna fish!

    Influenza vaccine effectiveness over the last 20 years has ranged from a low of 19% (2014-15) to over 60% (2010-11). Last year was 48% and this year’s preliminary estimates are 39%.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/effectiveness-studies.htm

    With 250,000 to 500,000 dying each year worldwide from influenza a 39% effective vaccine could save well over 100,000 lives per year. Just sayin’…

    As for “Noah’s flood” and overpopulation: There have been numerous flood stories identified from ancient sources scattered around the world, especially the Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2,000 BC). The last ice age ended gradually starting about 10,000 BC and sea levels rose almost 400 feet in a few thousand years. It was gradual in most areas, but ice dams broke causing catastrophic floods in some areas (like eastern Washington and parts of the near east and Mediterranean). There was no agriculture yet, so the world had scattered groups of hunter-gatherers and there were no cities. To state that the world was “overpopulated” in 8,000 BC is utterly ridiculous! And to think that the whole world was flooded and all animals were wiped out is absurd. You can teach your children what ever tales you want, but spare us your “alternative facts.”

    ps- If there and any “Vaxxers” still out there: https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/48/4/456/284219
    “Three ecological studies performed in 3 different countries compared the incidence of autism with thimerosal exposure from vaccines. In each case, the nationwide removal of thimerosal—which occurred in 1992 in Europe and in 2001 in the United States—allowed robust comparisons of vaccination with thimerosal-containing and thimerosal-free products.”
    You can read the report, but simply: Countries where thimerosal was completely removed from vaccines saw continuing increases in autism in the following years.

  6. 256

    A little bit of good news. I wonder if 16% of Boomers have $100,000 socked away? (Ignoring home equity.)

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/01/23/millennials-1-6-now-have-100-000-socked-away/1053803001/

  7. 257
    Justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 256

    >>A little bit of good news.

    But what is the bad news?

  8. 258
  9. 259
    David says:

    RE: Blake @ 255 – When I was a kid they mocked the Noah’s Ark story by saying there wasn’t enough water to cover the Earth. Recently they discovered there is more water locked in the Earth’s crust than exists in the oceans by a factor of 3 I believe.

    “on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”

  10. 260
    Crazy Horse says:

    This a quote from Ted Kennedy back in 1965, who championed the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (Hart-Celler Act) – the act that opened up the immigration floodgates in the USA to non-Europeans:

    ****“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…

    Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset… Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

    In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think… The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”**********

    …….So this is what a Dem senator on the far left said. If he knew what was going to happen to the USA, this Act would have been altered for sure. Europe, Canada, etc… made similar changes in this era, having no clue their countries would look the way they do in 2018.

    The thing about mass immigration in the world today, is it is ONLY white majority countries (soon to be former white majority countries) get flooded with immigrants. I.e. USA, Canada, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, NZ, Aus, etc… And if these countries dare protest mass immigration? The media, LIB’s, etc… call them “racists”, “xenophobes”, “nazi’s”, “supremists”, etc…. Which is such utter BS. Is Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico racists because THEY do not take in many immigrants? Of course not! Just because you want to protect your countries historic culture and racial composition does not make you a racist! You can love everyone in the world more then anyone…but you love them back in THEIR OWN country not in YOURS.

    No other non-white countries get much if any immigration at all. Mexico? Almost none. China? Japan? South Korea? Pakistan? India? Almost none. So the people immigrating to the USA have no idea what its like to see THEIR home countries change overnight in culture and racial make up. And those countries laugh all the way to the bank while their home countries all stay the same as they always were in racial make up…….while white countries all get “diversified”.

    Fault of this largely falls on guilty white liberals and the left dominated media , schools, and Hollywood who have indoctrinated Americans for years. LIB’s have this strange weird religious-like fervor around “diversity” at all costs. The people and leaders in other non white countries don’t have this obsession our LIB’s do here. Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico for example….. doesn’t have in their country the far left diversity worshiping LIB crowd we have in USA, Canada and Western Europe. So they are able to keep their culture in tact.

  11. 261
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Blake @ 248 – Wow. That was some rant! This country has always been run by the wealthy and powerful in its 200+ years history. So calm down… Cheers!

  12. 262
    Blake says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 261
    No… in the post-WW2 period unions had a lot of power and the rising economy actually raised all ships and a great middle class wss formed. It’s being destroyed now.

    Tell me Eastsider… do you see any change in this?
    https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/1280×868/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fscottwinship%2Ffiles%2F2014%2F10%2Ftcherneva11.png
    Twas NOT ever thus…

  13. 263
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Crazy Horse @ 260 – Too funny. Surely you are aware that the real Crazy Horse would agree with you….. sort of. Stop encroaching on Western North America, and get your white backside back to Europe. Now, git.

  14. 264
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Blake @ 262 – I can sympathize with the great disparity in wealth distribution. However, bankers have always run the Treasury dept (and the FED) all this time. That said, the tide seems to be turning, i.e. the bottom quartile is finally making gains.

  15. 265
    David B. says:

    By Eastsider @ 264:

    That said, the tide seems to be turning, i.e. the bottom quartile is finally making gains.

    That’s news to me. Link?

  16. 266
    Eastsider says:

    By David B. @ 265:

    By Eastsider @ 264:

    That said, the tide seems to be turning, i.e. the bottom quartile is finally making gains.

    That’s news to me. Link?

    I’m glad to help. Sometimes it is good to read WSJ and FoxNews in addition to WP and NYT. I read them all :)

    Low-Wage Workers Finally Get a Raise
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/low-wage-workers-finally-get-a-raise/550487/

    President Trump ‘So Happy’ Black Unemployment Rate At A Historic Low
    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/06/576216793/president-trump-so-happy-black-unemployment-rate-at-a-historic-low (But ignore the MSM bias/rant in the last paragraphs)

  17. 267
    Cap"n says:

    RE: David B. @ 265

    The topic in Davos: how do we give just enough to reduce risk of revolt while maintaining unchecked power?

  18. 268
    Eastsider says:

    By Cap”n @ 267:

    RE: David B. @ 265

    The topic in Davos: how do we give just enough to reduce risk of revolt while maintaining unchecked power?

    Ridiculous. According to your view, the topic in Davos during Obama’s first term would have been: how do we take even more with unchecked power? Mind you, the statistic bares it out.

  19. 269

    Stewart Title/Escrow is apparently offering online notary services. It sounds like a combination of electronic signatures and video conferencing, and it’s apparently accepted by Freddie and Fannie, but I suspect some lenders won’t allow it even on those loans.

    I could see this would be very convenient in almost every situation, in part due to the fact that the electronic signature process would speed things up considerably.

    http://view.exacttarget.com/?qs=8c21b6d924e5d59a8506076ce416dabaa9fcdedd1ca05df02802e4eacbcc1e223aa46e329b518721c56321ac1000cad908e0820d55544931c18c1d114b79ee114e89b1d829d1d88b

  20. 270
    David B. says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 266 – Oh, OK. Believe it or not, I was actually aware of those particular trends. When you said “the bottom quartile is finally making gains” I was thinking in terms of the bottom 25% finally increasing the share of GDP that goes to them. I’m not aware that’s happened and I simply don’t see that becoming a long-term trend until there’s a significant increase in class-conscious behavior by that bottom 25%.

    Regarding the WSJ, it’s opinion pages are for the most part right-wing garbage, but its news pages, particularly the economic news, are first-rate. It’s a publication written by capitalists for capitalists (not by capitalists for the masses as is the typical case) and as such tends to be much more brutally honest about things the rest of the MSM tends to sugarcoat or simply ignore.

  21. 271

    RE: Kmac @ 253
    I Hear the Shingles Rash Vaccine is a Joke too

    It doesn’t work.

    Prostate cancer and even breast cancer is WAY over tested to the point where these cancer rates are increasing because it isn’t cancer. Cancer treatment or no cancer treatment and your odds of survival are the same.

  22. 272

    Good News for Tim’s New Electric Car

    Electric cars need MASS more electric grid thermal generators in America, maybe this will force Tesla’s main invention [besides AC/DC] “WIRELESS UNLIMITED FREE WORLDWIDE ELECTRICITY”.

    Naaaaaahhh…guys like the NWO Soros billionaire would kill it. After all he’s got your back [or is it knife in back?….LOL]

  23. 273
    Eastsider says:

    By David B. @ 270:

    RE: Eastsider @ 266 – Oh, OK. Believe it or not, I was actually aware of those particular trends. When you said “the bottom quartile is finally making gains” I was thinking in terms of the bottom 25% finally increasing the share of GDP that goes to them. I’m not aware that’s happened and I simply don’t see that becoming a long-term trend until there’s a significant increase in class-conscious behavior by that bottom 25%.

    Class-conscious behavior?! LOL.

  24. 274
    Ross says:

    By softwarengineer @ 272:

    Good News for Tim’s New Electric Car

    Electric cars need MASS more electric grid thermal generators in America, maybe this will force Tesla’s main invention [besides AC/DC] “WIRELESS UNLIMITED FREE WORLDWIDE ELECTRICITY”.

    They already have that – it’s called solar, and Musk owns SolarCity.

  25. 275
    Blake says:

    By Eastsider @ 266:

    By David B. @ 265:

    By Eastsider @ 264:

    That said, the tide seems to be turning, i.e. the bottom quartile is finally making gains.

    That’s news to me. Link?

    Low-Wage Workers Finally Get a Raise
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/low-wage-workers-finally-get-a-raise/550487/

    I see… 19 states increased their minimum wages for the poorest workers as of January 1st. That is excellent as I’m sure everyone here agrees. (**sarcasm warning**)

    But the important thing to consider is that the big companies have not increased the minimum wages paid to their lowest workers for years even though they’ve had record profits and tons of cash. So what makes many of you so confident that Trump’s tax cut will prompt the corporations to “share the wealth” now? American companies have been making record setting profits for many years (under Obama!), yet it is only starting to “trickle down” now, mainly because governments are mandating they “share the wealth” with the poorest. Sharing the wealth is excellent, right?? These low paid workers spend about 99% of their increased wages in their local economies with an excellent multiplier effect.

    No worries… once the Fed sees that wage increases are starting to finally exceed the inflation rate (about 1.7% now) then they will CLAMP down and squeeze that inflation out of the economy… no matter the cost!!!! Really perverse if you think about it eh?

    (And don’t go on about all these corps giving high profile (PR) $1,000 bonuses. That is only a one time bonus that adds up to $80 per month for the year and not an hourly wage increase that will raises workers’ base wages permanently.)

  26. 276
    Blake says:

    By softwarengineer @ 271:


    I Hear the Shingles Rash Vaccine is a Joke too
    It doesn’t work.

    “Too”… ? Like what , that “ineffective” influenza vaccine that only prevents 40-50% of cases and saves tens of thousands of lives per year? Do facts enter your head or do you just readily dismiss them without any thought or consideration? Do you think what I posted earlier about the flu vaccine is just made-up lies and “fake news?”

    The current shingles vaccine is about 50% effective and the new one they are currently testing in stage 3 human trials appears to be about 90% effective.
    What a “joke!” Ha hah hah.

  27. 277
    Blake says:

    Headlines today:
    Trump Team at Davos Backs Weaker Dollar, Sharpens Trade War Talk
    and
    China Has Plenty of Options to Retaliate Against U.S. Tariffs
    … Trump is a super genius! Trade wars and competitive currency devaluations are always good for the economy… no??

    Also: When investors are really, really confident and happy, bad things tend to follow:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/markets-are-about-to-get-ugly-according-to-these-u-s-eco-charts
    Optimism has peaked, according to two widely followed measures of U.S. economic sentiment. If history is any guide, bouts of equity volatility and plunging Treasury yields will soon follow.

    December was only the fifth time since 2003 the economic-surprise index peaked above 75. From each peak to the corresponding trough, 10-year yields on average dropped 1.11 percentage points over the next seven months, according to data compiled by Canaccord. Bonds have yet to respond to recent disappointing data, as the 10-year approaches the 2.66 percent high watermark set in 2014.
    (check out the graph on that link!)

  28. 278
    Jon says:

    The bottom quartile of the world population has seen significant improvement in standard of living because if technology, trade, and reduced violence. But the increased trade has had a negative impact on the poor in this country. The Democrats are placing a very high priority on immigration for some reason, which is not going to help the existing US poor much if any and will likely hurt them. And then the Seattle City Council seems intent on reducing the motivation of people to build new apartments or hire workers in Seattle.

  29. 279
    Brian says:

    The idiot trolls on this site’s message board effectively ruin any integrity this site may have. The owner should just shut down the comments. Holy hell.

  30. 280
    Wile E. Millenial says:

    Seattle Bubble… I come for the real estate analysis, but I stay for the casual racism, antivaxxers, phrenology and conspiracy theories straight out of the back pages of Soldier of Fortune.

  31. 281

    By Blake @ 275:

    I see… 19 states increased their minimum wages for the poorest workers as of January 1st. That is excellent as I’m sure everyone here agrees. (**sarcasm warning**)

    But the important thing to consider is that the big companies have not increased the minimum wages paid to their lowest workers for years even though they’ve had record profits and tons of cash. So what makes many of you so confident that Trump’s tax cut will prompt the corporations to “share the wealth” now?

    Don’t assume the two are unrelated. It could be that the minimum wage increases are causing companies to adjust their compensation.

    But you’re right that the tax cuts by themselves should not cause any increase in the gross wages paid by employers (as opposed to the net pay received). Unless they do it for PR.

    What amazes me though is how some people claim the tax cuts are not working because Sam’s Club and Toys R Us shut down stores. Those stores are seemingly unprofitable, so cutting the tax rate doesn’t really do anything. 22% of zero is is the same as 40% of zero.

  32. 282

    By Wile E. Millenial @ 280:

    Seattle Bubble… I come for the real estate analysis, but I stay for the casual racism, antivaxxers, phrenology and conspiracy theories straight out of the back pages of Soldier of Fortune.

    Personally, I like the predictions of the future. /sarc

  33. 283
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 281:

    What amazes me though is how some people claim the tax cuts are not working because Sam’s Club and Toys R Us shut down stores. Those stores are seemingly unprofitable, so cutting the tax rate doesn’t really do anything. 22% of zero is is the same as 40% of zero.

    Is this any different from those who think that lower corp. taxes would cause a business to hire more people?

    It’s almost like we live in a demand-side economy.

    Taxes are levied on profits.
    Companies hire people if they think that employing them will bring them a profit, then do the math on taxes.

  34. 284
    Justme says:

    RE: Brian @ 279

    I do think the bubblemongers like to drown the bubble topic in excessive prattle, also about all kinds of irrelevant topics.

  35. 285
    uwp says:

    And, this isn’t to say the personal tax cuts aren’t going to stimulate the economy. I have no problem with believing they will. They are projected to add ~1.5 trillion dollars to the debt over the next 10 years… so that is bigger than Obama’s stimulus from 2009. Most people will have more money to spend.

    I would disagree with how it is structured, and if it’s the best way to use $1.5 trillion, but I absolutely believe that a deficit financed tax-cut will put more money into the system. The problem will be when Paul Ryan starts to complain that the growing deficit requires “common-sense” cuts to “entitlements.”

  36. 286
    Eastsider says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 281:

    By Blake @ 275:

    I see… 19 states increased their minimum wages for the poorest workers as of January 1st. That is excellent as I’m sure everyone here agrees. (**sarcasm warning**)

    But the important thing to consider is that the big companies have not increased the minimum wages paid to their lowest workers for years even though they’ve had record profits and tons of cash. So what makes many of you so confident that Trump’s tax cut will prompt the corporations to “share the wealth” now?

    Don’t assume the two are unrelated. It could be that the minimum wage increases are causing companies to adjust their compensation.

    But you’re right that the tax cuts by themselves should not cause any increase in the gross wages paid by employers (as opposed to the net pay received). Unless they do it for PR.

    What amazes me though is how some people claim the tax cuts are not working because Sam’s Club and Toys R Us shut down stores. Those stores are seemingly unprofitable, so cutting the tax rate doesn’t really do anything. 22% of zero is is the same as 40% of zero.

    A recently released UW study showed that Seattle’s minimum wage increase lowered the overall income of bottom wage earners. My guess is that tight labor market is forcing employers to raise wages to compete for and retain workers. The tight market may have to do with recent ICE crackdown on illegals and limit on H-1b visas.

    Some banks are raising wages of all employees due to the tax cut. I doubt their raise has anything to do with minimum wage workers since they may not have any.

    Apple is expanding operations in the US and hiring many more workers. The size of its investment is huge and is the direct result of the new tax law.

  37. 287
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 284:

    I do think the bubblemongers like to drown the bubble topic in excessive prattle, also about all kinds of irrelevant topics.

    With the tax cuts so heavily skewed to the investor class, a sizable portion will go, not into the production economy, but rather into asset inflation and downward pressure on interest rates. Should be interesting and relevant to real estate.

  38. 288
    jon says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 287 – Since the tax cuts will result in higher government borrowing, there will be an equal number of new assets on the market to be purchased as there are dollars in the hands of taxpayers. So no asset inflation there, or falling interest rates.

    What will happen is that more candidate investments will exceed the required IRR, and so there will be more investment and hiring. That will drive inflation. Interest rates will go up as a result of that inflation, and that will tend to reduce the increase investment that would otherwise occur.

  39. 289

    By uwp @ 283:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 281:

    What amazes me though is how some people claim the tax cuts are not working because Sam’s Club and Toys R Us shut down stores. Those stores are seemingly unprofitable, so cutting the tax rate doesn’t really do anything. 22% of zero is is the same as 40% of zero.

    Is this any different from those who think that lower corp. taxes would cause a business to hire more people?

    Well, that’s true. Lower taxes will result in more business activity because the business will accept projects with a lower rate of return.

    Imagine two projects:

    1. Invest $1M in a project you’re projected to get back your money and $100,000.
    2. Invest $1M in a project you’re projected to get back your money and $60,000.

    A business might not think the second one is worth the risk, and not do it if they only get back $60,000.

    Lower taxes and the first would return $130,000 and the second $78,000. They might do both with those higher returns, the only difference being the taxes.

  40. 290

    By Eastsider @ 286:

    A recently released UW study showed that Seattle’s minimum wage increase lowered the overall income of bottom wage earners. My guess is that tight labor market is forcing employers to raise wages to compete for and retain workers. The tight market may have to do with recent ICE crackdown on illegals and limit on H-1b visas.

    Some banks are raising wages of all employees due to the tax cut. I doubt their raise has anything to do with minimum wage workers since they may not have any.

    As to the UW, I don’t think they said that each individual’s income was going down, but just the group. That’s sort of what you would expect. Business will adjust and hire less labor. That’s something I was claiming would occur when they first passed it. I was also claiming some would lose their jobs to better employees, and that some of those better employees would not even be residents of Seattle. That like so many other things, Seattle would try to help a group and actually hurt them.

    As to the second, even though banks don’t have minimum wage employees (I’ll have to take your word for that), the minimum wage going up will cause the banks to need to raise their wages to attract employees. Historically labor unions have supported increased minimum wages for exactly that reason.

    But let’s just say you were an employee in Seattle making $15 an hour before, and the lowest wage at your firm was $10 an hour. You’re more skilled than the $10 an hour employees. Do you think you’re going to be happy and do as good a job at your more skilled, higher pressure position if you’re making $15 and hour with the low skilled workers? There’s going to be pressure to increase your wage above $15.

  41. 291

    By jon @ 288:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 287 – Since the tax cuts will result in higher government borrowing, there will be an equal number of new assets on the market to be purchased as there are dollars in the hands of taxpayers. So no asset inflation there, or falling interest rates.

    Correct, but there’s also the repatriation of capital resulting from the tax bill.

  42. 292
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: jon @ 288 – Well yes and no. The traditional, going to the production economy part should work pretty much that way. I certainly agree you wouldn’t expect to see inflation or rate drops in treasury assets.

    Still, in the early stages, there will likely be significant repatriation of dollars in what may be a limited opportunity, and that will be something of an offset to the increasing deficit both in collected taxes and several times that in freshly available cash supply intended for investing. Add the skewing toward the top end, (which has flexibility and time), and the expectations of inflation, and you should see a bulge of investment geared toward higher than the minimum (i.e. risk free) return. That means downward pressure, if not necessarily downward rates in the private credit markets, and definitely upward demand in long term equity assets.

    At least, that’s my guess.

  43. 293
    jon says:

    I really don’t know what the off-shore money is parked in, but I assume it is US treasuries sitting overseas simply in order to avoid US taxes. Repatriating it just means paying tax on it so that now it can be used for investment, stock buybacks of dividends. That is again just money moving from one account to another. There will be a slight increase in the demand for cash as those transfers are taking place, but then it will settle down. I don’t expect much effect until the money is pulled out of the treasuries and starts being used for more profitable investments at the expense of treasuries. That will again increase investments, which will in turn drive interest rates up in order to compete.

  44. 294
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: jon @ 293 – I am not sure that I would assume large innovative companies with treasury management departments and worldwide operations would park more than some planned fraction of their billions of dollars that were structurally non-repatriable for decades in UST’s.

    Money that can only now be distributed outside the company to individuals through stock buybacks or dividends sounds very much to me like newly investible funds likely to be looking for assets, and probably non-treasury assets at that. Ditto for money imported for investment by the company.

    But, I don’t know. We’ll see.

  45. 295

    RE: David @ 259
    Watch Ancient Aliens on the History Channel

    I always wondered how in the Hades they could fit all the animals, food and waste in a cubit sized ark….it sounded impossible to me. How about DNA samples in a laboratory on a huge ark? Plenty of room for this….they didn’t understand cryogenics…

    Same with Virgin Birth of Jesus….artificial insemination. They lacked the technical description for it.

    All technically possible. Another scientific theory on the flood is it was caused by water that originally circled the Earth’s atmosphere [it would possibly explain Carbon Dating errors too and ancient humans living longer lives because Gama radiation exposure would of been far less before the radiation absorbing water crashed down]. A giant ice chunk, like a comet, could have crashed on to the earth? All possible. The cave earth geyser theory you mentioned is the most popular. This happened about 7000 years ago BTW…..historical archeological earth bank sections show the black strip portion during the flood. The public schools are still wearing their Fake News “flat Earth” tee shirts on the creation of humanity….LOL

  46. 296
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Brian @ 279

    Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s I prefer “nattering nabobs of negativism” to “idiot trolls”. Trolls not really appropriate since the banter is informative, though I agree often off topic.

    There used to be a weekly Open Thread for off topic comments. Not sure why it was discontinued.

  47. 297
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 295 – A well-written piece of work to find many of the answers you seek.

    https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Haunted-World-Science-Candle-Dark/dp/0345409469

  48. 298

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 256
    Good Question Kary

    The average savings per household is about $50K…a complete joke.

    I imagine even the $50K average is skewed WAY TOO HIGH when averaging the top 1% incomes in with the rest of us. The top 0.1% household income controls half of America’s wealth.

    Take care of your feet as you get older, most feet wear out with time and you won’t be able to do most service type jobs when you’re in your 70s and 80s if you can’t walk or stand. We need our good pay manufacturing jobs back desperately and all jobs should come with employer paid health care too [they will when wage competition returns with immigration rules limiting overpopulation that support American legal voters again].

    Hope for the Basement Dweller Milenials and Boomers on retirement. Most X-gens will be smiling too when they get their Trump check increases in a week or two.

    Ohhhhhh…that urban legend that Social Security needs overpopulation to stay afloat is Fake News. All Boomers paid FAR more into Social Security than they’ll ever draw out at retirement. Unless you want illegal legislated [DACA like] fairy tale MSM books brainwashing Social Security System recipients that their money was legally stolen from them….LOL

    I say “locked box” Social Security first, then general budget.

  49. 299

    RE: Ross @ 274
    Solar?

    How many electric car owners have ugly solar panels on their roofs, what happens in Seattle when almost everyday is cloudy? Then there’s import tarriffs on Asians stealing solar panel manufacturing from America….nobody wants HORRIBLY noisy and bird killing wind power either.

    Maybe we need to legislate, ya buy an electric car, ya install solar panels on your roof. Sounds like another $20-30K construction expense at least….then periodic panel replacement and maintenance….yearly???

  50. 300

    By softwarengineer @ 298:

    The average savings per household is about $50K…a complete joke.

    Well, at least it’s not a negative number (assuming that number takes into account unsecured debt).

  51. 301

    By softwarengineer @ 299:

    Maybe we need to legislate, ya buy an electric car, ya install solar panels on your roof. Sounds like another $20-30K construction expense at least….then periodic panel replacement and maintenance….yearly???

    There is an issue of some panels being leased rather than purchased, and that can have a negative impact on the purchase price of a house when sold. I’ve not run across many solar homes, and none where it was leased.

  52. 302
    Erik says:

    RE: Brian @ 279
    I just ignore Wreckingbull’s comments.

    You need to ignore some people and read other people’s comments. There have been 2 or 3 people on here that have been really helpful. I think software engineers that know nothing about real estate come on here because they have nothing else to do. That and people with finance degrees that know nothing of how things actually work.

  53. 303
    Justme says:

    RE: jon @ 293

    >>Repatriating it just means paying tax on it so that now it can be used for investment, stock buybacks of dividends. That is again just money moving from one account to another.

    That’s right, except companies already issued debt to finance stock buybacks. Let’s take a look at Apple, which had the largest pile of foreign profits to repatriate. Apple already issued $97B in bonds to finance stock buybacks etc. As of 2017/05 Apple had about $257B of foreign earnings being held and managed by it’s own subsidiary, Braeburn Capital in Reno, Nevada, USA.

    $257B total
    $148B corporate bonds (many of which are apple’s own bonds, presumably)
    $53B US Treasuries
    $21B MBS and ABS
    $29B unknown asset class

    One might speculate that most of the $148B held in corporate bonds are purchases of Apple’s OWN bonds(!!), which are $97B as of 2017/09/30 per nasdaq.com. And a good chunk of that debt has already been spent on stock buybacks.

    REFERENCE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-04/apple-buys-more-company-debt-than-the-world-s-biggest-bond-funds

    Upshot: Many companies are playing these games, not just Apple. The whole idea that foreign profit repatriation is going to result in some sort of spending bonanza is false. At most it will be a fraction of the total funds repatriated. And I repeat, most of the repatriated “cash” is already held as US (dollar-denominated) bonds. So what we have is a big fat zero-sum game, except it is a negative for the bottom 99% taxpayers that are on the hook for more of the deficit and debt than what they got out of the tax cut.

  54. 304
    Kevin Audleman says:

    Hooooly shit, this comment section is comedy gold. Kary Krismer, I love how you just ignore the insane ramblings and keep posting relevant real-estate based news ;D

    Meanwhile, the next time I feel the need to learn about vaccines I will be sure to come back to…the 300th page of the comments on a real estate blog……

    LOL

    Edit: my post is pending moderation…meaning somebody is approving all these posts?!? Rad

  55. 305
    wreckingbull says:

    By Erik @ 302:

    RE: Brian @ 279
    I just ignore Wreckingbull’s comments.

    Really? In this very post you replied to a comment of mine and then proceeded to ask me about my personal life. In fact I notice an alarming amount of your comments seem to reference me. Honestly, it’s getting a little creepy, man.

  56. 306
    jon says:

    By Justme @ 303:

    And I repeat, most of the repatriated “cash” is already held as US (dollar-denominated) bonds. So what we have is a big fat zero-sum game, except it is a negative for the bottom 99% taxpayers that are on the hook for more of the deficit and debt than what they got out of the tax cut.

    Thanks for pointing out that Apple has probably already prepaid out their repatriated money. But the bottom 99% of taxpayers are only paying 55% of individual federal income tax, with the top 20% paying all but 16% of the individual income taxes. The ownership of stock seems to line up pretty closely to the percentage of income tax. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/02/perspective-on-the-stock-market-rally-80-of-stock-value-held-by-top-10/?utm_term=.284ab1758b05

    So it doesn’t seem that the corporate tax cut has transferred wealth from one class to another. But the improvement in incentives is significant. And few taxpayers are going to complain about all the extra capital gains tax they have to pay on the stock run-up that has resulted, nor will states that collect capital gains complain about the windfall they will receive.

    The people who will be complaining are those that don’t own stock but want to buy a house and will see house prices go up even further.

  57. 307

    Here’s an article relevant on two points of interest on SB. The value of predictions (zero) and automation replacing workers. As you can see, the studies are all over the place, with some reporting an increase in jobs and others reporting decreases. Quite frankly I don’t know where the increases would be coming from, but I haven’t read the studies either.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610005/every-study-we-could-find-on-what-automation-will-do-to-jobs-in-one-chart/

  58. 308
    Saffy The Pook says:

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 296:

    RE: Brian @ 279

    Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s I prefer “nattering nabobs of negativism” to “idiot trolls”. Trolls not really appropriate since the banter is informative, though I agree often off topic.

    There used to be a weekly Open Thread for off topic comments. Not sure why it was discontinued.

    Because this site has become an afterthought.

  59. 309
    Erik says:

    RE: Saffy The Pook @ 308
    Ray Pepper and Corndogs use to be on here and they both seemed to have a lifetime of real estate knowledge to share. I don’t see that level of experience on here of people that are willing to share knowledge anymore.

    Deerhunter seems to have a lot of experience, but it’s far past where I’m at to be applicable. I just need to know how to get to the next level.

  60. 310

    RE: Erik @ 309
    Erik

    Seattle real estate died out when the supply of homes ran out decades ago…the only life left is not worth the time to consider at these prices.

    Buy real estate in Seattle as a sideline as its certainly not an important general investment issue. Retirement on the other hand is like death and taxes….inevitable. Spend your time planning on it and if you’re lucky your real estate can add to your wealth in time…but it does take buyers’ luck, not skill [like SWE’s experience with buying foreclosures before generally high priced auctions]. Retirement planning is almost impossible now, so start younger.

    You never mention investment numbers on total costs versus sales price….did you factor in all costs and are they in writing? Just wondering….BTW, in my opinion engineers make much better real estate counselors that the ‘Professional” creeps trying to sell us high priced bridges to wealth in Seattle…

  61. 311
    Justme says:

    RE: jon @ 306

    If the top 10% owns 80% of the stock market then it is impossible to argue that the bottom 90% gets most of the the benefit of corporate tax cuts. I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

  62. 312

    RE: Justme @ 311 – Direct benefit sure, but if a bottom 10 percenter gets a job because of the lower tax rates . . .. In dollar amounts that probably still wouldn’t offset, but in number of people affected it could or even should be more people benefited in some way.

  63. 313
    Blake says:

    More warning signs as US consumers’ savings rates plummet.
    (Check out graph in link… back down to 2007 levels!)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-26/why-the-savings-rate-is-a-reason-to-worry-about-2018-u-s-growth
    (clip)
    It can’t fall forever, and ‘as the consumer goes, so goes GDP’

    “It’s not a good look for the savings rate, and it certainly looks like consumers have drawn down their savings to support spending,” said Omair Sharif, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York. That could limit the growth gains this year, “unless you’re able to get those wage numbers to pick up,” he said.

    “You can’t hand off to business investment, because it’s not a big enough chunk to take on the weight in powering growth forward,” Sharif said. Capital expenditures have been picking up in recent quarters as growth broadens, but that may not be enough to overcome any slowdown from American households.

    “Really, as the consumer goes, so goes GDP.”
    (end quote)

    It really comes down to simply: Will US business owners “share the wealth” with their front line workers? And… will the Fed clamp down to prevent “wage inflation?”
    No and Yes…

  64. 314
    Justme says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 312

    The reader should consider whether stock buybacks and dividends creates jobs. I do not think so. Product demand creates jobs. AND corporations will not do capital spending unless there is demand for product, OR unless the capital spending REDUCES wages.

  65. 315
    Justme says:

    RE: Blake @ 313

    >>And… will the Fed clamp down to prevent “wage inflation?”

    Right on, Blake. Wage inflation is the only kind of inflation that the FRB does NOT like. Asset inflation is great, consumer price inflation is wonderful, but wage inflation is a no-no.

  66. 316
    Blake says:

    By Justme @ 314:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 312

    The reader should consider whether stock buybacks and dividends creates jobs. I do not think so. Product demand creates jobs. AND corporations will not do capital spending unless there is demand for product, OR unless the capital spending REDUCES wages.

    Good point. And US capacity utilization has not even recovered to pre-2008 or pre-2000 figures… so why would corps increase cap spending? Because they have lots of cash on hand? They’ve had lots of cash for years.
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TCU

  67. 317
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 310
    Meet me Sunday at 11am at kona Kai coffee in Kent. I’ll buy you a coffee and we can talk real estate.

    Address is:
    124 4th Ave S #180, Kent, WA 98032

    Let me know if you can make it and I’ll show up.

  68. 318
    Sid says:

    By Blake @ 313:

    More warning signs as US consumers’ savings rates plummet.

    lol. Have you seen the stock market lately.
    2018 will be another 10%+ year for Seattle RE considering how well AMZN and MSFT are doing.

  69. 319
    Blake says:

    By Sid @ 318:

    By
    lol. Have you seen the stock market lately.
    2018 will be another 10%+ year for Seattle RE considering how well AMZN and MSFT are doing.

    Oh man Sid you are right!
    A booming stock market is ALWAYS a sign that good times are ahead! ;-)

    “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
    – Warren Buffet

  70. 320

    By Justme @ 314:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 312

    The reader should consider whether stock buybacks and dividends creates jobs. I do not think so. Product demand creates jobs. AND corporations will not do capital spending unless there is demand for product, OR unless the capital spending REDUCES wages.

    Dividends might create jobs, but it would be more things for small contractors, pool maintenance, landscaping, etc. For larger shareholders, it might be jobs related to 50-foot yachts.

    As to the second comment, again the lower tax rate will make more capital spending attractive, because it will have a higher net return.

    What I would like to know though is why corporations are doing borrowing to pay for stock buybacks if they have a lot of off-shore funds. That just seems crazy, but it does show that tax policy affects what corporations do.

  71. 321
    ess says:

    If you missed the following article – rents are not only going up in Seattle, but Tacoma as well. Furthermore, Seattle is working its way up the ladder of most expensive cities for a tenant to lease an apartment.

    Unfortunately, the statistics are averages for rents paid – not by square foot. So the article does suffer from a bit of clarity. But it is clear that the new apartments coming on line are both expensive, and are rented in sufficient quantity that rents are still heading higher.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/seattle-rents-now-rank-among-top-5-most-expensive-in-u-s-tacoma-joins-1000-rent-club/

  72. 322
    Justme says:

    RE: ess @ 321

    Pure propaganda, as I will soon show. Median rents are misleading when the product mix changes. There is much more high end product coming online and entering the the mix recently. But do they count all the empty new units as being rented for 0? You know the answer: Heck no! And, last I checked, rents at the high end were dropping in Seattle(*). There is just more new units at the higher/luxury levels than at the lower level, so the median still rose. It does not mean that either high end nor low end renters paid more in 2017 than in 2016.

    Zumper says median rent flat for Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland both dropped:

    The Most Expensive
    –Bellevue, WA rent dropped $100 to $1,870 but remained the most expensive in the metro.
    –Seattle, WA was only $60 behind at $1,810 and ranked as the second priciest city.
    –Kirkland, WA rent dropped $90 to $1,710 but continued to be third most expensive.

    CONCLUSION: The Seattle Times article presents a total bullcrap study and total bullcrap article. Nice try with the propaganda, though. Renters, ask for a rent reduction if you live in a high end unit or high end area.

    (*) Reference: https://www.zumper.com/blog/2018/01/seattle-metro-report-january-2018/

  73. 323
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 322
    So you are saying that the median is unreliable because it skews to an increasing number of high end apartments?

    But we can get a better picture by looking only at the medians of the areas with the highest numbers of high end apartments?

    hmmmm…….

  74. 324
    Blurtman says:

    By Justme @ 315:

    RE: Blake @ 313

    >>And… will the Fed clamp down to prevent “wage inflation?”

    Right on, Blake. Wage inflation is the only kind of inflation that the FRB does NOT like. Asset inflation is great, consumer price inflation is wonderful, but wage inflation is a no-no.

    If you hold assets that are appreciating in value, you may feel wealthier and more prone to spend, spend, spend.

    Except for banksters, CEO’s and other 1 per centers, workers in the US are competing with lower wage workers around the world.

    Most Americans know, but many likely suppress the fact that the USA has a two-tiered justice system. When you see stories about lesser folks being indicted for money laundering, for example, you must ask how that is possible as Barack Obama ad Eric Holder said money laundering is NOT a crime (for some, heh, heh.)

    The sheeple party on, Garth, and receive their just desserts.

  75. 325
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Justme @ 322 – This is a great example of why the term ‘cheerleader’ gets thrown around here so much. From what I can tell, the data that ‘ess’ references is from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey. Rents are already headed down. This has been well-established in several local studies, one of which you reference.

  76. 326
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 324 – I always viewed it as a 3-tier system

    – Tier1: (Friend of those in charge) Good to go.
    – Tier2: (You have seven-figure defense fund) – Good to go, unless your conviction is useful for political reasons
    – Tier3: (The rest of us) – Plea bargain!

  77. 327

    By Justme @ 322:

    CONCLUSION: The Seattle Times article presents a total bullcrap study and total bullcrap article.

    I’m not a big fan of the Seattle Time’s FYI Guy. His statistical analysis is often rather basic and too focused. He often misses the big picture. But then you could say the same about much of what is in the Seattle Times or even much of the press.

    I remember his article on ST3 charges and rents. It was just more of the simplistic press nonsense that costs will be passed along to consumers in all markets. That’s when I first started noticing him, and none of his later pieces have raised my opinion of his work.

  78. 328

    RE: Erik @ 317
    Sounds Like a Plan Erik, I’ll be There

    I’m sure we can share some of details we both over looked. Yeah Erik…the best thing I appreciate about us engineers, we admit we don’t know it all and we change our position when new evidence comes in.

    Don’t you hate at work when you share a mesmerizing/anomalous “witchcraft like” [meaning absolutely no science to it] software PC anomaly no-one could possibly of found without hours of trial and error…and your lying DIMWIT co-worker exclaims, “I knew that!”……what a bunch of lying hogwash….LOL….I heard that “I knew that” garbage a lot recently, a lot of us have become unthankful beasts?…LOL

    Pearls before swine.

  79. 329
    Justme says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 325

    There are the bubble cheerleaders, and then there is the twist-and-shout (or twist-and-troll) subset that are disingenuous and twist what you said into something you didn’t say and then declare it faulty.

    One might also wonder why cheerleaders do not post other Seattle times articles that flatly contradict the preferred narrative. For example there is this very recent article from Jan 12 2018:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/seattle-area-rents-drop-significantly-for-first-time-this-decade-as-new-apartments-sit-empty/

    QUOTES:

    Rents sometimes drop by a few bucks this time of year. But the latest quarterly drop is the biggest this decade by far, and amounted to a savings of about $50 a month for the average renter across the region.

    The city of Seattle is getting more apartments this decade than in the prior 50 years combined.

  80. 330
    Blake says:

    SWE: “the best thing I appreciate about us engineers, we admit we don’t know it all and we change our position when new evidence comes in.”

    LMFAO! So I presented evidence that the influenza vaccines are quite effective and save thousands of lives and that the shingles vaccine is not a “joke” as you described it.

    Did the “evidence” I presented change your mind? Why not?

  81. 331

    RE: ess @ 321
    Tacoma I-5 Freeway at Dome/EQC Area Looked Better Yesterday

    Yeah the 5-10 year long Tacoma I-5 project never gets completed and I didn’t see the cranes being disassembled….but at least the Portland Ave Exit 135 from S I-5 was accessible and you didn’t have to take a 10 mile detour to find a new route [at the Narrows Bridge the options are grim and a GPS is useless] to circle back. Try finding the Glass Museum in Tacoma….LOL….you”ll give up…its a mess that your GPS can’t track either.

    Traffic was OK, but if you know SWE, I’m retired and only drive the Seattle area clogged freeways 10A-1PM on weekdays, after rush hours.

  82. 332

    RE: Justme @ 322
    Cheaper Seattle Area Rents in Auburn/Kent

    Try the Green River Community College Area Hill….a few years ago 3 bedrooms were like $800/mo, studios around $500. Add about $100-200/mo now, but still much cheaper than the rest.

    A great rent bargain if you telework or work the SE King County area. Worth quitting your job and getting a SE King County job location over, even less pay? Likely.

  83. 333
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 322:

    Median rents are misleading when the product mix changes. There is much more high end product coming online and entering the the mix recently.

    Zumper says median rent flat for Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland both dropped:
    Most Expensive
    –Bellevue, WA rent dropped $100 to $1,870 but remained the most expensive in the metro.
    –Seattle, WA was only $60 behind at $1,810 and ranked as the second priciest city.
    –Kirkland, WA rent dropped $90 to $1,710 but continued to be third most expensive.

    To avoid charges of disingenuousness, you should probably disclose that these are numbers for a one bedroom. Two beds will put you over $2K. in all of these markets (per Zumper). Ouch.

  84. 334
    Justme says:

    I must have hit a nerve . Somebody not feeling good about being called out about their propaganda. The quoted text is right there in my seattletimes reference link. No cause for calling the kettle black, unless trying to divert attention away from own shortcomings or misdeeds.

  85. 335
    jon says:

    There is a nice chart of rent costs here https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-seattle-rent-trends/

    Rents are about the same as 12 months ago, slightly higher even when you separate 1 vs 2 bedroom. Someone who signed a 6 month lease could probably get a reduction on another 6 month lease, because prices are down from 6 months ago, but rents on that short a term will be higher than the averages shown in that chart.

  86. 336
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 334:

    By Justme @ 322:

    Median rents are misleading when the product mix changes. There is much more high end product coming online and entering the the mix recently.

    Zumper says median rent flat for Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland both dropped:
    Most Expensive
    –Bellevue, WA rent dropped $100 to $1,870 but remained the most expensive in the metro.
    –Seattle, WA was only $60 behind at $1,810 and ranked as the second priciest city.
    –Kirkland, WA rent dropped $90 to $1,710 but continued to be third most expensive.

    Thank goodness you’re still here. I completely forgot to thank you for warning us in part one, that you were going to provide misleading rent information in part 2.

  87. 337
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 334:

    I must have hit a nerve . Somebody not feeling good about being called out about their propaganda. The quoted text is right there in my seattletimes reference link. No cause for calling the kettle black, unless trying to divert attention away from own shortcomings or misdeeds.

    So if you cherry pick the one bedroom, and present it in context of general apartment rents; the presence of a link with the correct information makes that good information?

    Please feel free to point out my shortcomings and misdeeds and propaganda in terms of specific errors, rather than free form pejoratives. You’ve been strangely lacking in detail there. Perhaps they are buried in a link?

  88. 338
    ess says:

    By whatsmyname @ 337:

    By Justme @ 334:

    I must have hit a nerve . Somebody not feeling good about being called out about their propaganda. The quoted text is right there in my seattletimes reference link. No cause for calling the kettle black, unless trying to divert attention away from own shortcomings or misdeeds.

    So if you cherry pick the one bedroom, and present it in context of general apartment rents; the presence of a link with the correct information makes that good information?

    Please feel free to point out my shortcomings and misdeeds and propaganda in terms of specific errors, rather than free form pejoratives. You’ve been strangely lacking in detail there. Perhaps they are buried in a link?

    Another issue – rents may or may not be going down, and renters may be getting a slight break on their rent. But unless they are able to save and marshal a great deal of money for a down payment on a residence – they will remain long term renters if they remain in this area. Why? Because hardly any condos, let alone condos for moderate income earners are being constructed in the immediate Seattle area. And apparently, moderate priced condos are a traditional vehicle for moderate income individuals to enter the real estate market.

    Which will result in a lower middle and middle class of individuals that are unable to buy anything in the immediate Seattle area, as most of them dedicate a large percentage of their income to rent, and are unable to save for anything, let alone 40K – 80K for a down payment on a residence. Every survey conducted indicates many of these individuals live paycheck to paycheck, and would have to borrow or sell something to meet a one thousand dollar medical or car emergency.

    Even in the close suburbs – houses cost at least four hundred thousand, and condo sales are minimal. So they aren’t going to buy there even if they so desire.

    Thus this area is developing a renter class that will be unable to buy any real estate even if they so desired in the immediate future, if not longer. The number of renters in the Seattle area may ebb and flow in the future, and developers will react to those statistics. Developers are not going to keep on building apartment buildings if they can’t get the return on investment they desire.

    The following article assembles a number of articles and television reports on this subject

    http://www.urbancondospaces.com/discussing-the-seattle-condo-shortage/

  89. 339
    David B. says:

    By Eastsider @ 273:

    By David B. @ 270:

    RE: Eastsider @ 266 – Oh, OK. Believe it or not, I was actually aware of those particular trends. When you said “the bottom quartile is finally making gains” I was thinking in terms of the bottom 25% finally increasing the share of GDP that goes to them. I’m not aware that’s happened and I simply don’t see that becoming a long-term trend until there’s a significant increase in class-conscious behavior by that bottom 25%.

    Class-conscious behavior?! LOL.

    The bottom 25% will start doing better? LOL.

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  90. 340
    Eastsider says:

    RE: David B. @ 339 – I thought you were “actually aware of those particular trends.” Need more links?? LOL.

  91. 341

    RE: Blake @ 330
    Blake

    I enjoy your posts and yes engineers are educated idiots at times too….but I’ll add who isn’t?

    I hear they’re making the new MBA “Life Experiences” to get a good job now. No college teaches it but years on planet Earth….LOL

    Without on-the-job experience and years of making mistakes how the heck does anyone function well in any agency?

  92. 342

    Looking for an article on RE taxes I came across this older article on Seattle area rents. Back then they actually broke down the rate of increase for new and older apartments.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/rent-increases-slowing-for-older-seattle-apartments/

  93. 343
    David B. says:

    By Eastsider @ 340:

    RE: David B. @ 339 – I thought you were “actually aware of those particular trends.” Need more links?? LOL.

    None of the links you gave showed any persistent increase of the share of the GDP going to the bottom 25%. Anecdotal data for a some individuals here and there at one point in time do not a long-term trend make.

  94. 344
    Doug says:

    Something tells me 2017 wasn’t the peak as this property in Maple Leaf just went pending within 3 days and I’m sure the offer was north of $2mm.

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1233-NE-88th-St-98115/home/144406391#overview

  95. 345
    Eastsider says:

    By David B. @ 343:

    By Eastsider @ 340:

    RE: David B. @ 339 – I thought you were “actually aware of those particular trends.” Need more links?? LOL.

    None of the links you gave showed any persistent increase of the share of the GDP going to the bottom 25%. Anecdotal data for a some individuals here and there at one point in time do not a long-term trend make.

    We are talking about two different things here. The bottom earners have seen gains in their income in recent months. This is not “anecdotal data for a some individuals here and there,” their gains are real. On the persistent increase of the GDP share, are you talking about 3 years, 5 years, or a decade of data before you are convinced of a long-term trend? If so, why are we even talking about it today? You obviously know that the Obama years were bad for the bottom 25%. Cheers.

  96. 346
    David B. says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 345 – Those links did not show any general increase in the share of the GDP going to the bottom 25%. They did relate stories of some low-wage earners getting significant raises. While such stories *are* encouraging, that is not an overall longer-term trend.

    I will point out that the current upswing in the business cycle is getting very long in the tooth as such things historically go. Temporary gains (for a select few) at the end of an upswing that later get completely wiped out in the downswing phase don’t matter much in the big picture.

  97. 347
    David says:

    8 years of Barack Obama squelched the economy. Obama’s pending election destroyed economic optimism and sent the USA (& much of the World) into depression. It was literally the ‘Obama Depression’.

    So I am not sure the economy is going to tank very soon. Clearly, the Democrats are working to squelch the optimism. Assuming the Dems are unsuccessful at this oppression, housing should stay positive after such a LOOOOONG period of depression/recession.

    The digital age hasn’t managed to delete the analog head and ass. Every generation still needs a roof over there heads and a toilet under their ass – consistently. Pent-up demand is still not even close to being satisfied. Leftist governments have simply placed EVER greater impediments in front of potential owners to secure their government jobs/control. Which works out great for those of us that own real estate and appreciate the enforced price controls.

    I support global warming because it supports my home value!!

  98. 348
    Eastsider says:

    RE: David B. @ 346 – You can elect to see half bottle empty as you wish. “They did relate stories of some low-wage earners getting significant raises.” Maybe you simply refuse to accept the supporting fact in the link provided?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-09/why-is-u-s-wage-growth-so-low-it-s-all-about-the-top-80
    “The bottom 20 percent of workers by average industry pay are seeing significantly faster wage growth now than they were then. Yet the shortfall in the upper 80 percent has been large enough to keep overall pay growth almost a full percentage point lower.”

  99. 349
    Blurtman says:

    By David @ 347:

    Obama’s pending election destroyed economic optimism and sent the USA (& much of the World) into depression. It was literally the ‘Obama Depression’.

    That rascally Obama caused massive financial fraud that crashed the economy even before he was elected, the cad!

  100. 350

    Government policy has sometimes helped the bottom 25%. More of them now get either subsidized or employer healthcare (assuming that employer benefit wasn’t offset by being forced into part-time work) and the tax bill helps at least some of the married ones. Then, of course, there are those who work for a higher minimum wage, again assuming they didn’t lose their job for one reason or another.

    My point is it’s not just the gross income that is relevant.

  101. 351
    David says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 349 – Those problems were caused by the likes of Jesse Jackson and his ilk forcing the Government to stop ‘redlining’ neighborhoods and create ultra-loose lending standards which banks were essentially forced to honor. They lobbied for those policies HARD by throwing out ‘racism’ accusations. They won’t be putting that hard fact into the movies though like they did other facts in “The Big Short”.

    Then when everything fell apart – they blamed the lenders as ‘sub-prime terrorists”. And acted like sainted victims.

    A circle-jerk of obfuscation fueled by ever shriller claims of racism, racism, racism.

    But yes, Obama’s pending election put the nail in the coffin.

  102. 352

    RE: Blake @ 276
    I’m Sure You Have Rash Experience Galore

    So do I, I’m a medical representative of an autistic adult that gets chronic rashes…I’ll be honest the doctors can’t tell the difference between fungus or ring worm, let alone shingles….they all look alike. The schools call any redness in the eye…”red eye”….how do they know what it is? They don’t.

    So how in Hades do you really know if you even had Shingles today or in the past? Crystal balls, tea leaves? Doctors and engineers can be educated idiots….you too Blake….LOL

    Did you know diaper rash is fungus rash and very CONTAGIOUS too [if you have an open wound]….LOL…..now give your baby a big hug anyway, live with it and make sure when you get it fungus from the gym or bowling alley that you apply fungus cream daily for a month or the treatment must begin at beginning again] . We all don’t know everything.

  103. 353

    By David @ 351:

    RE: Blurtman @ 349 – Those problems were caused by the likes of Jesse Jackson and his ilk forcing the Government to stop ‘redlining’ neighborhoods and create ultra-loose lending standards which banks were essentially forced to honor. They lobbied for those policies HARD by throwing out ‘racism’ accusations. They won’t be putting that hard fact into the movies though like they did other facts in “The Big Short”.

    I think your facts are off quite a bit (e.g. redlining restrictions go back to the 60s, although there obviously could be enforcement action even today). But your overall point is correct. “The Government” did encourage looser lending standards. Liberals liked that because they thought it would increase home ownership. Conservatives liked it because they saw it as a way to increase bank profits. Both essentially were proven wrong in the end, and in the process they took down Freddie and Fannie, as well as a significant number of banks. That was no small task.

  104. 354
    David B. says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 348 – Your post #266 gave a link to an article in the Atlantic and an article on npr.org; I see that Bloomberg article referenced exactly nowhere in this thread prior to #348. Please don’t dishonestly claim I ignored it earlier.

  105. 355
    David B. says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 348 – Moreover that article discusses the share of wages, not the share of total GDP. That’s significant, because the wealthiest earn most of their income via sources other than wages. (It is, however, a better attempt in that it at least shows an overall statistic, not anecdotes about specific subsets of workers.)

  106. 356
    wreckingbull says:

    “Rash Experience Galore”

    There is a term I never imagined I would encounter in the SB comment section. We are now officially off the rails.

  107. 357
    David B. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 353 – GSE’s did not play a driving role in loosening of lending standards; that was done by completely private-sector entities. GSE’s then tried to play catch-up and chased after the same sort of foolish loans.

    http://www.stat.unc.edu/faculty/cji/fys/2012/Subprime%20mortgage%20crisis.pdf

  108. 358
    Eastsider says:

    By David B. @ 354:

    RE: Eastsider @ 348 – Your post #266 gave a link to an article in the Atlantic and an article on npr.org; I see that Bloomberg article referenced exactly nowhere in this thread prior to #348. Please don’t dishonestly claim I ignored it earlier.

    The Bloomberg link was embedded in the Atlantic article to support the story. I can’t help if you don’t do basic homework before making random unsupported statements. Also, I have never mentioned GDP share as those data are not readily available and probably not available for a while.

  109. 359

    By David B. @ 357:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 353 – GSE’s did not play a driving role in loosening of lending standards; that was done by completely private-sector entities. GSE’s then tried to play catch-up and chased after the same sort of foolish loans.

    http://www.stat.unc.edu/faculty/cji/fys/2012/Subprime%20mortgage%20crisis.pdf

    I suspect that timing is right. I haven’t had time to read your link, but what I recall is that Congress was also pushing them to move that direction. It wasn’t just something they were doing only on their own.

  110. 360
    uwp says:

    By Doug @ 344:

    Something tells me 2017 wasn’t the peak as this property in Maple Leaf just went pending within 3 days and I’m sure the offer was north of $2mm.

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1233-NE-88th-St-98115/home/144406391#overview

    Some interesting recent action on those lots there in Maple Leaf. Turned a 2.3 million dollar purchase into several homes and townhouses. I wonder how this pencils into the “famed” 3x Rule :)

  111. 361

    I don’t know the answer to this question, and thought I would see if someone knows before I try to figure it out. How does the new tax scheme to pay for education get around the 1% limit on increases in the state Constitution?

    In a way it doesn’t really matter, because if this is not legal they will just have to impose another tax. But the state is basically pushing some school funding away from a source that is voted on (and thus exempt from the limit) to one that isn’t voted on. Seems like there would be a problem with the Constitutional limit.

  112. 362
    Eastsider says:

    By Eastsider @ 140:

    UST 10yr yield has continued its upward march unabated and is now at 2.63%. (It was 2.03% on Sept 7, 2017.) At this rate, it might even exceed 2.75% before midyear.

    I can’t believe the UST 10yr yield hits 2.72% this morning. At this rate, it won’t take long to see 4.5% mortgages. It looks like 3% 10yr yield is a good possibility later this year and a 5% mortgage in 2019!

  113. 363
    Minnie says:

    RE: Doug @ 344
    Interesting! Thanks for posting, it’s fun to look at different properties online (I don’t follow Maple Leaf)
    $/sf is still pretty high, assuming it goes for $2.1M thats $600/sf. Whoa.

    But, it does have the following:
    1 – its new construction
    2 – Being just off LCW, it’s got really good (and express) bus access to downtown
    3- it’s huge, for Seattle Standards. A house like that in Mercer Island would be 3M, no view
    4 – The view. From the photos, it looks really good.
    5 – Looks like premium materials and appliances were used. They didn’t go cheap.
    6 – Really nice outdoor areas and landscaping

    However, not having actually looked at the property, I can’t comment too much. Did you tour it? I’d be interested to hear how it looks in person!

  114. 364
    Doug says:

    RE: uwp @ 360 – I went and checked them out over the weekend and spoke to the agent covering all three. The big house received an all cash offer at asking price with no contingencies and a 2 week close.

    The other home currently listed for $1.1mm was seeing good traffic and probably will get an offer shortly.

    The 3rd house will be listed in the spring (I think he said) for $1.375mm.

    They all share 1 single driveway and built pretty much on top of one another. But clearly there’s plenty of money out there looking to get into Seattle.

  115. 365
    Doug says:

    RE: Minnie @ 363 – I didn’t tour it, but have been watching it go up over the last year. It’s right on the Maple Leaf reservoir park with views of the mountain and downtown.

    I honestly thought it would be listed for about $1.5mm, but someone clearly liked it at $1.95mm. See my post above.

  116. 366
    uwp says:

    RE: Doug @ 364
    Yeah, looked like 2 big parcels (with 2 existing houses) cut up into 5 parcels.

    At least it’s adding to Seattle’s meager SFH inventory. Even if they are million+ dollars.

  117. 367
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: uwp @ 360

    3x lot works best for 1 house out; one house in. It establishes the price for a teardown house on a lot that can’t be subdivided.

    It works best in places like East of Market and West of Market Kirkland where most old teardown houses were built on standard lots. SF 5,000 East and SF 7,200 West.

    Works well for most of close in North Seattle as well where the lot might be larger than for one but not large enough for two. Generally they only allow townhomes within a few streets from a major arterial on L2 and the like. Not SFH5000.

    One house in where one house went out usually uses the same electricity and sewer and plumbing connections. Multiple structures, where there were none or one, acts more like vacant land.

    The 3x lot rule establishes the minimum an old house should sell for (unless builders don’t want it at all) and it often sells for more when an owner occupant buyer outbids the builders.

    Some agents will sometimes list a POS for less than lot value. A house should never sell for less than the value of the dirt it sits on.

  118. 368
    Blake says:

    By David B. @ 357:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 353 – GSE’s did not play a driving role in loosening of lending standards; that was done by completely private-sector entities. GSE’s then tried to play catch-up and chased after the same sort of foolish loans.

    http://www.stat.unc.edu/faculty/cji/fys/2012/Subprime%20mortgage%20crisis.pdf

    Correct… the GSEs came in later.
    July 30, 2008: Bush signs housing rescue law: President enacts controversial measure that aims to help borrowers, bolster the housing market and provide a fail-safe for Fannie and Freddie.
    http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/30/news/economy/housing_bill_Bush/index.htm

    And it was bipartisan: “The Senate voted 72-13 in favor of the bill on Saturday.” As a rule, almost everything that is bipartisan in Washington is HORRIBLE!

    And note the misleading headline about “helping the borrowers.” What this did was tell Fannie and Freddie to scoop up EVERY last piece of crap mortgage the private banks had created! This was a $300 billion bill… how much of that do YOU think went to borrowers?

    **Newswire July 29, 2008: “Over the past year, housing prices have fallen more than 15% nationwide, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. More than 340,000 have had their homes repossessed by banks during the first six months of the year, up 136% from the same period in 2007.”
    Bush to the rescue… a little late.

    And if you still believe that propaganda about the government causing this: http://ritholtz.com/2016/06/no-cra-not-cause-financial-crisis/
    The 1977 CRA only applied to a minority of lenders and the CRA-covered lenders had a LOWER default rate on their sub-prime loans. (Barry Ritholtz has a $100,000 unclaimed bet for anyone who wanted to debate this with him.)

    If you wanna know why the big banks relaxed lending standards and made lots of bad loans 2012-2018: MONEY! Sh!tloads of money!!
    … Once they figured out they could offload these loans in CDOs to unsuspecting investors (the rating agencies did their “job” assigning AAA ratings!) then the banks didn’t care about the quality of the loans anymore and it was GAME ON!

    They made huuuge amounts of money.
    THAT’s why they did it!
    …. Duh!

  119. 369
    Blurtman says:

    By David @ 351:

    RE: Blurtman @ 349 – Those problems were caused by the likes of Jesse Jackson and his ilk forcing the Government to stop ‘redlining’ neighborhoods and create ultra-loose lending standards which banks were essentially forced to honor. They lobbied for those policies HARD by throwing out ‘racism’ accusations. They won’t be putting that hard fact into the movies though like they did other facts in “The Big Short”.

    Then when everything fell apart – they blamed the lenders as ‘sub-prime terrorists”. And acted like sainted victims.

    A circle-jerk of obfuscation fueled by ever shriller claims of racism, racism, racism.

    But yes, Obama’s pending election put the nail in the coffin.

    Tee hee. Each side can lie about what happened to thump their respective chests, righteously.

    Let’s go to the board:

    Goldman Sachs Agrees to Pay More than $5 Billion in Connection with Its Sale of Residential Mortgage Backed Securities

    Investors, including federally-insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses from investing in RMBS issued and underwritten by Goldman between 2005 and 2007.

    “This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/goldman-sachs-agrees-pay-more-5-billion-connection-its-sale-residential-mortgage-backed

    Bonus question – Who was the CEO of Goldman Sachs during the time that this fraud was committed?

    Hank Paulson.

    Super bonus question – Who was confirmed as US Secretary of the Treasury after overseeing this massive crime?

    Hank Paulson.

    And who was president when the largest financial fraud in US history occurred, plunging the US into the Great Depression 2?

    Bush the Lame Brained, a Republican.

    And it is not as if Obama the Righteous was any better.

  120. 370

    RE: Blurtman @ 368 – Here’s what I said about Paulson after Obama was elected.

    Obama could nominate Pat Paulson for treasury secretary, and the stock market would soar as soon as the realized that was a different Paulson. I know Pat Paulson is dead, but even that would be seen as an improvement.

  121. 371
    ess says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 361:

    I don’t know the answer to this question, and thought I would see if someone knows before I try to figure it out. How does the new tax scheme to pay for education get around the 1% limit on increases in the state Constitution?

    In a way it doesn’t really matter, because if this is not legal they will just have to impose another tax. But the state is basically pushing some school funding away from a source that is voted on (and thus exempt from the limit) to one that isn’t voted on. Seems like there would be a problem with the Constitutional limit.

    Kary – although not the same situation, this is starting to have the same feel as when years ago the courts directed how much the Kansas City school system had to spend (via higher taxes) in order to end systemic inequalities. For Kansas City – it did not end well – much higher taxes and no appreciable educational progress of students. But the schools did have beautiful facilities even if there wasn’t much learning going on.

    One also wonders if the construction of rental apartments will begin to slow down, if rents are decreasing and real estate taxes are dramatically increasing. Investment assets will not continue to support these projects if there is more money to be made elsewhere.

    Will this be the tipping point for fed up taxpayers? There will be much grumbling, but I doubt any real grass root movement will evolve from this. More likely the grass root “movement” will be individuals such as myself, either retired or close to it – with equity in the house(s) they own moving out of the area. Something I could never have imagined for most of the time I have lived here.

  122. 372
    S-Crow says:

    2018 Property Taxes in a white hot market is the defacto ARM adjustment that many fixed rate’rs are going to be shocked about. I’ve been warning clients about it since last quarter 2017.

    Reports are that in general areas in SEA will see approx. 18%, Bellevue 20%, areas in Sno Co 18-20% increases with Lake Stevens at approx. 27%! I’d hate to work in the County Auditors offices this coming July/Aug when the property tax challenges are going to be coming in like a raging river.

    Will Landlords be willing to eat the increases as the market becomes more competive to lease units?

  123. 373
    Eastsider says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 371 – Bellevue is also seeking nearly half a billion dollars in February levy measures. (No doubt some levies are necessary.) Perhaps it’s time to call the top in the housing market here.

  124. 374
    ess says:

    By Eastsider @ 372:

    RE: S-Crow @ 371 – Bellevue is also seeking nearly half a billion dollars in February levy measures. (No doubt some levies are necessary.) Perhaps it’s time to call the top in the housing market here.

    Or perhaps it is time to call the top of the initiative process – vote no on any and all initiatives until there is some demonstrative proof that taxes cannot only be controlled, but there is visible evidence that tax receipts are spent wisely only on matters that are within the traditional role of government. To constantly increase taxes to be all things to all people at all times will only lead to financial calamity coupled with a severe voter backlash.

  125. 375
    Blurtman says:

    “This Isn’t a Drill” Mortgage Rates Hit Highest Level Since May 2014

    A housing bust may be just around the corner. Rates have climbed to a level last seen in May of 2014.

    Mortgage News Daily reports Mortgage Rates Surge to Highest Levels in More Than 3 Years.

    The chart does not quite show what MND headline says but the difference is a just a few basis points. I suspect rates inched lower just after the article came out.

    For the past few weeks, rates made several successive runs up to the highest levels in more than 9 months. It was really only the spring of 2017 that stood in the way of rates being the highest since early 2014. After Friday marked another “highest in 9 months” day, it would only have taken a moderate movement to break into the “3+ year” territory. The move ended up being even bigger.

    From a week and a half ago, most borrowers are now looking at another eighth of a percentage point higher in rate. In total, rates are up the better part of half a point since December 15th. This marks the only time rates have risen this much without having been at long term lows in the past year. For example, late 2010, mid-2013, mid-2015, and late 2016 all saw sharper increases in rates overall, but each of those moves happened only 1-3 months after a long term rate low.

    Not a Drill

    So far this month, MBS have stunningly dropped over 200 bps, which easily translates into a .5% or more increase in rates. I’ve been shouting “lock early” for quite a while, and this is precisely why, This isn’t a drill, or a momentary rate upturn. It’s likely the end of a decade+ long bull bond market. LOCK EARLY. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

    Housing Bust Coming

    Drill or not, if rising rates stick, they are bound to have a negative impact on home buying.

    In the short term, however, rate increases may fuel the opposite reaction people expect.

    Why?

    Those on the fence may decide it’s now or never and rush out to purchase something, anything. If that mentality sets in, there could be one final homebuilding push before the dam breaks. That’s not my call. Rather, that could easily be the outcome.

    Speculation by home builders sitting on finished homes in 2007 is quite amazing.

    What about now?

    Note that spikes in home inventory coincide with recessions.

    A 5.9 month supply of homes did not seem to be a problem in March of 2006. In retrospect, it was the start of an enormous problem.

    In absolute terms, builders are nowhere close to the problem situation of 2007. Indeed, it appears that builders learned a lesson.

    Nonetheless, pain is on the horizon if rates keep rising.

    Price Cutting Coming Up?

    If builders cut prices to get rid of inventory, everyone who bought in the past few years is likely to quickly go underwater.

    https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/this-isn-t-a-drill-mortgage-rates-hit-highest-level-since-may-2014-5A6Yth7WO0GTEvS7SkajjA

  126. 376
    Kmac says:

    RE: ess @ 373

    HaHaHa…….

  127. 377
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ess @ 373 – Yes, the ballot levy measures are out of control. The Feb 13 ballot includes levy requests from 24 King and Snohomish County school districts. Yet voters will not see the new higher property tax bills until a day after the ballot in Snohomish County and 3 days after in King County. They obviously intend to collect maximum taxes from unaware voters. In the Bellevue case, the half a billion dollar request is not even for basic-ed!

    https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/districts-explain-their-school-levy-requests/

  128. 378

    By S-Crow @ 371:

    Will Landlords be willing to eat the increases as the market becomes more competive to lease units?

    You’re suffering from having been told too many times by the press that costs get passed along to consumers. There are some markets that happens, but in most markets it does not. The two markets it does not happen are very weak markets and very strong markets. In the weak markets prices will be declining no matter what. In hot markets prices will be increasing no matter what.

    But to put this in simple terms, if the landlords could raise rates $200 in a hot market, why would they wait for a tax increase to do so? There may be some who don’t price to maximize their profits, but other than them . . ..

    As I’ve said before, this is similar to the gas tax holiday nonsense which just ends up benefiting the oil companies. They price to avoid running out of gas before the tax decrease and they continue to price to avoid running out of gas after the decrease. Any cut in prices at the pump is very temporary.

  129. 379

    By ess @ 370:

    Will this be the tipping point for fed up taxpayers? There will be much grumbling, but I doubt any real grass root movement will evolve from this. More likely the grass root “movement” will be individuals such as myself, either retired or close to it – with equity in the house(s) they own moving out of the area. Something I could never have imagined for most of the time I have lived here.

    I wasn’t addressing the necessity of the money, but merely whether there was a constitutional limit on being able to collect it. That said, I think there will be some grumbling and push back. I’m seeing that in a neighborhood forum right now. I will say though on such forums you do tend to get the complainers.

  130. 380
    ess says:

    By Kmac @ 375:

    RE: ess @ 373

    HaHaHa…….

    Yeah – I know……….

  131. 381
    ess says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 376

    Yes – I heard. Truly amazing. A corollary to what the US government does – vote on something before seeing what is actually in the bill. Disgusting.

  132. 382
    ess says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 378

    There is always grumbling – but I don’t know if the situation is anywhere near an initiative revolt. Between higher interest rates and higher taxes – a typical new buyer in the Seattle area is probably going to have to pay another 100 -400 dollars a month for a mortgage and increased taxes.

    I was referencing the Kansas School district matter, in from my understanding the courts actually supervised the fiscal spending of the schools. This has the same feel – the courts indicating to the local governments and the taxpayers what they should or should not spend on education based upon their interpretation of what the Wa state constitution demands.

  133. 383
    ess says:

    Hot off the press – Seattle leads the nation in real estate YOY price increase (again)

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-prices-accelerated-in-november-case-shiller-shows-2018-01-30

  134. 384
    Doug says:

    CS HPI increased 0.18% from October to November and now sits at 231.18 — dangerously close to the previous peak of 231.57.

  135. 385

    Anyone think that two of the richest people in the world and JP Morgan can take on the healthcare industry? Seems like a near impossible task. One issue I see is that employees might not like being locked into their system.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2018-01-30/amazon-jpmorgan-berkshire-creating-new-health-care-company

    Today is a far cry from the mid-1970s when United Parcel Service actually ran its own insurance program. Now insurers have to negotiate outrageous prices down from astronomical prices with each provider.

    My pet peeve has been the extras they charge when you go to the doctor. I’d mentioned before the Mason Clinic charging me for sitting in an exam room because the doctor talked me into an injection. But for that injection and but for the Mason Clinic downtown being physically connected to the Mason Clinic hospital there would not have been that charge. As I recall it was almost $100, and that was on top of the almost $100 for the vaccine itself.

    More recently I was charged an extra $102 during my annual physical because I asked for a prescription to be refilled. They charged me for “diagnosis” of that known condition with a previously diagnosed solution.

    All of these industry-wide billing practices lead to higher insurance costs because insurers pay these amounts if a deductible is met. If not, it’s paid directly by the patient, sort of eliminating the goal of getting people to go to their physicals because they are free.

  136. 386

    RE: S-Crow @ 371
    What Happened to the Property Tax Limit on Yearly Increases Kary Talked About?

    I remember something like a 10%/yr limit from Kary, correct me if I’m wrong.

    The Wash St Open Border Progressives eliminated it?

  137. 387

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 384
    Yes Kary the Billing Administrators in Health Care are Like Organized Crime

    My new dentist pocketed the insurance money and didn’t reduce the bill. Then they did it to me again; only this time they just added on to the bill, “just because”….it was over a $100 too…I spent like $5-6K on a couple crowns, but didn’t complain about the billing errors until after they permanently glued them in…..I wanted a happy dentist working on my mouth.

    Co-payments on prescriptions to a severely disabled are generally picked up by Medicaid….now they want to bill the disabled anyway. They also tried to kill the Blue Cross coverage he’s got, but backed off when I mentioned “lawsuit”.

    Health care is a MESS.

  138. 388
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 384 – I was excited to read about it. I think it’s very cool and commendable that these guys recognize how outrageous healthcare has gotten and are at least trying to find a solution together. And hopefully they create something that is transferable to companies nation-wide.

  139. 389

    By softwarengineer @ 385:

    RE: S-Crow @ 371
    What Happened to the Property Tax Limit on Yearly Increases Kary Talked About?

    I remember something like a 10%/yr limit from Kary, correct me if I’m wrong.

    I was saying 1%, but that apparently was Tim Eyeman’s I-747, which was struck down, because he sold it as being a reduction from 2% to 1%, when it was actually a reduction from 6% to 1%. The 6% is apparently a statutory limit, so the legislature could easily override that. See page 7 of this PDF –page 10 of the printed page.

    http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/wM/Documents/Publications/2016/2016%20Property%20Tax%20Guide%20v9Jan8_website.pdf

    Note this is a very confusing area and I have only spent a small amount of time researching the issue, so I may be missing something. I didn’t even read all of the item I linked. But I did not find a constitutional limit on increases in regular real estate taxes, but there is a limit on levies.

  140. 390
    Kmac says:

    http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Finance/Revenues/The-Property-Tax-in-Washington-State.aspx

    The Washington State Constitution limits the annual rate of property taxes that may be imposed on an individual parcel of property to 1% of its true and fair value. Since tax rates are stated in terms of dollars per $1,000 of value, the 1% limit is the same as $10 per $1,000 and is often referred to as the $10 limit. Taxes imposed under this limit are termed “regular” levies, while those outside the limit are “excess” or “special” levies.

  141. 391

    RE: Kmac @ 389 – That’s the maximum rate–and I think there are exceptions to that. I was looking for a limit on the increase of the total amount collected by the county/state since that’s what is happening due to the McCleary decision legislation.

  142. 392
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 384 – The outrageous and astronomical prices are just a racket. Few, if any, people pay those prices. Their primary purpose is to force everyone to buy insurance, or pay ransom. I have seen 1000% inflated prices in benefits statements. Supposedly the insurance providers negotiated the 90% discount on your behalf (- well I have a bridge to sell too.)This practice should be illegal and outlawed.

  143. 393
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 384
    It’s about power… with 1.2 million employees, JPM, Berkshire and AMZN will be able to negotiate with Big Pharma and the healthcare giants on a more even footing. It’s a shame that Joe Lieberman and other pro-business Democrats wouldn’t approve of the US gov negotiating drug prices back in 2009/10… but they knew who signed their campaign contribution checks!

    Funny thing about this Bloomberg article:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-30/buffett-bezos-and-dimon-could-mess-up-the-fed-s-inflation-goal
    (quote): “Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon’s plan to start an independent firm to manage health-care services for their 1.2 million employees at a lower cost has the potential to make the Fed’s 2 percent target for the core Personal Consumption Expenditure inflation index even more elusive over the long haul. Health makes up 22 percent of the gauge, and price increases in the sector had already been sluggish over the past decade or so.”

    “Sluggish”… really?
    http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5841e20cba6eb6d3008b7522-1135/screen%20shot%202016-12-02%20at%2040454%20pm.png

    Somehow healthcare spending rising at 5-6% per year recently is not good enough from the perspective of WallSt and Big Business! And they are worried that Buffet and Co’s plans might slow down cost increases! One man’s inflation is another’s increasing profits!

  144. 394
    uwp says:

    Another month, another grind down of standing inventory. Looks like January will have roughly 20% less than last year’s record low.

    Of course, with interest rates on the rise, this is surely the peak of the market. I have attached a helpful chart of the dramatic recent uptick in 30 year mortgage rates back to where they were last January: Record High Interest Rates

  145. 395

    By S-Crow @ 371:

    I’d hate to work in the County Auditors offices this coming July/Aug when the property tax challenges are going to be coming in like a raging river.

    I would agree with this, but it might be the Board of Tax appeals instead of or in addition to the assessors who deal with it.

    And the Hirst decision will affect that too because values are supposed to be determined as of January 1, and the fix for Hirst was later in January. So technically the values of the affected property should be at the lower value of not being able to build.

  146. 396

    By Eastsider @ 391:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 384 – The outrageous and astronomical prices are just a racket. Few, if any, people pay those prices. Their primary purpose is to force everyone to buy insurance, or pay ransom. I have seen 1000% inflated prices in benefits statements. Supposedly the insurance providers negotiated the 90% discount on your behalf (- well I have a bridge to sell too.)This practice should be illegal and outlawed.

    I agree, but would add it has other purposes too. If not paid by the patient they can sue for more, and get better settlements. If not paid at all they can point to the larger dollar amounts that they are forced to write off and pretend it’s a real loss.

    Back when I first started buying my own health insurance back in the late 80s it only cost me well under $100 a month for insurance, and sometimes the adjustments on the bill due to having insurance were more than the cost of the insurance for the month. But there was no guessing how much the reduction would be. Some things would be reduced 10% and some things 50%.

  147. 397
  148. 398
    Doug says:

    RE: uwp @ 393 – lol stop it. some people were getting all hot and bothered with these insane rate increases. who are you to put things in perspective!?

  149. 399
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 377 – You said: “You’re suffering from having been told too many times by the press that costs get passed along to consumers.”

    LOL. Thank you for assisting me in pointing out my sufferings.

  150. 400
    Rupert D says:

    Can we all agree that Mortgage Brokers should be exempt from this site. Never read such drivel in my life…..content in posting has nothing to do with the Seattle RE market. RE: Blurtman @ 374

  151. 401
    David B. says:

    By Eastsider @ 358:

    By David B. @ 354:

    RE: Eastsider @ 348 – Your post #266 gave a link to an article in the Atlantic and an article on npr.org; I see that Bloomberg article referenced exactly nowhere in this thread prior to #348. Please don’t dishonestly claim I ignored it earlier.

    The Bloomberg link was embedded in the Atlantic article to support the story. I can’t help if you don’t do basic homework before making random unsupported statements. Also, I have never mentioned GDP share as those data are not readily available and probably not available for a while.

    I read the links you furnished. If you believed the Bloomberg article was all that relevant (as opposed to an article that referenced it), you should have cited it directly. If I read every reference in every article cited (and then chased those references), I could spend the rest of my days chasing references. Your apparent inability to choose pertinent direct references is not my fault.

  152. 402
    Ross says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 377:

    By S-Crow @ 371:

    Will Landlords be willing to eat the increases as the market becomes more competive to lease units?

    You’re suffering from having been told too many times by the press that costs get passed along to consumers. There are some markets that happens, but in most markets it does not. The two markets it does not happen are very weak markets and very strong markets. In the weak markets prices will be declining no matter what. In hot markets prices will be increasing no matter what.

    But to put this in simple terms, if the landlords could raise rates $200 in a hot market, why would they wait for a tax increase to do so? There may be some who don’t price to maximize their profits, but other than them . . ..

    As I’ve said before, this is similar to the gas tax holiday nonsense which just ends up benefiting the oil companies. They price to avoid running out of gas before the tax decrease and they continue to price to avoid running out of gas after the decrease. Any cut in prices at the pump is very temporary.

    Of course, market forces apply, and most landlords will charge what the market will bear, but additional ownership costs will also impact what the market will bear:
    1) The heightened taxes mean that ownership cost is higher. On the margins, it will disqualify the few buyers who just barely qualified before the tax. It also means that in a buy vs. rent comparison, renting looks more favorable than it did in the passed. Both of these effectively mean the market will bear higher rent, given the higher cost of ownership. Of course, it doesn’t translate dollar for dollar, but there is a downstream impact.
    2) There are also various classes of benevolent landlords – those that are renting their places for less than market pricing, for whatever reason. Maybe parents renting to their offspring or relatives; maybe a church or community group renting to their membership; maybe the rare landlord with a socialist leaning. In any event, there is a group of landlords who are offering lower than market rentals, but who do at least want to recover their costs. This class is somewhat more likely to directly pass costs down.

    So, ownership costs do trickle down, albeit not evenly or even proportionally.

  153. 403
    Blake says:

    http://www.industryweek.com/economy/what-companies-are-really-doing-their-tax-windfall-so-far
    “What Companies Are Really Doing With Their Tax Windfall (So Far)” …. “[Willis Towers Watson, the] HR consulting firm asked 333 employers with at least 1,000 employees what they have done or plan to do as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Only 4% of companies said they had “increased wages for all employees”; an additional 3% said they planned to do so in the next year. While a further 13% said they’re “considering taking action this year or next,”
    …. a full 80% of companies aren’t considering giving raises at all.”

    Well, well, well… I am shocked, shocked I tell you!!

  154. 404
    Blake says:

    Wait… there’s more!
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/tax-overhaul-will-have-a-limited-effect-on-us-economy-moodys-says-2018-01-25
    “The U.S. tax bill signed into law in December will have a limited effect on the U.S. economy, as companies are unlikely to spend their tax savings on growth initiatives while the tax cut for the wealthy will not trickle down. That’s according to Moody’s Investors Service.

    “We do not expect a meaningful boost to business investment because U.S. nonfinancial companies will likely prioritize share buybacks, M&A and paying down existing debt,” said Moody’s analysts led by Rebecca Karnovitz. “Much of the tax cut for individuals will go to high earners, who are less likely to spend it on current consumption.”

    More than three-quarters of the $1.1 trillion in individual tax cuts will go to people who earn more than $200,000 a year in taxable income, who constitute only about 5% of all taxpayers, said Karnovitz.
    (end quote)

  155. 405
    Blurtman says:

    By Rupert D @ 398:

    Can we all agree that Mortgage Brokers should be exempt from this site. Never read such drivel in my life…..content in posting has nothing to do with the Seattle RE market. RE: Blurtman @ 374

    Fantastic claim that mortgage rate trends have nothing to do with RE. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Clearly, it’s different here, hee hee.

  156. 406
    jon says:

    RE: Blake @ 401

    “Much of the tax cut for individuals will go to high earners, who are less likely to spend it on current consumption.”

    “Taxpayers losing the SALT deduction will likely reduce their discretionary spending, shrinking sales-tax rev”

    So tax cuts do not affect consumption, but reductions in a tax cut do. I am curious as to their rationale for that apparent contradiction.

  157. 407
    Blake says:

    RE: jon @ 403
    The first statement is obvious and not controversial. People making over 200,000 a year spend a much smaller fraction of their income on consumption than the middle and lower class. They are more likely to put the money into savings/investments (or spend it overseas!)

    The second statement is more speculative and they soften it with the word “likely.” But the SALT changes will affect more people in the 75,000 to 200,000 range for whom SALT is a large proportion of their current deductions. These folks do spend a larger proportion of their income on consumption than those making over 200k.

    I don’t know the exact distribution of these deductions, but I assume Moody’s statisticians and economists have fairly accurate estimates and models.

  158. 408
    Eastsider says:

    By Blake @ 404:

    I assume Moody’s statisticians and economists have fairly accurate estimates and models.

    You mean the same group of people who rated the MBSs that brought us the GFC. Why don’t you cite speculative statements from another source that are contrary to Moody’s position? I am sure you can find them as easily as you found Moody’s.

    Perhaps we should all just wait for the actual data before spreading FUD (or what they call fake news nowadays.) LOL.

  159. 409
    Blake says:

    I’ve read many analyses of the effect of these tax cuts.  I’m an investor and watch the economy closely.  I also studied economics, math and statistics. Please send me a good analysis that contradicts what I posted.

    Here are a few quotes from the “wise guys.” I don’t find them to be credible…

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made an unambiguous promise that there would be “no absolute tax cut for the upper class.”

    Trump promised on September 13 that rich people wouldn’t benefit “at all” from his tax plan.

    On July 26, he went further and suggested he wanted to raise taxes on the rich.

    Trump went so far as to phone up a group of Senate Democrats to tell them, “My accountant called me and said, ‘You’re going to get killed in this bill.’”

    … from the horses mouth!

  160. 410
    David says:

    Just some deductive thoughts here –

    1) If $200k+ people invest the savings from the Trump Tax/Jobs Bill, then that spurs economic activity through investment.
    2) Less than $200k people will be getting the jobs created by the investment.
    3) = Mo-Money

  161. 411
    David says:

    RE: Blake @ 400 – 1) What about those companies who don’t have full size accounting departments capable of forecasting the effects until the tax cuts kick in?

    2) What about those companies raising wages for SOME workers?

    3) You’re an Anti-Trumper.

  162. 412
    Blake says:

    By David @ 408:

    RE: Blake @ 400
    2) What about those companies raising wages for SOME workers?

    3) You’re an Anti-Trumper

    #2. Some workers… you mean like 3-7% of workers?
    “Only 4% of companies said they had “increased wages for all employees”; an additional 3% said they planned to do so in the next year. While a further 13% said they’re “considering taking action this year or next,”
    …. a full 80% of companies aren’t considering giving raises at all.”

    #3. Guilty as charged. Perplexing considering that Trump is a man of such high character. A great role model for the kids of America don’t you think?

    What do you expect for a man whose mentor was Roy Cohn?
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/donald-trump-roy-cohn-relationship

  163. 413
    David says:

    RE: Blake @ 409

    1) Roy Cohn was definitely a creep. But Roy Cohn went out of his way to hide it from people. No one was scared of him after he was dead because legally you cannot defame the dead. So now we know. That doesn’t make Trump a moral acolyte of Roy Cohn (who really really was creepy).

    Let’s not forget that people do learn and change over time. Other than Trumps’s woman chasing habits – I’m not sure what in his history is so bad. Let’s also not forget that King Solomon had 700+ women on the side that he came to regret most of (but not all). KS also wrote some of the Bible.

    2) The tax cuts don’t even take effect until next month. I guarantee you average people like having ANY extra money more than having less extra money. You don’t need a study to prove it.

    3) Wait til the metro-Seattleites realize this year how much property-tax money they voted out of their pockets to support the 2%’ers that can ride a train into Seattle. MAKE SEATTLE CALIFORNIA AGAIN?

  164. 414
    Blurtman says:

    By Eastsider @ 405:

    By Blake @ 404:

    I assume Moody’s statisticians and economists have fairly accurate estimates and models.

    You mean the same group of people who rated the MBSs that brought us the GFC. Why don’t you cite speculative statements from another source that are contrary to Moody’s position? I am sure you can find them as easily as you found Moody’s.

    Perhaps we should all just wait for the actual data before spreading FUD (or what they call fake news nowadays.) LOL.

    Yeah, sure, youbetcha. Moody’s is a pay for play company. The ratings firms were responsible for the Great Depression 2.

    Moody’s fined $864M for fluffing ratings of mortgage-backed securities (their clients)
    https://therealdaily.com/real-estate-brokers/mortgage-brokerage/moodys-fined-864-fluffing-ratings-mortgage-backed-securities-clients/

  165. 415
    ess says:

    By ess @ 382:

    Hot off the press – Seattle leads the nation in real estate YOY price increase (again)

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-prices-accelerated-in-november-case-shiller-shows-2018-01-30

    If anyone read the above article, it listed San Francisco’s increase in housing prices YOY at over 9%. SF has one of the most expensive housing markets in the US. One would believe that there would be a point where buyers can no longer afford to purchase a residence in that market. That point apparently has not been reached in SF, where price increases continue to be robust. Perhaps an indication for home sales in the less expensive Puget Sound area where there has been some concern about price resistance.

    Those who have not bought in the past few years hoping prices would drop face the double whammy of both increased house prices and interest rates. Not to mention a precipitous decline in available inventory to choose from. In the area of my interest, South Snohomish County, there is virtually nothing available under 500K in the single family housing market category. Who could have anticipated that those small ramblers in this area would sell for such prices? Not moi. And they aren’t building any more small ramblers in this area anymore that would appeal to first time home buyers.

    In today’s WSJ – an article indicating that millennials are actively participating in the housing market. Good news for the real estate industry, as the absence of that age group was causing some concern.

  166. 416
    Deerhawke says:

    By Blake @ 404:

    RE: jon @ 403

    People making over $200,000 a year spend a much smaller fraction of their income on consumption than the middle and lower class. They are more likely to put the money into savings/investments (or spend it overseas!).

    Economists have studied this quite extensively– and it stands to reason. Less wealthy people just don’t have as much disposable income to dispose of. They have a higher marginal propensity to consume and a lower marginal propensity to save. The opposite is true of wealthier people, especially those who have had a high income for a sustained period of time and those who have an established asset base. They have a higher marginal propensity to save and a lower marginal propensity to consume.

    This also tends to track life cycle. When the Smiths were young they had two young kids. Every spare after-tax dime went into their mortgage, transportation, living expenses, childcare, education expenses, saving for college and maybe a bit of vacation. If you gave them a tax break, it would get spent immediately, maybe just to catch up with the credit cards. Twenty-five years later, they are at peak earning potential, the kids are out on their own (hopefully!) and the Smiths are saving every penny they can for retirement. Give them a tax break and it will go into their IRA, 401K, Roth etc. or maybe they will take a nice trip overseas.

    Now the real question is whether that money that is getting put into the stock market is really going toward productive investment or going toward a speculative asset bubble with more stock buybacks and ever more absurd P/E ratios.

    C’mon, this is American capitalism we are talking about. Is this even in doubt?

  167. 417

    RE: Blake @ 400 – There is no reason that tax cuts should or even would directly lead to wage increases. Tax cuts should lead to increased economic activity, which would then lead to increased pay if labor becomes in shorter supply. But companies are not going to plan to raise wages just due to tax cuts.

    The bonuses announced have just been PR moves and/or moves to improve employee morale.

    So basically you’re quoting an analysis showing why something that should not occur is not occurring. In that regard I share your sarcastic shock!

  168. 418
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 413 – Your fictional “Smiths” are just that – fictional.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-saving-twice-as-much-as-baby-boomers-2017-10

  169. 419

    By Eastsider @ 405:

    By Blake @ 404:

    I assume Moody’s statisticians and economists have fairly accurate estimates and models.

    You mean the same group of people who rated the MBSs that brought us the GFC.

    BAM! :-D

  170. 420
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 416
    Of course I am aware who Moody’s is and their history. You’ll notice that I also post a lot of quotes and analyses from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan analysts. These are larges organizations who hire many good analysts, although they may be rotten at the top. Moody’s has over 10,000 employees and I doubt most of them are corrupt and biased. (My father and grandfather worked for Union Carbide for 60 years, but I know they were not corrupt and evil even though UC’s negligence killed over 6,000 Indians in Bhopal in 1984 and UC did a lot of terrible things over the years – – things that my father tried to oppose… He was forced out because, as he was told, he “wasn’t willing to walk on people!”)

    I also despise the NYTimes and Wash Post, but recognize that they still have many excellent journalists who are doing the best job they can… as opposed to all the ambitious bootlicker “journalists” who simply reprint the scoops fed to them by government and corporate insiders…. the problem with our system is that these so-called “journalists” get promoted!

    I doubt that the Moody’s analysts who wrote that piece had anything to do with handing out AAA ratings over 10 years ago. Trumpists may say that anything that criticizes or cast doubt on Trump’s policies is “fake news” or some sort of conspiracy, but I read a lot of the business press every day and it is probably less biased than the rest of the media… they have to be because investors want the truth. (The Wall StJ’s reporting has always been top notch (and the Financial Times as well), but their editorial page is extreme and nutty… the WashPost’s editorial page seems to be going in the same direction with the hiring of the neocon Max Boot yesterday.)

  171. 421

    RE: Blake @ 417 – I’d agree with you on many of those points–particularly not judging individuals by the reputation of the entire entity. I keep a list of bad lenders, and include their firm in the database, but it’s not until there are multiple situations with the same firm I don’t tarnish all the firm’s individual loan officers with the sins of the ones I don’t like. But if the reputation of the entire entity is bad, then that’s problematic because you have to do a lot of work before you even begin to believe what it says.

    As to this topic, I’ll sometimes point out that it was The National Enquirer which broke the story of John Edward’s affair! Somewhat related, 60 Minutes did a story on the Olympics organization’s corruption, but for that particular story took years for that story to gain traction due to 60 Minute’s poor reputation for unbiased news.

  172. 422
  173. 423
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 415

    Actually this is a pretty good representation of every boomer parent I know between the ages of 55 and 70.

    Boomer parents spent all their money on their kids. And now those well-raised millennial kids are staying at home longer and then spending all their money on those same kids.

    I heard a great line from one of my son’s friends the other evening. He said that after spending a gap year, he was living with his old high school roommates.

    Took me a few seconds to work that one out.

  174. 424
    Deerhawke says:

    Interesting time-lapse video shot from the top of the Space Needle gives a good sense of the pace of change in this city. And not coincidently it also gives a good sense of why residential real estate prices for homes in the area are rising about as fast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2MTiUGvqyE

  175. 425
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 417 – However, corruption is at an all time high according to a former analyst named William J. Harrington who worked for Moody’s for 11 years as Business Insider reported in 2011:

    Harrington has made his story public in the form of a 78-page “comment” to the SEC’s proposed rules about rating agency reform, which he submitted to the agency on August 8th. The comment is a scathing indictment of Moody’s processes, conflicts of interests, and management, and it will likely make Harrington a star witness at any future litigation or hearings on this topic

    This is a major setback for Moody’s. Harrington can be considered a whistleblower. But can more people come forward exposing the deceitful practices of the “Big Three”? According to Harrington:

    Moody’s analysts whose conclusions prevent Moody’s clients from getting what they want, Harrington says, is viewed as “impeding deals” and, thus, harming Moody’s business. These analysts are often transferred, disciplined, “harassed,” or fired

    The most persuasive argument made against the “Big Three” is Matt Taibbi’s report published by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2013 titled ‘The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis’ exposes how deeply involved in the 2008 financial crisis:

    Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits by the San Diego-based law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, documents that for the most part have never been seen by the general public, we now know that the nation’s two top ratings companies, Moody’s and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash.

    In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked.

    “Lord help our f*****g scam . . . this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at,” writes one Standard & Poor’s executive. “As you know, I had difficulties explaining ‘HOW’ we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it,” confesses a high-ranking S&P analyst. “If we are just going to make it up in order to rate deals, then quants [quantitative analysts] are of precious little value,” complains another senior S&P man. “Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters,” ruminates one more.

    Ratings agencies are the glue that ostensibly holds the entire financial industry together. These gigantic companies – also known as Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations, or NRSROs – have teams of examiners who analyze companies, cities, towns, countries, mortgage borrowers, anybody or anything that takes on debt or creates an investment vehicle

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/politics-financial-fraud-and-the-big-three-credit-ratings-agencies/5428603

  176. 426
    S-Crow says:

    Agent & Buyers Bulletin: The case of finding out from escrow that the person signing as the seller is not the seller or has no authority to sign on behalf of the seller.

    From the trenches: It is imperative to know who has Title to the subject property. Please read the prior sentence again. Once that is established then it is crucial that whomever signed your listing agreement and subsequent purchase agreement is either THE bonafide seller or has signing authority on behalf of the seller (ie, signing authority can take the form of a few things such as Power of Attorney if the real owner/seller(s) are not deceased or as a Personal Representative/Executor of the Estate or similar authority depending upon the scenario at hand).

    Listing agents can resolve this problem by asking escrow prior to taking the listing if the person you are dealing with is in fact the seller or has signing authority to list the property and sign subsequent purchase agreements. Escrow can help you make sure you have the correct information at the onset. Selling Agents can save yourselves and your buyers wasted time by bothering to look at WHO signed the purchase agreement as a seller. Further, a buyer’s agent can look at the Seller Disclosure FORM 17 before they even write the offer to see if the owner of record selling matches the signature (if it’s somewhat legible) on the Form 17. If it does not match, (ie, the person signed individually as Billy Trump when the owner of record is Arthur and Jean Sellers) then it’s an immediate red flag and questions should be asked. Noticing the little details like this is always wise.

    Escrow is here to help and is a tremendous resource.

  177. 427

    RE: S-Crow @ 422 – Why didn’t you mention looking at the title report to see who is the record owner?

    As to checking signatures, the main problem with that, at least in King County, is you might not be able to find a signature of the seller. King County does not allow public access to deeds of trust through their on-line system, and deeds do not require a buyer signature. You might be able to find a copy of an excise tax declaration. But the other problem is the seller disclosure statement and purchase and sale agreement will most likely be electronically signed.

    I agree that the listing agent should be the one looking into this before the time they take the listing active. But I would look at the title report and to the title company, not escrow.

    Another issue that can pop up is sometimes the signature of the seller’s spouse is required even if they are not on record title. Those issues should also be worked through too prior to taking a listing active.

  178. 428
    greg says:

    By Blurtman @ 421:

    RE: Blake @ 417 – However, corruption is at an all time high according to a former analyst named William J. Harrington who worked for Moody’s for 11 years as Business Insider reported in 2011:

    Harrington has made his story public in the form of a 78-page “comment” to the SEC’s proposed rules about rating agency reform, which he submitted to the agency on August 8th. The comment is a scathing indictment of Moody’s processes, conflicts of interests, and management, and it will likely

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/politics-financial-fraud-and-the-big-three-credit-ratings-agencies/5428603

    (shorten wall of text )

    Well if attacking sources is the standard. And it very much seems to be on this thread…

    Well in that case this site you link to Blurtman, is a very hard left site where well known socialists ply their trade….
    I have no issue with that, other than there is not a change in hell the writer you link would find the slightest thing to praise about “wall street” our federal gov or in fact anything at all.
    i quick look around the sit and a search of Timothy history and i am surprised he did not just straight up call for all wealthy investors to be hung by the bollox .

    Timothy has several thousand words on the topic of Seth Rich. He accuses Hillary and the Dems of murdering Seth, but never provides any proof or data or in fact anything at all to back up his implied claims. But to avoid a lawsuit he never actual says Hillary murdered Seth or had someone do or in fact directly names anyone..
    This is classic conspiracy bullshot. Write thousands and thousands of words with lots of tangents and sprinkled with off topic facts…. but never provide data to support the position or even clearly and fairly accuse the person .

    Timothy is a bullshot artist. The link devalues your post, it is nothing more than the left wing version of Alex jones…

  179. 429
    Kmac says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 422

    I once had a deal going that the people on title or deed needed an unnamed investor to agree and sign off on the entire transaction, and it wasn’t a pre-foreclosure or a shortsale as far as I knew.
    I thought that was rather strange.

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 423

    I have had several instances, prior to all of this electronic signature of docs, that I was not allowed to look at the disclosure until AFTER I submitted an offer.
    Is there some kind of MLS rule barring this behavior?

  180. 430
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 423 – Kary, Title wouldn’t know who the heck is signing the listing agreement. The agent needs to find out if the person in front of them has the signing authority and should contact escrow for guidance. Preliminary Title does not reflect if the owner of record is deceased unless recorded documents are available that show an Estate. Trusting a party that says they can sign on behalf of the owner of record is perilous without documentation showing they have the signing authority. This is where Escrow can assist agents in telling them which stars need to be aligned. Escrow is heavily involved in making sure the legal documentation required is met for the scenario at hand. As for electronic signatures from Authentisign or Docusign, you can still see the name of who digitally signed the document.

  181. 431
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Kmac @ 425 – Agents have access to view the Form 17 Disclosures among others if it is provided within the NWMLS portal from the get go. Your agent should easily be able to pull it up if it is provided. Only allowing a buyer to view the Seller Disclosure form after they have submitted a signed around contract….well, it’s possible, but I sure as hell would ask why?

    As far as some party needing to sign off on a sale that is not reflected as an owner on the latest Deed? Hmmm. Not sure about that but I know there are probably details that may make that feasible…..like maybe a short sale like you mentioned or someone who has some interest in the property.

  182. 432
    jon says:

    By Deerhawke @ 420:

    Interesting time-lapse video shot from the top of the Space Needle gives a good sense of the pace of change in this city. And not coincidently it also gives a good sense of why residential real estate prices for homes in the area are rising about as fast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2MTiUGvqyE

    Let’s hope it slows down in time for when Amazon moves its intake vent from Seattle to the lucky host city of HQ2, and also that the cutback in construction and related employment doesn’t disrupt the local economy too much.

  183. 433

    By Kmac @ 425:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 423

    I have had several instances, prior to all of this electronic signature of docs, that I was not allowed to look at the disclosure until AFTER I submitted an offer.
    Is there some kind of MLS rule barring this behavior?

    I’m unclear what you mean by barring this behavior, but typically a listing agent will make the disclosure statement an attachment to the listing and WANT to have the disclosure statement come back with an offer signed off by a buyer. And buyers will want to comply to make their offer more attractive.

    Now there are times where a seller is slow to prepare the disclosure statement, and it’s not ready when the listing goes active, but that would be the exception rather than the rule.

    Maybe you’re talking about a time prior to when I was an agent, which was well before electronic signatures.

  184. 434

    By S-Crow @ 426:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 423 – Kary, Title wouldn’t know who the heck is signing the listing agreement. The agent needs to find out if the person in front of them has the signing authority and should contact escrow for guidance. Preliminary Title does not reflect if the owner of record is deceased unless recorded documents are available that show an Estate. Trusting a party that says they can sign on behalf of the owner of record is perilous without documentation showing they have the signing authority. This is where Escrow can assist agents in telling them which stars need to be aligned. Escrow is heavily involved in making sure the legal documentation required is met for the scenario at hand. As for electronic signatures from Authentisign or Docusign, you can still see the name of who digitally signed the document.

    Escrow isn’t any more likely to know the proper parties than title, and they will be looking at the title report prepared by title. Escrow won’t even have a connection to the property prior to a purchase and sale agreement being signed. Prior to that, it is title who is involved in the process and there is no escrow.

    As to the possibility of a deceased owner, that would be fairly obvious unless maybe you’re dealing with a son with the same name as a father. I suppose you could have some situation where a person is claiming to be someone they are not, but neither escrow or title is likely to know that any better than the agent.

    The electronic signature comment was based on what I thought was you suggesting people needed to compare signatures, not names.

  185. 435

    By S-Crow @ 427:

    As far as some party needing to sign off on a sale that is not reflected as an owner on the latest Deed? Hmmm. Not sure about that but I know there are probably details that may make that feasible…..like maybe a short sale like you mentioned or someone who has some interest in the property.

    The spouse on homestead property occupied by either spouse would be one situation. A right of first refusal would be another situation. It could also be some prior transaction that somehow needed to be cleared up–maybe an improper legal description on a prior deed or a real estate contract where the fulfillment deed had never been issued. The spouse one is undoubtedly the most common.

  186. 436
  187. 437
    MGSpiffy says:

    The fix is in. I close on Tuesday. In the future, when we look back we’ll all agree that the great housing crash of 2018-2022 started on Wednesday, Feb 7th 2018, and the cause can be traced to my singularly negative karma of always buying just before the the plunge…

    (Actually things are still looking bonkers around here, and jumbo rates seem to slipping upwards – will be really curious to see how it looks in 2-3 months).

  188. 438
    ess says:

    By Deerhawke @ 420:

    Interesting time-lapse video shot from the top of the Space Needle gives a good sense of the pace of change in this city. And not coincidently it also gives a good sense of why residential real estate prices for homes in the area are rising about as fast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2MTiUGvqyE

    One wonders how the city would have developed if the voters had approved the “Seattle Commons”, and Amazon developed south of the downtown core near one of the light rail stations.

    Interesting that Amazon developed the horticultural “spheres” for their workers, as Amazon’s establishment and growth has resulted in more urbanization and less open space and vegetation in the Seattle area as single family houses are replaced by townhouses and apartments to accommodate all the new growth.

  189. 439
    ess says:

    By MGSpiffy @ 432:

    The fix is in. I close on Tuesday. In the future, when we look back we’ll all agree that the great housing crash of 2018-2022 started on Wednesday, Feb 7th 2018, and the cause can be traced to my singularly negative karma of always buying just before the the plunge…

    (Actually things are still looking bonkers around here, and jumbo rates seem to slipping upwards – will be really curious to see how it looks in 2-3 months).

    Congratulations on your new purchase! What area of Puget Sound is your new abode?

    Speaking of karma, I am convinced that every time I get on an airplane, the one screaming crying kid that is coming on board will be sitting right behind me

  190. 440
    MGSpiffy says:

    @ESS – 98040 – Off-Market purchase from our (former) landlord. The lender insist that we were the first he’s seen in a year to come in well under appraisal.

  191. 441
    Deerhawke says:

    For those of you who think we are heading toward the next bubble because lending standards have gone to pot in the past few years, I have a suggestion for you. Just try getting a refi or home loan these days.

    I just recently went through the exercise for the first time since the crash. It was (and is) excruciating.

    I am a builder and it is not simple to get a construction loan for $2-4 million these days. But for reasons that make no sense to me, getting a home loan for $600K makes this exercise look quite simple and straight-forward. Getting a home loan has turned into a kind of extreme financial proctology exam sport.

    In my case, it was not a hard loan to analyze. 33% LTV. 800+ Ficos. Bank customer with the same branch since 1997. And mind you this was not a new purchase, but a refi with Chase, the institution that is holding the original loan we took out with WaMu in 2007. They were able to confirm the fact that we made our payments and were never late once in 11 years.

    I have had the underwriter send back five sets of 5-10 detailed questions over 3 weeks. Yes I am self-employed and some of this is to be expected. But each inquiry requires elaborate answers and reams of supporting paperwork. Totally over the top.

    This is a world away from that loan we got from WaMu in 2007. Just have a pulse and fill out a 3 page form. The rest was taken on faith. We got our approval back within a week.

    If this is a bubble and it is going to pop, it is absolutely not going to be because of loose lending standards. Come up with a different theory, because I for one won’t believe that is plausible.

  192. 442
    Blurtman says:

    RE: greg @ 424RE: greg @ 424 – Yes,clearly a Russian conspiracy.

    SEC Announces Charges Against Standard & Poor’s for Fraudulent Ratings Misconduct
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    2015-10
    Washington D.C., Jan. 21, 2015 —
    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a series of federal securities law violations by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services involving fraudulent misconduct in its ratings of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).

    S&P agreed to pay more than $58 million to settle the SEC’s charges, plus an additional $19 million to settle parallel cases announced today by the New York Attorney General’s office ($12 million) and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office ($7 million).

    “Investors rely on credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s to play it straight when rating complex securities like CMBS,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division. “But Standard & Poor’s elevated its own financial interests above investors by loosening its rating criteria to obtain business and then obscuring these changes from investors. These enforcement actions, our first-ever against a major ratings firm, reflect our commitment to aggressively policing the integrity and transparency of the credit ratings process.”
    https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2015-10.html

    Traditionally, investments holding AAA ratings have had a less than 1% probability of
    incurring defaults. But in 2007, the vast majority of RMBS and CDO securities with AAA
    ratings incurred substantial losses; some failed outright. Analysts have determined that over
    90% of the AAA ratings given to subprime RMBS securities originated in 2006 and 2007 were
    later downgraded by the credit rating agencies to junk status. In the case of Long Beach, 75 out
    of 75 AAA rated Long Beach securities issued in 2006, were later downgraded to junk status,
    defaulted, or withdrawn. Investors and financial institutions holding the AAA rated securities
    lost significant value. Those widespread losses led, in turn, to a loss of investor confidence in
    the value of the AAA rating, in the holdings of major U.S. financial institutions, and even in the
    viability of U.S. financial markets.

    Inaccurate AAA credit ratings introduced risk into the U.S. financial system and
    constituted a key cause of the financial crisis. In addition, the July mass downgrades, which
    were unprecedented in number and scope, precipitated the collapse of the RMBS and CDO
    secondary markets, and perhaps more than any other single event triggered the beginning of the
    financial crisis.

    Evidence gathered by the Subcommittee shows that the credit rating agencies were aware
    of problems in the mortgage market, including an unsustainable rise in housing prices, the high
    risk nature of the loans being issued, lax lending standards, and rampant mortgage fraud. Instead
    of using this information to temper their ratings, the firms continued to issue a high volume of
    investment grade ratings for mortgage backed securities. If the credit rating agencies had issued
    ratings that accurately reflected the increasing risk in the RMBS and CDO markets and
    appropriately adjusted existing ratings in those markets, they might have discouraged investors
    from purchasing high risk RMBS and CDO securities, and slowed the pace of securitizations.

    https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/report-psi-staff-report-wall-street-and-the-financial-crisis-anatomy-of-a-financial-collapse wall street and the financial crisis anatomy of a financial collapse report

  193. 443
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By Blake @ 400:Only 4% of companies said they had “increased wages for all employees”; an additional 3% said they planned to do so in the next year…
    Hold up a minute… I’m a little slow and my coffee hasn’t completely kicked in yet. But if I read that right, within the next 11 months 7% of companies will have increased wages* (not bonuses, but wages) for ALL employees. Presumably there’s also some percentage of companies who have/plan to increase wages* for SOME (but not all) of their employees. Would this not place upward pressure on wages at the cheapskate companies who are hoping to say, simply divide the tax savings among the investors? Since this is a housing blog, I’ll put it in real estate terms: when we started looking to buy a house in Seattle in 2014, we were planning to pay 2011 prices. But it seems our competitors were willing to pay more, so, unfortunately, we were faced with paying more than we wanted.

    *The careful reader will note that as compensation includes more than wages, there is likely some non-zero number of additional companies providing additional, non-wage compensation to their employees. For instance, picking up a greater percentage of health insurance premiums would not be a “wage” increase, but it would put more money in their employees’ pockets and the end of every month…

  194. 444
    ess says:

    By MGSpiffy @ 435:

    @ESS – 98040 – Off-Market purchase from our (former) landlord. The lender insist that we were the first he’s seen in a year to come in well under appraisal.

    Very nice – enjoy your new abode.

    Unfortunately, your various taxing authorities are presenting you with a less than welcoming house warming gift.

    https://patch.com/washington/mercerisland/how-much-will-property-taxes-increase-mercer-island-see-estimates-her

    Will this be the proverbial straw that does the back of the camel in? We shall see if there are going to be any tax revolts in the next round of school board requests that we get to vote on next month.

  195. 445
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 430
    Kary mentioned: “Escrow isn’t any more likely to know the proper parties than title, and they will be looking at the title report prepared by title. Escrow won’t even have a connection to the property prior to a purchase and sale agreement being signed. Prior to that, it is title who is involved in the process and there is no escrow.” –

    Kary, I didn’t intend for my post comment to be turned into a ‘what escrow does and does not.” I thought it would be helpful. However in light of your comment that is incorrect, I think it appropriate to revisit the “you don’t know what you don’t know” idea.

    So to help clarify and make it crystal clear: escrow co’s such as ours are commonly involved prior to a PSA being involved and prior to any Title Co being involved. This is almost an every day occurrence and is not unusual to any escrow firm or Title Co. back end staff. We receive calls from the public, agents or loan processors inquiring about their scenarios to receive our guidance how to prepare for their transaction and prior to our escrow company ordering Prelim Title in an eventual sale (yes, escrow does order prelim Title.). We pull data from public records to assist us in offering answers regardless if prelim. Title is available or not. A Title report is an important tool in the tool box. It does not provide scenario guidance. It does not tell you that the individual who signed the listing or PSA is not an authorized signor on behalf of the owner of record nor does it tell you how to identify a legally authorized signor.

    Yesterday morning I had a call from the public where I assisted in helping them understand what is required to get them ready for an estate sale scenario. The questions I posed are the same that would prevent the problem from unfolding in the sample I provided.

  196. 446
    S-Crow says:

    RE: MGSpiffy @ 432 – Hah! that is funny. Good luck with the new place!

  197. 447
    Doug says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 436 – This isn’t a bubble. This is supply and demand in it’s most basic form.

  198. 448
    S-Crow says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 439 – Kary, in another example I received a call from a large Trust headquartered in LA to discuss the sale of a local home. After a quick search while the party and I were on the line, I indicated that the home was not in fact titled in the Trust, to which the gentleman said that is impossible due to the fact they were paying property taxes on the home. I said, anyone can pay anyone’s property taxes and I offered they were being exceptionally generous! Obviously they had a mess to sort out with the beneficiary. In any event, you get the idea…..we offer guidance all the time before a transaction is placed with us or not.

  199. 449

    By S-Crow @ 439:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 430
    Kary mentioned: “Escrow isn’t any more likely to know the proper parties than title, and they will be looking at the title report prepared by title. Escrow won’t even have a connection to the property prior to a purchase and sale agreement being signed. Prior to that, it is title who is involved in the process and there is no escrow.” –

    Kary, I didn’t intend for my post comment to be turned into a ‘what escrow does and does not.” I thought it would be helpful. However in light of your comment that is incorrect, I think it appropriate to revisit the “you don’t know what you don’t know” idea.

    So to help clarify and make it crystal clear: escrow co’s such as ours are commonly involved prior to a PSA being involved and prior to any Title Co being involved. This is almost an every day occurrence and is not unusual to any escrow firm or Title Co. back end staff. We receive calls from the public, agents or loan processors inquiring about their scenarios to receive our guidance how to prepare for their transaction and prior to our escrow company ordering Prelim Title in an eventual sale (yes, escrow does order prelim Title.).

    Yours is a business that generates business by providing superior customer service. So it’s not surprising your past customers would turn to you for advice. That might be particularly true if the agents involved have been going to their title reps rather than title officers for answers to questions, and have found those answers unsatisfactory.

    But no, you’re not involved in the process prior to a purchase and sale contract being involved, except as a volunteer. The purchase and sale contract selects the escrow company (as well as the title company).

    Also, escrow generally orders updated title to reflect the buyer information, but unless the buyer successfully switched to another title company than that selected by the seller (something less common in this market), it would be surprising that you would be the first to open title on a listed transaction. Any agent who does not open title and obtain a commitment prior to taking a listing active is playing a very risky game because if they get into a situation as you describe (dealing with the wrong seller) they will likely end up owing a commission to the buyer’s agent. Yes there are some agents who don’t obtain preliminary commitments, but those are agents who follow bad practices.

    Finally, my experience regarding who to ask what might be a bit different than that of the typical agent because I understand how to read title reports. That means when I have a question it will be of a rather unusual situation, and that will generally necessitate going to the title officer directly and sometimes even to a level beyond that. Having to do that was quite common back when I was working as a bankruptcy attorney, because even the routine seemed to require going upstairs to the legal department.

  200. 450
    wreckingbull says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 443:

    By S-Crow @ 439:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 430
    Kary mentioned: “Escrow isn’t any more likely to know the proper parties than title, and they will be looking at the title report prepared by title. Escrow won’t even have a connection to the property prior to a purchase and sale agreement being signed. Prior to that, it is title who is involved in the process and there is no escrow.” –

    Kary, I didn’t intend for my post comment to be turned into a ‘what escrow does and does not.” I thought it would be helpful. However in light of your comment that is incorrect, I think it appropriate to revisit the “you don’t know what you don’t know” idea.

    So to help clarify and make it crystal clear: escrow co’s such as ours are commonly involved prior to a PSA being involved and prior to any Title Co being involved. This is almost an every day occurrence and is not unusual to any escrow firm or Title Co. back end staff. We receive calls from the public, agents or loan processors inquiring about their scenarios to receive our guidance how to prepare for their transaction and prior to our escrow company ordering Prelim Title in an eventual sale (yes, escrow does order prelim Title.).

    But no, you’re not involved in the process prior to a purchase and sale contract being involved, except as a volunteer. The purchase and sale contract selects the escrow company (as well as the title company).

    A ‘volunteer’? I guess if you put it that way, everything we do in life is ‘voluntary’, including getting out of bed. I think you are just nit-picking semantics. I have a family member in escrow, and while I don’t know their business inside-out, my experience tells me their knowledge of the overall environment is vastly superior to RE agents.

    This is why when I see the blue crow in the comments, I make sure I read – as I will likely learn something. Before you get too butt-hurt with that statement, let me say I also pay attention to your posts with the same level of attention.

  201. 451

    RE: wreckingbull @ 444 – They’re a volunteer because there is no purchase and sale contract and it’s that contract that determines who the escrow is. I wasn’t in any way trying to discredit the stressful and necessary work that escrows do.

    I received a call from a real estate attorney yesterday asking a question about escalation clauses. I am not a party to the transaction that the attorney is involved with. I volunteered to answer his questions. Real estate agents too generally get business due to their customer service (unless they advertise a great deal), and so I was happy to discuss the matter with that attorney.

  202. 452

    Here’s a Washington Realtors’ video from a couple of years ago on when to order a preliminary commitment. Apparently there was a problem with agents ordering preliminary commitments prior to listing presentations. But as to this topic, starting at just after the 4 minute mark the reasons to need to have a PC before listing is discussed, and that includes S-Crow’s reason of knowing who the seller is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o0z6jqp8mo

    BTW, I disagree with Annie on that video in that she indicates it might be acceptable to list prior to actually getting the PC, although she does indicate it should be ordered immediately after signing the listing agreement. For the average agent I would say that is false, but now that we have to wait five days for utility marking prior to putting up signs, it’s probably a moot point.

  203. 453
    Kmac says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 429:

    I’m unclear what you mean by barring this behavior……

    Now that I looked up the word, I may have used the word “barring” incorrectly.
    I had used it as an extension of the word “bar” used as a verb; to block; to prevent; to hinder, but now see that this is not necessarily a correct usage.

    Maybe you’re talking about a time prior to when I was an agent, which was well before electronic signatures.

    Perhaps, it was in early 2000’s and also in a small town where the RE agents seem to like to play games.
    You could go along with it, strong arm them or simply walk away, but in any case I would make sure that the seller knew what was going on.

  204. 454

    By Kmac @ 447:

    Perhaps, it was in early 2000’s and also in a small town where the RE agents seem to like to play games.
    You could go along with it, strong arm them or simply walk away, but in any case I would make sure that the seller knew what was going on.

    That was before my time, but I would also add those small towns can be odd. I had a buyer interested in some property down by Mt. Rainier, and just getting into the property was a hassle and I later found out the seller wasn’t even getting our offers. A few months later the agent was sanctioned by the NWMLS for not cooperating. (And no, not due to my complaint.)

  205. 455
    greg says:

    By Doug @ 441:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 436 – This isn’t a bubble. This is supply and demand in it’s most basic form.

    poe’s law …..

  206. 456
    N says:

    @436 Deerhawke – Good post. Yes, underwriting may be more thorough but that doesn’t change the fact that the standards have loosened like crazy. 600 credit score, little down payment? No problem.

  207. 457

    RE: Blake @ 404
    If You Use % Comparison the New Tax Law is a Godsend to Most of Americans

    Almost all of us will see a LOT MORE NET PAY This Month in Our Checks

    % increases are the highest when most of your income falls in the new 12% tax bracket….retirees like SWE made out like a BANDIT. My net pay is about the same as working but my GROSS PAY went significantly down [I don’t pay in to retirements anymore]….meaning about a $3K CHUNK of net pay extra for 2018. Massive.

    If you don’t want your Trump money, send it to SWE….LOL

  208. 458
    greg says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 436

    Deerhawke , It might be that given your employment you are somewhat of a double danger to any lender. You loan is in the same sector as your employment. If the market were to turn you would clearly be hit harder than the average borrower. If i were lending you the money i would have above average concerns.
    Of course i am not saying you are a bad risk, but merely that underlying asset and your source of income are closely related.

  209. 459
    uwp says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 451
    To pay $3,000 less in taxes this year vs 2017 as a married couple you have to make around $125,000.

    Your average couple making 60k will save about $85/month.

  210. 460

    By uwp @ 453:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 451
    To pay $3,000 less in taxes this year vs 2017 as a married couple you have to make around $125,000.

    I think there are way too many variables for that number to be very useful. For example, married couples without children would likely do better than married couples with two children. And married couples without children who are self-employed should do much better than married couples without children who are employees. Some married couples making $125,000 could possibly even pay more, particularly if they have high real estate tax payments.

  211. 461
    David B. says:

    By Anonymous Coward @ 437:

    Would this not place upward pressure on wages at the cheapskate companies who are hoping to say, simply divide the tax savings among the investors? Since this is a housing blog, I’ll put it in real estate terms: when we started looking to buy a house in Seattle in 2014, we were planning to pay 2011 prices. But it seems our competitors were willing to pay more, so, unfortunately, we were faced with paying more than we wanted.

    It’s supply and demand. Had there been a large inventory of houses sitting on the market unsold, you could have probably paid less by offering someone whose home had been languishing unsold a lowball offer. Of course, there wasn’t, and making lowball offers would just ensure your offer got laughed at and someone else buys the house for more than you were willing to pay.

    Even before the tax cuts, some companies were giving workers raises, because they were having trouble acquiring and/or holding on to talent. If there’s a pool of the unemployed ready to draw on, however, there is no real motive for businesses to bid more for labor. How much they are willing to pay is based on supply and demand in the labor market, not any principle that labor is always entitled to a certain fraction of the proceeds of doing business.

  212. 462

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 448

    When Seller Disclosure Forms first came out it there was no “upload” capability and some MLS’s still don’t have that. It was customary to send “on a need to know basis”, and so yes, after you received an offer or at least not until and after an agent showed the property and called asking for the Seller Disclosure because they were writing an offer. The detail in Seller Disclosure Forms is often more “need to know” basis and why they are not publicly available.

    There is also a gray area as to whether a mere “upload to docs” constitutes “legal delivery” and whether the days to cancel can begin before there is an accepted contract. Usually I cover this by including it in the offer to prove delivery.

    Most of the Country operates on a “you have to ask for it” basis since they don’t all have an upload docs feature. Some agents want you to at least show the property first.

    It used to always be done after an offer was received as that was deemed to be in the best interest of the seller, and the Listing Agent represents the seller. It was thought that after a buyer submitted an offer they were more committed to purchase and the info in the Seller Disclosure would not be enough to change their mind at that point.

    In the end, whatever is best for the seller is what matters to an Agent for the Seller/Listing Agent. Not likely someone is going to step in and “bar” an agent’s ability to determine what is best for their client in each different scenario.

  213. 463
    Eastsider says:

    10 yr Treasury yield just hit 2.77%. That is about 3/4pt higher than just 5 months ago. Will we see 3.5% 10yr yield and 5% mortgage rate this year? If so, home prices will likely stall, if not decline outright.

  214. 464

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 456:

    There is also a gray area as to whether a mere “upload to docs” constitutes “legal delivery” and whether the days to cancel can begin before there is an accepted contract. Usually I cover this by including it in the offer to prove delivery.

    I just checked, and it looks like seller disclosure statements have been around since at least 7/1/1996–possibly earlier. Not surprising attachments didn’t exist then.

    I think the problem with that would be merely proofing when a document was uploaded. I’m not even sure if the NWMLS could tell you that if they were subpoenaed.

    I agree with your last sentence, but would also note that in a multiple offer situation the failure to do so could (probably will?) affect your chance of having the offer accepted.

  215. 465

    RE: S-Crow @ 439

    The funniest I have had was back on the East Coast before we had internet capability. It was a “cold come list” from floor duty, so I had never met the seller before.

    I had a feeling that the girlfriend he bought the house with was not the same girlfriend beside him that he was trying to pass off as his old girlfriend. It’s touchy, and in this case very as Fair Housing could be involved given I don’t normally ask for people’s ID at a Listing Appointment, so making an exception can be a bit tricky. I fast-forwarded and just mentioned that signing at Closing is pretty easy, you just have to bring your Driver’s License and other ID to prove you are the owner before you sign. I could tell by her face that she got the message loud and clear. He did not.

    The new/”old” girlfriend called me and spilled the beans including some tips on how I might be able to find the real old girlfriend. It was a short sale with no proceeds to the sellers. I asked the seller’s attorney if he was coming to closing and he said “No. Ardell…trust me…it’s not going to close.” I don’t think he knew about the girlfriend thing. I think he just didn’t think all the lienholders were going to approve the short sale.

    I walked into closing (East Coast Table Close) with the old girlfriend. It closed.

  216. 466
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 458

    Agree. But I don’t think the here and now was the basis for his question. Here and now the buyers usually waive the right to cancel on the Form 17, so the point becomes moot unless the property is on market for a long time and there is only one offer.

  217. 467
    Sid says:

    By Eastsider @ 457:

    10 yr Treasury yield just hit 2.77%. That is about 3/4pt higher than just 5 months ago. Will we see 3.5% 10yr yield and 5% mortgage rate this year? If so, home prices will likely stall, if not decline outright.

    Seattle housing prices will be more correlated with stocks of local tech companies than with the mortgage rates.

  218. 468
    kenmorem says:

    real estate question for everyone (this is a RE blog still, right?):

    agent notwithstanding, does it matter in today’s real estate world what company you work with? is there any actual difference between remax, coldwell, windermere, redfin, etc?

    if you’re selling a property, and it’s listed on the MLS, will it appear on all sites, or just your company + redfin + zillow?

  219. 469
    Kmac says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 456

    Thanks Ardell.
    Makes perfect sense in that context.

  220. 470
    uwp says:

    By Sid @ 467:

    By Eastsider @ 457:

    10 yr Treasury yield just hit 2.77%. That is about 3/4pt higher than just 5 months ago. Will we see 3.5% 10yr yield and 5% mortgage rate this year? If so, home prices will likely stall, if not decline outright.

    Seattle housing prices will be more correlated with stocks of local tech companies than with the mortgage rates.

    Don’t worry, just like the housing disaster that is always around the corner, some of our local bears have been calling for Amazon to crater as well.

    Oh hey, look, Amazon crushed earnings expectations today. Stock up after hours.

  221. 471
    GoHawks says:

    RE: uwp @ 470 – Yeah, people on here have been screaming Amazon bubble since $700 a share. Could hit $1,500 tomorrow.

  222. 472

    By kenmorem @ 468:

    real estate question for everyone (this is a RE blog still, right?):

    agent notwithstanding, does it matter in today’s real estate world what company you work with? is there any actual difference between remax, coldwell, windermere, redfin, etc?

    if you’re selling a property, and it’s listed on the MLS, will it appear on all sites, or just your company + redfin + zillow?

    You’d be nuts and soon broke if you only sold listings with the company you were associated with, even in buyer’s markets. Also note with the possible exception of maybe only Redfin, you can’t assume common firm ownership with a common name.

    As to the agents themselves, there are good agents and bad agents with all the companies you mentioned (and even the ones you didn’t). The agent matters much more than the company they associate themselves with.

  223. 473

    By GoHawks @ 471:

    RE: uwp @ 470 – Yeah, people on here have been screaming Amazon bubble since $700 a share. Could hit $1,500 tomorrow.

    You realize that’s maybe evidence of a bubble, right? ;-) :-D

  224. 474
    Sid says:

    By GoHawks @ 471:

    RE: uwp @ 470 – Yeah, people on here have been screaming Amazon bubble since $700 a share. Could hit $1,500 tomorrow.

    $1500 tomorrow, $2000 end of year.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if it beats AAPL to $1 Trillion valuation.

  225. 475
    Eastsider says:

    By Sid @ 467:

    By Eastsider @ 457:

    10 yr Treasury yield just hit 2.77%. That is about 3/4pt higher than just 5 months ago. Will we see 3.5% 10yr yield and 5% mortgage rate this year? If so, home prices will likely stall, if not decline outright.

    Seattle housing prices will be more correlated with stocks of local tech companies than with the mortgage rates.

    There is also an inverse correlation between stock prices and bond yields. So if bond yields keep rising, perhaps home prices will decline. No?

  226. 476
    Eastsider says:

    By Sid @ 474:

    $1500 tomorrow, $2000 end of year.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if it beats AAPL to $1 Trillion valuation.

    Wow. That’s a 33% gain in under a year. What are you doing here in the real estate blog?

  227. 477
    Blake says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 473:

    By GoHawks @ 471:

    RE: uwp @ 470 – Yeah, people on here have been screaming Amazon bubble since $700 a share. Could hit $1,500 tomorrow.

    You realize that’s maybe evidence of a bubble, right? ;-) :-D

    C’mon Kary… AMZ went up 50% in 3 months… at this rate it’ll hit 5,060 by the end of the year!!!!

    Fun thing… go look at the graphs of AMZ and other stock prices the last 10 years. Even the SP500 graph is accelerating… looking asymptotic!

    Quick quiz: What’s the correlation between super low unemployment rates and trailing stock market prices?
    Answer: https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/i7UvkD1X1_dg/v2/-1x-1.png

  228. 478
    Go Hawks! says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 473 – I guess my point is that so many on this website only follow price appreciation to cry bubble. Just because something goes up doesn’t mean doom is imminent. People see the stock go from $400-$700 and scream bubble. Or it could be that it’s a well run, revolutionary company that could well be the first company in history worth one trillion dollars.

  229. 479

    RE: kenmorem @ 468

    “If you’re selling a property, and it’s listed in the MLS, will it appear on all sites, or just your company + redfin + zillow?”

    Timely question for a couple of reasons. First let me say that Redfin is a Brokerage just like any other Brokerage, so the answer to “your company + Redfin…” is the mls feeds to ALL “Brokerage” sites, which does not include Zillow but does include Redfin as well as some “For Sale by Owner IN the mls” sites. Brokerages can authorize an mls feed to Zillow…or not. Until May of 2016 or so an agent could manually upload to Zillow, but since then the Brokerage has to authorize the feed to Zillow. So not all listings appear there nor do they all appear on other non-brokerage sites like Realtor dot com.

    I say this is a timely question because the DOJ sued NAR quite some time ago, partly because some traditional brokerages didn’t want Alternative Brokerages to have equal rights on several different levels. NAR and the DOJ eventually settled the issue with a 10 year Consent Decree that guaranteed that ALL brokerages get the feed (among other things), but that Consent Decree expires on November 18, 2018. So the answer after that date may not be the same as it is now. The discussions are starting and there is word as of last week that the DOJ and FTC are going to start conducting some workshops on the issue this Spring.

    Not touted as being related, but I think it is, after spending $12 Million dollars on trying to create what would basically be a NAR conrtrolled National MLS (AMP-Advanced Multi-list Platform), NAR announced today that they are shelving the project.

    But at least for now, any MLS Member who lists a property agrees that the property will appear on ALL MLS Brokerage Member sites, which again does include Redfin and does not include Zillow. Zillow doesn’t sell real estate. Redfin does.

  230. 480

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 478 – Ardell raises a good point that would cause me to amend my answer. The firm selected does matter because not all firms upload to Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. So if you’re a seller it is to your benefit if the agent you list with is with a firm that uploads their listings to those non-broker sites. So in that respect it can make a difference, because you can’t control where buyers look for listings.

    My prior answer was just focusing on the quality of the individual agent.

  231. 481
    Deerhawke says:

    I always check the inventory figures at the end of the month and it seems that a link is missing. That or inventory has finally dropped to complete zero. Take a look at the home page.

    (Tim?)

    [Powered by Estately]
    (updated hourly)
    As of 01.30.2018 @ 07:00 PM
    – no response @ 08:00 PM –
    – no response @ 09:00 PM –
    – no response @ 10:00 PM –
    – no response @ 11:00 PM –
    – no response @ 12:00 AM –
    – no response @ 01:00 AM –
    – no response @ 02:00 AM –
    – no response @ 03:02 AM –
    – no response @ 04:00 AM –
    – no response @ 05:00 AM –
    – no response @ 06:00 AM –
    – no response @ 07:00 AM –
    – no response @ 08:00 AM –
    – no response @ 09:00 AM –
    – no response @ 10:00 AM –
    – no response @ 11:00 AM –
    – no response @ 12:00 PM –
    – no response @ 01:00 PM –
    – no response @ 02:00 PM –
    – no response @ 03:00 PM –
    – no response @ 04:00 PM –
    – no response @ 05:00 PM –
    – no response @ 06:00 PM –
    – no response @ 07:00 PM –
    – no response @ 08:00 PM –
    – no response @ 09:00 PM –
    – no response @ 10:00 PM –
    – no response @ 11:00 PM –
    – no response @ 12:00 AM –
    – no response @ 01:00 AM –
    – no response @ 02:00 AM –
    – no response @ 03:02 AM –
    – no response @ 04:00 AM –
    – no response @ 05:00 AM –
    – no response @ 06:00 AM –
    – no response @ 07:00 AM –
    – no response @ 08:00 AM –
    – no response @ 09:00 AM –
    – no response @ 10:00 AM –
    – no response @ 11:00 AM –
    – no response @ 12:00 PM –
    – no response @ 01:00 PM –
    – no response @ 02:00 PM –
    – no response @ 03:00 PM –
    – no response @ 04:00 PM –
    – no response @ 05:00 PM –
    – no response @ 06:00 PM –
    – no response @ 07:00 PM –
    – no response @ 08:00 PM –
    – no response @ 09:00 PM –
    King County
    SFH: 1,200
    Condo: 220

  232. 482
    mountainfamily says:

    By Deerhawke @ 441:

    For those of you who think we are heading toward the next bubble because lending standards have gone to pot in the past few years, I have a suggestion for you. Just try getting a refi or home loan these days.

    We just went through this in the fall. I’m self-employed and my spouse has a good job – we qualified on spouse’s income alone so didn’t even have to consider mine. We have excellent credit, the 20% down payment, and about $100k cash on top of that. The process was incredibly rigorous and required 5-8 hours of paperwork on my end, per day, for the entire two-week closing. They wanted a year’s worth of rent check images with a separate explanatory letter for each rent check that was different. They wanted to know we had enough to cover the rest of our lease. It was incredibly detailed! Painful as it was, it made more confident to be buying in to this market.

  233. 483

    This article on Lenovo having lower income this last quarter due to the tax bill is actually RE related. I think the loss results from write-downs to investments in low-income housing entities which generate tax credits. Those investments are no longer as valuable, and the RE question is will as much low-income housing be built in the future now that the tax credits are not as valuable.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/us-tax-charge-wipes-out-lenovo-q3-pre-tax-profit/

    I also get how Boeing had no real impact this quarter, but expect to benefit in the future from the tax bill. That’s pretty simple.

    What I don’t get is how Amazon had a benefit last quarter from the tax bill that goes into effect this quarter. Anyone care to explain that one?

  234. 484
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 441 – Good to hear that lending standard have tightened. But recall from the last bubble, that folks who could pay their mortgages walked away when their homes lost value.

    But this time around, it is feared that folks are buying an artificially inflated asset, due to low interest rates that were set to help the economy recover from the Great Depression 2, caused by inflated home prices stoked by poorly qualified demand.

    And regarding the criminal organization known as WAMU,

    “The mortgage lending operations of Washington Mutual, the biggest U.S. bank ever to fail, were threaded through with fraud and the bank’s own inquiries were unable to stop the deceptive practices, according to a report by Senate investigators.

    The investigators said the bank’s pay system rewarded loan officers for the volume and speed of the subprime mortgage loans on which they closed. Bonuses even went to loan officers who overcharged borrowers or levied stiff penalties for prepayment, according to the report being released Tuesday by the investigative panel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said Monday that the panel will decide after hearings this week whether to make a formal referral to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. Justice, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission opened investigations of Seattle-based Washington Mutual soon after its collapse in September 2008.

    The report said that the company’s ‘s top producers — loan officers and sales executives who made high-risk loans or packaged them into securities for sale to Wall Street — were eligible for the bank’s President’s Club, with trips to swank resorts.

    Fueled by the housing boom, Washington Mutual’s sales to investors of packaged subprime mortgage securities increased from $2.5 billion in 2000 to $29 billion in 2006. The 119-year-old thrift, with $307 billion in assets, was seized by regulators in September 2008 and was sold to J.P. Morgan Chase for $1.9 billion in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/12/AR2010041204766.html

  235. 485

    The King County Assessor apparently misstated the amount of increase in RE taxes for Federal Way. He apparently told the Times it was about 21% when it was actually “only” 11%.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/king-county-assessors-office-corrects-expected-tax-increase-for-federal-way/

  236. 486

    RE: Blurtman @ 482 – WAMU was a huge mess, with them even ignoring their own warnings. But what kind of criminal prosecution could still occur this many years in? I’m not aware of any criminal charges except murder which have a statute of limitations in excess of 10 years, but admittedly I’m not familiar with federal criminal statutes.

  237. 487

    How can one local government be more incompetent than all the other local governments combined? I’m surprised Seattle’s sewer system allows crap to flow downhill. Apparently electrical hookups for new construction takes months!

    http://crosscut.com/2018/02/seattle-city-light-delays-construction-growth-engineering/

  238. 488

    RE: uwp @ 459
    The Example You Gave Also Pays FAR LESS TAX Under Obama

    They have MASSIVE KID DEDUCTIONS.

    No comparison to the $250K Married couple with two kids TAX BILL, yet they’ll see a Trump tax decrease chunk in their pay too…assuming the morons didn’t buy a million dollar home….LOL

    Of course a single without deductions who’s income is compressed in lower tax brackets gets a BIGGER PERCENT DECREASE in taxes. Especially one with no debt deductions.

    What a Million Dollars Mortgage Deduction with reduced Trump Deduction gets you in Toronto:

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/photos/1-million-home-looks-canada-slideshow-wp-152747664/

  239. 489
    Blurtman says:

    The fox are guarding the hen house and guess who will be left holding the bag?

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/02/nomi-prins-trumps-financial-arsonists.html

  240. 490
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 484 – Don’t worry, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for prosecution in the future that will be rationalized away and not followed up on, irrespective of which party is at no power.

  241. 491
    redmondjp says:

    By GoHawks @ 471:

    RE: uwp @ 470 – Yeah, people on here have been screaming Amazon bubble since $700 a share. Could hit $1,500 tomorrow.

    I wasted over an hour the other night on Amazon looking for 12VDC LED floodlamps for my riding lawn mower. And you know what I realized? Amazon is the new Ebay!

    Why do I say this? I was one of the early users of Ebay and it was awesome at first. If you were looking for Buick car parts, you could search for that term. Then, dooshes started simultaneously listing 159 identical Chinese-made keychains that said ‘Buick’ on them, and you couldn’t find anything amidst all the garbage. It ruined it.

    Now, the same thing has happened on Amazon. Over 2000 results for 12V LED floodlamps, with the “top-selling” items being low-quality no-name Chinesium that based upon the latest reviews have many premature failures (but “2-year warranty” ha ha, good luck getting that honored). And despite the bad reviews, somehow these garbage-quality items still manage to get rated 4.5 stars or better. Thank you soooo much, Jeff Bezos! You are the American Jack Ma, woo hoo!

    Amazon had better figure out how to clean this nonsense up or they will go the way of Ebay.

  242. 492
    Blake says:

    Speaking of bubbles…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-02/bitcoin-drops-below-8-500-as-cryptocurrency-misery-continues

    Check out the graph. Bitcoin beats them all… tulips, South Sea, Mississippi. NASDAQ 2000 is just a blip on that graph!

  243. 493

    RE: Blake @ 490 – That one is not terribly surprising. It is like investing in a corporation whose business is creating more stock to meet demand, but doesn’t have an underlying business which generates profit. Oh, and the places where you can hold the stock certificates are not secure.

    What are the Mississipi and South Sea items in the second graph in that link? I know what Tulips are.

  244. 494
    Brian says:

    Getting mortgage quotes of 4.5%, that’s without factoring in today’s rise. 5.0% could be soon on the horizon. Ouch. That’s a difference of $300/mo on a $600k house versus a 4% rate from a month ago.

    If you want the same payment as at 4% rates, you’ll have to lower your offer to $550K. At some point this will no doubt stress the market if it continues.

  245. 495
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Brian @ 492 – 10yr UST is now at 2.85%. As it dictates mortgage rates and asset prices (housing/stocks), we could be in for a very rough ride if it continues the upward trajectory.

    P.s. The increased property tax this year can be an additional $100/mo for many families in the area.

  246. 496

    By Eastsider @ 493:

    P.s. The increased property tax this year can be additional $100/mo for many in the area.

    I actually had that mentioned by a couple of different buyers at open houses this weekend. Fortunately, I was at an open house in a district less affected. But at least some buyers are paying attention, which isn’t surprising given the news coverage lately.

  247. 497
    Blake says:

    This is funny…
    A conundrum for the high priests of monetary alchemy:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-02/is-the-fed-s-inflation-target-kaput
    “All aim in one way or another to generate higher inflation on average than the current regime. Since the 2 percent target was instituted in January 2012, inflation has come in below that level for 66 out of 72 months. To achieve higher inflation, the Fed might have to keep interest rates lower for longer and push unemployment down further. But the ultimate goal would be to lift interest rates in tandem with increasing inflation to provide more room to cut rates in the event of a recession.”

    The first part acknowledges that their policies have been ineffective for years… so they will continue to DO THE SAME thing to generate inflation and then they hope they can lift interest rates “in tandem” with increased inflation … so then they will have room to cut rates!

    Get it?
    They don’t seem to… Close to the definition of insanity.

  248. 498

    In line with S-Crow’s news from the field type of posts, listing agents (or their sellers) need to do their own due diligence on buyers before accepting offers (and ditto on the buyer side for checking out sellers). I’ve mentioned a few times where we recommended accepting one offer over another because the “better” one was from someone who already owned an early 20th Century house, and thought that the inspection process would go smoother. But it goes beyond that to the point where we even check for bankruptcies.

    We recently had a situation where a buyer had an outstanding significant judgment that their lender did not know about because it wasn’t owed due to a creditor who reported to agencies. Working through the process apparently title wasn’t going to be a problem because the title company would insure the lender against the judgment due to it being a purchase money mortgage. The question became whether the lender would still lend if they knew someone could come in and start garnishing wages. The likely answer is probably no, but we never got that far.

    Just a word of warning–this doesn’t work well for people with common names or where you don’t at least know the such a person’s middle initial. But the worst situation to be in for both buyers and sellers is to be two to three weeks into a transaction, after both the inspection and appraisal have been completed, and then discover the transaction cannot close due to something that was public record.

  249. 499

    RE: Blake @ 495 – I posted something similar a while ago, but the focus was entirely different. The focus there was that the Fed is no aiming for higher inflation than what they would have wanted to allow before. So they were doing something different.

  250. 500
    Kmac says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 496

    I would think that there would be HUGE privacy issues with this unless it was common info already in the public domain ie:Google.

    In fact title has hit me with the same issue before with people around the country with judgments against them and I had to prove that it wasn’t me before closing.
    If a real estate agent ever did that to me, they would get the middle digit right in their face and quite possibly even more if I thought I could get away with it. ;-)

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.