NWMLS: Home prices are falling and inventory is soaring, but pending sales are bouncing back

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January market stats were published by the NWMLS yesterday. The King County median price of single-family homes fell year-over-year for the first time since March of 2012. Inventory is way up from a year ago, but pending sales started increasing year-over-year, so buyers may be coming back.

Before we get into our detailed monthly stats, here’s a quick look at their press release.

Homebuyers resuming search amid improving inventory, attractive terms
Home buyers around Washington state are making their way back to the market, hoping to take advantage of improving inventory, attractive interest rates, and more approachable sellers, according to officials with Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said buyers “came out of the woodwork” after the holidays, eager to take advantage of better housing conditions. “Areas close to the job centers are seeing improved affordability from spring 2018,” he said, attributing it to lower interest rates, strong job growth, and adjusted pricing.

I’m not a professional used-house salesman like Lennox, but to me it seems like not a great idea to compare your clients to insects crawling out of the walls in a dilapidated home. But hey, you do you Lennox.

CAUTION

NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

January 2019 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 2,820 -0.6% +126.9%
Closed Sales 1,224 -28.2% -2.8%
SAAS (?) 1.17 +24.9% +16.1%
Pending Sales 1,904 +38.8% +9.0%
Months of Supply 2.30 +38.3% +133.4%
Median Price* $610,000 -4.5% -2.9%

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory fell half a percent from December to January, but was up 127 percent from last year. The last time there were over 2,750 homes on the market at the end of January was in 2014.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings were up 13 percent from a year ago, and more than doubled from December to January.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales fell 28 percent between December and January. Last year over the same period closed sales dropped 40 percent. Year-over-year closed sales were down just three percent.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales shot up 39 percent from December to January, and were up nine percent year-over-year.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

Still a huge year-over-year increase in listings, but the growth did fall off a bit from December to January.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Year-over-year home price changes dropped below zero for the first time in nearly seven years. I doubt we’ll see this continue to fall, but… maybe?

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

January 2019: $610,000
January 2018: $628,388
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Here’s the article from the Seattle Times: Seattle-area home prices drop to lowest point in two years — down $116,000 since last spring

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

247 comments:

  1. 1
    randomseattledummie says:

    I’ll save us the delay before someone derails the thread.

    Snowpocalypse!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2
    steven says:

    does anybody know the mom change for dec-jan2018? 9% change in pending sales amidst 133% inventory increase (especially when everybody was screaming historical housing invetory shortage) doesn’t seem to be sufficient to state that buyers are coming back

  3. 3
    ronp says:

    I am glad prices are dropping, should drop more when the recession finally hits. Absurd new families cannot afford our glorious metropolitan region.

    Interesting article on how wealthy foreign buyers slip by the patriot act rules that affect a lot of international finance — http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/02/the-kleptocrats

  4. 4
    steven says:

    or 127%

  5. 5
    NW says:

    Oh, lordy. Greed has no limit.

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/11309-Durland-Pl-NE-Seattle-WA-98125/48905903_zpid/

    8/10/2018 Sold $749,950
    2/8/2019 For Sale 1,150,000

  6. 6
    steven says:

    RE: NW @ 5

    i think it’s been updated… but still overpriced by about .15M. if it sells for 1M, i think the developer will barely break even.

  7. 7
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: NW @ 5

    Look at the photos from the last listing and the current one. They put significant renovations into the home. If their current price is justified only time will tell…

  8. 8
    IssaquahResident says:

    Where to see prev listing photos?

  9. 9
    steven says:

    RE: IssaquahResident @ 8

    its the same posting go through different pictures. 1. if u cant tell from pictures that all thr vanity and floors are completely redone 2. house paint is totally different

    if there are indeed older posting, im not sure. poster from 7 may be able to tell.

  10. 10
    Jason says:

    What happened to the charts that show performance for the different price tiers? I really miss those since I’m curious how the suburbs in South King County are holding up through this.

  11. 11
    NW says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 7

    Old pics here: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/11309-Durland-Pl-NE_Seattle_WA_98125_M15079-10100

    Steven @6 @ 9: in my book, vanities, floors and paint do not account for neither 400k, nor 200k. In most of the rest of the country, that money purchase an entire decent house – paint, vanities and hardwood included, among other things.

  12. 12
    N says:

    I am curious by one comment Tim had in this report:

    “Year-over-year home price changes dropped below zero for the first time in nearly seven years. I doubt we’ll see this continue to fall, but… maybe?”

    Thinking out loud, but given that we have a lower January medium price than 1 year ago, wouldn’t we need a greater spring run up in prices this year than we had in the now great 2018 Spring season in order to avoid having YOY price drops in the coming months.

    Another words we could see a fairly heathly increase, but still have YOY price drops.

    EDIT – Just noticed “til Fall” in his wording, so including the downward trend in summer….makes more sense.

  13. 13
    steven says:

    RE: NW @ 10

    …. u dont see the new lighting walls new kitchen with new cabinets and the new patio? plus there are carrying costs. im seeing at least 100k in renovation and with 1m, its 920k after all the costs associated and with that hell barely make even.

  14. 14
    Rentin’ says:

    RE: N @ 11 – That sentence stood out to me as well. I think that he meant he doesn’t expect the rate of change to drop lower than it has already, but now I’m really curious why. Thank you for the helpful information Tim!

  15. 15
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: NW @ 10

    Remodeling costs are different in high cost areas so what could build you an entire house in anywhereville, USA, might only get you a new kitchen in Seattle. That renovation depending on who did it could have cost anywhere from 100-250k because contractors are so expensive because there is so much demand and not enough of them to do all of the work they can put out bids that are just laughable. In defense of contractors though labor is a lot more expensive here than it is in Anywhereville, USA. If someone can go flip burgers for $15/hour they’re going to want a lot more in a skilled trade. As steven touches on in #12 with carrying costs for at least 6 months (and if you’re right that they’re overpriced, even more) that will likely cost them around upwards of 75k (unless they own it in cash, then it is an opportunity cost) plus transaction costs of at least 5% and upwards of 8% that is another 60k+. If they did the remodel for 100k (I would be shocked), they will make good money, if they did it for 250k they will basically break even.

    With all of that said I have no clue if their current price is in line with what the market will pay so maybe they’re overpriced and maybe they’re not.

  16. 16
    ess says:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/tensions-over-political-resistance-to-amazon-boil-over-in-new-york/

    This is great news for the Seattle economy, and by extension the housing market. Amazon is learning that compared to other places they wish to relocate, Seattle isn’t all that bad. Not only has Seattle allowed Amazon to develop its extensive downtown campus without many additional requirements, but foolish attempts to place a head tax on large corporations such as Amazon by Seattle City Council was easily defeated once the voices of economic rationality were mobilized. Furthermore, Amazon understands that there are nearby communities such as Bellevue that will welcome Amazon expansion with open arms with no grumbling.

    Amazon has learned an important lesson – the grass isn’t always as green over yonder as one believes. While it makes sense to expand the locations that Amazon does business for all sorts of political and geographic reasons, one reason to relocate from Seattle – replacing political hostility and opposition with a more friendly political environment doesn’t always work out.

  17. 17

    RE: steven @ 9
    These Old 1920 Seattle Home Museum Pieces Have been Totally Remodeled Many Times

    And if you buy a museum piece this “continuous” remodeling cost doesn’t end….its a “money pit” folks…

  18. 18

    RE: ess @ 15
    Giving AMZ a Billion Dollars to Get Their HQ2 Slot

    Is likely illegal use of taxpayer money. Seattle uses our tax money for AMZ HQ1 too, ask our Governor. Welfare to the bankster rich elite folks…

  19. 19
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ess @ 15 – This is likely just a negotiating tactic/attempt at intimidation by Amazon. They will probably go forward with their NYC HQ2 as planned.

  20. 20
    ess says:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 18:

    RE: ess @ 15 – This is likely just a negotiating tactic/attempt at intimidation by Amazon. They will probably go forward with their NYC HQ2 as planned.

    The negotiating for financial goodies was over, and Amazon was preparing to redevelop the area and move in. Don’t think Amazon is going to ask for even more benefits with the reception it has already received. But after events in Seattle, I certainly do enjoy the events in NYC so!!

  21. 21
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ess @ 19 – That’s why I also said intimidation. They’re saying do what we want and don’t complain about it or else we’re leaving. Setting a tone, so to speak.

  22. 22
    Justme says:

    Weekend update, King County active inventory, graphical edition.

    To avoid multi-link moderation (hopefully), I have segregated the graphs into folders. Click link, click an image in the folder, then click once more for enlarged view. Use back-button to navigate. The graphs compare 2019,2018,2017 inventory on an hourly basis. 2017 was the year inventory was at a multi-year low for most of the year.

    King County SFH active for-sale inventory 2017,2018,2019 on 2019-02-09
    King County Condo active for-sale inventory 2017,2018,2019 on 2019-02-09
    King County SFH active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017 on 2019-02-09
    King County Condo active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017 on 2019-02-09

    https://imgur.com/user/justbubble/favorites/folder/6194661/20190209kingcountywaactiveinventory

    Friday a week ago, the 2019 prime selling season started with eager sellers and a big spike in new listings, even before the Super Bowl weekend. This week is not nearly as dramatic, which likely has something to do with the snowfall that happened meanwhile. Indeed, it may be the case that listing activity has been subdued all week by the weather events. Both day-to-day practicalities and the forecast of more snow coming likely affected the desire (and ability) both to post new listings and to hold open houses this weekend. It is likely that there will be a new bump in listings next week if the current weather pattern fades. So while this week was dominated by FOGSI (Fear Of Getting Snowed In), we may see more signs of FONGO (Fear Of Not Getting Out) next week.

    Also since last weekend, The January King County numbers from NWMLS have been released, and is indeed the main topic of this very thread. With month-end active listings inventory (all kinds) up 127% (2.27X) compared with Jan 2018, there was still only 9% more pending sales (which are, by the way, not counted as ACTIVE inventory). But closed sales were down (-2.8%), although that reflects mostly Dec 2018 contracts. Looks to me like buyers on strike against overpriced product.

    What this also means is that the incessant talk of a “shortage” is quite ready to be put to bed, and likely permanently so. With 9+ weeks of supply overall, now is in reality a clear buyers market, as only 4 weeks worth of active listings is needed for a balanced market in the age of web listings and electronic offers. Buyers have started to realize that the old “low supply” meme was just propaganda, and does not apply in these modern electronic times. And the continuing drop in KC median prices reflects both a buyer strike and the spreading knowledge that there is no shortage.

    The REIC is also right now trying to float the meme that multitudes of buyers and bidding wars are coming back this spring. Don’t fall for it. There may be occasional multiple offers (even just 2 offers is considered multiple ;)) on some offerings, but that is not the same as a “bidding war”. In any case, if a buyer is notified that there is “multiple offers”, it is best just to say “no thanks” and walk away. There is plenty more product coming down the pike. Even better, don’t submit any offers at all, just wait. With a 10.5% apartment vacancy rate in Seattle, there is absolutely no hurry to buy. Finally, peak propaganda season is starting, so be appropriately skeptical and push back. Always demand hard, well-sourced and vetted data on jobs, wages, population, foreign buyers and why moss is special and should be very expensive.

  23. 23

    RE: IssaquahResident @ 8

    Pull the property up on Redfin. Scroll down to Property History. Click on the Sold Listing #1337992 in the list or any of the entries before that. It will bring up the listing of that time including the photos of that time.

  24. 24
    Paulie says:

    Is there an equivalent site like this for the San Francisco housing market?

    I have been reading (and on rare instances posting) on this forum for 3 years, and have always enjoyed Tim’s insights as well as the comments. They helped me make great decisions buying in 2016. Thanks all for the constant healthy debate and dialogue!

    I am considering moving to San Francisco for personal reasons, and am debating renting vs buying there. Wish there was a sanfranciscobubble.com, as their market is quite a bit different than Seattle’s. It’s more diversified with more companies, many going through IPO in 2019 which will result in a lot of newly minted millionaires. Their economy isn’t as linked to one big company as Seattle’s is.

    I still believe this slowdown in housing is partly due to broader macroeconomic factors, but largely due to Amazon as well. They were practically doubling their headcount for 4 years straight, and then had a hiring freeze and are virtually flat in headcount compared to a year ago. This has kept Amazon buyers on the sidelines in H2 2018, and affordability kept everyone else on the sidelines. San Francisco has an affordability crisis, and the same macroeconomic conditions with rising rates and global markets slowing down, but doesn’t have a one-company dependency so I wonder if its prices will ever really fall or not. What do readers here think? Is there a great San Francisco real estate site like this?

  25. 25

    RE: Paulie @ 23

    Everything I read shows the Bay Area market being almost exactly the same as here.

    “At the same time, the number of homes in contract to be sold in San Francisco has been down an average of over 20 percent on a year-over-year basis since the beginning of the year while the average list price per square foot of those homes in contract, which is currently running around $950, has been down an average of 4 percent.”

    I don’t know a real estate blog that gets a lot of comments like this one, but try Quora.

  26. 26
    steven says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 14

    i think 250k is an over kill. no functional space changes; they literally just touched the exteriors and lights unless i’m missing something (although, the sqft claims in the old and new are completely different) . i think more fair estimate is 150k-180k. like i said 100k is the minimum. also, as for software guy, yes it’s old that’s why i say it’s overpriced. new home with that view and sq ft will be over 1.15M easily. you get what you pay for, and for a house that old I think the price should be near 1M. i may be wrong, in which case, i seek enlightenment. thanks

  27. 27
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 21:

    ……. With 9+ weeks of supply overall, now is in reality a clear buyers market, as only 4 weeks worth of active listings is needed for a balanced market in the age of web listings and electronic offers. Buyers have started to realize that the old “low supply” meme was just propaganda, and does not apply in these modern electronic times. And the continuing drop in KC median prices reflects both a buyer strike and the spreading knowledge that there is no shortage.

    The REIC is also right now trying to float the meme that multitudes of buyers and bidding wars are coming back this spring.

    Finally, peak propaganda season is starting, so be appropriately skeptical and push back. Always demand hard, well-sourced and vetted data on jobs, wages, population, foreign buyers and why moss is special and should be very expensive.

    I agree to demand well sourced, and vetted data from you on the state of our current population.

    I also demand well sourced, vetted data on why only “4 weeks worth of active listings is needed for a balanced market in the age of web listings and electronic offers”- a quantity entirely made up by you.

    I demand well sourced, vetted data on precisely who is claiming, ” that multitudes of buyers and bidding wars are coming back this spring.”

    Finally, I congratulate you on your boldness in twice mentioning the word “propaganda” in a piece so entirely full of it.

    Thank you.

  28. 28
    Justme says:

    Here is a typical REIC you-should-buy-now propaganda puff-piece of the day. The goal is to incite millenials to buy! now!

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/buying-a-home-by-age-35-is-worth-it-now-and-later/

    The article and the underlying study from the “Urban Institute” is of course complete balderdash. It is not your age at the time of purchase that matters, IT IS THE PRICE YOU PAID RELATIVE TO BUYING EARLIER OR LATER, as well as the amount of time you have spent paying down the loan. The market does not magically instigate price changes by looking at the age of previous buyers. That ought to be self-evident, ought it not? But any cockamamie made-to-order study is great if one can generate some buy! now! propaganda from it.

    Here is how you should look at it: If you bought a property in King County any time after May 2018, YOU ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWATER. It makes exactly zero difference what age you were at the time of purchase.

    It looks like ST does not accept comments on this article. I have seen before that ST does not accept comments on “sponsored” articles, but this one is AFAICT not marked as such.

  29. 29
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 27

    Correction, the above should say “any time after Jan 2018”. We dd after all have the first negative price change (KC median) in Jan 2019.

  30. 30
    My2Cents says:

    What is justme’s backstory? It seems like most people debate the market, but he/she is just rabid about everything being doom and gloom and about to crash. I don’t get the zeal. I don’t mean that to come across as rude; I am legitimately curious. Did he/she get burned in 2007 or sometbing?

    Two unrelated points;

    1) Unless you put 0% down, you’re not “underwater.” Underwater implies you owe more than your equity and the value of the home.

    2) I bought once in 2014 and sold it early 2018 and then bought again late 2018 for a primary residence in Seattle. I made a big chunk of change on house #1, but now it is rolled into #2. Pragmatically, it doesn’t make a difference to me about these recent ups and downs because I already “won” with the 2014 purchase and sell. I may lose some immediate equity day to day now, but there is so much down on the house from the first sale that it doesn’t really concern me. Especially since I plan on staying in this house 10+ years.

    I say all that not to self aggrandize, but to offer that I’m not really that emotionally worked up one way or another if my house goes up or down 100k on paper in the near future. I’ve been looking in my area of Seattle on Zillow and Redfin for months, and I can echo what a lot of people here have been saying. There seem to be cuts galore on the 1.5 mil plus houses and up. Houses on busy streets or in bad areas or with poor layouts seem to stall a bit. Those cookie cutter townhouses seem to lose value and sit. But nice homes with nice layouts in decent areas are still going at the same clip as previously. There are 6 homes near me that all have gone pending within 10 days on Zillow that I had my eye on. All in the 550-850 range with 3-4 bedrooms. Half have gone pending at a price per sq foot that is around what I paid late 2018 and 3 have gone at a price per sq foot that, assuming a straight line conversion, would put 100k on my house above what I paid. I know that’s not how that works, but when a house that is 600 sq feet smaller with one smaller bedroom and no attached garage sells for about what I paid for mine, it doesn’t exactly make me apprehensive about the market.

    I’m not a mathematician nor am I that invested in watching this that closely, but it seems like the YOY and MOM figures are being affected a lot by high end homes taking cuts and “crappy” homes not selling now that there’s is inventory so buyers aren’t forced to buy whatever they can get. Good homes seem to be selling and going up in price. Just my observations.

  31. 31
    N says:

    @Justme – I don’t agree with the urgency to buy no matter what, but there is a good point to be made about buying before 35 and holding long term. Similar to boglehead principles in stocks, where in the long run the days in the market is considered more important than the price you buy at, you could make the same argument for buying real estate. Timing the market is difficult at best. Sure, last spring’s buyers are in the hole on paper less than 1 year later, but who cares at this point. Get some good years of inflation in the next decade or so and it won’t really matter.

    It is true that buying right is where a lot of money is made in real estate but it’s also true that this is less critical the longer you hold your property. As part of a portfolio for the average american, the forced savings of home ownership is still a net positive if you hold a long time.

  32. 32
    pedaltothemetal says:

    RE: Paulie @ 23

    Polly,

    If you’re going to San Francisco
    Be sure to wear some crackers in your hair.

  33. 33
    ess says:

    RE: N @ 29

    It is true that buying right is where a lot of money is made in real estate but it’s also true that this is less critical the longer you hold your property. As part of a portfolio for the average american, the forced savings of home ownership is still a net positive if you hold a long time.

    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Will some people lose money in a real estate transaction? Of course. Just like any investment.
    Can some people invest the difference in rent and buying and built wealth? Of course, but as a majority of statistics indicate, most are unable to do so, and those great plans of investing are derailed.
    Will inflation always be under control as it has been for the past few years? Probably not, and real estate has been one traditional way to protect oneself from inflationary times.
    Will there be taxes and other expenses that have to be made and finances expended – of course – but renters pay for those items through their increased rent.

    But for a majority of individuals who plan to stay in one location for a number of years, the purchase of real estate, especially with a regular 30 year mortgage, more or less stabilizes and provides a predictability to the largest expenditure in one’s budget.

    While there are many factors that result in homeowners having significant more assets than renters, homeowning is definitely a part of that equation.

    But by all means – anyone who wishes not buy and rent should continue to do so. Buying isn’t for everyone in all situations. As in politics, the decision to purchase real estate is all local.

    But those long term renters should be prepared to face the possibility that in the future – five, ten or twenty years, they may be priced out of their rental premises. We have all seen stories of long term tenants on fixed incomes who no longer can afford the rent because of escalating prices in cities such as Seattle.

    Long term home owners are also priced out of their residences for a variety of reasons. But when homeowners are forced to sell, usually because of increased property taxes, at least they have some sort of financial gain, unless they have aggressively used their homes as a personal bank system. A renter will only have their security deposit returned if the premises are returned in the condition they were rented, minus ordinary wear and tear. And that is not a position a retired person wishes to be in, especially depending primarily on social security, as many retirees primarily do.

  34. 34
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: ess @ 31

    Easy there ess with that well thought out and articulate comment. Justme is trying to get a buyerstrike™ going and you’re not helping his AHM™(anti homeownership movement) to gain traction.

  35. 35
    Justme says:

    Wow, the King County median sale price is down 18% since the May 2019 peak, and people still want to argue that timing does not matter and you should buy at any price for the long run.

    The force is strong on this one. That is, the force of decades of endless REIC propaganda being repeated over and over and over again until you get numb in the skull. Or because your skull is already completely numbed by self-interest. Lots of pushing the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) button, combined with just bad logic and bad math.

  36. 36
    Justme says:

    Keep striking buyers. It is incredible clear that a buyer strike works. After all you made the market drop by 18% in 8 months since May 2018. All you had to do was stay out of the market, not making offers and especially not participating in bidding wars of any kind. See how easy that was? Try doing it some more and even better things will come.

    What you saw in 2013-2018 was a seller strike and a buying panic by those who were so dazed by the propaganda they could not think straight. But buyers turned the table on sellers, and are now buying well below half the inventory each month.

    Those who want to sell, you’d better be competitive, and those who would like to buy, just wait. There is zero hurry with 10.5% vacancy in Seattle apartments. Oh, and median condo prices in Seattle proper dropped another 6.1% in Jan from Dec.

  37. 37

    RE: Paulie @ 23
    I Looked Too Paulie

    SF doesn’t have The Tim and no Bubble site….neutral news is like the dinosaur, almost extinct.

  38. 38

    RE: Justme @ 34
    Reminds Me of the Shutdown Over the WALL

    Both sides are digging their heels in…

  39. 39
    Notme says:

    Let’s have a shutdown
    a buyer shutdown, that is
    the state of lake union

    -a bubble haiku

  40. 40
    Notme says:

    House shoppers just saved
    18% by waiting
    8 months. Please sir, more?

    -a King County bubble haiku

  41. 41

    RE: Justme @ 34
    My Daughter is Happy as a Lark Out of Seattle

    She was paying $600/mo rent for a 3 bdrm on 1/2 acre…park-like lot BTW with huge beautiful oak. Will she ever return at 30 years old of age and her home is her’s now with NO DEBT? LOL, of course not.

    Kansas City is cold now, but beat most the winter vortex global cooling cycle [2-20 degree winter days there now]…her natural gas is much cheaper there too. I saw the bills in writing. She calls now and then and sounds totally happy :-)

    The flat land there makes driving in ice much safer too.

  42. 42

    RE: Notme @ 38
    LOL

    You summed it up…the squeaky wheel gets the grease…

  43. 43
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 34 – Just eyeballing the charts, it looks like January closed sales were within 50-100 units of the 20 year median, and sales pending was above the 20 year median. What kind of “strike” is that?

    I like your idea that people buying at 3013 and 2014 prices were “dazed by the propaganda”. I lived through that time, so that representation seems a little weird. Would that you had bought at those prices, eh?

  44. 44
    Justme says:

    What kind of buyer strike is this? The kind that saves you 18% by waiting 8 months. The kind where only 40% of the offered product actually gets sold each month.

  45. 45
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 42 – Historically, selling 40% of the monthly inventory is relatively high. Please consult a dictionary for the word “strike”. You have not demonstrated that one exists.

  46. 46

    RE: softwarengineer @ 39
    Speaking of the Winter Vortex Global Cooling Cycle [its real folks]

    This February is the coldest with biggest Seattle snow storm in decades and a 70 year record on coldest temperatures in Seattle for February….the fun [snow] goes on and on…

    The hypocrite rich elite still allege global warming is real this winter and call this “unrelated cooling”….LOL, sounds like picking and choosing without scientific analysis of why? Sounds like the buffoons that allege all the southern border drug and human sex slave smuggling occurs at ports of entree and not through the HUGE GAPS in the WALL….how do these buffoons know without statistics and science? The HUGE increase in narcotics over the border wasn’t invented by SWE….its obviously pouring through the GAPs [where else Village Idiots?]…the rich elite want their sex slaves and drugs anyway, so they get cheap labor? Yeah, Trump has green card workers in his hotels too like all the hotels…so what, Trump’s private business practices [which mirror all hotels BTW] are completely separate from general government immigration laws protecting our border…Trump’s kids did recently catch illegals [a small handful BTW] without green cards working at his Washington DC golf course and his kids fired ’em all too…zero tolerance. No green card, no job…its that simple. Trump is not CEO of his business anymore, since he became President [his kids took it over] and he’s already lost $600M in business profits because he’s a straight shooter with them running the business. Did that Green New Deal OC [or Pelosi’s CA Carbon Tax] recently stop driving her cars and planes [or using WALLs to protect their estates]? Hades no, she’s like all the “greedy” rich elite…”cry baby” hypocrites.

    I also read that Central Americans from Honduras families were working Trump hotels [with green cards] in large numbers rather than illegally invade America by smashing through the WALLS through that spineless Mexican army…apples and oranges folks…one is legal and the other is not…do I agree with “green card” workers? IMO robots can already replace most of them….we just need to tool up our American manufacturing again and build the WALL robots…LOL…we’re talking “bottom barrel pay” low skill jobs now [like Seattle’s hamburger flipper job market too? LOL].

    I apologize for getting on the soap box with salient facts that affect the Bubble indirectly….but irrespective, this indirect effect is MASSIVE for Seattle’s RE prices in the “near” future folks. That’s why SWE won’t just sweep it under the Open Border Party (OBP) rug.

  47. 47

    RE: softwarengineer @ 44
    Good News Folks

    At 8AM it was a FRIGID 16 degrees in Kent…its 11AM [3 hrs later] and its melting at 32+ degrees now with sunshine too :-)….get your sleds and enjoy the Seattle hills….its GREAT FUN too. God bless melting icy streets for now….I took the temperatures in the outdoor shade too…I see 36-38 degrees by 4 pm today at this rate, lots of icy road slush on the main roads disappearing too [until tomorrow’s snow and 14 degree nights refreezing to black ice again too? LOL]. I hope ya got lots of paid work leave this week, you’ll need it…I’m trying to figure out the best time to to drive a couple miles for food stocks…my frozen stock is running out…LOL

    I’m buying studded tires next winter.

  48. 48
    Justme says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 43

    So you agree that historically, the housing market has been a buyers market most of the time? And that the REIC propaganda machine has been fooling people into believing otherwise? Yes, that is correct.

  49. 49
    Paulie says:

    Why would anyone wear crackers in their hair?

    By pedaltothemetal @ 30:

    RE: Paulie @ 23

    Polly,

    If you’re going to San Francisco
    Be sure to wear some crackers in your hair.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Justme @ 33 – Median sales price drop of 18% does not translate into equivalent price drop on a typical home, even a ‘median’ home. I doubt CS home price index will show a drop of 18% anytime soon.

  52. 52
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ess @ 31 – In general, homeownership works well for most people. However, it does not work in high cost areas such as Seattle. The carrying cost is so high that it makes no sense for retirees and will deplete their savings dry. Unless you have a high paying job, I would not recommend spending your income on ‘homeownership’. The money you save will pay for your children’s college and retirement.

  53. 53
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 46:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 43

    So you agree that historically, the housing market has been a buyers market most of the time? And that the REIC propaganda machine has been fooling people into believing otherwise? Yes, that is correct.

    No, I disagree. Most of the time is a balanced market; buyers and sellers both acclimated to needing some time to find a good match. I think you are redefining balance and needs of the other market participants in order to make plausible the scenario that you desire.

    Else, why did you not buy through the extended time of a buyers market?

  54. 54

    RE: Rentin’ @ 48

    Good picks. Interesting that the Green Lake one sold for well under 2017 and 2018 tax value and just a hair over 2016 tax value. That doesn’t happen every day. Quite a few nearby where the recent sold price is a bit lower than the current tax value. That’s definitely a new trend. I have a past client nearby and his tax value is well under what it would sell for now, but knowing him he likely appealed the value. I expect more people will be appealing their tax values at the next opportunity.

  55. 55
    Justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 49

    Well, CS index has 3 months of averaging so both peaks and slopes tend to be moderated. But did you see what user Rentin’ posted right before you? 11% price difference between October and January for two identical units next to each other? That’s just in 3 months.

  56. 56
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: Justme @ 53

    “Don’t use CS. It is too broad so it won’t support my narrative. Check out my anecdata instead that supports my narrative.”

    -Justme, basically

  57. 57
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Justme @ 53 – It is just one of many sales. You should know.

  58. 58
    Justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 55

    We’re probably on the same page, but since C-S lags by 6 weeks due to averaging plus7 -8 weeks publication delay, we will see some bigger negative CS numbers by the time the index reflects January prices.

  59. 59
    LessonIsNeverTry says:

    By Paulie @ 23:

    What do readers here think? Is there a great San Francisco real estate site like this?

    Wolf Street is the best one I know about. It is not specific to housing but Wolf often has guest posts from real estate folks in Marin and he comments on SF with Case-Shiller values. Not as good as this site however.

  60. 60

    RE: Paulie @ 47
    The Old Baby Boomer Rock Song Was

    “wear flowers in your hair” in SF….but since the hippies went crackers over carbon taxes?

  61. 61
    formerSeattleite says:

    /https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/8416-Island-Dr-S-98118/home/489736

    2385 sqft lot. You’re basically paying for the lot cause 400 sqft is more like a room than a home. Is it me or does this seem outrageous? Redfin thinks this will sell very soon though.

    What do you guys think?

  62. 62
    David says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 50 – Your children should be paying for their own college and retirement.

  63. 63
    NW says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 59

    My thoughts exactly.

  64. 64
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 59

    You’re paying for the VIEW lot. Seems in the realm of reason to me.

  65. 65
    NW says:

    Came across this: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/10/us/50-shades-maple-glen-sex-basement-trnd/index.html

    Kink room aside (which is an added bonus, imo), I am looking at what can be bought for 750k somewhere else. In Seattle? A “remodeled” shack or a masquerade of a townhouse, put together in a hurry.

  66. 66
    NW says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 62

    That “view” is borderline Renton! There are many less cramped, water views lots in KC, in way better areas.

  67. 67
    Justme says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 59
    RE: randomseattledummie @ 62

    That’s not a view lot, it’s the maid’s quarter BEHIND a view lot, with view blocked by all kinds of buildings. Completely ridiculous pricing.

  68. 68
    steven says:

    i think it’s for the lot. you can run it down and build a 2-3 story building with decent view from the 2nd and 3rd stories if you do it right with approximately 2k sq ft which is still kinda small because it’ll be 1.5m +at that point. but i’m not sure if the building permits can be provided.

  69. 69
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: NW @ 63 – I was actually about to mention that there are other nice places to live in this country than Seattle.

    Speaking as someone who’s been to every part of this country, there are many areas as nice or nicer than the Seattle area. Yes you may get paid slightly less, but the lower cost of living in general, and lower cost of housing in particular, more than make up for it. Your overall standard of living will be much higher, even with lower pay.

    Seattleites love to look down their noses at other areas and claim Seattle is better than everywhere else, just like people from elsewhere think their area is the best and rip on Seattle mercilessly. Just hometown cheer leading.

    But honestly, people shouldn’t be afraid to consider a different part of the country. Friends and co-workers of mine have done it and it’s worked out great for them.

  70. 70
    Eastsider says:

    By David @ 60:

    RE: Eastsider @ 50 – Your children should be paying for their own college and retirement.

    They should if they were born a generation earlier when they could work their way through college. Unfortunately, that era is long gone. I’m sure my children are glad that they have me as parent instead of you :)

  71. 71
    formerSeattleite says:

    RE: steven @ 66

    I’ve never built a home on a lot so by no means am I an expert but common knowledge seems to indicate to me that building a tall home on that tiny lot might piss off a lot of your neighbors… and could end up in court. And would the city even allow it in the first place?

    A response from a legal expert in this matter would be appreciated :)

  72. 72
    Matt P says:

    By Eastsider @ 68:

    By David @ 60:

    RE: Eastsider @ 50 – Your children should be paying for their own college and retirement.

    They should if they were born a generation earlier when they could work their way through college. Unfortunately, that era is long gone. I’m sure my children are glad that they have me as parent instead of you :)

    I agree with David here. If college is too expensive to pay for on your own, then you should seek cheaper alternatives. You are investing in your own future after all when you go to college.

  73. 73
    NW says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 69

    I have seen tall apartment buildings show up in residential neighborhoods before (other cities) – and I assume this will be the case when the new zoning rules will take place in Seattle. So homeowners might not have any say. But I am no legal expert.

    Here is a link to small single family lots provisions: http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/Publications/CAM/cam220.pdf.

    That tiny lot will have a storybook tower built on it once 5’ yard side setbacks, a minimum (maybe more) rear yard setback of 10’, and a TBD front yard setback based on adjacent buildings. As far as height, it is probably 25′ (lot is less than 30′ width) or 30′ (lot is wider than 30′). So not a tall tower, either. But a tower, nonetheless.

  74. 74
    Jake says:

    @67 You mean people really move from Seattle to other places? I don’t think anyone here ever considered that. Thanks for the education.

  75. 75
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Jake @ 72 – Glad I could help Jake. Yes, sometimes we get stuck so far down in the weeds that we don’t see the bigger picture.

  76. 76
    steven says:

    RE: Matt P @ 70

    sucks for your kids. everyone has their own opinions on this and should respect each others’. but at the same time, i take pity on the kids who have to suffer.

    in terms of neighbor complaints, i don’t think they listened to him complaining when they were building their multi-story buildings and why should they care at this point when he decides to build one himself. For all seriousness, they can raise complaints to the city hall but whether or not it gets heard is a different story from my understanding. In terms of the height restriction, he can build a 2 story if it’s below 25′ and 3 story for 30′. It doesn’t have to be a tower to build a home, but yea it’ll get its job done. i’m curious to know if the steps are the only way to get to the house though. that would be a serious deal killer.

  77. 77
    steven says:

    in the end 20-40k/year x4 means a lot different to a fully grown and successful 50 year old as compared to early 20s young adult. of course, financial education is one thing but that’s not the only way it can be delivered

  78. 78
    Justpassinthru says:

    Why are the comments on here starting to sound like buy a house now or end up homeless in the future?? Let’s just erase that scare tactic shall we?

    If you haven’t read JL Collins blog and in particular his essay titled, “Why Your Home is a Terrible Investment,” you need to. Let’s try to eliminate the cognitive dissonance going on with purchasing a very expensive home.
    https://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/05/29/why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment/

    Buy a home if you want, but let’s not pretend that it’s not a money pit and that a better choice would be to rent modestly. Meanwhile putting that extra money that would have been tied up in a high mortgage, property taxes, maintenance etc., in a low cost index fund. Math wins.

  79. 79
    Joe says:

    RE: Justme @ 34

    Median condo prices dropped 6% in one month in Seattle?????!!!!!!!!

    Wow. If I were a seller I’d rather take a golf ball in the head.

  80. 80
    Joe says:

    If Seattle condo prices dropped 6% month to month in Seattle in January, then what are the odds of condo prices dropping another 6% this month, and another 6% the month after that, etc.

    It’s still way too early to purchase a property. Prices are falling too fast.

  81. 81
    John Dimas says:

    We sold our home in late January, staying in hotel and looking for a rental to go into. We are in Everett and looking in the surrounding area. In the search, I am seeing that there are a lot of rentals that are sitting empty. Also that many properties we were looking at as possible purchases got purchased and immediately turned into rental property. About only thing on the market are new constructions. For us we will be purchasing again, cost may be a wash versus renting. I do think many property owners are not ready for the correction that is yet to come. Spring should be very interesting.

  82. 82
    N says:

    @ Joe 78 – I don’t disagree with you….but remember prices almost always go down from Dec to January every year. This year, according to the Seattle Times, prices were down 3 times normal (not condo specific), but I am not sure one could predict the same decrease in the coming months based on the Dec to Jan decline.

  83. 83
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 70

    Genuinely serious question here.

    What other places have you found that are affordable and “desirable”?

    We have wanted to move for a while but when we browse in other parts of the country we find the housing prices to be extremely similar for places that we consider desirable. Is there some magic hidden gem we should be looking into where home prices are half what they are in a vibrant urban environment without extremely harsh weather (routinely 4 months of snow or 100 degrees plus summers)?

  84. 84
    Notme says:

    Better place to live
    not a dishonest question
    oh no siree bob

    -a bubble haiku

  85. 85
    ess says:

    Why is there a shortage of housing for sale in the US?

    It is those baby boomers!!

    http://nbr.com/2019/02/11/more-americans-aging-in-place/

  86. 86
    ess says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 84

    I hear you Random, as we are in the same boat.
    I never thought I would leave the Puget Sound area – now we are also actively searching for another area to reside.
    The problem is – that there are no perfect places – there is always going to be something – cold and snowy winters, hot summers, expensive cost of living and housing, cultural deserts etc.
    At this point we are concentrating on lowering our housing costs in an environment that is good for at least part of the year. For the time that the weather isn’t so great – stay inside, or hit the road and travel. After all, it isn’t as if we can go outside and enjoy the balmy sunny weather in the Puget Sound during the winter.
    Also looking for an area that one can still get about by automobile without hitting massive traffic jams for the entire day. As much as I believe in public transportation, the automobile is still an indispensable way to travel.

  87. 87
    steven says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 84

    fort huachuca, az. Hidden gem with monsoon in the summer to cool off and winters like seattle minus the rain. can’t say much for job opps though

  88. 88
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: ess @ 87

    Let me know when you find this hidden gem. We will be right behind you. :)

    @steven 88. Appreciate the suggestion but looking for a more metropolitan destination. From a quick google search that looks quite rural aside from the military installations.

  89. 89
    uwp says:

    More strange action in the inventory tracker. On 2/9 it dropped by over 200 units in one hour (no breathless update from our friend Justme). Then half a day later it jumped up by 190 units and was stuck at the same number for half a day. Overall, inventory remains roughly where it was at the end of January and the beginning of the year.

    Still not much decent in my typical search (2BR+ SFH between Northgate and Columbia City for under $700k). I assume the snow will postpone new listings just as much as it puts off buyers. But thankfully, we still have Justme’s weekly updates to break through all the REIC PROPAGANDA!

    Speaking of the REIC… Has Kary been banned from SB? I miss that curmudgeon!

  90. 90
    Notme says:

    REIC leaving the moss
    one last pump and dump to do
    then be out of here

    – a bubble hauiku

  91. 91
    BacktoBasics says:

    In my neighborhood, house fairly wend to pending within days. Price is same as last year. It’s a flat market. If the house is in good condition and priced right. It will be sold very fast. Inventory is sill below 6 months, so it is a balanced market. I can’t image live in apartment at inflated price. I do see 30 year fix mortgage reduced since last year peak. I would think any mortgage rate below 4.5% will be a fair price to pay. I can see Seattle house into a new stage. Y-to-Y appreciation at 3-4% with mortgage 4.5% fixed. If home buyer leverage 5×1, so real return on capital is still positive. Better than pay inflated rental.

  92. 92
    Matt P says:

    By steven @ 77:

    RE: Matt P @ 70

    sucks for your kids. everyone has their own opinions on this and should respect each others’. but at the same time, i take pity on the kids who have to suffer.

    in terms of neighbor complaints, i don’t think they listened to him complaining when they were building their multi-story buildings and why should they care at this point when he decides to build one himself. For all seriousness, they can raise complaints to the city hall but whether or not it gets heard is a different story from my understanding. In terms of the height restriction, he can build a 2 story if it’s below 25′ and 3 story for 30′. It doesn’t have to be a tower to build a home, but yea it’ll get its job done. i’m curious to know if the steps are the only way to get to the house though. that would be a serious deal killer.

    No kid is going to suffer because their parents refused to pay for overpriced education. Continuing to pay inflated prices is reason we have an education bubble, same as houses.

  93. 93
    NW says:

    RE: steven @ 88
    RE: ess @ 87

    Did you guys check out Portland, Denver (the entire stade, actually) or Charlotte? I would add CT to this, but it might be not too much of a $$$ discount from Seattle – and a lot more winter (although I personally would still consider it… especially if there are kids in the mix). We lived on the East Cost for 10 years, and I personally would go back in a jiffy.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    ess says:

    By NW @ 94:

    RE: steven @ 88
    RE: ess @ 87

    Did you guys check out Portland, Denver (the entire stade, actually) or Charlotte? I would add CT to this, but it might be not too much of a $$$ discount from Seattle – and a lot more winter (although I personally would still consider it… especially if there are kids in the mix). We lived on the East Cost for 10 years, and I personally would go back in a jiffy.

    Looked at areas of Florida outside of Miami area. I was really impressed with some areas both in north Florida, and on the west coast. Humidity – especially in the summer would be a problem.

    Portland Or is too much like here, and we lived in that area years ago. Have not considered the Carolinas although I hear they and Tennessee are popular areas for retirees. Colorado is too expensive and cold in the winter. So far it is areas of Arizona that we are focused on, although those summers…………..

    Moving is such a hassle that we may end up staying here, and just leave for a few months during the winter. Lets face it, when it comes to weather, probably the most pleasant area for summers is right around here. If only something could be done about the dreary winters. Traffic – is another burden that has really appeared in the past 20 years or so.

  96. 96
    steven says:

    RE: Matt P @ 93

    this goes back to the talk on education vs high school in qol and future. there has been overwhelming data that college ed does help a person financially in the long run. other qualities will be harder to analyze in a data set, butin my exp college life is better 4 years spent than in mcdonalds. nonetheless everyone can have their opinion. in the end, admissions are getting cut-throat and we can always use less competition

  97. 97
    David says:

    By IssaquahResident @ 95:

    Music to the ears of potential buyers:
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4240221-housing-market-crisis-2_0-jury-2018minus-2019

    This guy’s previous professional life is as a resort manager. Now he manages a property he bought and lives on – aka personal residence.

  98. 98
    NW says:

    RE: ess @ 96

    FL has no state income tax, houses are 1/2 price compared to Seattle, schools are SO much better overall. Humidity is not really an issue, one can easily get used to it. Moreover, Oct-May there is no humidity. Miami might be a bit too hot, though. Central or even Tampa area may be worth a second look. Speaking of Central FL, do check out Winter Park. One of my favorite places to live and grow roots – something I am a bit struggling with in Seattle.

    Charlotte is a unexpectedly vibrant city – not sure about retirees, that was not my impression when I spent a few weeks there for work.

    Good luck to you!

  99. 99
    ess says:

    RE: NW @ 99

    FL has no state income tax, houses are 1/2 price compared to Seattle, schools are SO much better overall.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Yep NW, – as there was a recent story that many NY and NJ residents are moving to Florida to buy cheaper housing and escape state income tax. The governor of NY was bemoaning that very fact at a news conference, while at the same time arguing for Amazon to locate HQ 2.5 to Long Island City to replace the taxpayers the state is losing. It is fascinating that politicians are shocked, SHOCKED that their residents are voting with their feet when it comes to their own financial interests.

    Washington State has no state income tax, but if one is instituted, it will just be an added incentive to relocate elsewhere. Taxes always start with the wealthy, and then migrate down.

  100. 100
    LessonIsNeverTry says:

    By Joe @ 81:

    If Seattle condo prices dropped 6% month to month in Seattle in January, then what are the odds of condo prices dropping another 6% this month, and another 6% the month after that, etc.

    Very low. They won’t drop 6% and then 6% again in Spring without a recession. Unless it keeps snowing until April!

  101. 101
    Matt P says:

    By NW @ 99:

    RE: ess @ 96

    FL has no state income tax, houses are 1/2 price compared to Seattle, schools are SO much better overall. Humidity is not really an issue, one can easily get used to it. Moreover, Oct-May there is no humidity. Miami might be a bit too hot, though. Central or even Tampa area may be worth a second look. Speaking of Central FL, do check out Winter Park. One of my favorite places to live and grow roots – something I am a bit struggling with in Seattle.

    Charlotte is a unexpectedly vibrant city – not sure about retirees, that was not my impression when I spent a few weeks there for work.

    Good luck to you!

    FL has humidity year round. I grew up there and Tampa is not so pleasant in the Winter months anymore – throw in red tide, hurricanes and the Florida man, and I’m glad I left. It is cooler but it’s basically 9 months of hellish heat and humidity and 3 months that are tolerable to pleasant if you get a good year. UV index is also very high even in winter, so keep the sunscreen handy.

    Houses cost half as much because salaries are half what they are here. Most jobs are in the service industry, insurance will be much higher both on your house because of the hurricanes (and you’ll need to carry a separate flood policy) and on your car because of the insane mix of drivers half of whom aren’t insured themselves.

    Florida is great for a visit, but not to live.

  102. 102
    Matt P says:

    By steven @ 97:

    RE: Matt P @ 93

    this goes back to the talk on education vs high school in qol and future. there has been overwhelming data that college ed does help a person financially in the long run. other qualities will be harder to analyze in a data set, butin my exp college life is better 4 years spent than in mcdonalds. nonetheless everyone can have their opinion. in the end, admissions are getting cut-throat and we can always use less competition

    At some point that analysis breaks down, though. In the past, college education made sense, but at what debt point does it no longer make sense vis a vis future earnings? Just as there is a point where renting makes more sense than buying, going to a trade school makes more sense vs college when the debt load is considered. But even so, if the debt is still worth it, then why should the parents pay for it? Their future salaries will take care of the debt and make it worth it.

  103. 103

    RE: Matt P @ 103
    Yes Real Actual Data the User Feels is the Only Way to Defeat Fake News

    That’s why its better to rent, get your own data on the neighborhood, traffic, politics and culture before ya buy…or you’ll get taxed to death for a pathetic purchase. Electric cars in winter same conundrum, the Green Deal rich elite would never admit electric cars are a complete joke with interior heater on in the winter…like a 60 mile range at 20 degrees:

    https://altdriver.com/news/cold-weather-electric-car-range/

    These beasts won’t even start at -65 degrees but the owners won’t admit it, they got to trade this junk in…the $100K Tesla’s doors won’t open in the ice either…rent before ya buy…ask the used Toyota owners about the time bomb computers [let alone the exploding air bags] too…LOL

    But American Safety engineers are hated by Asians/Europeans for telling you this….LOL

  104. 104

    Gypsie Families and Bunk Buddies in Seattle Homes

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/west-coast-real-estate-is-now-so-expensive-that-married-couples-are-moving-in-with-multiple-roommates-2019-02-12

    Even familes sharing the house with tenants….how do you share a refrigerator? LOL

    I’d put a small refrigerator in my bedroom with a locking door….LOL…perhaps inmate bunk beds in the “migrant internment camp house” will sleep more in small expensive condo or apartments…sounds like prison?

    Of course the tenants leave abruptly too, leaving you with the whole rent/mortgage bill. LOL…the fun goes on and on. Seattle is a livable cty with high real estate? Not.

  105. 105

    RE: Matt P @ 102
    Luxury Homes Along the FL and TX Hurricane Coasts are Especially Cheap

    The mildew odor from past flooding and structural damage is covered up with thrown on paint and plastic….yep, million dollar+ coastal mansions for a fraction of cost before ya bull doze it down anyway….LOL

    Forget the cost of home insurance, no one covers your house there…

  106. 106

    Bill Gates Now Wears a Red MAGA Hat

    After he saw the Green New Deal Tax on the Rich…LOL

  107. 107
    Justme says:

    Again this week I see people pushing the old propaganda that “6 months of inventory is a balanced market”. That number was never true even in the old days. It has always been REIC propaganda to exaggerate how much inventory is needed in order to induce urgency for buyers and you-should-list-with-me feel-good with sellers. In the modern age of just-in-time inventory and electronic commerce of property, all you need for a balanced market is to replenish what is sold. That means that about 1 or at most 1.5 months of active inventory versus closed sales is enough to maintain balance.

    Turning now specifically to the Seattle Metro (King County) area: The “imbalanced inventory” and “sellers market” propaganda has recently backfired on the commission-seeking class of the REIC, in particular the real-estate agents who were the main pushers of the “low inventory” narrative. During 2013-2017, many property owners/sellers took the inventory propaganda to heart and thought they could always wait out the market for even higher prices. That worked for them for a while, but in 2018 many potential buyers put their foot down and said “enough”. The absorption rate (sales/inventory) dropped like a rock, and inventory ballooned as sellers simultaneously sensed the market was about to turn and started crowding the exits with more new listings than in 2017. Many buyers went on outright strike and just stopped bidding on property. Sales counts were generally down. Note that if it was truly inventory that limited buyers, then sales counts should have gone up when inventory went up. But sales counts did not double when inventory doubled, rather they fell. It was the PRICE of the offerings that was wrong, not the number of offerings.

    What’s happening now is that potential buyers have learned that they also have market power. When enough potential buyers say “no” the market WILL drop, even without a recession. There are other factors in play, such as price/wages, mortgage rates, tax law changes, China-money spigot getting plugged, and general queasyness with the massively overpriced offerings out there. But it is good to know that striking works, also in the housing market.

  108. 108
    Matt P says:

    6 months as a balanced market was always absurd on it’s face. How many can realistically wait 6 months to sell their house?

  109. 109
    N says:

    @ Matt 109 – Are months of standing inventory and average time to sell a home the same thing?

    The widely reported statistic tells us how long it would take to sell all listings assuming the current sales volume and no new listings. I think the average time to sell a home is different, others can correct me.

  110. 110
    Matt P says:

    By N @ 110:

    @ Matt 109 – Are months of standing inventory and average time to sell a home the same thing?

    The widely reported statistic tells us how long it would take to sell all listings assuming the current sales volume and no new listings. I think the average time to sell a home is different, others can correct me.

    Average time to sell should be somewhere close to half the months of inventory. For 1k sales a month, 6 months inventory would be 6k houses, half of which would sell before 3 months and half after, but price drops to sell before hitting 6 months would increase sales bringing months supply down.

    If 6 were a balanced market, I would think there would be no cuts before 3 months, yet cuts after 1 month are common.

  111. 111
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 108:

    Again this week I see people pushing the old propaganda that “6 months of inventory is a balanced market”. That number was never true even in the old days. It has always been REIC propaganda to exaggerate how much inventory is needed in order to induce urgency for buyers and you-should-list-with-me feel-good with sellers. In the modern age of just-in-time inventory and electronic commerce of property, all you need for a balanced market is to replenish what is sold. That means that about 1 or at most 1.5 months of active inventory versus closed sales is enough to maintain balance.

    Interesting you put the 6 month theory in quotes. I don’t think anyone has used has used that figure since Kary stopped posting. I do think what has been asked is that you apply your own demand for sourced and vetted data for the claims that you made up as to what constitutes balanced inventory. You still haven’t done that, and your straw man doesn’t suffice. I will say I always thought the number a little high, but I never felt it induced pressure on me either as a buyer or a seller, of which I have been both.

    I think your two line rationale above would work fine for paper clips, or perhaps any commodity being produced for sale and lacking seasonal variations, perhaps it would not be that far off for the old Levitt town houses as they came off the line. But for most people seriously looking for a house, inventory is not homogeneous; it is highly individuated to age, size, location, condition…. and price. It can take months for the right house to come to market. I know that it has for me in the past. Same thing for the right buyer coming to market. If you are sincere, you are only showing your lack of experience. If not, you are still showing your lack of experience.

    As for me; I say keep renting. We will both be happier.

  112. 112

    RE: Matt P @ 111

    Months of Inventory and how long it takes a house to sell are not related. Months of Inventory is called The Absorption Rate. You can google that easily by the term Absorption Rate. The fudging comes in when people use the wrong months in the past to calculate the future. Sometimes you can use YOY, but that won’t work this year given volume has decreased by so much that it would show a falsely optimistic result.

    Usually you use an average of the last 3 months to calculate how long it will take to absorb current inventory. I run these stats fairly often but I break it out in segments. The most important segment to me is that part of the market that reflects 60 to 75% of buyers in that class. I’ll run some numbers after dinner and show what I mean.

    Generally if there are 100 houses for sale and 10 sold last month then there is 10 months of inventory, just a simple example to show where it comes from.

    As to Buyers Market vs Sellers Market vs Balanced Market, the months of inventory is only a small part of that determination. In each class of property it is a Sellers Market when you have 3 or more buyers who want your house. It is a Buyers Market if a buyer has 3 or more houses he likes a lot and equally as well. A balanced market is pretty much a one house for each buyer who is ready to buy one. Little to no competition as to other buyers and also little to no competition for sellers.

    Time on Market is something completely different. Days on Market in a Balanced Market = up to 30 days. A seller should be able to get an offer within 30 days. Sometimes the seller is overpriced and then he can get an offer within 30 days of being priced right. So if no offer in 30 days…then drop the price and sell in the 2nd 30 days. It shouldn’t take more than 2 rounds of 30 to sell unless you are following the market down and the right price in the first 30 that you missed is no longer the right price in the 2nd 30. That’s called chasing the market down. In an upwardly mobile market a seller can sometimes stand on his price and wait for the market to come up to meet him.

    Days on Market inside the mls stops at the point where a seller accepts an offer. In a strong buyers market a seller has to be in the top 3. Any buyer looking at all of the homes that fit his parameters will include that sellers house in the top 3 when narrowing down the choices. Sometimes you have to wait for the top 2 to sell before yours sells and hope no new ones come up into that top 3 before you are sold.

    As I said, I’ll run some numbers to go with this after dinner. I have worked in real estate for almost 3 decades in 5 different States and have worked in all three markets. Buyers Markets, Sellers Markets and Balanced Markets. There is a slight adjustment to the strategy for each, but each still = getting an offer in 30 days being possible and likely. Though for some people we go with a longer strategy for reasons personal to each seller.

    But in the meantime, google absorption rate. It’s a broadly accepted principle and not something “the REIC” made up. As for how many months = a Buyers Market…unless there are 3 or more good houses to pick from, it doesn’t matter what the absorption rate is. It’s still not a Buyers Market. Absorption rate is something sellers look at more than buyers and a forecasting tool that is only one of many different things being looked at when forecasting. It’s not a stand alone data point.

  113. 113

    RE: whatsmyname @ 112

    Kary is alive and well. We are facebook friends where we mostly talk about the weather. :) Just a note for people who may be worried about him.

  114. 114
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 114 – I figured he was alive; I am glad to hear he is well. Thanks for the update.

  115. 115
    Eastsider says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 112 – I’m surprised you haven’t bothered looking up Lawrence Yun. LOL.

    “A balanced market would be 6 to 7 months of inventory.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrenceyun/2018/08/02/no-housing-recession-over-horizon/

  116. 116

    RE: whatsmyname @ 112

    Some time ago, and a very long time ago I think, The Tim pushed that down to 3 months. for balanced and I personally think 6 months is more of a buyers market than balanced, so let’s go with 3 months as balanced. Sounds about right.

    We are no where near 3 months so we don’t need to be talking about it too much. When we get to a 3 month supply we’ll test it against my 3 good houses formula.

    There is a 1.65 month supply of 1 bedrooms. The median Asking Price is $60,000 more than the median Sold Price, so we can blame at least some of that on over pricing. But no need for blame since a 1.65 month of supply is not drastically awful.

    There is a 1.51 month supply of 2 bedrooms and the median asking price is only 10k over median sold price.

    There is a 1.36 month supply of 3+ bedroom properties. I can’t do a median price on that as I did above, but why bother?

    If and when we get to near a 3 month supply we can study this more. But at the moment there is not an over supply by anyone’s definition. Clearly anyone looking to buy a property isn’t finding an abundance of great properties. I don’t think anyone is arguing that there are way too many great properties to choose from.

    For the Absorption Rate I used number sold in the last 10 to 375 days (I usually allow 10 days for late postings) and divided the 365 day sum by 12 to get sold in an average month. That’s probably the best way to do it at the moment. If we don’t get up to 1,900 houses sold in March or April we can revisit that. In June we were at 2,578 3+ bedrooms and January we were only 1137. The Monthly Average is 1,935. Even if that is a hair off we only have a 1.36 month supply, so it will take a long time before we have a glut of good properties on market. I think I saw Just Me say 5 weeks was a glut, and maybe if they were all fabulous properties that were priced well I’d agree. But they aren’t.

    The Bump is coming. :)

    (Required Disclosure: Stats in this comment are hand calculated in Real Time by Ardell and not Published, Verified or Compiled by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

  117. 117

    A few other numbers just because I had to calculate them to get the above and they are interesting enough to put down here before I toss them in the trash.

    10-375 days of sold 3+ bedroom properties:926

    3,433 were less than $400k
    4,926 were between $400k and $575k
    5,000 were between $575k and $755k
    $4,950 were between $755k and $1,010,000
    4914 were over $1,010,000.

    I had to calculate these to get the total sold because we can only go to 5,000, so I had to do that 5 times to get the total for the 365 day period. It’s interesting to see what people did pay for 3+ bedrooms in King County. The overall numbers don’t look too bad really. Sometimes the chit chat here suggests everyone has to pay over a million dollars. Clearly not the case.

    (Required Disclosure: Same as in comment above.)

  118. 118
    Matt P says:

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 118:

    A few other numbers just because I had to calculate them to get the above and they are interesting enough to put down here before I toss them in the trash.

    10-375 days of sold 3+ bedroom properties:926

    3,433 were less than $400k
    4,926 were between $400k and $575k
    5,000 were between $575k and $755k
    $4,950 were between $755k and $1,010,000
    4914 were over $1,010,000.

    I had to calculate these to get the total sold because we can only go to 5,000, so I had to do that 5 times to get the total for the 365 day period. It’s interesting to see what people did pay for 3+ bedrooms in King County. The overall numbers don’t look too bad really. Sometimes the chit chat here suggests everyone has to pay over a million dollars. Clearly not the case.

    (Required Disclosure: Same as in comment above.)

    Is that all of King County? Because that’s a pretty big area.

  119. 119
    Rae K says:

    By IssaquahResident @ 95:

    Music to the ears of potential buyers:
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4240221-housing-market-crisis-2_0-jury-2018minus-2019

    Thanks for posting, this summed up many of my own personal observations and suspicions.

    I’ve been following Seattle Bubble since it started, but rarely comment. Tim’s wealth of knowledge is what pushed us to buy in the Spring of 2011. Left Seattle in 2014 for NC, and it’s flabbergasting to see the numbers some are paying to live there. Not sure whether to laugh, or cry for some of the owners who have purchased in the past 3-4 years. My favorite listings have been the ones out in the Duvall/Carnation area. It’s jaw dropping to see an area like Duvall suddenly become a “hot” place to live. (At least per the asking prices) When we moved there in our early 20’s, it’s only draw was lower housing prices, and the day we had a MS connector bus stop added. The appeal is completely lost on me now.

    It’s insane the number of WA license plates we’ve seen here in NC just within the past two years – they’re seriously everywhere. Outnumbering the CA plates, now. My husband’s company has an office back in Redmond, and there’s a chance we would move back at some point, so I do check in on Seattle Bubble here and there. Thought I’d add to the convo that the housing prices have REALLY started to flatten out here in the Raleigh area as well, so it really is happening everywhere. We had lots of NE transplants coming down seeking ‘the good life’ of 800k McMansions on postage stamp lots, but the music seemed to stop abruptly around August. Price drops galore here, even though realtors said it would never happen, because our area of NC was growing way too fast with all of the transplants and being a tech hub. We sold in June, and are currently sitting on the sidelines renting. Our former neighborhood had homes flying off the market for almost two years, and some have currently been sitting there for 90+ days with price drop after price drop.. We’ll see what Springs brings, but we’re staying renters for at least the next 12-18 months, minimum.

    I’ve also heard rumblings of trouble in a few groups at Microsoft. (Husband was an FTE for almost a decade, so we have lots of connections to those in multiple groups that are higher up the chain now) Won’t be detrimental to the Seattle area if another reorg comes into play in 2019, but it certainly won’t help the market.

  120. 120
    Erik says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 117
    I enjoyed your analysis. I remember you got beat up for posting a “rule of thumb,” but I like seeing your empirical analysis.

    You are suggesting a rule of thumb may be under 3 months of inventory in king county means we will likely have a spring bump. Makes sense.

  121. 121
    Blake says:

    Btw: Mortgage purchase apps slid now for 4 weeks running and are down 5.3% from year-ago levels. One reason why the Treasury market has more heavy lifting to do before housing bottoms. The 10-year T-note yield is heading back to the mid-2016 lows by next year.
    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1095672832913297409?s=03

  122. 122
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 117 – Ardell, thanks for the data, breakdown, and especially the perspective. That was really informative!!!

  123. 123
    uwp says:

    Amazon canceling NYC HQ 2.5.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/nyregion/amazon-hq2-queens.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

    I’m sure if we try hard enough Justme, we can figure out a way this is bad news for Seattle real estate!

  124. 124
    Matt P says:

    By Blake @ 122:

    Btw: Mortgage purchase apps slid now for 4 weeks running and are down 5.3% from year-ago levels. One reason why the Treasury market has more heavy lifting to do before housing bottoms. The 10-year T-note yield is heading back to the mid-2016 lows by next year.
    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1095672832913297409?s=03

    Could this be the one time that it actually was/is the weather? Nothing is happening here in Seattle because of the snow and things were much worse in other parts of the country.

  125. 125
    Cameron Nicholson says:

    amaZON CANCLES nyc CAMPUS!!!!! fu TO THE HATERS ON THIS BLOG! WE GOING HIGHER BABY!

  126. 126

    Good News for 2018/2019

    The IRS collected 60% more tax revenue since 2008. I won’t say whether its good news for the saver or home mortgage debt [who knows?]….but the lower tax table “Trump” data sure is bizarre if you think about it…

    Perhaps that $10K limit on state tax deductions caused it? My gosh the top 5% of the household incomes are paying their fair share now? The MSM doesn’t say and they’d rather we didn’t know? LOL

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/1665484000000-feds-collect-record-individual-income-taxes-calendar

  127. 127
    QA Observer says:

    RE: uwp @ 124

    Amazon is flexing its mighty speculative muscle. #thuglife
    Why should municipalities offer any incentive for a top paper-wealthy company?
    Perhaps it is a simple as the board speculating diminished growth in the future. No HQ2.5. No Rainier Square occupancy. No more Lauren Sanchez.

  128. 128

    RE: Matt P @ 119

    Yes. I don’t do all of King County normally because I don’t work all of King County. But to keep a bit of parallel constructive chat here, I try to keep my responses in line with what Tim posts. I don’t go so far as to try to emulate Case Shiller because Pierce County is completely meaningless to me. I have done a fair amount in South Snohomish since I do Bothell and most of it is in Snohomish.

    In my every day markets there really is nothing for sale worth having that is not on a watch list due to over pricing. There is one…but for some reason Agents for Sellers are trying to get over asking by countering over asking when you bring them a full price offer on a priced well house. That one is sitting because the owner won’t take their Asking Price. Personally I think that’s false advertising. I’m pretty sure it is also against mls rules to list a property for less than the seller is willing to take. Agents are still in transition as to what to do in this market. It will level itself out.

    One of the better ways for me to do stats is by School District. Lake Washington, Bellevue, Issaquah and Northshore and generally in that order. The Seattle and Shoreline markets that I cover don’t lend themselves well to broad conclusions because of diversity of product.

    Lake Washington School District 3 bedrooms+

    10% of that market sells at $640k or less – 22 day supply
    40% of that market sells at $640k to $975k – 17.42 day supply
    40% of that market sells at $975 to $1.65M – 1.84 month supply
    10% of that market sells at $1.65+ – 3.52 month supply

    To Matt and back to the 22 days of supply from the first item vs how long it takes to sell. They are not related in that those same 15 properties can sit on market until they don’t sell at all. Basically they represent the unmotivated sellers or distressed properties with a severe problem of some kind. Likely at least half will be taken off market. So the 22 days of supply does not mean that those specific houses will sell off in 22 days. More likely each one will be replaced with a better option that sells quickly, or at least half of them.

    (Required Disclosure – Stats in this comment are hand calculated in real time by Ardell and not published, verified or compiled by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

    I have to go see if they modified that rule recently. Used to be I could use NWMLS but then they changed it to my having to spell out the name in full as The Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The mandatory disclosure is a bit of a pain, but seeing it is the price you pay for up to the minute stats from me. :)

  129. 129
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: QA Observer @ 127 – It is interesting that Amazon cancelled their Rainier Square occupancy prior to announcing no NYC HQ. Perhaps they had second thoughts about their plans for growth, so were already sort of ho-hum on adding NYC anyway.

  130. 130
    Matt P says:

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 128:

    RE: Matt P @ 119

    Yes. I don’t do all of King County normally because I don’t work all of King County. But to keep a bit of parallel constructive chat here, I try to keep my responses in line with what Tim posts. I don’t go so far as to try to emulate Case Shiller because Pierce County is completely meaningless to me. I have done a fair amount in South Snohomish since I do Bothell and most of it is in Snohomish.

    In my every day markets there really is nothing for sale worth having that is not on a watch list due to over pricing. There is one…but for some reason Agents for Sellers are trying to get over asking by countering over asking when you bring them a full price offer on a priced well house. That one is sitting because the owner won’t take their Asking Price. Personally I think that’s false advertising. I’m pretty sure it is also against mls rules to list a property for less than the seller is willing to take. Agents are still in transition as to what to do in this market. It will level itself out.

    One of the better ways for me to do stats is by School District. Lake Washington, Bellevue, Issaquah and Northshore and generally in that order. The Seattle and Shoreline markets that I cover don’t lend themselves well to broad conclusions because of diversity of product.

    Lake Washington School District 3 bedrooms+

    10% of that market sells at $640k or less – 22 day supply
    40% of that market sells at $640k to $975k – 17.42 day supply
    40% of that market sells at $975 to $1.65M – 1.84 month supply
    10% of that market sells at $1.65+ – 3.52 month supply

    To Matt and back to the 22 days of supply from the first item vs how long it takes to sell. They are not related in that those same 15 properties can sit on market until they don’t sell at all. Basically they represent the unmotivated sellers or distressed properties with a severe problem of some kind. Likely at least half will be taken off market. So the 22 days of supply does not mean that those specific houses will sell off in 22 days. More likely each one will be replaced with a better option that sells quickly, or at least half of them.

    (Required Disclosure – Stats in this comment are hand calculated in real time by Ardell and not published, verified or compiled by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

    I have to go see if they modified that rule recently. Used to be I could use NWMLS but then they changed it to my having to spell out the name in full as The Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The mandatory disclosure is a bit of a pain, but seeing it is the price you pay for up to the minute stats from me. :)

    Thanks, I appreciate it. From my anecdotal observations, anything below $800k that’s 3 bedrooms in Seattle proper gets snapped up right quick. 2 bedrooms are lingering longer, but there also aren’t that many good ones.

  131. 131

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 128

    Add to above a 1.14 month supply of 1 bedroom and a 1.35 month supply of 2 bedroom and a 1.48 month supply of 3+ bedroom overall with the breakdown of of 3+ bedroom noted by price above. Forgot to put that in the original post. Disclaimer the same as original post #128.

  132. 132
    ess says:

    Amazon is not building HQ 2 by half in NYC.
    Will that be a wake up call to Seattle voters?
    Will be interesting to see

  133. 133

    RE: Matt P @ 130 – “Thanks, I appreciate it. From my anecdotal observations, anything below $800k that’s 3 bedrooms in Seattle proper gets snapped up right quick. 2 bedrooms are lingering longer, but there also aren’t that many good ones.”

    That’s why months of supply is only a red flag to dig deeper into the market particulars. It’s not a buyers market until you have at least 3 great options in your price range, area and parameters. That’s why it can become a buyers market in some areas and not others and in some price ranges and not others.

    If you can make an offer and have two backup houses that you like equally as well you can play hardball (buyers market). If you have waited 4 months or longer for just the right property to come along, you might not be as aggressive in negotiating. But I still draw the line at sellers who counter over the asking price. It’s just bad form to do that unless there is at least one other full price offer. Any seller can counter at full price…but over full price really is uncalled for if there is only one offer. Most people agree with that, but since the slowdown this has become an issue. Technically not illegal unless it is a full price offer with NO contingencies. Basically the countering has been to compensate for contingencies like a Home Inspection contingency. Some are saying that full asking price is only for no inspection clause and they add to asking price on the counter if there is an inspection clause. I guess that’s no less legal than a lender saying the rate is 4.25% but then increasing it for a lower credit score or some other weakness. But it doesn’t sit well.

  134. 134

    RE: Erik @ 121

    Thanks Erik. Rules of Thumb are very important, but you do have to know how to apply them. What I am watching very closely is the 3x lot for new and 2x lot for major remodel. If the tear downs are not selling to builders but rather selling to owner occupants, then the prices start falling on single family homes. If the builders aren’t buying lots then the land value diminishes very quickly. Some of the best bargains of 2008 were the old houses in awesome locations on great lots. Once the builders didn’t want the lots, the owner occupant buyers had a lot more negotiating power.

    Weakness in the expensive market doesn’t start a domino effect down market as much as builders sitting on the sidelines. The downward pressure on tear downs weakens the condo market because a tear down is a “condo alternative”. It might be a tiny house on a big lot, but it’s still not smaller than a condo in most cases. A 2 bedroom tear down for many is better than a 2 bedroom condo, especially in Seattle vs The Eastside. So when you watch the condo market you also have to keep an eye on what builders are doing and not doing as to teardowns.

  135. 135
    Joe says:

    RE: ess @ 132

    Seattle is waking up. They are staring to question why their economic future is invested in a company that doesn’t pay taxes. And now we have dic pic issues to explain to our kids. WTF.

  136. 136
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 108

    My post about 1-month-inventory-is-a-balanced-market certainly created a large flurry of activity. Some of it was just angry retorts with no substance. Others were lengthy essays (or snow-jobs, you might say) that tried to cover-up the only-slightly-less-egregious 3-month-fallacy with lots of slushy verbiage about various questionable ideas and measures of balance, mixed up with a lot of numbers that had nothing to do with the logic of how a balanced market occurs.

    Nobody was able to find fault with the logic of the original statement. A balanced market is when inventory count matches sales counts, that is, inventory is replenished to keep up with closing sales.

    Clearly, the REIC desperately wants the world to believe that 6 months of active inventory is needed for a balanced market. Many MLS and NAR sources repeat that old falsehood every month in their various press releases and media appearances, and the agent members follow up by parroting the meme all over the place. Like I said, the propaganda has worked for a long time, most recently during the 2013-2017 in Seattle. Why did it work? Because buyers and sellers alike bought into the propaganda.

    But buyers do NOT have to follow the propaganda. Since early 2018, a year ago, they have been voting NO to overpriced offerings. If buyers ACT as if 3-month worth of active inventory is required for a balanced market, then that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But enough buyers are getting smart, and understanding that by not making offers, they can break the stranglehold of the false narrative. So keep the buyer strike going, and prices will keep going down and eventually reach sustainable levels. There is plenty of rentals available with a 10.5% vacancy rate in Seattle. Heck, even without that many empty rentals you can still go on a buyer strike.

  137. 137
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: Rae K @ 120 – Thanks for posting. The fact that this is happening all over the country (and the world) is frequently ignored here in Seattle. RE is no longer as local as it once was, but everyone still thinks they are the exception. I think the business press is finally going to ring the bell that the market has topped this spring following what is certain to be a significant decline in prices and sales. Once that happens, this thing is going to head done fast.

    You are very wise to have sold. I’ve floated the idea to some friends and relatives but they were all too scared. Now they are going to see their paper gains evaporate. Kudos to you.

  138. 138
    uwp says:

    Mixed bag for Seattle per the latest news…

    Regarding the jobs planned for NYC: now they will be focused on the 15 US offices outside Seattle HQ, although “Seattle could still get some of those jobs or benefit indirectly, though it’s too early to say, the company said.”

    Reaffirm construction plans for Seattle but said that 14 million square feet would be “the completion of our Seattle campus.”

    Reminder:

    The growth to come — that extra 2 million square feet — is still huge; no other company in Seattle has that much Class A office space, in total. So hiring will continue as the company moves into those new buildings, which will likely take at least a couple years since those offices are under construction.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-puts-cap-on-growth-in-seattle-canceled-new-york-jobs-will-likely-go-elsewhere/

  139. 139
    ess says:

    RE: uwp @ 138

    Good news for Seattle insofar as Amazon will continue to grow and not remove jobs from the area as it was feared during the bad old days of the employee tax. Furthermore, they indicated that they were putting a cap on their Seattle campus – not all growth in Washington state. They are expanding in Bellevue, and may continue to do so in future years.

    Which all makes sense to me. A company that is located only in one geographic area does not have the political clout of a company that spreads the wealth amongst various states. Boeing and Microsoft have certainly learned that hard lesson in the past.

  140. 140
    uwp says:

    RE: ess @ 139
    Yeah, I think it is mostly good news.

    The progression over the last year and a half has been:

    ->A full blown second HQ to rival Seattle (potentially a place Seattle employees want to go)
    -> 2 smaller HQs that are in high cost of living areas
    -> 1 smaller HQ and a potential need to staff previously planned NYC growth.

    Also in that SeattleTimes piece it casually mentions that Amazon hired 5,000 more employees in Seattle last year. I think there was chatter on this very website in 2018 about a hiring freeze??

  141. 141
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 136:

    Nobody was able to find fault with the logic of the original statement. A balanced market is when inventory count matches sales counts, that is, inventory is replenished to keep up with closing sales.

    You have conveniently bench-marked the lowest inventory and strongest seller’s market in 20 years for your trope. Do you mean to redefine those conditions as “balanced”? And to regard any movement away from maintaining these outliers as a buyer’s market? Who, besides yourself, do you think you are fooling?

    There are other specific problems with your theory which are addressed above, but which you choose to ignore. Also your proofs do not rise to the standard you demand from others, so you fail on your own test as well.

    Ardell does a great job outlining conditions for characterizing balance in a quantifiable, and useful way, upon which you heap generalized opprobrium with no demonstration of wrong facts or incorrect reasoning – proving yourself guilty of the false charge you just made against others.

    FWIW, no need to fear “angry retorts”. No one is angry with you. You are amusing. Your buffoonery does invite a certain amount of mocking, but no harm there.

  142. 142
    Justme says:

    Whoa, the REIC is getting worked up because of a simple truth:

    A balanced market is when inventory count matches sales counts, that is, inventory is replenished to keep up with closing sales.

  143. 143
    whatsmyname says:

    Whoa, inventory has a long way to go to keep up and replenish the effect of closed sales since 2011.

  144. 144
    Justme says:

    In the sense that it will take some time to get back to 2011 prices, yes. But in the meantime, just rent and rest.

  145. 145
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 145 – >Not an especially good punt, but it beats your usual disappear for a few days strategy.

  146. 146
    Joe R says:

    RE: ess @ 17 – My god you are a lackey. Had to guess, I’d say working in software (if not Amazon) and making/made a bundle and hope to see prices driven up so you can sell out, retire someplace cheap and shudder at what a shithole Seattle is (largely due to Amazon et al crushing its livability, which you will finally admit once you’re no longer part of making it that way). NY is smarter than we are because they are the world class city–what Seattle has always desperately wanted to be but never will be. Never. Even though it pimps itself raw.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    Justme says:

    RE: NW @ 148

    Complete with a parking lot as a neighbor in the back, and adjacent to a public walkway leading to the communal neighborhood marijuana gardens. What’s not to like?

    By the way, someone posted this one already but it was worth revisiting just for the continued amusement.

  149. 149
    ess says:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 20:

    RE: ess @ 15 – This is likely just a negotiating tactic/attempt at intimidation by Amazon. They will probably go forward with their NYC HQ2 as planned.</blockquote-

    Or maybe not !

  150. 150
    ess says:

    I understand why some are upset with the events in NYC with Amazon, and their announcement that they will continue to build but cap their office space in Seattle at 12 million square feet. It will result in both the stabilizing of house prices, as many Amazon employees will now be certain that their jobs in Seattle will remain intact. In addition, rents should stabilize, especially for the more modest apartments and houses that are in short supply.

  151. 151
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: Justme @ 143

    You realize that saying some random metric that you made up over and over again does not make it true, right?

  152. 152
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ess @ 150 – Yes, I was waiting to be called out on that one, but I do deserve it. I stand corrected. I underestimated the viciousness of Amazon!

  153. 153
    Justpassingthru says:

    Amazon is also adding 5000 jobs in Tennessee at a new operations center. Anyone read if that will include tech jobs??? If I was in that industry and jobs are there, I would dust off my resume and get on outta here. Stat. It’s one of the last nice and reasonable places to live and settle down. Ridiculously cheap cost of living, no income taxes, nice people, better weather and buy a large house in a nice community for $250k. Oh and you get to basically keep your ridiculous salary in tact. Sounds perfect. Sell your overpriced place here and go live like a king there. Enjoy.

  154. 154
    ess says:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 153:

    RE: ess @ 151 – Yes, I was waiting to be called out on that one, but I do deserve it. I stand corrected. I underestimated the viciousness of Amazon!

    Haha Justsomedude. no problem. Don’t worry, I (and I bet a whole lot of other people) also had thoughts that they were angling for more goodies. I was very surprised how fast they abandoned ship. An object lesson to all other Amazon locations and wannabee locations – toe the line – be respectful or bad things will happen.

  155. 155
    Justpassinthru says:

    https://www.wsmv.com/news/how-will-amazon-s-job-announcement-affect-nashville/article_0af7a10a-edc0-11e8-ba4a-5350d65e4947.html

    I think my last post disappeared but take note. 5000 Amazon tech jobs heading to Nashville. New operations center. Imagine the change in the quality of your life moving from here to there??? Seriously, pull up Redfin and check out some home prices and cost comparisons. Some competition is healthy for this ridiculous Seattle market and here it is. Now you really have an amazing option that isn’t NY or Virginia. If you are in the tech world, you must be reading this and saying one thing, jackpot! Get outta here and don’t look back. Enjoy Nashville and your huge quality of living bump. Bye

  156. 156
    Notme says:

    Prices are red
    foreclosures are blue
    don’t buy now
    or else they’ll bite you

    -a valentine poem

  157. 157
  158. 158
    pfft says:

    By ess @ 154:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 153:

    RE: ess @ 151 – Yes, I was waiting to be called out on that one, but I do deserve it. I stand corrected. I underestimated the viciousness of Amazon!

    Haha Justsomedude. no problem. Don’t worry, I (and I bet a whole lot of other people) also had thoughts that they were angling for more goodies. I was very surprised how fast they abandoned ship. An object lesson to all other Amazon locations and wannabee locations – toe the line – be respectful or bad things will happen.

    Corporate blackmail by the richest man in the world. Shameless.

  159. 159
    ess says:

    By uwp @ 141:

    RE: ess @ 139
    Yeah, I think it is mostly good news.

    The progression over the last year and a half has been:

    ->A full blown second HQ to rival Seattle (potentially a place Seattle employees want to go)
    -> 2 smaller HQs that are in high cost of living areas
    -> 1 smaller HQ and a potential need to staff previously planned NYC growth.

    Also in that SeattleTimes piece it casually mentions that Amazon hired 5,000 more employees in Seattle last year. I think there was chatter on this very website in 2018 about a hiring freeze??

    UWP, notice a further elaboration in today’s Seattle Times by an Amazon spokesman:

    “Later Thursday, the spokesman walked back those comments, saying he misspoke and that it’s possible in the future that the company could choose to expand in Seattle again, although he declined to provide further details.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-puts-cap-on-growth-in-seattle-canceled-new-york-jobs-will-likely-go-elsewhere/

    Thus not only is there a solid commitment by Amazon to grow their office space to 12 million square feet in the Seattle area, but now there is some thought by Amazon officials to expand that growth further in Seattle. As you conjecture – there will be a need for those employees to go somewhere else now that NYC 1/2 HQ 2 has been canceled and there are no plans to replace it, and that may also include Seattle. While plans can and do change, discussions about hiring freezes and Amazon will leave town for another location certainly have diminished if not all but eliminated.

    From the standpoint of stabilizing or strengthening the real estate market in this area, these announcements can only be good news. Not such good news for those hoping Amazon’s actions would impact a major price correction for both real estate prices and rents in this area.

    And if that wasn’t good enough news for the real estate market, lost in all the excitement of Amazon’s announcement is that Airbus canceled its A350 program due to lack of orders. While A350 customers are ordering other Airbuses, some of them are reconsidering Boeing products. That also can only be good news for the real estate market in this area, as I believe Boeing has more employees in the Puget Sound area than Amazon.

  160. 160
    ess says:

    RE: ess @ 159

    Correction to comment above – Amazon states that at present they have 12 million sq feet of space, and are committed to 14 million sq feet of space not accounting for changes as a result of 1/2 HQ2 being canceled.

    That is certainly a great deal of office space concentrated in one city!

  161. 161

    RE: pfft @ 158
    Yes Pfft

    AMZ crossed the red line IMO taking public tax payer funds and paying no income tax anyway…did they ever pay income tax under any tax plan? I heard IRS federal tax revenue is up 60% from 2009….maybe you can guess why? My guess is the $10K state tax limitation cap for 2019 federal tax deduction caused it? But that’s a top 5% household income tax deduction [incomes $250K+]…so who cares….LOL, these rich elite have been milking the system too long. That’s why they hate the Trump tax tables.

  162. 162

    RE: Notme @ 156
    Have a Happy Valentines Day IOWs

    But if you get married with a $million dollar Seattle Home for gosh sakes get a prenuptial contract too….LOL….ask Besos.

  163. 163
    Market Psychologist says:

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/14/the-bay-area-has-more-homes-for-sale-spelling-relief-for-buyers/

    “There were 43 percent more homes on the market last month in the San Jose metro area, which includes Santa Clara and San Benito counties, than there were in January 2018, according to a Zillow study released Thursday. Inventory increased by 25 percent in the San Francisco metro area, which includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties. There’s no doubt that the winds have shifted very rapidly in the Bay Area housing market,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.”

    I am confused. Are sales and prices also plummeting in the Bay Area in anticipation of Amazon moving? Hmmm…. maybe there is a national housing downturn (and recession) coming because of that decade of cheap money we just had. Just a thought. I am going to write Bezos love letters now.

  164. 164
    uwp says:

    In other happy news:
    King County Property taxes are out… We are only up 3.5% this year.

  165. 165
    Market Psychologist says:

    https://wolfstreet.com/2019/02/14/eye-on-costs-worried-about-slowdown-amazon-scuttles-hq2-altogether-plunges-ny-city-real-estate-industry-into-despair/

    A cost cutting move as the future becomes murky?

    Amazon also announced that it had scrapped the idea of building any HQ2 at all and won’t reopen the bidding process to find a different location. In the second-to-last paragraph of its blog post, it says: “We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time.” It’s off the table.

    This means that Amazon has decided it didn’t really need this big facility. Is it worried about retail sales not holding up? Is it fretting about competition from the biggest retailers in the US and elsewhere as they catch the drift of e-commerce? Is it worried about a slowdown at AWS, its big data-center money maker, now that the exuberance about the “cloud” is waning? Is it worried that in the future, investors will once again hound it about ballooning expenses, and hammer its stock price to smithereens?

    This was a move designed to keep operating expenses and capital expenditures from ballooning further. Laying off people is one thing when push comes to shove, but getting rid of a monstrous multi-billion-dollar HQ2 is another. Something like this — especially when work has already started and money has been plowed into it but it’s not finished and cannot be used – could become an albatross around the neck of Amazon when it needs to cut expenses.

    Interestingly, its project in the Washington D.C. area – in Northern Virginia, a hotbed for government contractors – is moving forward to allow AWS to feed at the big trough of the government, which is, as everyone has learned last time, great-recession-proof.

  166. 166
    Justme says:

    RE: Justpassinthru @ 155
    RE: Market Psychologist @ 165

    I was just about to post that last one. Amazon is in big trouble. They are not going to get their 3B tax break from NYC, and after their HQ2 bidding shenangigans, it is unlikely that any state or municipality will offer anything similar.

    Amazon is moving to lower cost locations like Nashville. Nashville is paying 13k total per 150k salary job in incentives. LIC was going to pay 48k total per 150k job, but now there will be nothing. Municipalities are getting smarter. Amazon is trying to reduce cost. You don’t need to be in an office in Seattle to manage a cloud. You can be almost anywhere.

  167. 167
    Justsomedude12 says:

    I think the fact that Amazon cancelled their Rainier Square high rise occupancy tells us they’re less than enthusiastic about further growth in Seattle.

    If they were even on the fence about it, they could have just gone ahead with that occupancy. But the fact that they cancelled seems to indicate they’re actually negative on Seattle.

  168. 168
    N says:

    @ Ardell 117 –

    I noticed your months of inventory numbers are much lower than what Tim reported for the month. Is your Seattle specific vs. KC or is there some other explanation?

  169. 169
    Justme says:

    Propaganda-meme killer strikes again

    It is time to slaughter another holy cow of the REIC: Lots of offers means high demand, and bidding wars to follow.

    I call this the Electronic-College-Application-Mania-Effect. Remember how we always hear about how “selective” or “exclusive”universities are? They tout numbers about how they have 5 or even 10 or 15 applications per acceptance. How did this strange situation come about? Well, it is easy to explain: Electronic college applications. No more paper. Everything is on the web. Just click, cut and paste, and you have another college application to send out. There aren’t actually 10x the number of prospective students as there are total acceptances. It’s that students send out many more applications because it is so easy to do.

    Property purchases have become the same way. If you have made one electronic offer on a house, an agent can, with a few keystrokes. generate another 10 offers with minimal time and effort. As a result, buyers send out offers for way too many houses, and agents use the multitude of offers to try and instigate bidding wars by asking buyers to re-submit their best-and-highest offer (yuck, that pretentious language they stole from “best-and-highest-use” in a different context). But it is all a mirage. It is all the same people bidding on the sexiest or least overpriced listing. Or just scatter-shooting offers around.

    Now, as you all know, I think nobody should offer to buy anything at current bubble prices. But when the time comes, if the listing agent tries to instigate a bidding war, just say “heck no” and walk away. Explain to them that the seeming multitude of buyers is just because of electronic offers, not from real demand that warrant higher prices.

  170. 170

    RE: N @ 168

    I don’t know what Tim reported or where he got his info. I do my own calculations so we were using a different date as to standing inventory. I always do mine in “real time” meaning the standing inventory is whatever it may be on the day that I do the calculations.

    The wild card always when doing Absorption Rate is what do you count as “a month” of inventory? Do you use December as what will happen in February? Do you use January as what will happen in March? For many years I calculated that January sales = 5% of a total year’s sales. I haven’t done it recently, but for that reason I wouldn’t count January as 1/12th of a year’s sales.

    I posted what I used which was “a month” based on a 10-375 day divided by 12 rolling basis average, which was higher than January and lower than June. Typically you don’t use 4th Quarter to predict 1st Quarter or 2nd Quarter so it depends how many forward months of inventory there are. If you expect March sales to be the same as January then that would firstly be without precedent and secondly give you a higher number for “months of inventory”.

    As I recall, January was about 1,137 and June was about 2,650 and my average using the method above was 1,900 or so.

    The calculation is done by dividing standing inventory by a month of sales, but you are projecting forward. 1.5 months from today would be through end of March and March is always higher than January. So using January total sales as what will happen in March is likely a false read and will give you a higher “months on market”. I didn’t double check it backward but it seems to still work. If 1,137 is 5% of 2019 sales then the monthly average would be 1,895 and close enough to the number I used.

    As I noted previously, if sales are expected to stay the same from one year to the next (which they aren’t at present nor are they expected to be) then you would use the # of sales from last February and March divided by two or February March and April divided by 3 for the higher end market that is running at 3.5 months. You could use last year YOY minus 20%. I used 1/12th of a 10-375 hindsight rolling basis.

    What would you use? There is no standard formula for how you determine the expected # of sales into the future, so some seasonal adjustment is usually called for. Same happens in June when you can’t expect monthly sales volume moving forward to be equal to June or even 2nd Quarter moving into 3rd and 4th Quarters.

    Hope that makes sense. If someone is using January sales as the # of sales expected in the next month or two, then they would have more months of standing inventory in the result. But January is typically 1/20th and not 1/12th. I’ll run the calculations for the last few years as to January when I get the time later today and see if Jan is still running at roughly 5% of a year’s total.

  171. 171
    S-Crow says:

    Boom

    “HomeStreet announced Friday that it is planning to sell off its entire retail mortgage operation, which includes 72 home loan centers in five states, as well as nearly all of the mortgage servicing rights associated with loans originated in those retail outlets.

    HomeStreet doesn’t have a buyer for its retail mortgage business yet, but it said it is looking for one. ”

    Here you go: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48196-homestreet-bank-moves-to-sell-off-almost-entire-mortgage-business

    In other news: Met eye to eye with an investor/speculator/flipper a week ago. Just lost over $100,000 on a transaction. This is not a one trick pony investor but a seasoned one. I post this to offer perspective that the yellow to brick road to riches flipping houses is not without risk and I say this to counter the incessant drum beat we hear on the radio and REIC about getting rich quick.

    It didn’t take prices to drop AT ALL for this to occur. It just took time on market to increase putting enormous pressure on flippers to reduce the prices or risk exceeding the terms of the hard money loans they have.

    Have a good weekend.

    S-Crow

  172. 172
    N says:

    @ Ardell 168 – Thanks for the detailed explanation!!! Greatly appreciate your posts.

    Just for reference, Tim’s reported months of supply is 2.30 (at the top of this page).

    Just thinking out loud…. not only will sales be higher in May than January but inventory will also be higher. Using your method, do you account for the calendar year ups and downs in inventory?

  173. 173
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 169 – This is brilliant, but I have a few questions.

    1. Standardized electronic forms have been in use for decades, and about the only thing that would be consistent among multiple offers would be the purchaser’s name. Are we talking about a 2 minute time savings breakthrough here? 1 minute?

    2. Would a clerical efficiency for the realtor motivate anyone to send out 10 offers because, hey – my eighth choice is as good as my first choice? Whatever gets accepted?

    3. Can the realtor also multiply the earnest money by 10? What happens if multiple offers are accepted? Is justme familiar with the term liquidated damages, or for that matter earnest money?

    4. Since multiple offers have decreased, does this mean the web technology doesn’t work as fast or well as it used to?

    5. Finally, as to your seller advice, you would pay a lot of money to a realtor, but say “heck no” to potential higher bids because the higher price is not warranted by “real demand”?

  174. 174
    Bumble says:

    By uwp @ 123:

    Amazon canceling NYC HQ 2.5.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/nyregion/amazon-hq2-queens.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

    I’m sure if we try hard enough Justme, we can figure out a way this is bad news for Seattle real estate!

    Maybe not bad news for Seattle real estate, but bad news for Seattle imho. How many of you are pleased with the way Amazon has changed Seattle in recent years, other than the value of your real estate? Is the city better now?

    It isn’t hard to make a case that the spikes in traffic, homelessness, cost of living, etc, are largely the result of Amazon growing its workforce 800% between 2010 and 2018, now occupying over 40 buildings in Seattle. It is harder to live in Seattle now.

    There is also the danger that the city is too dependent upon Amazon. Seattle is now more of a company-town than any other city in the US. The Seattle Times wrote in 2017 that “Amazon’s footprint in Seattle is more than twice as large as any other company in any other big U.S. city”—and that was when Amazon had just 8.1 million square feet. When the city council tried to exact a modest head tax targeting Amazon last year, a tax designed to mitigate some of the housing affordability problems created by Amazon itself, Amazon flexed its muscles and applied so much pressure that the council repealed the head tax several weeks after it was passed. That is astounding. Can you think of another time in history when a representative political body so quickly reversed itself? The city does not govern Amazon, it is the other way around. And I haven’t even mentioned the risks of a city so poorly diversified, so heavily invested in one industry and particularly one company (remember the Boeing Seattle downsize?).

    And what about the culture of Seattle? Have you been to SLU lately? I have lived in SLU since before Amazon moved into the neighborhood and I have witnessed the changes. It is 359 soulless acres. Sterile. Franchised. Homogeneous. Look what has happened to other surrounding neighborhoods like Capital Hill, which used to be a cultural center until very recently. I miss a Seattle populated with firefighters, artists, school teachers, the elderly, and children, dotted with kooky community theaters, dive bars, auto repair, buildings older than 10 years, etc.

    Someone who has been made rich by the explosive growth ushered in by Amazon can be all too willing to forgive the above transgressions and overlook the risks to our community. In fact, he probably has reason to deny there is a problem at all. He’ll say all those jobs—many of which went to out-of-state and H1B workers, hence the population explosion in the city—justify the growing pains. I disagree. There must be a limit to the community harms we are willing to tolerate in exchange for economic growth.

    The announcement of HQ2 was cause for celebration. Show us some mercy, Amazon, your relentless growth is wrecking the city. The announcement of HQ2.5 was cause for disappointed, it meant that there wouldn’t be a clear equal to Amazon’s Seattle HQ. And now the same is true for Amazon’s announcement that it is pulling out of NY and spreading those jobs around the country. Seattle is stuck with its soulless overlord for the foreseeable future.

    TLDR; Amazon can suck it

    Next Episode: Jeff Bezos is Lex Luther

  175. 175

    RE: N @ 168

    I just checked what “the internet” had to say about calculating Absorption Rate. Normally I just do what I do because I have been doing it for so long. It seems this explanation in Investopedia fits the way that I do and did it. “The absorption rate is the rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. It is calculated by dividing the average number of sales per month by the total number of available homes.”

    You normally would not adjust the Inventory number. It is what it is. Over the years I have seen different people coming up with “average number of sales per month” differently. Some use the preceding month. Some use an average from the preceding 3 months, etc. That accounts for some difference.

    One thing I did do differently and adjust somewhat depending on what market I am working with is I did it by # of bedrooms without distinction as to whether it was a condo, a townhouse or a single family home. I did use all of King County. But in Seattle a townhouse is most often a fee simple, single family home and on The Eastside it is not. Down Kary’s way they are condos and I think only Seattle and most of Seattle and maybe not ALL of Seattle (some parts I don’t work) builds their attached housing as fee simple the same as where I am from in Philadelphia has done for a couple hundred or more years.

    So when I did 1 bed, 2 bedroom and 3+ bedroom stats, I did not separate by type of residential property. In my market a 3 bedroom townhome is a suitable single family home alternative for people who want to be “close in” to walkable things like stores and coffee shops. Clearly parts of Seattle use 3 bedroom and large 2 bedrooms for families that want to be in a vibrant neighborhood. As density increases, the distinction between single family and family sized condo is less noticeable as in NYC where many families live in “apartments”, even the very wealthy.

    I try to show my work so that anyone can use their own method after understanding the methodology. I posted the “months of inventory” in answer to a question Matt had about the relationship between “months of inventory” and time to sell. I didn’t look at what anyone else had already posted about months of inventory and didn’t mean to contradict Tim. A long time ago, back in 2006 I think, I said that I read every comment on Seattle Bubble but I don’t read the posts. Got me into trouble. LOL! I don’t need Tim to tell me what’s happening in the market nor do I read the NWMLS end of month reports. I don’t trust anyone’s stats but my own. I think if everyone had the data they would do the same.

    I don’t use absorption rate for much and the full King County stats I did just to answer Matt’s question is not how I work on an every day basis. Normally I’m doing the areas where I work Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond – Issaquah, Sammamish. I don’t do stats for Bothell because it is not cohesive. When I do Bothell I don’t include the Everett School District part of Bothell. When I do the Seattle neighborhoods where I work, mostly SLU and north of through Shoreline, I don’t use broad stats as lot size is a huge factor there and you can’t do broad stats easily. A great house on a 3,000sf lot in a SF5000 zone is not as good as a 4,000 sf lot (basically minimum standard with 40 foot frontage) or a 5,000+ sf lot or a double lot etc… The “house” of it is the least important factor in Seattle and also parts of Kirkland and Bellevue (anyplace where there are teardowns vs full new developments).

    When you do Absorption Rate and are dividing by “the monthly average # of sales”, you don’t adjust what inventory is, but which average you use does change depending on time of year. In June, as example, you may be able to use a 6 month hindsight average. But this time of year best to use a full year average since the market dropped off about half way through. You have to put some thought into it and there is no one right way.

    The only reason to talk a lot on the internet is to help others figure out how to come to their own conclusions by doing their own work. Same with clients. When I have a new client I try to teach them enough so that they hopefully some day don’t need an agent at all. We are not rocket scientists and these days almost no agents use old school due diligence. So teaching people how to buy and sell without needing too much help is becoming more and more important.

    In many ways the “Average Joe” in this area can do many things better on their own than the average agent. So talking on sites like this is important. You don’t have to agree with me and I don’t really care whether or not people agree with me. :) I’ve been doing this far too long to worry about things like that. I love to read the perspective of others and sometimes buyers en masse do change valuation…as they did in Ballard. Knowing how buyers and sellers think is a lot more important to me than knowing how the NWMLS or Tim or other agents think, because consumers can change a market with their thinking, and in The Seattle Area they have. Very much so.

  176. 176
    Markey Psychologist says:

    https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/48667220_zpid/globalrelevanceex_sort/47.713602,-122.25483,47.670965,-122.335082_rect/13_zm/

    2/8/2019 Listed for sale $1,050,000
    6/20/2001 Sold $284,500

    In Seattle, the houses live off you!

  177. 177
    Market Psychologist says:

    https://www.zillow.com/homes/9007-24th-ave-nw_rb/

    12/13/2018 Price change $875,000
    9/6/2018 Price change $895,000
    5/29/2018 Listed for sale $949,000
    1/25/2017 Sold $827,500

    BAGHODLER

  178. 178
    NW says:

    Fresh off the press – a (fast) remodel, no less.

    1720 sqft house on 3090 sqft lot.

    Sold 10/2018: $618,000
    For sale 2/2019: $1,100,000

    No garage, probably no backyard, no shower, no eating space other than the dining room table, laminate floors, a pompous “media room” (aka basement with a cable outlet) with carpet on the shelves (or whatever).

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/106-NW-77th-St-98117/home/495423

    Bonus: check “street view” for before pics :-)

  179. 179
    NW says:

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 177

    I actually saw that one – long ago, before I decided to just sit it out.

    Hard to get in/out by car (little space to maneuver), no yard, very thin and long. House is empty now, dirty and creepy looking, kitchen cabinets have seen better days. Previous owners probably obsessed with fireplaces – they have them in every corner. The only plus is the view.

    Also, afaik, they moved (back?) to Japan, so no speculators. Not that it matters, anyway :-)

  180. 180
    N says:

    @ Ardell 175 — Thank you, your explanations and method makes sense.

    One of the markets I follow is Spokane and even the Spokane Association of Realtor’s publishes the months of inventory with a notation that they base it on that month’s closed sales. I would assume most media probably also use the more simple calculation.
    https://www.spokanerealtor.com/market-snapshot/#1548887748192-7015c4bc-028f

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  181. 181
    richard says:

    i heard a huge msft reorg coming. any insider info?

  182. 182
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Bumble @ 174 – Very well said.

  183. 183
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: NW @ 179 – Nice. I liked the view too, but the construction does look bizarre. We will see what it sells for. As usual, there will be suckers who will buy this Spring. However, the times, they are a changin’!

  184. 184
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 167 – Yes, methinks Amazon is firing a shot across the bows of socialist municipalities across the country. If the likes of Sawant get their way, Seattle can kiss Amazon goodbye. No company considers 2 HQs otherwise.

  185. 185
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Justme @ 166 – There was no extra $3B in the budget for AOC to spend on pet projects. The so called tax ‘break’ or ‘subsidy’ basically neutralize the onerous costs of doing business in NYC. AOC can say whatever she wants. Most companies will never relocate to a city where the wealth is in the wrong hands. Seattle is not far behind with its recent money grab…

  186. 186
    sfraz says:

    RE: Bumble @ 174 – Spot on Bumble. Amazon and Bezos have sucked this city dry of its character, leaving a glass, and concrete carcass. Not being a part of Seattle, but spreading out ON Seattle, as a brute in the room. Bullying with its corporate might, while the citizens of Seattle suffer increases in taxes, loss of their city and skyrocketing homelessness. No connection here. They are squatters. Seattle is going down the same path as San Fran. No one will want to visit. Feces, needles, tents, vomit. The stench will overwhelm the once beautiful South Lake Union. New York won. They avoided the Seattle-ization that other cities fear.

    “Corporate subsidies inflict an even greater harm to product market competition. Not all companies can pit one state against another. A small grocery store cannot get the governor’s attention by threatening to move across state borders. As a result, small stores will face the full burden of local taxation, while large ones receive tax exemption and subsidies. Not only does this too-big-to-tax policy distort product market competition, it is fundamentally un-American. In 1773, Boston patriots threw British tea into the harbor to protest the tax favored status of the British East India Company, which was able to underact American importers not because it was more efficient, but because was tax favored. In other terms, the American Revolution started as a revolution against those large corporations that use their political power to distort competition to their advantage. In these cases, corporate subsidies are not only are uneconomical, they are also un-American. ” https://promarket.org/subsidies-amazon-unamerican/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

  187. 187

    RE: N @ 180

    If that month happened to be an average month, that would work. I just know from years of doing stats that January #Sold is not an average month and is usually 5% based on numbers I remember from back in 2004 to 2006 or so.

    As I promised earlier, I ran the stats for a few years to double check that. I used 2009, 2013 and 2016.

    100 divided by 12 =8.33% is an average month. That’s why I took a year of sales divided by 12. If it were March vs January I might not have bothered.

    Again using the same 3 or more bedrooms. I do this as I’ve never met someone buying a 1 bedroom who HAD TO buy vs rent. :) Usually at 3 or more bedrooms they have a more compelling reason to buy vs rent.

    2016 January had 1,158 units sold or 4.5% of the total year’s sales of 25,687
    2013 January had 1,161 units sold or 5% of the total year’s sales of 22,997
    2009 January had 539 sales which was only 3.6% of the total year’s sales of 14,801

    So using January as an “average” month to calculate Absorption Rate never does make much sense. You can use 8.33% or use the average % of Feb and March generally. But that likely would come out about the same. I used the 8.33% which is a lot more realistic than using Jan which is normally 1/20th or less of a year’s sales and not 1/12th.

    Come to think of it, now that I did this math, why IS everyone (Just Me) Freaking Out about ONLY 1,141 sold this year in January? Compared to 539 in 2009 it’s pretty good and also pretty much in line with both 2013 and 2016. Why the Chicken Little act?

    Just ran the January number for 2018 and it is 1,208 vs this year of 1,141. Why all the wailing???

    THIS is why I do my own stats.

    (Required Disclosure: Stats in this post are hand calculated in Real Time by Ardell and not Published, Verified or Compiled by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

    As always I am happy to meet with anyone and plug these numbers in with a witness watching while having coffee or a beer as long as it is in Kirkland. In fact Erik has been bugging to get some of us together for a beer for years. If you don’t believe it, you can watch me do it. Maybe not only Just Me. He scares me a little. :) If Just Me wants to meet then someone else has to come too. LOL!

  188. 188
    Voight-kampff says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 187

    I regrettably wasn’t able to attend the meet-up that took place years ago. I really wanted to meet David Losh and Ira, Et al. I think it could be fun. Plus, you could then hand out everybody’s REIC paychecks in person! :)

  189. 189

    RE: N @ 180

    If that month happened to be an average month, that would work. I just know from years of doing stats that January #Sold is not an average month and is usually 5% based on numbers I remember from back in 2004 to 2006 or so.

    As I promised earlier, I ran the stats for a few years to double check that. I used 2009, 2013 and 2016.

    100 divided by 12 =8.33% is an average month. That’s why I took a year of sales divided by 12. If it were March vs January I might not have bothered.

    Again using the same 3 or more bedrooms. I do this as I’ve never met someone buying a 1 bedroom who HAD TO buy vs rent. :) Usually at 3 or more bedrooms they have a more compelling reason to buy vs rent.

    2016 January had 1,158 units sold or 4.5% of the total year’s sales of 25,687
    2013 January had 1,161 units sold or 5% of the total year’s sales of 22,997
    2009 January had 539 sales which was only 3.6% of the total year’s sales of 14,801

    So using January as an “average” month to calculate Absorption Rate never does make much sense. you can use 8.33% or use the average % of Feb and March generally. But that likely would come out about the same. I used the 8.33% which is a lot more realistic than using Jan which is normally 1/20th or less of a year’s sales and not 1/12th.

    Come to think of it, now that I did this math, why IS everyone (Just Me) Freaking Out about ONLY 1,141 sold this year in January? Compared to 539 in 2009 it’s pretty good and also pretty much in line with both 2013 and 2016. Why the Chicken Little act?

    Just ran the January number for 2018 and it is 1,208 vs this year of 1,141. Why all the wailing???

    THIS is why I do my own stats.

    (Required Disclosure: Stats in this post are hand calculated in Real Time by Ardell and not Published, Verified or Compiled by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.)

    As always I am happy to meet with anyone and plug these numbers in with a witness watching while having coffee or a beer as long as it is in Kirkland. In fact Erik has been bugging to get some of us together for a beer for years. If you don’t believe it, you can watch me do it. Maybe not only Just Me. He scares me a little. :) If Just Me wants to meet then someone else has to come too. LOL!

  190. 190
    steven says:

    Just ran the January number for 2018 and it is 1,208 vs this year of 1,141. Why all the wailing???

    because the inventory has doubled while sales went down. If the demand was as high as people were stating or the supply was as short as people stated, the sales should be up at least considerably while inventory doubled/tripled.

  191. 191
    David says:

    I DO NOT understand why Amazon would have ever considered NYC a good place to move. It must be vanity. I’ve earned money in NYC but my last business with presence in NYC put me in contact with the dockworker unions and others. NYC is not a good place to put your physical business. It is a great place to sell services into – then hop on a plane and leave.

    Amazon should seriously look at putting office south of Seattle in places like Tahaleh. Less expensive housing, hop the train into Seattle if needed. More sedate lifestyle. And they would probably embrace Amazon.

    Plus, NYers are not moral people. Why live around people who embrace vivisecting living children? Your greatest enemy will NEVER be an Iraqi, German or Syrian. (One exception is Mexicans or other illegal aliens who will most definitely murder you in Seattle). It will always be your fellow American you must watch out for.

  192. 192
    Blake says:

    Btw: The always excellent Barry Ritholtz provides some actual FACTS about Amazon’s NYCity HQ2 fiasco. As he notes, Apple and Google recently expanded in NYC and they did it quietly and DIDN’T ASK FOR TAXPAYER HANDOUTS!

    Barry: “Man, so many people are getting this wrong. No, Amazon did not pull out of the NYC deal – and a lot of people have done a terrible job trying to explain this.

    A few details that will make things clearer. ” 1/
    https://twitter.com/ritholtz/status/1096449872713211904?s=03

  193. 193

    RE: Eastsider @ 70
    Yes Eastsider

    College Loans are Killing RE With Pressure to Raise Mortgage Interest…

    Its that simple. I forked out about $10K $CASH$ to put my daughter through Green River College Associate Degree completion. The federal government did give some tax deduction, like about 20-25%…..but I paid the rest.

    If ya can’t get a scholarship or have parents help pay….don’t expect a handout. I wouldn’t co-sign a college loan either…very dangerous. BTW, the college tax deduction was much bigger if the parent declared it on their 1040, not the student’s 1040.

  194. 194
    Blake says:

    Bubbleheads. Here are some of the comments over the last week by Dave Rosenberg, the Chief Economist & Strategist at Gluskin Sheff (@EconguyRosie). You all seem too focused on the local economy, but economic indicators around the world are all turning south quickly! We are 9 years into this economic recovery and it’s ending…

    Restaurant sales have declined in four of the past five months and at a pace we haven’t seen in 25 years. That means worse than the depths of the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Remember — they are a leading indicator.

    Worst retail sales since 2009 and worst core control number since 2000. So either recession years, or close to it as an FYI — and both were missed by market pundits at the time. Learn from history. And is that back-to-back negative PPI prints I see on my screen?

    Mortgage purchase apps slid now for 4 weeks running and are down 5.3% from year-ago levels. One reason why the Treasury market has more heavy lifting to do before housing bottoms. The 10-year T-note yield is heading back to the mid-2016 lows by next year.

    The definition of pushing on a string is when mortgage rates dive to 10-month lows and mortgage purchase applications still manage to drop for three straight weeks and down 1.8% from year-ago levels.

    The earnings recession has started. At the end of Sept, the consensus was +6.7% for YoY EPS. By end-2018, that estimate was down to +3.3%. And now -0.8%, with six of the eleven sectors in negative terrain.

    Interesting to see how an ‘economic boom’ is one in which import demand dives 2.9% while exports recede by 0.6% the same month. Never a good sign when two-way trade moves into reverse.

    See “Late-Afternoon Stock Rallies Ring Bell” on page B12 of the WSJ. A sentiment/ momentum driven market dominated by leveraged index funds and passive strategies that have been taking rallies and turning them into blowout gains in the final hour of trading.

    Blake sez: The market is a casino and the mainstream media are cheerleaders… Recession is on they way this year. Cash in your chips now and walk away…

    Yes, you can mark my words on this recession call!

    And remember: Retailers are disproportionately impacted by consumer recessions and Amazon is THE BIGGEST retailer! Many say one of the reasons they have backed away from their HQ2 expansion is the economy turning south.

  195. 195
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 169
    RE: whatsmyname @ 173

    Misinterpretation for propaganda purposes is a particular characteristic of whatshisname (WHN). When I say web-based purchase offers, that means a completely paperless offer process with digital signatures. I read somewhere that Docusign was used in 2.5M residential property transactions in 2015. That’s roughly half (a bit less than half) the total number of such transactions in the US in a typical year. So it is fair to say that fully web-based contracts became mainstream around 2015. Not exactly decades ago.

    I don’t know whether WHN is now going to claim that desktop publishing, laser printers, paper-based offers and fax transmissions only take 2 minutes more than web-based contracts with Docusign?

    The next willful misinterpretation is to pretend that I was talking about sending out 10 offers in parallel along with 10 chunks of earnest money. No. But people send out offers with 2-day expirations, and the easy web-based process means that they practically can and will submit many more offers than they did in the days of paper-based offers and wet-ink signatures. I do like the related concept of doing a reverse auction, though. I have looked into the idea of submitting, say 3 offers on 3 properties with the explicit contractual condition that the first person to accept their offer would get the deal, with earnest money to be delivered soon thereafter. That one ran into a buzzsaw of REIC resistance, as you might imagine. Has anyone here done it successfully?

    Multiple offers decreased again starting in 2018 because many potential buyers are saying NO to bidding on overpriced properties, in spite of the ease with which one can generate an offer. It’s that pesky buyer strike again.

    WHN, next time you write, try applying your best-and-highest honesty and intelligence. But I am concerned that is what you already have done.

  196. 196
    Justme says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 189

    >>As always I am happy to meet with anyone and plug these numbers in with a witness watching while having coffee or a beer as long as it is in Kirkland. In fact Erik has been bugging to get some of us together for a beer for years. If you don’t believe it, you can watch me do it. Maybe not only Just Me. He scares me a little. :) If Just Me wants to meet then someone else has to come too. LOL!

    That’s a low blow, Ardell. Even with the smiley attached. I think an apology is on order.

  197. 197
    Justme says:

    RE: Blake @ 194

    Right on, both on the big picture and the local angle. Even Amazon is not immune to the falling consumer.

  198. 198
    Sfraz says:

    RE: Justme @ 196 – agree. Could it be your challenge to the REIC propaganda?

  199. 199
    Justme says:

    Weekend update, King County active inventory, graphical edition.

    To avoid multi-link moderation, I have segregated the graphs into folders. Click the link, click an image in the folder, then click once more for enlarged view. Use back-button to navigate. The graphs compare 2019,2018,2017 inventory on an hourly basis. 2017 was the year inventory was at a multi-year low for most of the year.

    King County SFH active for-sale inventory 2017,2018,2019 on 2019-02-16
    King County Condo active for-sale inventory 2017,2018,2019 on 2019-02-16
    King County SFH active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017 on 2019-02-16
    King County Condo active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017 on 2019-02-16

    https://imgur.com/user/justbubble/favorites/folder/6239629/20190216kingcountywaactiveinventory

    With earlier forecasts indicating rain and near-freezing temperatures this weekend, it is likely that both listing activity and open houses were curtailed before we even got to the weekend. In other words, activity still has not recovered from the now 2-week long stretch of snow, ice, rain, cold and clouds. Any listing agents worth their (road) salt know that these are far from optimal conditions for selling properties.

    These facts on the ground are reflected in the inventory numbers this week. Inventory counts are flat or down a little, as the big spike up in new listings from the pre-Superbowl week has succumbed to the weather. There is definitely some activity still both in listings and in pendings/closings, but overall the spring market has been somewhat on ice with respect to new listing activity for the last two weeks. That being said, once the weather abates their will likely be another notable bump up in supply as a pent-up supply of listings hit the internet. We shall see in due time.

    But in spite of all this, inventories are again 2X or more than both 2017 and 2018 at the same time, while pendings and closings are largely flat. Buying activity is limited by buyers sitting out the high prices, not by lack of product. Only properly priced product is lacking.

  200. 200
    Erik says:

    RE: Justme @ 196
    Read books on real estate bubbles so you understand more and argue less. Then you can start making friends on here.

  201. 201
    ess says:

    RE: Bumble @ 174

    I appreciate your sentiments, as I too am not enamored by the changes that have taken place both in the SLU, Seattle or surrounding communities, I would add the following ideas in no particular order of importance for consideration:

    -The United States is urbanizing, and is growing in population. That population will gravitate to the cities, as there are employment, cultural, and entertainment opportunities, as well as goods and services not available in a declining populated rural America. This is especially attractive to immigrants who gravitate to larger cities to initiate their American experience, and this is what we are witnessing at present in Seattle and elsewhere.

    -As the determination has been made to retain as much open space as possible through the implementation of the GMA here in Washington State, cities can only increase their density, which usually results in building higher. Thus with population growth, it is inevitable that taller residential and commercial buildings will appear, and they will be built on land that is not being utilized in its full “potential”. SLU area is a perfect example – low rise buildings and parking garages adjunct to downtown in the middle of Seattle. When Vulcan started buying all the land in that area, the handwriting was on the wall in really big letters.

    -With that determination to limit the available amount of land dedicated to construction, it is only natural that prices for developmental land will increase, thus driving up the cost for all housing. And housing closer to cities will be more expensive in part because of demand, development costs and obtaining the buildable lot(s). As a result – those with lesser incomes that have not bought may have to find cheaper digs, and even those who bought may be forced out by escalating taxes, and those “quirky” businesses that people love will also be economic casualties of escalating rents.

    -There is much groupthink amongst local planners and administrators, as the training they receive at their colleges and universities tends to be the same. That thinking which permeates the modern day professions that drive the decisions as to the future and devleopment of cities is usually limited to the beliefs that:

    density increases vibrancy of communities, efficiency of delivering city services, increases the ability to successfully provide public transportation, increases “walkability” of neighborhoods which is good, increases neighborhood goods and services in local neighborhoods.

    single family housing, “sprawl” and the use of automobiles is inherently bad for the environment and should be discouraged through various methods such as limiting parking at new developments, as well as transportation hubs, increase gas taxes to be applied to mass transit, commuter lanes for carpools, in addition to state land use policies that limit single family car dependent communities. Pay by the mile to discourage driving is in the planning stages, as well as charging for driving into downtown Seattle.

    -There have always been complaints about increased population and density which have changed both the character of both residential neighborhoods and downtowns. I am sure that some Seattlelites that resided in their city before the great Yukon gold rush were upset by the great urbanization of their city as a result of the gold rush population boom. Imagine greater Los Angeles when the area had half a million individuals residing in and the surrounding areas that are now congested cities were orange orchids, had no pollution, and one could easily get around by automobile. One assumes many old time Angelos were concerned about the massive development of the LA area, with all problems that accompanied it. I imagine other cities that have experienced major growth have individuals who are also sad to see the changes that growth entailed. Austin, Texas was once a sleepy little town – no more! Urbanization and density brings massive changes.

    -While Seattle is dominated by one employer (Amazon), it is nothing like the dominance that Boeing had in the state in the late 60s and early 70s. Compare the numbers:

    Boeing in the late 60s and early 70s – had over hundred thousand employees in a state with a population of 2.5 million or so.

    Amazon at present has approximately 45,000 employees in Seattle, but Puget Sound itself has almost four million residents.

    While the domination of one employer in the area is of concern, in terms of population, it is nothing as the dominance and impact that Boeing had in the early 70s when it reduced its workforce by half or more. Of course – it would be safer for Seattle’s economy if its business base was more diversified both in terms of the size and type of businesses, but it is what it is, and at least at present there are some other local companies to offset a potential employment decline in Amazon. I guess one of the answers is to keep on buying from Amazon rather than Walmart – unless you are planning to relocate to NW Arkansas. But the better answer is for Seattle and area to continue to diversify its businesses in areas that are not economically directly related to each other.

    So what is the answer? Who knows? Move to a city that one would continue to enjoy even if the population doubles or triples, and don’t purchase a residence too close to the city center in an area that will experience any great growth over time? If the US and its cities are going to grow, and one resides in the core of a city – one will just have to tolerate that growth or leave for (literally) greener pastures in the outer suburbs or the rural parts of the state.

  202. 202
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ess @ 201 – Technology is now allowing employees to work remotely. For many jobs there is no longer a need to work/reside in the city where the employer is located. One can reside in an outlying area for much cheaper cost of living, while earning the same salary as if they were living in the urban population center. This trend is growing.

    This is one of the reasons that the cost of housing in urban population centers has a ceiling. One reason is that people can only afford so much. Another reason is what I outlined above…when people are faced with expensive propositions, they have a way of adjusting and adapting to avoid those expensive propositions.

  203. 203
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 195:

    Misinterpretation for propaganda purposes is a particular characteristic of whatshisname (WHN). When I say web-based purchase offers, that means a completely paperless offer process with digital signatures. I read somewhere that Docusign was used in 2.5M residential property transactions in 2015. That’s roughly half (a bit less than half) the total number of such transactions in the US in a typical year. So it is fair to say that fully web-based contracts became mainstream around 2015. Not exactly decades ago.

    I don’t know whether WHN is now going to claim that desktop publishing, laser printers, paper-based offers and fax transmissions only take 2 minutes more than web-based contracts with

    ? So what is your guess, 10 minutes? Truth is neither of us knows because I’ve never done a house transaction that way, and you’ve never done a house transaction at all.

    The next willful misinterpretation is to pretend that I was talking about sending out 10 offers in parallel along with 10 chunks of earnest money. No. But people send out offers with 2-day expirations, and the easy web-based process means that they practically can and will submit many more offers than they did in the days of paper-based offers and wet-ink signatures. I do like the related concept of doing a reverse auction, though. I have looked into the idea of submitting, say 3 offers on 3 properties with the explicit contractual condition that the first person to accept their offer would get the deal, with earnest money to be delivered soon thereafter. That one ran into a buzzsaw of REIC resistance, as you might imagine. Has anyone here done it successfully?

    First, you should read (your) post that I was responding to. Second, I see you’ve decided that the old way could’t get new offers (for tertiary targets) out in 2 days??? Third, I would modify your question to, “Has anyone here done that? or seen it done? or seen it attempted? Realtors, please, what percentage of deals have you seen done in this reverse auction pattern? Or even attempted?”

    Multiple offers decreased again starting in 2018 because many potential buyers are saying NO to bidding on overpriced properties, in spite of the ease with which one can generate an offer. It’s that pesky buyer strike again.

    So even if we accept your false narrative that supposedly competent people are dropping half-million dollar plus contacts willy nilly, you infer there was actually demand behind them. After all, you are presenting this as a decrease in demand.

    , next time you write, try applying your best-and-highest honesty and intelligence. But I am concerned that is what you already have done.

    Interesting reaction to legitimate questions. Your ability to imagine is remarkable, but not really the same as an ability to perceive. I often wonder how you are able to type these fantasies, but then I remember that you’re left hand is free.

  204. 204
    ess says:

    By justsomedude12 @ 202:

    RE: ess @ 201 – Technology is now allowing employees to work remotely. For many jobs there is no longer a need to work/reside in the city where the employer is located. One can reside in an outlying area for much cheaper cost of living, while earning the same salary as if they were living in the urban population center. This trend is growing.

    This is one of the reasons that the cost of housing in urban population centers has a ceiling. One reason is that people can only afford so much. Another reason is what I outlined above…when people are faced with expensive propositions, they have a way of adjusting and adapting to avoid those expensive propositions.

    Yes, there may be some individuals that wish to or are able to work remotely (such as my neighbor), but most people now wish to reside in metropolitan areas for goods, services and entertainment.

    A high tech company such as Amazon has created tens of thousands of jobs for on site employees. They may have some employees that work remotely, but they sure are spending a great deal of money on office space.

    Even at the expense of doubling up in houses and apartments, Seattleites are willing to pay for housing in urban areas. Most of those individuals would recoil in horror if they had to reside in an area without a Starbucks on every corner.

  205. 205
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ess @ 204 – I was thinking of companies in general. I know that Safeco and Accenture both moved a large percentage of their employees to working at home. I can think of those two just off the top of my head because I know people who work there, but I’m sure there are lots of others that I don’t know about.

    My company is slowly moving in that direction as well. It’s seen as a win/win. The company uses less office space, employees can live where they want with zero commute.

  206. 206
    pfft says:

    By Eastsider @ 185:

    RE: Justme @ 166 – There was no extra $3B in the budget for AOC to spend on pet projects. The so called tax ‘break’ or ‘subsidy’ basically neutralize the onerous costs of doing business in NYC. AOC can say whatever she wants. Most companies will never relocate to a city where the wealth is in the wrong hands. Seattle is not far behind with its recent money grab…

    how are you going to hand the richest man in the world $3 billion when the subway is crumbling and needs $30 billion.

    You know what would happen? There would be less jobs than forecast, more money spent on infrastructure and police and fire and so services would be cut. You are basically saying the $3 billion doesn’t count. So why not give them $5 billion?

  207. 207
    pfft says:

    By David @ 191:

    I DO NOT understand why Amazon would have ever considered NYC a good place to move. It must be vanity. I’ve earned money in NYC but my last business with presence in NYC put me in contact with the dockworker unions and others. NYC is not a good place to put your physical business. It is a great place to sell services into – then hop on a plane and leave.

    Amazon should seriously look at putting office south of Seattle in places like Tahaleh. Less expensive housing, hop the train into Seattle if needed. More sedate lifestyle. And they would probably embrace Amazon.

    Plus, NYers are not moral people. Why live around people who embrace vivisecting living children? Your greatest enemy will NEVER be an Iraqi, German or Syrian. (One exception is Mexicans or other illegal aliens who will most definitely murder you in Seattle). It will always be your fellow American you must watch out for.

    Just remember David, Trump is from NY! Queens born and now lives in Manhattan. Everyone knew he was a terrible person.

  208. 208
    pfft says:

    barry ritholz says it best- use your own money to build an HQ.

    “I hope Amazon builds its HQ2 here. And that it does not require the most successful businessman of this generation to adopt Socialism to do so.”

  209. 209
    sfraz says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 189 – Pearl clutching. Who SHOULD be afraid is someone sitting at a table with YOU and your fellow Steal Estate scammers. It is you and your kind that lay families in ruin while you smile and push the pen in their hands to sign that contract. Once the bank takes over you are off and running with your commission ready to sink your fangs into another gullible buyer.
    How much business have you drummed up playing Glenda the Good Witch on this site?
    You don’t want JustMe to sit at your table because he will call your game. That sends a shiver down your spine.

  210. 210
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: sfraz @ 209 -While it’s likely to be mostly in jest; I think Ardell shows good judgement in limiting unsupervised personal contact with hate spouting, conspiracy theorists, exhibiting a possible messianic complex. That “you and your kind/ lay families in ruin” talk makes me think she should add you to her no-fly list as well. No smileys and no apologies here.

  211. 211
    sfraz says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 210 – Steal estate agents on this site are here to make money. Fishing in a barrel. They rank right up there with lawyers and used car salesmen.

  212. 212
    Voight-kampff says:

    RE: sfraz @ 209
    Ardell’s posts are some of the most informative, data driven posts on this site. This “REIC” conspiracy paranoia stuff seriously makes me laugh sometimes, but it is also a little concerning that people actually think this way. Please keep posting Ardell!

  213. 213
    sfraz says:

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 212 – Meet her in Kirkland. She’s got the PERFECT deal for you….

  214. 214
    N says:

    @ S Crow 171 – Interesting perspective on longer DOM leading to motivated investors using hard money quickly lowering prices.

    Can you provide any color as to what percentage of the deals you close are investors? Has the mix changed in the last 12 months?

  215. 215
    N says:

    @ Blake 194 – One data point to add to your list is the number of delinquent auto loans at an all time high – higher than during the great recession.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/business/delinquent-car-loans/index.html

    Some of these data points are quite valid and certainly it’s been quite a run but I don’t put too much stock as you can always find stories and data to support the end is near. Credit cards and then student loans were going to be the next things to push us into great recession #2 according to many several years ago.

  216. 216
    sfrz says:

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 212 – Real estate IS the best way to launder dirty money. The REIC is a complex web of banks, government and…. realtors.
    “Banks, securities broker/dealers, even precious metal dealers like gold or diamond sellers, a lot of other industries have anti-money laundering regulations on them,” Kindle said. “They’re going to ask me all kinds of questions. Most of the people involved in real estate, they don’t have to do any of that stuff. If I’m looking for anonymity, and I’m looking for a place where I can purchase and hold really high-value assets, real estate is a great place to go. It’s just outside the world of reporting obligations.”
    https://www.curbed.com/2018/8/10/17674584/money-laundering-real-estate-paul-manafort-trial

  217. 217
    Erik says:

    RE: sfraz @ 209
    Ardell is by far the hardest working and best overall agents I’ve ever worked with. Ardell is one of the most ethical people I know. I like to think I’m a pretty fair person, but Ardell takes it to the extreme. She plays by the rules and will never even bend anyone’s perception. I wanted to zoom in on a photo of my view of the space needle and she isn’t even willing to do that because it falsely represents the property.

    I think most real estate agents are dirt bags. Most agents I’ve run into are not very intelligent and just want to get paid. Ardell is an exception to the rule. She is passionate about real estate and isn’t in it so much for the money. That’s what makes her the best in the area.

  218. 218
    Eastsider says:

    RE: pfft @ 206 – The $3B does not exist. You are seriously mistaken if you believe NYS/NYC is giving a $3B check to Amazon. There are many reasons why the city’s subway is crumbling and will not be fixed. Money in the wrong hands is not the reason LOL.

  219. 219

    RE: S-Crow @ 171
    Yes Escrow

    Foreclosure grabbing is not without risk. That’s why I watch carefully and avoid most deals. My Kansas City foreclosure gets $CASH$ offers almost weekly….but I scored that lucky devil baby in 2014 for about 70% off listed value.

    Hidden costs of buying are getting the property up to local codes, so have an extra 10-20% of home value laying around for this. Kansas City has strict landlord rental codes too that can eat you alive if you don’t have “elbow room” $CASH$ too or a family member living in the unit [I do].

    That’s why I got the foreclosure so cheap too…Seattle area has similar Cost Traps for the flippers…

  220. 220
    S-Crow says:

    RE: N @ 214 – yes, the days on market increasing is crushing to hard money financed investors. It has been something that I’ve been sounding the alarm about for a while. I’ll have to look at our pipeline over the last few months to see the ratio of investor transactions including refinance transactions where an investor is cashing out the hard money.

    The local Homestreet Bank lending offices closing branches in Seattle and other places is definitely big news in lending circles here with lots of chatter offline. They did a lot of business here.

  221. 221
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 220

    425 26th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

    1/28/2019 Pending sale $618,000
    1/7/2019 Listed for sale $618,000
    5/11/2018 Sold $781,891
    9/18/2017 Sold —

    Reminds me of this guy. Just saw this today.

  222. 222
    Redmondjp says:

    RE: ess @ 201 – Regarding why Seattle is becoming a soulless generica, it is not Amazon’s fault. Look to the United Nations Agenda 2030 for smart growth (formerly called Agenda 21). Now before you write me off as some tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy fanboy, please do your own research, as everything is available online.

    This plan has been ingeniously-embedded in our country via local planning development codes and guides, as in my own city of Redmond. Single-family homes take up too much space and consume too many resources, so most of us are supposed to live in multi-family mid- or high-rise rat boxes, all situated along mass-transit corridors. Oh, and we’re not supposed to own or use cars either.

    Our state and local transit agencies have also been infused with these globalist policies, which is why they are not actually solving any of our transportation problems, but rather worsening single-vehicle traffic in order to force more people to use THEIR solution.

    Again, before you dismiss this, do your own research – it’s all out there on the web for anybody to read, for those who want to really understand why these things are happening, and why most new development (“generica”) looks the same, regardless of where you go.

  223. 223
    Matt P says:

    By Market Psychologist @ 221:

    RE: S-Crow @ 220

    425 26th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

    1/28/2019 Pending sale $618,000
    1/7/2019 Listed for sale $618,000
    5/11/2018 Sold $781,891
    9/18/2017 Sold —

    Reminds me of this guy. Just saw this today.

    That could be a tear down where they built 2 new units.

  224. 224

    RE: Matt P @ 223

    Not sure what the question is but it’s a bank owned property. The other numbers are not “sales” but perhaps the amount owed including interest and penalties and lawyer fees. There hasn’t been a previous “sale” since the late 90’s and it appears to have been a “Judicial Foreclosure”and not a Trustee Sale.

  225. 225
    Blake says:

    By N @ 215:

    @ Blake 194 – One data point to add to your list is the number of delinquent auto loans at an all time high – higher than during the great recession.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/business/delinquent-car-loans/index.html

    Some of these data points are quite valid and certainly it’s been quite a run but I don’t put too much stock as you can always find stories and data to support the end is near. Credit cards and then student loans were going to be the next things to push us into great recession #2 according to many several years ago.

    Yes, car loan delinquencies were expected to worsen since they have been lowering standards to “sub prime” buyers for years. Consumers struggling with debts – car loans, student loans and credit cards of course – is a principal factor in “business/credit cycles.” On Friday, the reported December retail sales were so shocking (headline sales dropped by 1.2%, core sales by 1.8%!!) that many thought it was an error.
    Others have pointed out that… consumers are struggling with debt!

  226. 226
    pfft says:

    By Eastsider @ 218:

    RE: pfft @ 206 – The $3B does not exist. You are seriously mistaken if you believe NYS/NYC is giving a $3B check to Amazon. There are many reasons why the city’s subway is crumbling and will not be fixed. Money in the wrong hands is not the reason LOL.

    make it $6 billion then!

  227. 227
    pfft says:

    By Redmondjp @ 222:

    RE: ess @ 201 – Regarding why Seattle is becoming a soulless generica, it is not Amazon’s fault. Look to the United Nations Agenda 2030 for smart growth (formerly called Agenda 21). Now before you write me off as some tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy fanboy, please do your own research, as everything is available online.

    This plan has been ingeniously-embedded in our country via local planning development codes and guides, as in my own city of Redmond. Single-family homes take up too much space and consume too many resources, so most of us are supposed to live in multi-family mid- or high-rise rat boxes, all situated along mass-transit corridors. Oh, and we’re not supposed to own or use cars either.

    Our state and local transit agencies have also been infused with these globalist policies, which is why they are not actually solving any of our transportation problems, but rather worsening single-vehicle traffic in order to force more people to use THEIR solution.

    Again, before you dismiss this, do your own research – it’s all out there on the web for anybody to read, for those who want to really understand why these things are happening, and why most new development (“generica”) looks the same, regardless of where you go.

    WHy don’t you just give us your research instead of us going down the google rabbit hole?

    “Single-family homes take up too much space and consume too many resources, so most of us are supposed to live in multi-family mid- or high-rise rat boxes, all situated along mass-transit corridors. Oh, and we’re not supposed to own or use cars either.”

    In reality we’ve done sprawl(single family suburbs and highways) for 50+ year. God forbid we do some infill projects and make sure that people can walk and bike to work and the store if they want to. God forbid a little bit more investment goes towards bikes instead of the same old highway building. Not everyone wants to buy a cookie-cutter overpriced house on a 1/4 acre with a $50,000 truck in the drive that you commute in an hour each way to work! That’s the American dream. A long commute and the resulting health problems. Just a little bit more spent on bike lanes and people freak out and dream up conspiracy theories when the vast majority of the budget is cars cars cars. What makes more sense, thousands of dollars a year on cars or more walking and biking to work?

  228. 228
    pfft says:

    When I drive through single-family housing developments I always marvel at how non-generic they are. Each one is different! Some have the big-azz garage door with a door on the right but some have it, get this, on the left!

  229. 229
    David says:

    RE: pfft @ 227

    Nothing prevents you from buying enough land to put your dream on and also build out your bike lane to the local farmers market. Then you can sell it as having it’s own bike lane. The .003% of America who want that will beat a path to your door.

    Though mostly old people could afford that and only about .0000003% of them ride bikes for transportation. So that might be a bust.

    Come to think of it, maybe get other people to pay for it. Taxes work because the government can put a gun to their head if they don’t pay up or give it up after the tax sale.

  230. 230
    pfft says:

    By David @ 229:

    RE: pfft @ 227

    Nothing prevents you from buying enough land to put your dream on and also build out your bike lane to the local farmers market. Then you can sell it as having it’s own bike lane. The .003% of America who want that will beat a path to your door.

    Though mostly old people could afford that and only about .0000003% of them ride bikes for transportation. So that might be a bust.

    Come to think of it, maybe get other people to pay for it. Taxes work because the government can put a gun to their head if they don’t pay up or give it up after the tax sale.

    Nothing is more subsidized than the suburbs. The highway system and mortgage interest deduction made the suburbs. Then they zone it to keep everything(or back in the day some people) out that isn’t single family homes. It’s not even about bikes, it’s walking too. There is transportation other than cars.

    Like I said, people go nuts if non-car transportation gets a little bit of money when it gets almost nothing, Meanwhile car commute are hell on your body.

    Most of all I think people think it’s a judgement on their lifestyle.

    “Nothing prevents you from buying enough land to put your dream on and also build out your bike lane to the local farmers market.”

    Nothing stopping anybody from doing the same and building their own road!

    “Come to think of it, maybe get other people to pay for it”

    You think people want to subsidize highways for SUVs so people can go live in McMansions on old farmland that gobble up land and energy to heat and cool all the while getting a mortgage interest deduction? Or tax system is heavily tilted towards cars and single family through tax expenditures.

  231. 231
    pfft says:

    Walking and biking compared to owning a car are basically free. Plus you will live longer. Cars on the other hand are expensive and are hell on your body.

  232. 232
    redmondjp says:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    I’m all for mass transit, but if I were to take it to work (25 MILES one way), it would take me about three hours round trip. Even in bad traffic, I can beat that in my car by 50% or better. New light rail will have a station 1.5 miles from my house, and 1.0 miles from my work. Still will take 1.5 hours one way. #MassTransitFAIL

    My wife works 20 miles in the opposite direction, so no, we will not move closer to either job as we live essentially right between them. And my house is paid off now. I just received my first property tax bill – over $6K per year to live in a dumpy 1970s rambler that still has single pane aluminum windows on it. So I’m paying over $500 per month in rent to King County now, for my “own” home!

    And no, I’m not biking 25 miles from Redmond to Des Moines, especially in this recent weather. I like biking and I own four of them. I used to ride to work when I had a 3 mile commute across Redmond. It was great exercise and only took me 20 minutes.

    You are so smart, do your own homework because you don’t believe anything anybody else tells you anyway. Maybe you can convince yourself. But I doubt it.

  233. 233
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 232:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    Nothing you wrote was a good enough excuse for pursuing only a car dependent transportation system. It’s called complete streets. No reason why we can’t build walking and cycling infrastructure. It doesn’t have to be all cars. Don’t you people walk anywhere or do you just drive your car right into your cubicles.

  234. 234
    David says:

    By pfft @ 233:

    By redmondjp @ 232:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    Nothing you wrote was a good enough excuse for pursuing only a car dependent transportation system. It’s called complete streets. No reason why we can’t build walking and cycling infrastructure. It doesn’t have to be all cars. Don’t you people walk anywhere or do you just drive your car right into your cubicles.

    I have an electric bike and took my RV to Fife and rode the electric bike 43 miles back to West Seattle. The drive by RV took about 30 minutes. My electric bike ride took me 3 hours easily and that was with Interurban bike trail going a huge percentage of the way.

    During that one trip, I ran into some a’h0le in his 30s who took umbrage with my sole electric trip and rode his race bike up to me to give me a threatening time. Since I am in my 50s and was already tired from my 1.5 hours into my dangerous road trip and probably at a disadvantaged to take on a guy in his 20s or 30s, I produced a weapon.

    This reversed the advantage. His shock was palpable. Now I pursued him and, to his credit, he could just barely outrun me to his chosen exit. I was also armed and waiting for him on the return trip to pick up the RV 2 weeks later.

    Also, both trips had my bunghole reeling from the terrible pounding and I probably raised my an@l cancer rates by more than a nominal factor. Kind of like pfft – butt for totally different reasons.

  235. 235
    Anonymous Coward says:

    By pfft @ 227:

    Not everyone wants to buy a cookie-cutter overpriced house on a 1/4 acre with a $50,000 truck in the drive that you commute in an hour each way to work! That’s the American dream. A long commute and the resulting health problems. Just a little bit more spent on bike lanes and people freak out and dream up conspiracy theories when the vast majority of the budget is cars cars cars. What makes more sense, thousands of dollars a year on cars or more walking and biking to work?

    What you say is true. What almost everyone wants is an architecturally interesting house on a 1/4 acre within walking/biking distance to shops, work, brewpubs, and the farmers market. Those houses do exist, but not at a price point that’s affordable by the middle class. In the real world, the question is what trade-offs to do people want to make. I’m not so certain all that many people want to give up square footage of residence and the private outdoor areas for a shorter commute….

  236. 236

    RE: Redmondjp @ 222RE: Redmondjp @ 222

    Yes Redmondjp

    I’m aware of the WTO’s Agenda 21

    Its for the destruction of all suburban homes and housing everyone in state [turning everything to forests again] run cement prison apartments like China. Packing us into the cities like rats IOWs. Its against OVERPOPULATION too, but in a sinister way. Common sense “birthrates” and Capitalism with automation is a much better future than that NWO nightmare.

    I’m against global warming OVERPOPULATION, but not by those fascist methods…

  237. 237

    RE: Anonymous Coward @ 235
    The Commutes May Be Better for Your Health Than the Air in Your Home

    https://www.studyfinds.org/average-home-air-quality-levels-comparable-major-polluted-city/

    LOL, stop using those toxic cleaners and popping burnt toast fumes…it will give you lung cancer? I clean my “food preparation” counters with water…period. The “toxic” cleaners get into the food too…

    I stopped frying burgers in my house a long time ago….I get them BOGO for about the same price and freeze the meat and bun to defrost later with no grease particulate sprayed all over the kitchen and tracked on the rugs later…IOWs…I avoid cooking, I boil water for veggies only.

    You can put a tin foil hat on me and laugh at me….but “actual” air pollution data in our homes is not an optional data choice either. LOL

  238. 238

    RE: pfft @ 231
    Retirement and Being Close to Your Medical Provider

    Go hand in hand. Buying a big place in “no-where” sounds nice, but isn’t common sense for aged folks…either is living in the city with no car access when your feet and ankles “chronically” ache…my advice, don’t grow old….LOL

  239. 239
    Notme says:

    The best and highest
    inventory seen in years
    the strike is working

    -a bubble haiku

  240. 240
    Matt P says:

    By redmondjp @ 232:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    I’m all for mass transit, but if I were to take it to work (25 MILES one way), it would take me about three hours round trip. Even in bad traffic, I can beat that in my car by 50% or better. New light rail will have a station 1.5 miles from my house, and 1.0 miles from my work. Still will take 1.5 hours one way. #MassTransitFAIL

    My wife works 20 miles in the opposite direction, so no, we will not move closer to either job as we live essentially right between them. And my house is paid off now. I just received my first property tax bill – over $6K per year to live in a dumpy 1970s rambler that still has single pane aluminum windows on it. So I’m paying over $500 per month in rent to King County now, for my “own” home!

    And no, I’m not biking 25 miles from Redmond to Des Moines, especially in this recent weather. I like biking and I own four of them. I used to ride to work when I had a 3 mile commute across Redmond. It was great exercise and only took me 20 minutes.

    You are so smart, do your own homework because you don’t believe anything anybody else tells you anyway. Maybe you can convince yourself. But I doubt it.

    Where you live and work is your choice, but no everyone else needs to pay for roads so your choice can be more convenient. It is not possible to build enough roads to relieve traffic. It has been proven time and again that if you add more lanes, more people drive. The only way out of this conundrum is density.

  241. 241
    pfft says:

    By David @ 234:

    By pfft @ 233:

    By redmondjp @ 232:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    Nothing you wrote was a good enough excuse for pursuing only a car dependent transportation system. It’s called complete streets. No reason why we can’t build walking and cycling infrastructure. It doesn’t have to be all cars. Don’t you people walk anywhere or do you just drive your car right into your cubicles.

    I have an electric bike and took my RV to Fife and rode the electric bike 43 miles back to West Seattle. The drive by RV took about 30 minutes. My electric bike ride took me 3 hours easily and that was with Interurban bike trail going a huge percentage of the way.

    During that one trip, I ran into some a’h0le in his 30s who took umbrage with my sole electric trip and rode his race bike up to me to give me a threatening time. Since I am in my 50s and was already tired from my 1.5 hours into my dangerous road trip and probably at a disadvantaged to take on a guy in his 20s or 30s, I produced a weapon.

    This reversed the advantage. His shock was palpable. Now I pursued him and, to his credit, he could just barely outrun me to his chosen exit. I was also armed and waiting for him on the return trip to pick up the RV 2 weeks later.

    Also, both trips had my bunghole reeling from the terrible pounding and I probably raised my an@l cancer rates by more than a nominal factor. Kind of like pfft – butt for totally different reasons.

    When losing an argument dirty dave goes for the homophobic comments. Don’t know why The Tim lets him get away with his dirty comments.

  242. 242
    pfft says:

    By Matt P @ 240:

    By redmondjp @ 232:

    Thanks for popping out of your 9-month nap there pfft to grace us with your supreme intelligence.

    I’m all for mass transit, but if I were to take it to work (25 MILES one way), it would take me about three hours round trip. Even in bad traffic, I can beat that in my car by 50% or better. New light rail will have a station 1.5 miles from my house, and 1.0 miles from my work. Still will take 1.5 hours one way. #MassTransitFAIL

    My wife works 20 miles in the opposite direction, so no, we will not move closer to either job as we live essentially right between them. And my house is paid off now. I just received my first property tax bill – over $6K per year to live in a dumpy 1970s rambler that still has single pane aluminum windows on it. So I’m paying over $500 per month in rent to King County now, for my “own” home!

    And no, I’m not biking 25 miles from Redmond to Des Moines, especially in this recent weather. I like biking and I own four of them. I used to ride to work when I had a 3 mile commute across Redmond. It was great exercise and only took me 20 minutes.

    You are so smart, do your own homework because you don’t believe anything anybody else tells you anyway. Maybe you can convince yourself. But I doubt it.

    Where you live and work is your choice, but no everyone else needs to pay for roads so your choice can be more convenient. It is not possible to build enough roads to relieve traffic. It has been proven time and again that if you add more lanes, more people drive. The only way out of this conundrum is density.

    Right. More car lanes just means more cars. We’ve greatly underinvested in walking and biking.

  243. 243
    randomseattledummie says:

    RE: Erik @ 200

    Hah, awesome. :)

  244. 244
    justsomedude12 says:

    Here’s one for those who comment on here about the poverty of renters.

    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-leads-nation-with-more-wealthy-renters-than-homeowners/922180868

  245. 245
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Notme @ 239 – A strike is an organized cessation of activity, not a collection of assets. So a buyers strike would really be measured by sales activity. As we can see from the combination of Tim’s charts showing closed sales and pending sales; the current buyers strike is just slightly less effective than the famed buyers strike of January 2018, and running neck and neck with the buyers strike of January 2016.

  246. 246
    Notme says:

    Sales are only half
    until the real strike gets here
    I think it will do

    -a no-country-for-old-REIC bubble haiku

  247. 247
    ess says:

    By justsomedude12 @ 244:

    Here’s one for those who comment on here about the poverty of renters.

    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-leads-nation-with-more-wealthy-renters-than-homeowners/922180868

    Interesting article – thanks for posting.

    As an aside, I would take issue with the term wealthy-renters. Having a high income alone does not make one wealthy, as many employees with substantial incomes undertake expenses that prohibit them from acquiring wealth. I know some folks in that category. It isn’t one’s income alone that determines if one becomes wealthy, it is also their outgo.

    if I was in writing headlines, I would state that there are more high income renters than homeowners. Of course – is this in the last month, six months, year, or ten years – I am not sure what parameters they are using to reach that conclusion.

    Seattle is an interesting example, as its primary employer Amazon hires many young employees with high salaries either right out school or with a few years of experience. It would be expected that younger employees are not yet ready to commit to buying a residence, as many are starting their careers, and have not determined if they will stay at Amazon or the Puget Sound long term, nor are they in their family formation years. If they can rent, AND invest monies – that is great, and it may make perfect sense for them.

    Of course the “Jane” quoted in the article is a income earning outlier. Only a small percentage of individuals even in the Puget Sound area are making over one hundred thousand dollars a year, let alone double that. Unless “Jane” has extraordinary expenses, she will be able to invest a significant portion of her income if she so desires.

    As other statistics indicate, a large percentage of Americans don’t have savings to cover a 400 dollar emergency. Those individuals are probably not involved in any ongoing investment schemes to accumulate wealth, and would benefit the most from a forced savings plan that owning one’s residence inadvertently provides.

    A few more interesting notions from the posted story

    -The percentage of new apartments that were delivered to the Seattle market declined in 2018 from 2017
    -There are now less perks being offered by apartment managers to potential renters

    Both of the above appear to go against popular notions that Seattle is awash in new apartments and managers are almost giving away the store.

    -many (probably mom and pop) landlords are selling their properties as a result of new regulations.

    What the above statistics will result in is open to conjecture. Will the Seattle rental market remain strong as more and more high wage earners rent rather than own? Will rents also continue to rise as mom and pops flee the local market, to be replaced by professional investors who tend to charge top dollar for rental properties? Will the condo market decline if and when apartments are converted to condos to sell to a population that is more interested in renting? Conversely, will a wholesale conversion from apartments to condos increase rents as there are more renters chasing fewer apartments and houses for rents? What impact will these trends have on the condo and housing market for sale in general?

    Stay tuned!!

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