Cheapest parts of King County still make up the largest share of sales, even as prices there grow the most

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It’s been a few months since we took a look at the in-county breakdown data from the NWMLS to see how the sales mix shifted around the county. I like to keep an eye on this not only to see how individual neighborhoods are doing but also to see how the sales mix shift affects the overall county-wide median price.

As of March, prices are up from a year ago in the low-end regions, flat in the mid-range regions, and down in the high-end regions. Meanwhile, the share of sales is tilting toward the low-end regions.

In order to explore this concept, we break King County down into three regions, based on the NWMLS-defined “areas”:

  • low end: South County (areas 100-130 & 300-360)
  • mid range: Seattle / North County (areas 140, 380-390, & 700-800)
  • high end: Eastside (areas 500-600)

Here’s where each region’s median prices came in as of March data:

  • low end: $379,000-$593,750
  • mid range: $615,000-$1,090,000
  • high end: $814,037-$2,586,183

First let’s look at the percentage of each month’s closed sales that took place in each of the three regions.

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area

The last few years have each followed a similar pattern: while sales in the mid-range regions maintain a fairly steady share of sales in the county each month, sales in the cheaper parts of the county (South King) surge in the winter and dip in the summer, with sales in the most expensive parts (Eastside) doing the opposite. Except for a big spike in Seattle in February, so far we’re seeing the same pattern this year.

The raw number of sales in all three tiers increased between February and March. Month-over-month sales were up 35 percent in the low tier, up six percent in the middle tier, and up 42 percent in the high tier.

Meanwhile, year-over-year sales were down in all three tiers. Compared to a year ago, sales decreased five percent in the low tier, fell seven percent in the middle tier, and dropped four percent in the high tier.

As of March 2019, 37.9 percent of sales were in the low end regions (basically flat from 37.8 percent a year ago), 32.0 percent in the mid range (down slightly from 32.6 percent a year ago), and 30.1 percent in the high end (up from 29.6 percent a year ago).

Here’s that information in a visual format:

Bank-Owned: Share of Total Sales - King County Single-Family

Here’s an updated look at the percentage of sales data all the way back through 2000:

% of Total King Co. SFH Sales by NWMLS Area since 2000

During the housing bubble that burst in 2008, South King consistently had the largest share of sales. We’ve seen the same thing over the last few years as prices have once again grown to astronomical levels. In the lead-up to the big 2008 bust, sales in South King fell as sales in Seattle gained ground. February’s spike in Seattle’s sales share could be a portent of a similar pattern, or it could just be a blip. We’ll see over the next few months.

Finally, let’s have a look at each region’s (approximate) median price (actually the median of the medians for each area within the region).

Median Price of Single Family Homes Sold

All three tiers saw month-over-month gains in their respective median-median price, but only the low tier is currently at an all-time record high. Month-over-month, the median price in the low tier rose three percent, the middle tier increased eight percent, and the high tier gained nine percent.

Eighteen of the twenty-nine NWMLS regions in King County with single-family home sales in March had a higher median price than a year ago, while 23 had a month-over-month increase in the median price.

Here’s how the median prices changed year-over-year. Low tier: up 5.2 percent, middle tier: up 0.1 percent, high tier: down 4.7 percent.

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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.

916 comments:

  1. 251
    uwp says:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 250:

    RE: uwp @ 249 – All of your comments are either bullish, or mocking people who aren’t bullish.

    Don’t be ashamed to be a Bull, embrace it!!

    I prefer to be thought of as a realist. It’s not as much fun as being bullish, but I take what the numbers give me.

    Some people can’t accept that current inventory is lower than most of the last 20 years.

  2. 252
    Justme says:

    RE: uwp @ 251 – \

    >>Some people can’t accept that current inventory is lower than most of the last 20 years.

    Some people can’t take that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.

  3. 253
    uwp says:

    By Justme @ 252:

    Some people can’t take that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.

    Months of supply (Supply divided by Sales) is also under long term averages, but whatever dude. Keep it up.

    The Sellers are Rushing for the Exit®
    The Buyer’s Strike is working™

    yada yada yada

  4. 254
    Eastsider says:

    By uwp @ 251:

    I prefer to be thought of as a realist. It’s not as much fun as being bullish, but I take what the numbers give me.

    Some people can’t accept that current inventory is lower than most of the last 20 years.

    Closed sales of SFHs has hit the lowest level since housing crash years 09-12. Had the FED not forced mortgage rates lower by a full 1%, number of closed sales would have crashed by now. This is a very unhealthy and risky market. There is little upside but significant downside.

  5. 255
    Blake says:

    By Eastsider @ 254:

    By uwp @ 251:

    I prefer to be thought of as a realist. It’s not as much fun as being bullish, but I take what the numbers give me.

    Some people can’t accept that current inventory is lower than most of the last 20 years.

    There is little upside but significant downside.

    Worth repeating:
    “There is little upside but significant downside.”

  6. 256
    uwp says:

    By Eastsider @ 254:

    Closed sales of SFHs has hit the lowest level since housing crash years 09-12.

    1.) Are you saying the current situation is similar to 09-12? Was it a bad time to buy a home then? A scary time? Yes. But a bad time? I would posit that periods of high inventory and low sales are actually a great time to buy a home.

    2.) March closed sales were hit by February’s multiple snow storms. I would guess we’ll see a bit of a bump higher for April sales.

  7. 257
    Erik says:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 250
    Bears make money. Bulls make money. Pigs get slaughtered.

  8. 258
    Voight-kampff says:

    Look people,
    You’re either on board with the buyers strike, or you’re part of the REIC and your account is fake!

    I’m kidding, obviously.

    I think justme feels a duty to try and temper the influence of the REIC, which is respectable.
    I see his/her posts in the Seattle Times too, under the name “just bubble”.
    Obviously comments could possibly help an individual possibly make a more informed opinion. Do blog/comment sections actually have an appreciable influence on the market at large?
    I’m not trying to be snarky, I’m sincerely interested to know if people think this works.
    Maybe it does.

  9. 259
    JustNoise says:

    RE: Voight-kampff @ 258 – Probably not. I stick around here because it’s fun. ;)

  10. 260
    Momentum. says:

    Total volume or speed is less relevant then acceleration. I can be going sixty when you snap a picture but that doesn’t tell you much about direction. I might have been going 200 mph and just slammed on my breaks and gave massive acceleration in the opposite direction of my velocity. I might be accelerating in a drag racer and going to hit 150 mph in just a few seconds. I might being cruising in a semi and slowing down or speeding up will require great force and time. The total inventory is only relevant in regard to volume of sales and which direction inventory is heading. Comparing inventory levels in a snap shot is like comparing a semi slamming on breaks to a Ferrari at full blast because both are currently at 60 mph. It makes little logical sense.

  11. 261
    Ardell says:

    Vote for Seattle Bubble on ranked blogs dot com. I just moved it to #8. I’d put a link but I’m boarding a plane back to Seattle. Followed a link from Facebook for a friend’s blog and saw it there. Compass is #1. Let’s get Tim up there!

  12. 262
    Ardell DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Justme @ 252

    In a buyers market 3 out of 10 sell. You need to be in the top 3 as a seller. I’ve worked that market. I think I’ve worked in all types.

  13. 263
    Justme says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 261

    That’s just arbitrary REIC nonsense. 3 out of 10? That is just another REIC made-to-spec definition created so skewed that there rarely is a buyers market.

    Buyers, if agents tell you this kind of nonsense, let them eat cake.

  14. 264
    Ardell DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Justme @ 262

    I’m confused. I worked it every day. I know what it looks like. Are you saying I’m lying? Have you ever experienced a strong buyer’s market? Plane is taking off…have to turn phone off.

  15. 265
    Erik says:

    RE: uwp @ 251
    One of the investors that I listen to told me that condos may be near a top, but houses in king and Snohomish County will remain low supply for the next 4 years at least and prices will go up. He said the talk about housing prices going down is a big fat lie. This guy is no slouch when it comes to real estate in the area. Pierce County will probably do well too, but he knows I don’t buy in that county.

    My investor friend said new houses just aren’t being built and he doesn’t foresee less employment in the area in the next 4 years. He seems to be right all the time because he works with real estate investors all day everyday and knows what’s up.

  16. 266
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 252:

    Some people can’t take that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.

    So then, real inventory is actually less than half of what is for sale? (Don’t worry, I can take it, but shouldn’t you be using the real inventory number in your absorption figures?)

    Also, what fraction of people who think they are looking will not actually buy?

  17. 267
    Don says:

    Justme @252 : “Some people can’t take that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.”

    Then at 262: “That’s just arbitrary REIC nonsense. 3 out of 10? That is just another REIC made-to-spec definition created so skewed that there rarely is a buyers market.”

    What’s your point between theses two?

  18. 268
    Eastsider says:

    By uwp @ 256:

    By Eastsider @ 254:

    Closed sales of SFHs has hit the lowest level since housing crash years 09-12.

    1.) Are you saying the current situation is similar to 09-12? Was it a bad time to buy a home then? A scary time? Yes. But a bad time? I would posit that periods of high inventory and low sales are actually a great time to buy a home.

    The current situation is not 09-12. That was post crash. Yes, it was a great time to buy a home in 09-12. However, from 2017 to 2018 and then 2019, the number of closed sales dropped in half, and then another half YoY. There you also had high inventory and low sales. Many homes ended in foreclosures and short sales, and bankruptcies went way up.

    If you are an ‘investor’ in the current housing market, you have to know that downside is real.

  19. 269
    Justme says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 265

    >>So then, real inventory is actually less than half of what is for sale? (Don’t worry, I can take it, but shouldn’t you be using the real inventory number in your absorption figures?)

    Your crookedness appears to have no limit. Pendings are NOT included in active inventory. You KNEW that already.

    Look, I understand that intentionally sowing confusion and being illogical is at the blackened heart of your propaganda campaign. You are not actually stupid, just evil, and you don’t mind saying stupid things if it furthers your evil. So that’s what makes you an evil crook. I sure hope nobody believes anything this guy says.

  20. 270
    Justme says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 263

    Don’t be confused, Ardell. I’m here to help, within reason ;-). If only 3 out of 10 sell, you as a seller have to be in the top 3 by value/price. Likewise, if 5 out of 10 sells, as a seller you’d better be in the top5 best value offered.

    The problem is that the number 3 just was pulled out of a hat, or worse, was based on “feelings”. It is an asymmetrical criterion, and for a reason: REIC likes to always define the market as being a sellers market, even when it is not. So they make a skewed and asymmetrical definition. Does that make them liars? Dear potential buyer, you be the judge.

  21. 271
    Justme says:

    RE: Don @ 266

    I would say the point is that 3 out of 10 is quite different from 5 out of 10, or more generally that a 0.3 ratio is quite different from a 0.5 ratio (“half”).

  22. 272
    Justme says:

    Hey buyers, if a realtperson tells you that current conditions is not a buyer’s market, I suggest you tell them you are on strike until the real buyer’s market gets here.

    It’s a fun joke, but never forget that you buy a house based on price, not based on what “kind of market” some realtperson tells you there is.

  23. 273
    Ardell DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Justme @ 269

    There’s a whole lot of balanced market between sellers market and buyer’s market. I’ll stick with my 3 of 10 because I don’t think you’ve seen a buyer’s market.

  24. 274
    Notme says:

    Seattle is No country for old moss
    But it will do, until the real moss gets here
    And if this is not a buyer’s market,
    it will do until the real buyer’s market arrives.

    -an Ed Tom Bell/Llewelyn Moss bubble poem

  25. 275
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 268 – I made no reference to pendings. I was directly quoting your language and concept that less than half of for sale properties would sell. If they’re not going to sell, they’re just not realistically inventory.

    Interesting that you recognize your own words as evil, stupid, and misrepresentation, but then, you know you best.

  26. 276
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 268 – Please explain again how natural population growth doesn’t translate to additional households.

    I believe that your theory was that the census counts surplus of births over deaths, and that babies don’t buy houses; while the census doesn’t count people reaching the age of forming new households, and therefore they don’t exist.

  27. 277
    ess says:

    By Erik @ 264:

    RE: uwp @ 251
    One of the investors that I listen to told me that condos may be near a top, but houses in king and Snohomish County will remain low supply for the next 4 years at least and prices will go up. He said the talk about housing prices going down is a big fat lie. This guy is no slouch when it comes to real estate in the area. Pierce County will probably do well too, but he knows I don’t buy in that county.

    My investor friend said new houses just aren’t being built and he doesn’t foresee less employment in the area in the next 4 years. He seems to be right all the time because he works with real estate investors all day everyday and knows what’s up.

    Erik

    Did he specifically define houses as single family stand alone units, or apply houses in the more generic term of including town houses with single family houses? I am under the impression that a majority of the new construction of residences are for multi family units, and not single family units on their own lots. Anyone know where one can find information to determine the percentages of the types of units being constructed for King and Snohomish County?

    As an aside, I have notice in Lynnwood area that single family houses on very small lots are being constructed right next to the freeway. And I really mean right next to the freeway = bedroom windows overlooking 1-5. A sign of the times that single family lots are getting difficult to obtain, or are these houses discounted in price because of their location?

  28. 278
    Erik says:

    RE: ess @ 276
    He specifically said single family residence.

    Good question ess. I know a previous commenter, corndogs, would talk about housing starts. I don’t know where to find that information, but I bet deerhawk does. It’s probably important information in forecasting the housing market.

    I do know you can go figure out planned buildings in Seattle, but I don’t know about sfr’s.

  29. 279
    ess says:

    RE: Erik @ 277

    Thanks Erik

    As housing investors – lets hope your source is correct!!

  30. 280
    Don says:

    RE: ess @ 278

    Seattle produces a “Citywide Permit Report” that displays production of residential units of all types from 1996 to today. There is also an interactive quarterly “Housing Growth Report” in the arcgis app that DPD publishes that can be viewed at a neighborhood/ housing type level.

  31. 281
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 267 – I meant 2007-09, not 2017-19, when # of closed sales plummeted.

  32. 282
    ess says:

    RE: Don @ 279

    Thanks!

    I would imagine the number of single family houses compared to townhouses is lower in Seattle than the rest of the county. In addition, there probably isn’t a huge net increase of single family houses, as most of the new ones are replacing older single family houses that have been torn down.

  33. 283
    Erik says:

    By ess @ 278:

    RE: Erik @ 277

    Thanks Erik

    As housing investors – lets hope your source is correct!!

    I only own condos. :) I’m buying a house though.

  34. 284

    Want a GIANT Pay raise?

    Get a cowboy hat [red with MAGA imprinted on it…LOL] and move to Texas….$200K/yr and no degree required at the shale plants.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/typical-workers-pay-nears-200-000-at-oil-refiner-11556103600

  35. 285

    Milenial Mooches in Seattle Basements?

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adult-children-are-costing-many-parents-their-retirements/

    You can tell this is going on, when there’s like 3-4 cars in the driveway.

  36. 286
    Justme says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 274

    Got it. You are saying, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t inventory.” Very Orwellian.

    “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t inventory.” Those are your words, not mine. Don’t try to make them my words. They are not.

    I take back the “evil and smart” remark. You are no Dr. Evil, just evil.

  37. 287
    ess says:

    Bellevue Wa -up and coming center for Amazon. Good news for real estate in Puget Sound, as Amazon may not be growing their Seattle campus when they are done in a few years, but they are clearly expanding elsewhere in the Puget Sound area. And as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats (not to mention housing prices and rents).

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-grabs-large-downtown-bellevue-property-next-to-transit-hub/

  38. 288
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Justme @ 286

    Your words were “that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.” If you can really look forward and accurately say that more than half of something won’t sell, is the majority really viable as inventory? It’s not like we’re running out of people who want to buy. If more than 5 out of 10 houses are of no interest to not only me, but to everyone else as well, did I really have my choice of 10 houses?

    I am unclear why you took back your “evil and smart” remark, and especially why you quotated that – You never said it in the first place. This is similar to the way you excoriated Don for difference between 30% and 50%, when you had actually said “less than” 50%. When you make little fudges with so many facts, it is no wonder that you come up with the crazy things that you do.

  39. 289
    dariakus says:

    By whatsmyname @ 288:

    RE: Justme @ 286

    Your words were “that less than half of what is for sale will actually sell.” If you can really look forward and accurately say that more than half of something won’t sell, is the majority really viable as inventory? It’s not like we’re running out of people who want to buy. If more than 5 out of 10 houses are of no interest to not only me, but to everyone else as well, did I really have my choice of 10 houses?

    Inventory either counts or doesn’t. You can’t apply a subjective “well we all know it won’t really sell” filter to it.

    If you want to use that information to help explain why inventory is climbing, that’s great! But to just pretend it doesn’t matter feels a bit disingenuous.

  40. 290
    Justme says:

    Mid-week update: New inventory, pendings and absorption. Buyer strike alert.

    Data is from 8-ish this (Weds) morning, for King County, WA (Seattle and suburbs).

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <=1wk new inventory: 1011  = 0732 + 0128 + 0151 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=2wk new inventory: 2093  = 1505 + 0260 + 0328 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=3wk new inventory: 3172  = 2262 + 0416 + 0494 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=4wk new inventory: 4179  = 2992 + 0522 + 0665 (SFH + townh + condo)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <=1wk DOM _pendings: 0217  = 0171 + 0021 + 0025 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=2wk DOM _pendings: 0702  = 0541 + 0065 + 0096 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=3wk DOM _pendings: 1226  = 0924 + 0115 + 0187 (SFH + townh + condo)
    <=4wk DOM _pendings: 1725  = 1279 + 0177 + 0269 (SFH + townh + condo)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <=1wk pending absor: 0.21  , 0.23 , 0.16 , 0.17 (SFH , townh , condo)
    <=2wk pending absor: 0.34  , 0.36 , 0.25 , 0.29 (SFH , townh , condo)
    <=3wk pending absor: 0.39  , 0.41 , 0.28 , 0.38 (SFH , townh , condo)
    <=4wk pending absor: 0.41  , 0.43 , 0.34 , 0.40 (SFH , townh , condo)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I hinted last week, I have now updated my methodology so that new inventory is more accurately counted, rather than undercounted. The trick is to keep track of much of the new inventory transitions into the pending category each weeklong period, and add them back in. This is now accounted for in the “new inventory” numbers.

    Further, I have added a new calculation that tracks what fraction of new listings get absorbed into pending, among the new inventory in the last 1-4 weeks. For example, the numbers show that only 0.43 (43%) of the new listings of SFH (single-family house) got absorbed into pending within the last 4 weeks. This number is also call the product uptake. The product uptake of 43% is imndoicative of a buyer strike.

    Summary: The buyer strike is in full swing, even right now in peak season. Buyers, exercise your market power and join the buyer strike against overpriced goods. It’s your money and your future labor on the hook. Don’t give it away.

  41. 291
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: dariakus @ 289 – To be frank, I don’t know that it won’t sell. That is Justme’s department. But if there were a chunk of “inventory” that was simply not going to sell, while other inventory did continue to come to market and sell, the two would not be in competition. So, what would it matter?

  42. 292
    Ohd1122 says:

    Forces at work this morning…

    FB and Microsoft earnings delighted, while other sectors (industrials) sagged. People want to put tech in a mold and talk about crazy high P/E valuations and whatnot, but this far Wall Street doesn’t seem to care.

    Jobless claims rose, up 37K this week to 230K. This is a good number to watch but one week does not tell the full story. Past the attention seeking headline there is a timing element potentially at work here: turnover as people change jobs. Overall the labor market is still tight and many employers are having trouble filling positions. If we see consistent increases in this number that could be telling.

    I am not a financial advisor and I am for darn sure not an economist

  43. 293

    RE: Notme @ 274
    Very Good Notme

    Clever.

  44. 294

    RE: Ohd1122 @ 292
    Almost All the Open Jobs Require Technical/Industrial Job Experience Too

    Can’t get job experience when you laid all the manufacturing engineering mentors off because skills and experience were to be replaced with green college grads and subpar foreigners. I know encourage caravans of bag people to immigrate here illegally with no skills and experience, that will fix it…LOL

    Also, the flip of this is jobs are advertised and never intended to fill to justify more foreign wage slaves in America.

  45. 295
    SeaMillie says:

    Houses are going $100K+ over asking again in the Ballard/Fremont/Phinney/Wallingford area. Until there is a material slowdown in tech hiring or a recession I don’t see this changing. As long as the average FANG, Amazon, etc SWE is making $200k-$400k / year there is no slowdown in sight. Look through the King County Property records at who is buying houses. 4/5 have some connection to one of the tech giants or smaller tech firms. “Average” families aren’t buying homes, so the correlation to median income is meaningless. The SFication of Seattle is almost complete along with the all of the issues it brings. I don’t think you can make a case that the Seattle native is better off now than before the boom, except for the few who sold and cashed out.

    On the other hand, any recession that hits profitless tech firms who need low rates/investor risk appetite to survive, as well as cloud giants who depends on profitless firms for cash flow (AWS/Azure,etc) will crush the job market in tech. It’s much easier to find a $60K / year job after being laid off in a recession to pull through and pay your mortgage than dual income $200K / year tech jobs. Whether the Fed or market forces can cause this is yet to be seen.

  46. 296

    Raw Data Analysis Needs YOY Data to Be Meaningful for Real Estate, All Analysis Does

    Example:
    https://news.gallup.com/poll/203207/trump-job-approval-weekly.aspx

    You can hold a ruler up to the YOY trending and see the regression analysis “gradual” approval improvement since 2017 YOY and the regression analysis decrease in disapproval YOY. Also, spurious MOM conclusions become a joke when YOY general data trends are monitored. This particular math chart conflicts with Biden leading Trump in MOM data, Hades MOM readings are completely meaningless….same with real estate. Longterm tracking in stocks is the only way to interpret the raw data too. Hades go back to the 2017 data and the trending spike at the end looks the same as the beginning MOM….be careful folks to read the raw data right.

    But the real poll raw “math analysis” data spoiler is the integrity of the polling, like how many really vote and how non-partisan the poll base really is, and based on 2016 poll COMPLETE historical prediction failures, I’d say the any math polls are at best 20% reliable, especially MOM. Polls are proven historically as just more Fake News [like +/- 20-30% accurate] . Remember 2016.

  47. 297
    Ohd1122 says:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 295

    Would you be able to provide an example or two? I absolutely believe you, more outright curiousity as I do not follow that area closely.

  48. 298

    RE: softwarengineer @ 295

    Another Anomaly Today in Raw Data Interpretation of Real Estate Price Trending

    Is obtaining the raw data.

    Is the internet search engines partisan too? Yahoo search this one: “security walls work well at border” and the “High Tech Open Border Party (OBP)” appears to control the search results…..why? The search results will allege that security walls never work anyway [even though Pelosi uses a big security WALL to protect her mansion] with lame brain reasons that no one can prove, like the drugs are all pouring in “undetected” from ports and the WALL won’t stop them anyway? If all this heroine pouring from Mexico is undetected, how do we know where the Hades its sneaking into the country? The tooth fairy? LOL…its obviously pouring in through gaps in the current decrepit security WALL and the Open Border Party thinks they can brainwash you into not believing the truth by making up lies with no evidence raw data. The “raw data” infrared videos of illegal aliens pouring in [some armed with guns too] prove this visually too. A huge caravan of 20,000 is attempting invading our border right now. Our US Army personnel have been recently attacked by gun point by the Mexican Army [drug cartel controlled too?) on American soil too. Horrifying.

  49. 299
  50. 300
    S-Crow says:

    It’s ok for agents to remove home marketing pics with snow covered roofs and yards.

    It’s almost May.

    In other news:

    Escrow to large Washington Based Real Estate firm:

    hi we don’t have your commission disbursement forms and we’ve asked several times and we are closing this coming Monday.

    Response from said large Washington Based Real Estate Firm: hmm, looks like the agent hasn’t turned in the sale yet.

    Escrow: https://youtu.be/0kc143SgLQY

  51. 301

    RE: SeaMillie @ 295
    Gosh, the Raw Data is Missing on Software Engineers Actually Hired in 2019 in Seattle

    I see national predictions that 300,000 may be added over the next decade, but how many actually hired in Seattle in 2018/2019? Without that raw data the trending is just “brainwashing” hot air….

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Software-developers.htm

    Also, notice how S/W development is mixed in with software engineering alleged needs? What’s S/W development with company source code not taught in engineering colleges got to with engineering anyway? S/W development is a “lion’s share” randomizing code “hacker” type job that really only requires a high school diploma, ask Bill Gates. Or a good gambler from Vegas…LOL

  52. 302
    uwp says:

    By SeaMillie @ 295:

    Look through the King County Property records at who is buying houses. 4/5 have some connection to one of the tech giants or smaller tech firms. “Average” families aren’t buying homes, so the correlation to median income is meaningless. The SFication of Seattle is almost complete along with the all of the issues it brings. I don’t think you can make a case that the Seattle native is better off now than before the boom, except for the few who sold and cashed out.

    Someone attempted to do that for SF. Was able to identify the buyer for ~55% of 2018 sales and found that roughly 50% were in software. Next biggest industry was finance with about 10%.

    Pretty interesting: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/san-francisco-city-apps-built-or-destroyed/587389/

  53. 303
    Justme says:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 299

    You’re an animal, Millie. Now lay off the spirits.

    News at 11: REIC insider uses technology to find the biggest techie fools in Seattle. Take that, techies!

  54. 304
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 295 – My hyperbole alert is buzzing.

    Yes, we know there have been tech workers in this area for a long time now. But as far as what % of say King County they represent, probably not anywhere near what you’re presuming. And when you whittle that % down to prospective home buyers with two high-level tech incomes, it’s even smaller.

  55. 305
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 290
    RE: SeaMillie @ 299

    In other news, a full 59% of King County SFH new listings within the last 4 weeks had not received a single offer that the seller would accept. Buyers are engaging in a bidding peace with each other. Some local flareups still occur due to illogical hotheads that get caught up in the heat of the moment, but by and large, buyers have made peace with each other. They understand that it is really the sellers that instigate war against them, and they refuse to respond.

  56. 306
    uwp says:

    By SeaMillie @ 299:

    This is not every home, 2 years ago total crap was going $100K over, but it’s evidence animal spirits are back…

    I’ve been seeing similar activity. Anything interesting/well-priced that I mark as favorite still goes pending in less than 2 weeks, and then I get the “closed” status update a month later for sale price above list.

    I won’t be surprised to see these go 50-100k over:
    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/4333-Evanston-Ave-N-98103/home/302484
    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/408-NW-73rd-St-98117/home/495471

    Agents were slow to catch up with prices in 2015-2017 which led to the ridiculous bid-ups, then it came back to bite them as they overcompensated in 2018 and were listing garbage at premiums.

  57. 307
    dariakus says:

    By Justsomedude12 @ 304:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 295 – My hyperbole alert is buzzing.

    Yes, we know there have been tech workers in this area for a long time now. But as far as what % of say King County they represent, probably not anywhere near what you’re presuming. And when you whittle that % down to prospective home buyers with two high-level tech incomes, it’s even smaller.

    Double-income tech couples do not make for a terribly sustainable region when it comes to home ownership. You’ll end up with some weird stratification where homeowners are either multi-generational, passing it down, or double-income tech couples. Everyone else will be forced to either shack up with multiple people, rent a small place, or live with a two hour commute. While some of those things are sacrifices people can make, middle class families with children will struggle quite a bit.

  58. 308
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: dariakus @ 307 – Or people just exercise other options, such as moving away and working remotely or just moving out of the area entirely. People tend to get creative and adapt.

    The bulls on here like to think that there’s no other home ownership option besides staying in this area and purchasing an overpriced home, but that just isn’t the case.

  59. 309
    dariakus says:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 308 – I’m in the “move away” camp. Currently preparing to move to the east coast. Similar salary and insanely cheaper real estate.

  60. 310
    Notme says:

    RE: uwp @ 306

    https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/4333-Evanston-Ave-N-98103/home/302484

    QUOTE from listing : Breakfast/coffee @ Cafe Vita, lunch @ Pecado Bueno or Uneeda, Happy Hour @ RockCreek or Vif Wines, dinner @ LeCoin. Then to ZooTunes for Pink Martini.

    This house will get you laid in a big way. And if you are already married, it will make your children smart! Or your dog! Think about it, walking distance from your $300k overpriced house to all those hip places. Just watch out when you stumble up those steep stairs (or down afterwards if you are the lucky guest) . Maybe you had better get some extra umbrella insurance? Perhaps should not have had that last Pink Martini?

    Perfect for recent inheritants and their fratty compatriot potential roommates. Or the sophisticated housewife wannabe. It is worth every LeCoin you can throw at it. Did I mention it will get you laid? Everyone knows that.

  61. 311
    Notme says:

    RE: Notme @ 310

    Living near RockCreek does come with privileges, but it ain’t cheap! The sophistication of this place is downright overpowering. Take a look at that menu! (https://rockcreekseattle.com/#menus)

    “I’ll have the random word salad for $20, Alex. With a side of caramellized fingerlings, please”.

    When it comes to sophistication, you gets what you pay for. Everyone knows that.

  62. 312
    uwp says:

    What are we mocking now? Living near restaurants and the zoo, while being a 20-25 minute bus ride from downtown/SLU? I can’t keep up.

    Do you not like tacos and margaritas? Are you a monster?

    It is missing off-street parking though; which is a bummer.

  63. 313
    SeaMillie says:

    RE: Justme @ 303
    This guy is a joke:
    1 – I am not part of, nor do I have plans to be part of the REIC, but I am a former hedge fund trader and understand how markets work
    2 – You post under multiples names on bearish leaning websites like ZeroHedge, Wolfstreet, etc with the same trash
    3 – I was bearish housing last summer, then the Fed did a total 180, and seems inclined to boost asset values no matter the cost because the alternative is massive defaults in the corporate and govt markets. The world is greying, and every developed country will be forced into the same position as Japan, whose central bank owns 80%+ of Japanese bonds/etfs. Most boomers have saved nothing for their retirement despite enjoying the greatest 30+ year bull market in history. They will be out on the street if assets crash. This may happen anyway, central banks don’t have total control.
    4 – The beauty of this tech world we like in now means that privacy is out the window and information is available to all, so do your own due diligence and don’t rely on anecdotal reports from news sites or commentators to get a feel for where the market is going. Getting good information, like most things in life, takes hard work.
    5 – Seattle has completely transformed from the city I grew up in. I welcome a major crash, but I don’t see it in the cards yet.

  64. 314
    JWoods says:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 313
    Last month I told people that bidding war is back in the Eastside, I was ridiculed by a bunch of ignorant people. For the Bellevue area I was looking at, about half of the houses sold above listing price in the past month. Yeah, keep believing in your “buyers strike”.

  65. 315
    MD says:

    Since we’re playing the anecdote game, I’ll provide my observation. I work for one of the big, high-paying FAANMG tech companies in town.

    We have an internal message board where employees list things for sale, plus another message board for real estate and apartments. In the past few weeks, I have observed a big surge in high-paid ($300K+) tech employees who are announcing that their house is for sale.

    So if you think techies are scrambling to bid $100K over ask for a 120 year old mosspit, I personally know many who are scrambling to sell.

    (On a side note, everyone loves to dump on this Justme/Notme person, but I enjoy his posts and am joining him in the buyers’ strike.)

  66. 316
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: MD @ 315 – That’s pretty exciting stuff. Do you know if your coworkers plan to replace those houses with bigger or more convenient ones?

  67. 317
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: MD @ 315 – Noice! Can’t wait for the April data to come out.

    JustMe, keep on truckin’!

  68. 318
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 290:

    Mid-week update: New inventory, pendings and absorption. Buyer strike alert.

    As I hinted last week, I have now updated my methodology so that new inventory is more accurately counted, rather than undercounted. The trick is to keep track of much of the new inventory transitions into the pending category each weeklong period, and add them back in. This is now accounted for in the “new inventory” numbers.

    Further, I have added a new calculation that tracks what fraction of new listings get absorbed into pending, among the new inventory in the last 1-4 weeks. For example, the numbers show that only 0.43 (43%) of the new listings of SFH (single-family house) got absorbed into pending within the last 4 weeks. This number is also call the product uptake. The product uptake of 43% is imndoicative of a buyer strike.

    Summary: The buyer strike is in full swing, even right now in peak season. Buyers, exercise your market power and join the buyer strike against overpriced goods. It’s your money and your future labor on the hook. Don’t give it away.

    Wait, what? Am I reading this wrong?
    Do you only count pendings from the last 4 weeks of listings?
    Based on DOM averages, aren’t there a a fair number of pendings coming from older listings?
    Would deals dropping from pendings because they close also drop from your summary?
    You know that 43% “product uptake” is inherently low?
    Have you compared that with many other periods?
    Is it accurate to eliminate buyer activity from your buyer activity gauge?
    If I buy a rental house from a 6 week old listing, can I sill claim buyer striking status?
    Thank you in advance for straightening me out.

  69. 319
    MD says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 316 – I didn’t get a chance to ask them why they are selling, as they all seemed to be rushing for the building’s emergency exit.

  70. 320
    kenmorem says:

    the irony of justme is that had he/she spent a fraction of his/her time working a side gig or extra hours instead of commenting with endless rhetoric on SB, he/she would probably own a house instead of being a victimized renter, angry at the world and full of conspiracy theories like a rush limbaugh lapdog.

  71. 321
    Justme says:

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 317
    RE: MD @ 315

    Thanks guys. Please go on twitter (click my name in this comment) and spread my tweets around. Graphs and inventory data tables need wider exposure than rhey get when they are buried in the comment section here.

  72. 322
    Voight-Kampff says:

    RE: SeaMillie @ 313

    I think justme has good intentions, but I just don’t see how His rambo-like assault on the”REIC “ will have any appreciable influence on the market at large. To me, it’s like few friends getting together to paint their faces to go cheer for the Seahawks game. You sort of feel part of something, but ultimately your just some random person in make up that may or may not be briefly viewed on the Jumbotron.

  73. 323
    Deerhawke says:

    Another data point for those who make the affordability argument that prices in Seattle have to, just have to come down.

    As a builder, I have previously posted about how hard and time consuming it is to get a permit in the city of Seattle. The number of plan pages has more than doubled since before the downturn. Each page is crammed with more calculations and more information. All of those calculations and information has to be checked. And for some reason, all of that information has to be checked more painstakingly than ever before. But the City of Seattle has not hired nearly enough people to keep up. As a result, permit timelines went from 8 weeks in 2012 to a bare minimum of 8 months for a standard single-family permit. Far longer for anything with an environmentally critical area designation– about 20 percent of city lots. So with planning, architecture, engineering, rationalization, etc., a permit for a single family lot in Seattle takes more than a year.

    In order to handle a more complex code and a more complex code environment plus all the requests for information, most builders now hire specialized consultants who can package, check and facilitate the process. Add an extra $8000-10,000 for each house right there.

    But now this just in. With the Mandatory Housing Affordability tax on new low-rise housing passed March 8th, there will be a $20,000+ tax on each new townhouse or rowhouse in the city.

    I got out of the townhouse/rowhouse business a few years ago, in part because this tax was on the horizon. But a week ago I had two retired neighbors in North Seattle with small lots who approached me about buying their lots for a townhouse project. I was kind of out of touch with that market so I decided to give it a look rather than reflexively passing.

    Pretty eye opening. After I put together a plan and ran the numbers, I passed it by my facilitator. He immediately flagged the fact that I had not calculated the new HALA tax. Four townhouses– $82,500 in HALA tax.

    What was already a marginal project just got sunk by the tax and the financing on the tax. Probably about $92,000 all in.

    Now, you can argue that we need the city to build more affordable housing. And you can argue that the burden should fall on the “greedy” land-owners and the “rapacious” builders. Go ahead and take those rather predictable shots.

    But in no way can you argue that this is going to contribute to a long-term drop in housing prices in Seattle.

  74. 324
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 322

    So given the reality of the new HALA-MHA tax, what can we expect? A few thoughts.

    1) Banks will make sure they builders continue to have a minimum margin including the tax. Builders will start to make bids on land with the new HALA-MHA tax reality in mind. They will want to pay less to the landowners and so a good number of landowners, mainly retired or retiring folks, will get some very unwelcome news. The HALA-MHA tax amounts to nearly an 8-10% tax on the price of their land! But they will push back and just hold on longer. (“Wait, I don’t believe this. Why should I sell for that price? In February 2018, I was offered…”)

    2) It is really difficult, time-consuming and expensive to build in Seattle anyway. Why not build elsewhere? I ran into a Seattle builder who was always one of my best competitors here. Now he only works in Shoreline and South Snohomish county. Others I know are talking about joining the rush to the East Side (along with Amazon).

    3) There are lag effects. Eventually the market for rowhouses/townhouses in Seattle will clear. Rather overbuilt in 2018, (in part to beat the imposition of HALA-MHA) the inventory is getting discounted and will get sold through in 2019. Then we will see prices rise as those who got permits before the HALA-MHA tax was imposed see less competition and more opportunity to push prices. And in the next stage, prices will have to rise a lot for builders to take on the new risks and costs of HALA-MHA.

    4) Overall, as the new light rail line is built out, I think you will see see the spread of development to outlying areas. Burien and South Snohomish County will certainly benefit.

  75. 325
    uwp says:

    Good overview Deerhawke.
    Thanks, as always, for your contributions!

    In other news, AMZN beat earnings again yesterday. MSFT at all-time highs. Strong(ish) 1Q GDP numbers put the recession watch on hold for the moment. Justme yells at clouds. The world spins on…

  76. 326

    RE: Deerhawke @ 323
    I’ve Been Getting a Lot of Mail Lately

    Town hall land development hearing approval discussions regarding environmental code impact on Seattle area population limits. IMO, we need to freeze sewage rinsed into Puget Sound now. The salmon wetlands/rivers near Seattle are dead from over building water front mansions. The Orcas baby population is already extinct, last I heard…Puget Sound sewage drainage. We also need to get homelessness out of the wild fire areas now, this yearly “overpopulation wild fire smoke pollution in the Seattle area means a view home can’t see anything but smoke fog on a clear day….the smoke pollution is directly linked to depression and respiratory illnesses.

    We need immediate environmental fixes to current water and air pollution, not the New Green Deal kicking the “overpopulation can” down the American path hypocritically with no immigration enforcements.

  77. 327
    ess says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 323

    4) Overall, as the new light rail line is built out, I think you will see see the spread of development to outlying areas. Burien and South Snohomish County will certainly benefit.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    One can observe the ongoing development in south Snohomish county. Only yesterday I observed an empty lot where a smaller house once stood. Unlike Seattle which is piling townhouses and single family houses on tiny lots, this lot is at least one half acre. The good news for buyers is that there will be two new houses available where there had only been one. The bad news for buyers is that rather than one modestly priced house that needed some work, two new houses for probably close to double the price of the one torn down will take its place. Those two houses will result in three new houses replacing two older much smaller houses on that street in the past two years.

    As to HALA, it is just another example of city politicians and their political supporters doing it to themselves. As the character in the legendary comic strip POGO stated ” we have met the enemy, and it is us”. As documented time and time again, most land use and housing schemes end up hurting the middle class in order to benefit a tiny few. The area I focus on (South Snohomish County) should benefit from increased prices as a result of the the activities outlined in Deerhawke’s analysis, as more middle class individuals are priced out of the Seattle single family home market and look north for relief. With light rail coming to South Snohomish County within five years, demand for housing adjacent to light rail stops should only escalate as it will be even more impossible to get around by automobile in the central Puget Sound area.

  78. 328
    Justme says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 301

    Good comment, with a data reference. This is probably also a good time to remind people that from Nov2017 to Oct2018, the 3-county (very greater) Seattle area(*) added 8700 Information Technology jobs. Not exactly a big number compared with the breathless pie-in-the-sky lease-based numbers peddled by the bubble-mongers.

    (*) Seattle area is defined by BLS as all of of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. That means ALL the big tech companies are included in the IT employee counts.

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2019/01/07/nwmls-home-price-gains-vanish-as-sales-continue-to-slip/comment-page-3/#comment-278350

  79. 329
    Justme says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 322

    That sounds like a long-winded argument to stop tearing down houses for profit and doubling the price of housing in the process. How about it, Deerhawke, will you stop?

    RE: ess @ 326

    >>two new houses for probably close to double the price of the one torn down will take its place.

    Finally, a bona-fide bubble-monger is on the record stating what I have been saying for a long time: teardown terrorists do nothing for affordable housing, they just double the price. Hey Deerhawke, since you are concerned about affordability, how about stopping the price-doubling activities?

  80. 330
    JWoods says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 322
    Have you considered doing projects on the Eastside? City of Bellevue has been much easier to deal with, and I think the real estate there will probably do very better than Seattle with little downturn risks.

  81. 331
    Notme says:

    You must not speak sternly
    to those that want to ruin your personal finances
    and wreck your future
    for their own profit and benefit
    It’s so rude and inconsiderate, they say,
    …but I must!

    -a bubble poem

  82. 332
    Notme says:

    das Rambo REIC is
    assaulting your finances
    Will you just take it?

    -a bubble haiku

  83. 333
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: JWoods @ 329

    In my own case, the answer is no. I live in Seattle and like to work in Seattle. I really can’t see myself working on the East Side and commuting on 520. But I could imagine working in Shoreline.

    I spoke with a friend just this morning who said he is done here in Seattle. He is building his next house on Mercer Island so his kids can go to the schools there. He will be working on the East Side from now on.

    I have to agree with ESS (and not for the first time) that our political leadership in this city does not know how to deal with problems except by making them worse. Our local politicians should have their own version of the Hippocratic oath that includes the phrase “First, do no harm.”

  84. 334
    Eastsider says:

    By Deerhawke @ 323:

    And in the next stage, prices will have to rise a lot for builders to take on the new risks and costs of HALA-MHA.

    This is the $64k question. When the regulatory costs of new condos increased drastically, developers stopped building new condos because they could not pass along the higher costs. In the case of HALA-MHA taxes, the increased costs will likely result in reduced new offerings as the market shrinks.

  85. 335
    don says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 333

    I think condos exposed builders to perilous class action lawsuits ,
    which of course attracted the legal vultures.
    Not liking the risk, builders quit producing them. Why they have resumed, I don’t know.

  86. 336
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 328:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 322

    That sounds like a long-winded argument to stop tearing down houses for profit and doubling the price of housing in the process. How about it, Deerhawke, will you stop?

    RE: ess @ 326

    >>two new houses for probably close to double the price of the one torn down will take its place.

    Finally, a bona-fide bubble-monger is on the record stating what I have been saying for a long time: teardown terrorists do nothing for affordable housing, they just double the price. Hey Deerhawke, since you are concerned about affordability, how about stopping the price-doubling activities?

    I am very concerned that the leader of my buyer’s strike thinks the price of housing is doubling while we sit on our hands.

  87. 337
    Eastsider says:

    By don @ 334:

    I think condos exposed builders to perilous class action lawsuits ,
    which of course attracted the legal vultures.
    Not liking the risk, builders quit producing them. Why they have resumed, I don’t know.

    You answered your question. The legal exposure can be mitigated by insurance. Condo developers could not pass along additional insurance costs so there were no condos. They resumed recently, but only for the high end segment, because prices have increased sufficiently to cover the extra liabilities. I believe WA state legislator will be updating condo laws and when that happens, more condos will be built. And prices should drop.

  88. 338
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 336
    RE: don @ 334

    I have written on this topic before. Between 1999 and 2007, 100% of the builders who developed condos in Seattle were sued for construction defects. 100% including those with lots of experience, the best envelope consultants, etc. The lawyers used various schemes but all with the intent of going after the construction general liability insurance (CGL) policy fund.

    So of course, CGL for Condos quickly became unavailable at a price that was not a complete joke. Want $1 million in CGL? Sure you can have it. It costs $1 million. I really got that answer in 2013 from an underwriter.

    Since no bank would lend without this insurance, there was no lending. And no lending meant no condos.

    Enter the foreign builder. They were able to do condos with 100% internal financing (yes some people are that rich) or with 100% foreign equity+foreign debt financing. No need for CGL because they are “self-financed”. Without the pot of money represented by the CGL policy, no possibility of easy recovery for the lawyers. No possibility for easy recovery means no lawsuits. Foreign building groups could build condos where domestic building groups could not.

    For a while, this was a magic formula. More and more foreign building firms figured it out. Canadian firm Bosa Development (Insignia) was followed by a lot of Chinese financed firms. Then when the rental market got saturated, many apartment developers decided to convert from building apartments to building condos. (How they got that past their insurance carriers and banks is beyond me.)

    As a result, the condo market is now tilting toward a glut. I was at a party last night and spoke with a woman who is a consultant in condo development. She said the apartment glut never really materialized to the extent anticipated because of conversions to condo status. But now it is likely the condo market is getting overbuilt in Seattle.

    She said this is partly generational. Sure you can raise kids in a condo– people in New York City, Hong Kong and Tokyo do. But our culture in this area is that when you get to that stage, you get a house if possible. A lot of millenials are now at child-rearing age and see themselves moving out of an apartment to a place where the kid(s) and dog (always in Seattle) have a bit of green space.

  89. 339
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 337 – I believe conversion from existing apartment buildings to condos is not covered by the draconian condo laws.

  90. 340
    Deerhawke says:

    So as I mentioned I went to this open house party last night. It was mainly people from the real estate community. One or two builders plus a lot of agents.

    The consensus:

    This is a pretty hot spring market. It is nowhere near as hot as last spring, but has definitely recovered from the pullback of Q2, 3 and 4 of 2018. However it is definitely hotter in some areas than others.

    Lukewarm and cooling– Condos.

    Lukewarm and slowly getting warmer– Townhouses. They are selling, but there are some areas that are hotter (Capitol Hill, Fremont) while other areas have overcapacity (Ballard, Greenlake). Larger complexes are sitting while smaller complexes are selling better. Triplexes and interior rowhouse units are sitting or getting discounted, but duplex and exterior units are selling. Unparked units are getting discounted while parked units are selling. Hottest of all are larger (1600+SF) 3-BR units with interior parking and freestanding (no shared walls) urban singles with parking (interior parking or not). In other words– space, light, views, quality, parking and privacy sells. Me-too, ho-hum, too small, no parking product sits.

    Single Family Homes– Definitely quite warm and getting hotter. The whole market is doing well, including new construction. But anything that is close-in, updated and well marketed under $1 million is moving really fast. Two agents at the party last night got word that their clients had been outbid in a multiple offer situation. The buyer’s strike must be crumbling as bidding wars are clearly back, although not to the same frenzy level as 2017-Q1 2018. Fremont, is especially hot right now– I heard a couple of agents repeat that” Fremont is the New Capitol Hill” as though that were received wisdom. But really anything close to employment centers (anything south of 85th Street) is selling pretty fast. The other mantra I heard last night was that “Location is the New Luxury”. I wonder where people hear these kinds of things and how they so rapidly become the new received wisdom.

  91. 341
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 338 – There is lesser liability for innocent, (as it were), buyer/converters, but there are still liability standards. Many, if not most, large scale and mid-range to better apartments are built to “condo standards” precisely to facilitate future conversion or the ability to price future conversion potential into a sale. Things could get very interesting in the apartment world when and if the legislature makes significant changes, but there probably won’t be a huge rush of new condo construction because conversion is quicker and cheaper.

  92. 342
    Eastsider says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 340 – I hope the legislature fixes the condo mess. SFHs are out of reach for most residents. Condos will be the only affordable option for (young) families looking to own a ‘home’.

  93. 343
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 338

    When you convert an existing apartment building after the 6-year statute of repose following completion, no question, that exempts you from the condo law and keeps you from being sued by construction defect lawyers.

    But these were buildings that were converted from apartment to condo before completion.

    Four of these buildings I know the basic outlines of what happened. The developer is a pretty volatile Trump-like personality. Like Trump he has gone bankrupt before (twice, I think). He could therefore only get hard money. He over-reached (once again) and got into financial trouble. He suddenly stopped paying his bills. The hard-money lender stepped in to protect his investment and took the project over. The lender wants his money back rather than to own 4 apartment buildings, so he turned them into condo projects. Insurance would therefore only cover injury liability rather than construction defects. Given the quality of what this particular builder builds, I sure wouldn’t want to buy in these 4 buildings. I don’t know how the lender will avoid suit down the road a few years.

    Maybe in the case of other domestic condo developers, they are taking the risk that the proposed changes in the condo laws will protect them. Not a bet I would want to make. Changes in the condo law have been years in the making and are always supposed to be during the next legislative cycle.

  94. 344
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 342 – We can only speculate the reason for conversion. It may have to do with the glut of new apartment buildings. It may also be more profitable selling condos at current elevated prices.

  95. 345
    Justme says:

    Weekend update, King County active inventory, graphical edition.

    The graphs compare 2017-2019 inventory on an hourly basis. 2017 was the year inventory was at a multi-year low for most of the year, a fact that was much ballyhooed by the sell-side and inflation-mongers of the property market. But the shoe is now on the other foot. Combine the increase in inventory with a much more realistic criterion that 1month worth of active inventory is all that is needed for a “balanced market”, the property market has shifted radically since March 2018 and continues to do so in 2019. Click the link and scroll to see the graphs. Click on each graph for an enlarged view. ESC and scroll to navigate.

    https://imgur.com/a/k9ggZcF

    2019-04-27 King County SFH active for-sale inventory 2017-2019
    2019-04-27 King County Condo active for-sale inventory 2017-2019
    2019-04-27 King County SFH active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017
    2019-04-27 King County Condo active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017

    Commentary: This year had an unusually active Easter week (last week) in the listing market, and peak inventory managed stayed roughly flat rather than having the usual drop. And as predicted, this week, listing activity has picked up again. Both SFH and Condo inventory achieved a new high for the year. Condo listings were especially notable, with the biggest 1-week increase for the year.

    Product sales continue to lag new listings, and many sellers are being left behind. Price reductions are commonplace, with 231 SFH price reductions for KC SFH product the last 7 days. Many >4wk old listings are languishing on the market. There is little doubt that the bubble-bust is in full swing. There are lots of sellers, but not enough willing buyers at the prices being offered. Many buyers are on strike, refusing to buy at currently offered prices. Sellers have gone from “I think I’ll wait another year” to “Better get my house on the market before it is too late”. Still, many sellers are over-pricing the market by a significant amount, and their product is languishing.

    I posted a product absorption/uptake analysis from Weds earlier in the week. Absorption of product continues to be low, with SFH absorption to pending at 41% for the last 4 weeks. Clearly, many buyers are unwilling to participate at the current price levels. That pesky buyer strike, again. Bidding peace has replaced bidding wars. Join the strike.

  96. 346

    RE: Justme @ 327
    I Agree With You on the BLS URL

    It documents they hire ’em at $105K/YR green out of college with no experience needed [or don’t hire ’em at all, most likely to grab up foreign H-1B slave workers with unlimited chain migration/OVERPOPULATION instead illegally]….I see the hiring websites document a 5000 need for S/W engineers, IMO, its Fake News. I’m on the ground rolling around in laughter now…

    My SWE website referenced below was updated this morning with this BLS URL, thanks for the idea ;-)

  97. 347
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 342 – Which 4 condo buildings are these? Thanks

  98. 348
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 346

    Actually it is three buildings. I was mistaken about that. They were pre-marketed as “The Neighborhood Collection” last year. Then suddenly everything stopped cold. Then a bit later there was a “re-branding” effort and the buildings changed names.

    The only one I know about in a bit of detail is 750 on the Hill, formerly The Atrium. My son’s friend was looking into it and asked me what I knew about it. A real estate agent who had been involved with the developer gave me the back-story. I already knew the developer and his style. I have met him several times and deal with a lot of his former associates.

    There is another building on 45th Street in Wallingford. I am not sure where the 3rd building is. You could track it down by googling The Neighborhood Collection. I know the Seattle Times real estate section ran a piece on them last year. It is a bit confusing because of name changes etc.

  99. 349
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 347 – Thanks again.

  100. 350
    dariakus says:

    By Eastsider @ 341:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 340 – I hope the legislature fixes the condo mess. SFHs are out of reach for most residents. Condos will be the only affordable option for (young) families looking to own a ‘home’.

    Not just young, I’m staunchly middle aged with a six figure income and I can’t afford anything within a 60-90 minute commute. With children, that’s not a sacrifice of my time I’m willing to make. So we rent a SFH in a 20 minute commute distance and will forever rent until we leave the region.

  101. 351
    Erik says:

    RE: dariakus @ 349
    That’s the definition of being stuck in the rat race. That sucks man. I guess I’m stuck in the rat race too and trying to get out.

  102. 352
    Eastsider says:

    RE: dariakus @ 349 – Seattle is no longer a bedroom community it once was. It is turning into an expensive global metropolis. Chances are our (grand) children will not be living here. There is no reason to be “stuck in the rat race” and pay for the ‘privilege’ to live here. There are much better options elsewhere, especially for young families.

  103. 353

    Open House at Glenbrook HOA

    Another one sold fast a few days ago too….the “Games Back On” at Glenbrook. They’re accepting bank loans now. Finally, after two years of no listings for140 homes in SE King County. Selling prices may be affected by multiple bidding on $200-250K Modular rambler styles with small lots, so large down payment [like 25+% I imagine] offers can lower risks and speed closing.

    Also….35 degrees last night with frost on roofs and car windows to ice scrape. The almost May evenings are frigid like Winter.

  104. 354

    RE: Eastsider @ 351
    Well Said Eastsider

    When my Milenial daughter agreed with 70% of the Milenial Women recently polled that she just wanted to be a housewife with a working hubby, I was HORRIFIED. After all, I budgeted about $50K for her 4 year college expenses and now she was throwing that dream away….I promised her extended tuition in graduate school as long as she attended too. Instead she’s in Kansas City out of the Seattle degradation due to rent and has an Associate Degree from Green River CC, and managing my investment home. She’s making the family money too, that repo went up about 2-3 times what I paid for it in 2014.

    I miss the old Seattle too….the 2500 acres of woods [with real bears and coyotes] I explored in back of my dad’s farm in Lynnwood….its all gone now…I miss the small wild black berries [not those large thorny black berry weeds we have now]. Who would think it would all disappear?

  105. 355

    RE: dariakus @ 309
    On My Business Trips to Washington DC and Los Angeles

    I noticed the same thing…the Washington DC homes are Seattle priced, but huge [3000 SF+] beautiful tiered colonials on 1 acre “shaded wooded lots” with road zoning population density control and much better commutes with parks galore [I loved driving in the wooded Mt Vernon area]…LA east [about 30 miles east of LA] had cheaper real estate than Seattle suburbs, larger lots too. Miserable treeless land though, but isn’t Seattle getting all its trees mowed down too and replaced with asphalt mini malls?

  106. 356

    RE: Erik @ 350
    Ahhh..you’ll do Fine in Seattle Erik

    It may not be the cat’s meow it was, but I know you are a fighter and even expensive Seattle won’t dull that skill. But I’m sure you’re tempted to take your $CASH$ out and take the easy way out, buy twice as much home for half the price and work elsewhere for the same pay.

    Put in a resume at FCA in Detroit for Mechanical Engineers…they need automatic transmission engineers at the Dodge Charger assembly plant to replace the outsourced Mercedes ZTF 9 speed automatic with a cheaper and lighter domestic engineered automatic…FCA is a perfect company for an engineer, the Fiat management put engineers in charge, an engineer’s dream job. The Italians’ MBAs management don’t have clue on making jeeps, large cars and trucks….LOL…Ford and Chevy engineers are still supervised by subpar MBA business majors who like planned obsolesce, “planned obsolesce” is not in an American engineer’s DNA…LOL…the pay in Detroit will go way up as you get skilled and experienced too….hope IOWs. I had an engineering friend who had no degree [about 3 years of college] but did contract automotive engineering work, he made 2-3 times my pay in Seattle…you could too.

    The homes in Detroit are so cheap, you could be living in a GIANT beautiful brick mansion or that “crummy” Seattle cramped condo…your choice…if ya move, stay with the SB and tell us how it is out there…MAGA ;-)

  107. 357

    RE: Deerhawke @ 339
    Yes Deerhawke

    My lower tier modular SFHs in SE King County went up from $100K repos about 4 years ago to $200K- $300K remodeled unit nice neighborhoods….some of the units at Glenbrook have total make -overs.

    The Seattle Bubble readers have been hounding me for open listings and I’ve received mail directly from anxious pesky buyers too…I predicted this in 1999. My old prediction in 1999….”buy as cheap as you can, OVERPOPULATION and lower wages will make these units the only ones left that normal families can barely afford”….I was unfortunately right, its happening now [albeit I never dreamed they’d lower 30 year mortgages to like 3% for good credit ratings]…and although I’m not planning a sale soon, I have the deed for a lower tier unit that barely is “still” affordable for mortgage qualification now [without large down payment]….I bought in at $118K in 1999, but shunned similar stick homes for 50% more. I knew OVERPOPULATION was gonna destroy wages and it did…there were others that did the same thing I did at Glenbrook too, my next door neighbor for 20 years is a realtor….LOL

    Its not location, location, location anymore; its timing, timing, timing now….its morphed.

  108. 358
    justsomedude12 says:

    By softwarengineer @ 355:

    RE: Erik @ 350But I’m sure you’re tempted to take your $CASH$ out and take the easy way out, buy twice as much home for half the price and work elsewhere for the same pay.

    Haha, SWE you phrase this as if he can “take the easy way out” and have a better life elsewhere, or stay here and struggle through the burden of living in this area. I don’t disagree with you though!

  109. 359
    Notme says:

    Price, price, price, price, price
    that’s all that counts to buyers
    did I mention price?

    -a bubble haiku

  110. 360
    BigBadBanks says:

    Deerhawke what are your thoughts on Georgetown?

    There are lots of new townhomes being built over there and I was thinking of buying in the area but I am not familiar with the area.

  111. 361
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 355
    Ha! I’m holed up in a condo as I type this. You are right though, it doesn’t make sense for mechanical engineers to live in Seattle anymore. We are too dang poor.

    It is tempting to go do something like that though. Right now with the new wife and baby, it seems a little too risky. I think I’ll be alright if I can keep developing in real estate. If I could own a couple condos in Seattle without a mortgage, my income may be that of a beginner software employee in Seattle. My job income + rental income = software employee income. Otherwise, yes, I’ll be forced to leave.

  112. 362

    RE: SeaMillie @ 295
    Yes SeaMillie

    What do they do in those Yahoo job cubicles that require people? I read that those high tech S/W dating sites companies like Plenty of Fish can run on two employees, the CEO and his secretary. Hades, I visited the old Olympia Brewing Co about 30 years ago and looked out at factory floor….zero humans, all automation.

    Imagine now.

  113. 363
    Don says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 337

    Thanks for the breakdown, it’s nice to have an in the trenches perspective.

  114. 364

    RE: S-Crow @ 300
    LOL S-Crow

    Its almost May and I saw ice on the roofs, grass and car windshields yesterday morning…a nice brisk 35 degree icy breezy winter morning….Detroit had 12 inches of snow….Polar Vortex they call it, whatever that means or is caused by. My MOM electrical heating bill has gone down from February, but not that much….add higher utilities to the escrow bills now….

  115. 365

    RE: Erik @ 360
    Rest Assure Erik

    The association of Electrical Engineers taps the real job market for engineers and it ain’t $100K+ for a green software engineer. BTW, the term software engineer is not a software development IT (no degree or experience required IMO)….a degreed systems engineer [or management planning] is a software engineer [Boeing used to call systems engineers and S/W engineers the same name too] IMO, which means you Erik a Mechanical Engineer are a degreed qualified systems engineer. Hades, call yourself a software engineer, you are…..LOL….now you can use your BSME college education that doesn’t teach IT source control for S/W development IT jobs anyway for industrial engineering management. Lets give MSFT back to the NW high school kids, these innovative local kids developed Windows 95 and 98 without subpar foreign H-1Bs wage slaves, H-1B anti-virus S/W, H-1B weekly O/S patches, H-1B decrepit O/S versions that won’t run S/W [VISTA, etc, etc], lower wages, etc, etc..since H-1Bs…COMPLETE H-1B junk now IOWs.

    Congratulations on the Baby Erik, tell your wife I’m happy for both of you ;-)

    Put in an application to the Seattle area FAA engineering, especially if you have aerospace experience, the FAA is in a “diversity” crisis now, accused of Obama hiring inexperienced diversity over degreed experienced folks like you. The FAA has a quality problem too over diversity inexperience and they aren’t the only government agency. Obama killed EEO BTW, I was an EEO Monitor and watched it happen about 10 years ago. Yes, your kid needs a backyard to develop right.

  116. 366
    Matt P says:

    By BigBadBanks @ 359:

    Deerhawke what are your thoughts on Georgetown?

    There are lots of new townhomes being built over there and I was thinking of buying in the area but I am not familiar with the area.

    Great if you love noise.

  117. 367

    RE: Erik @ 360
    Remember the Golden Pension You Dreamed About

    Don’t wait too long to get plugged into one ASAP….I made less pay [I could be working in France now on liquid metal fast breeder reactors via Westinghouse, I was the last two picks out of 50 resumes for the Nuclear Engineer job at Westinghouse and with my graduate school and passing the BAR exam, I could have been a nuclear waste attorney making 200Ks+ in the 70s]; but alas, they passed me over, but I stayed in robotics design and systems engineering. Ya need to get like 30+ years in one place to get a decent pension. Albeit if I was living in France now, speaking French, that would be kind of an adventure too, hey I’d be living in socialized housing and getting socialized health care, but paying $10/gal for gas….LOL

    Develop a plan and aim for it, whatever it is it can work out anyway…I make more $CASH$ money now than when I worked too….most of it because of lower tax bracket and no deductions for entitlements…I was a bit greedy too, I’m grabbing up my Social Security before its reduced.

  118. 368
    uwp says:

    By Matt P @ 365:

    By BigBadBanks @ 359:

    Deerhawke what are your thoughts on Georgetown?

    There are lots of new townhomes being built over there and I was thinking of buying in the area but I am not familiar with the area.

    Great if you love noise.

    It’s truly surprising how that sound carries. We looked at a house we loved that was roughly a half mile from I5 and you could still hear it clearly outside. (Also planes!)

    Make sure you tour it at different times of day to get a clear sense of it.

  119. 369
    Matt P says:

    By uwp @ 367:

    By Matt P @ 365:

    By BigBadBanks @ 359:

    Deerhawke what are your thoughts on Georgetown?

    There are lots of new townhomes being built over there and I was thinking of buying in the area but I am not familiar with the area.

    Great if you love noise.

    It’s truly surprising how that sound carries. We looked at a house we loved that was roughly a half mile from I5 and you could still hear it clearly outside. (Also planes!)

    Make sure you tour it at different times of day to get a clear sense of it.

    Trains at night too. All night.

  120. 370
    ess says:

    RE: uwp @ 367

    It’s truly surprising how that sound carries. We looked at a house we loved that was roughly a half mile from I5 and you could still hear it clearly outside. (Also planes!)
    Make sure you tour it at different times of day to get a clear sense of it.
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    We lived in a house a few blocks away from Interstate 5, but the freeway traversed numerous feet below the area we resided in. When we first moved into that house, we could hardly hear the noise from the freeway, and it wasn’t all that noticeable. But over the years, it appeared to be getting worse – to the point that going into the back yard at certain times of the day or evening was not a pleasant experience.

    I thought perhaps I was getting more sensitive to the noise, but I did discuss this matter with a planner in our former town. Turns out that the noise barriers that were constructed over they years to protect houses from noise directly adjacent to the freeway channeled that noise and elevated it. So it wasn’t my imagination that life was getting noisy.

    As per Interstate 5 noise, not only should one visit at different times of the day to get an idea of the noise level, but also on days where the weather is different. The noise level from Interstate 5 varies tremendously depending on other climate factors , such as if it is raining, foggy, or windy.

    But I have learned my lesson. Any future house I purchase has to be well away from not only a freeway, but any major road, and one must visit the house in question both in the morning during commuter hours as well as in the evenings and weekends to attempt to determine what the noise level will be. And with the densification of Puget Sound, this matter will only become more crucial as all noise levels increase. on the roads that are already in use.

  121. 371
    ess says:

    Once again Amazon is on the march with another huge lease as reported below. Bellevue is definitely transforming into another Amazon center. Perhaps not a HQ 2, but a significant center nevertheless.

    Bodes well for both long term housing prices and increased rents in the Puget Sound area as Amazon employs highly paid individuals to staff their various Bellevue offices. And don’t forget the employment multiplier effect – each Amazon job should generate a few other jobs in the area.

    Will Seattle get the message as Bellevue Amazon’s workforce grows and Seattle’s levels off? Probably not.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/amazon-again-expands-in-bellevue-with-another-big-lease/

  122. 372
    Ohd1122 says:

    Is there any way a layperson like myself can report a listing that is perhaps abusing the price adjustments for purposes of gaining eyeballs? I believe I read on here that dropping price by too small an amount is a no-no and a potentially finable offense. Well, one listing that popped up has this price history:

    April 25th: listed

    April 27th: price reduced $1K

    April 29th: price reduced $1K

    Normally when I see a reduction of $1K on a $500K+ house I just roll my eyes, but this really just looks like the agent is trying to keep the listing in the alerts again and again. If it makes a difference, this is a new construction home.

  123. 373
    JWoods says:

    RE: ess @ 370
    In Oct 2008, Warren Buffett wrote in the famous NYT Op-Ed piece “Buy American, I Am”.
    I would borrow the phase as “Buy Bellevue, I Am” :-)

  124. 374
    Matt P says:

    RE: ess @ 369
    I normally despise AirBnB, but this is one thing it’s good for: finding a place to stay very close to any house you want to buy. It’s how I eliminated a neighborhood from my list.

    A lot of areas also have really bad air traffic noise. North Beacon Hill has planes going over every 5 minutes and they’re quite loud, so sitting outside is not pleasant if you want to hear the birds chirping.

  125. 375
    ess says:

    RE: Matt P @ 373RE: JWoods @ 372

    JWoods – totally agree – light rail is coming to Bellevue – 3 million square feet so far under ownership or long term lease by Amazon in a business friendly town, city council of Seattle still providing anti business vibes. I would think real estate in Bellevue and area will continue to do well unless there is some major economic pull back. Certainly Amazon is increasing the number of high paying jobs in the area. And there is no telling if they are done yet marshalling properties in that area.

    Matt P – renting a place short term through Airbnb to get a feel for a neighborhood is a brilliant idea. Kudos to you!

    Every time we go to Ravenna Park for a walk – we are right under the flight approach to Sea Tac from the north. It would drive me nuts if I had to listen to that all day long. But yet that area has some of the most desirable property in the city. We get some Paine Field traffic over South Snohomish County where I am located – but nothing like the continuous roar of planes over north Seattle.

  126. 376
    sfrz says:

    RE: BigBadBanks @ 359 – Dear god. Go on Safe Seattle blog. You will NOT want to move to Georgetown. RVs, meth cooking, junkies fighting, tents, and the smell of urine in the air. Back away.

  127. 377
    sfrz says:

    Maybe some nice digs in Snohomish Co. will be popping onto the market soon.
    “Boeing management’s behavior must be seen in the context of Boeing’s use of its earned capital. Did you use the $30 billion surplus from 2009 to 2017 to reinvest in R&D, in new narrow-body passenger aircraft? Or did you, instead, essentially burn this surplus with self-serving stock buybacks of $30 billion in that period? Boeing is one of the companies that MarketWatch labelled as “Five companies that spent lavishly on stock buybacks while pension funding lagged.”

    Incredibly, your buybacks of $9.24 billion in 2017 comprised 109% of annual earnings. As you know, stock buybacks do not create any jobs. They improve the metrics for the executive compensation packages of top Boeing bosses.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/29/boeing-mismanagers-forfeit-your-pay-and-resign-an-open-letter-to-boeing-ceo-dennis-muilenburg/

  128. 378
  129. 379
    Sfrz says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 377 – crashes zig zag. They dont happen suddenly.

  130. 380

    RE: Ohd1122 @ 371

    Checked every new construction listed on the 25th in King County. Don’t see anything fitting that fact pattern. I think an agent has to report it. Not 100% sure. You can try calling the mls. Some violations are computer generated and don’t need someone to report it. They get an automatic fine or a warning. Usually that strategy is to bring new eyes on it after a longer period of time. At least a week. Seems odd to do it every couple of days. But if they think that helps the seller, who they represent, and are willing to pay the fines…

  131. 381

    RE: ess @ 369
    Great Ideas

    The most important aspect IMO of buying a house in rainy Seattle is hill locations…make sure you’re on top of the hills with water draining on your neighbors and not in your garage, crawl space or basements…the overbuilding and code enforcements is ignoring this fact and building on swamp land with King County approval…its called OVERPOPULATION and it was bad like this decades ago, its way beyond bad now…

    That’s another reason I bought in that particular lot at Glenbrook Modulars, my lot is on top of the highest point in East Kent….yes, whether they admit it or not, valuable real estate. Most of the other Glenbrook lots get all my drainage too…I see the King County is clearing wetlands south of me to build more new homes. Why are wetlands being used for housing?

  132. 382

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 379

    The King County Tax Collectors are Like Vultures in Seattle

    They might as well grab us by the feet and shake until all our money comes out….LOL

  133. 383
    uwp says:

    By randomseattledummie @ 377:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/pending-home-sales-skyrocket-in-march-signalling-a-spring-rebound-for-housing-2019-04-30

    Hey justme, this is good news for the buyer strike, right?

    Weird!
    Seattle had a better month, and has a better YTD than the National Home Price Index as well as the 20-City Composite.
    Case Shiller Release

    I don’t understand how this is happening!!!

  134. 384
    Justme says:

    Case-Shiller for Feb is out, with Feb 2019 bump from 243.6 to 245. Not what I expected. The Feb number is an average of Dec-Jan-Feb.

    It’s not bad for buyers, but I think the buyer strike needs to get socialized more. Please help out if you favor not giving your money and labor away.

  135. 385
    kenmorem says:

    By Justme @ 383:

    Case-Shiller for Feb is out, with Feb 2019 bump from 243.6 to 245. Not what I expected. The Feb number is an average of Dec-Jan-Feb.

    It’s not bad for buyers, but I think the buyer strike needs to get socialized more. Please help out if you favor not giving your money and labor away.

    sounds like reagan came in and broke the unions. strike is over.

  136. 386

    RE: softwarengineer @ 363
    Ice This Morning Too…38 degrees outside

    Climate Change is a conundrum…

  137. 387

    RE: kenmorem @ 384
    I Belonged to a Union

    But hardly any of my co-workers joined….they were right BTW, the union was just a dues collection agency and did nothing…unions were once great, not anymore apparently, they’re just political dues collection “do nothing” machines. They all vote Open Border Party (OBP) as their members vote Trump…..LOL

  138. 388
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: uwp @ 382 – It’s not, that’s how.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/metro-seattle-home-prices-ease-in-expensive-areas-surge-in-lower-cost-cities/

    “The national Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday, showed Greater Seattle had one of the coolest housing markets in all the land when looking at the full metro area.

    Prices regionwide in February grew 2.8% from a year ago, below the national average of 4%. Among the 20 regions covered in the report, only four — San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago — had smaller price increases.”

  139. 389
    Justme says:

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 387

    The seattletimes article is quite good, but one of the flaws is the following:

    >>Prices regionwide in February grew 2.8% from a year ago,

    This is a bit misleading. Seattle Case-Shiller price index peaked in 2018-06 at 258.96 and has dropped ever since until realizing a very small bump up today. Today’s release of the Feb 2019 index landed at 244.99. While that is higher than the Feb 2018 value of 238.22, it is also -5.4% below the peak.

    Great article otherwise. In particular being cognizant of the split in behavior between high-priced and lower-priced subregions. This type of behavior is typical when bubbles are bursting — the wealthy get the memo first.

    By the way: Does anyone know how to get hold of the high-mid-low submarket split of the Case-Shiller?

  140. 390
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 388

    Whaddayaknow, FRED also has the tiered case-shiller data.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SEXRHTNSA

  141. 391
    uwp says:

    By Market Psychologist @ 387:

    RE: uwp @ 382 – It’s not, that’s how.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/metro-seattle-home-prices-ease-in-expensive-areas-surge-in-lower-cost-cities/

    It’s a “Choose Your Own Adventure” market:

    YOY Seattle looks cool (compared to other markets).
    MOM and YTD the Seattle market looks strong.

    I will let you figure out what is more relevant to current buyers.

  142. 392
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 389

    By the way, no Feb 2019 bump up in the high-tier Seattle index value. I guess the wealthy buyers are the most ardent buyer-strike participants. This behavior will probably trickle down to the less expensive tiers, but we need to help out the lower-tier buyers by spreading the word.

  143. 393
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: Justme @ 391 – Yes, definitely. My guess is since the one-percenters engineer these bubbles, it makes sense that they are the first to cash out. I know exactly one rich person. I am just a working stiff, so I figure that’s about average. Anyway, they sold their home last month after owning it for about 10 years. Reason: their real estate investor friend was unloading all his properties. They realized it was the top and decided to take their $1M of equity and…. RENT! They are now waiting for prices to bottom.

  144. 394
    squirrel says:

    By Justme @ 391:

    RE: Justme @ 389

    By the way, no Feb 2019 bump up in the high-tier Seattle index value. I guess the wealthy buyers are the most ardent buyer-strike participants. This behavior will probably trickle down to the less expensive tiers, but we need to help out the lower-tier buyers by spreading the word.

    If there is some sort of “buyers strike”, wouldn’t that mean folks with enough capacity to purchase homes would be building up over time to increase the demand at a later date? I can’t predict the future of housing but it seems like your theory could potentially indicate an increase in the odds of a sellers market in the future as opposed to now. I’m assuming there is herd mentality as a variable in housing markets but I find it hard to believe it is coordinated.

  145. 395
    Kelly says:

    By JWoods @ 372:

    RE: ess @ 370
    In Oct 2008, Warren Buffett wrote in the famous NYT Op-Ed piece “Buy American, I Am”.
    I would borrow the phase as “Buy Bellevue, I Am” :-)

    I like this one better:

    “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

    —Lily Tomlin

  146. 396
    kenmorem says:

    By Market Psychologist @ 392:

    RE: Justme @ 391 – Yes, definitely. My guess is since the one-percenters engineer these bubbles, it makes sense that they are the first to cash out. I know exactly one rich person. I am just a working stiff, so I figure that’s about average. Anyway, they sold their home last month after owning it for about 10 years. Reason: their real estate investor friend was unloading all his properties. They realized it was the top and decided to take their $1M of equity and…. RENT! They are now waiting for prices to bottom.

    i know this one guy that said this one thing and since i’m a lemming, i decided to jump too.

  147. 397
    ohd1122 says:

    RE: kenmorem @ 394

    It’s pretty much everybody on SB’s favorite argument.

  148. 398
    uwp says:

    By squirrel @ 394:

    If there is some sort of “buyers strike”, wouldn’t that mean folks with enough capacity to purchase homes would be building up over time to increase the demand at a later date? I can’t predict the future of housing but it seems like your theory could potentially indicate an increase in the odds of a sellers market in the future as opposed to now. I’m assuming there is herd mentality as a variable in housing markets but I find it hard to believe it is coordinated.

    The key to understanding Justme’s posts is to not think about it too hard.

  149. 399
    Justme says:

    RE: squirrel @ 394

    The flip side of the coin:

    There has in 2014-2018 been a seller strike of people that could sell very profitably but who listened to the inventory propaganda being spread all over the media by the REIC and other bubble-mongers. Many of them got greedy and decided to wait. They had the capacity to sell but did not. For this reason, there is a lot of pent-up supply, which is now hitting the market.

    See what I did there? :-)

  150. 400
    elliptico says:

    So is your shack a place to live while you get on with your life, or is it a fetish obsession? Are you looking at RE purely as an investment, or a place to eat, sleep and stay dry while you get on with your life? Money can’t buy happiness. Friends, family and good health can.

  151. 401
    JWoods says:

    RE: Kelly @ 395
    I had no idea who Lily Tomlin was and had to look her up.

    I guess it’s OK to listen to her for a comedy or movie, but for financial advice, my bet is with Mr. Buffett.

    Everyone has the freedom to choose how they want to live their life, whether to buy or rent, where to buy etc. But if you want a great place to live and great financial reward in real estate around Seattle area, Bellevue is the place to be.

    Buy Bellevue, I Am

  152. 402
    squirrel says:

    By Justme @ 399:

    RE: squirrel @ 394

    The flip side of the coin:

    There has in 2014-2018 been a seller strike of people that could sell very profitably but who listened to the inventory propaganda being spread all over the media by the REIC and other bubble-mongers. Many of them got greedy and decided to wait. They had the capacity to sell but did not. For this reason, there is a lot of pent-up supply, which is now hitting the market.

    See what I did there? :-)

    Via the reverse scenerio, I think you just agreed with the hypothesis that if there was indeed a coordinated “buyers strike” and other variables stayed static (which they never would in real world), that it would result in an increased chance of a sellers market at some point as people capable of buying a house piled up on the sidelines. Unless a certain portion of the capable buyers just bailed for the long run. I actually don’t entirely understand your theory.

  153. 403
    Erik says:

    RE: JWoods @ 401
    Smellvue took Seattle’s leftovers. Hmmm… which world changing company will we invent next?

  154. 404
    sfrz says:

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 393 – I know a real estate rep. on the Eastside. 25 yr veteran. Selling since last year. He took it off the market until this Spring. Planning on renting for a while. What does HE know?

  155. 405
    JWoods says:

    RE: Erik @ 403
    You don’t need to invent another great company to do well with RE in Bellevue. A lot of the Amazon/Microsoft/Facebook/Google people live in Bellevue today, and many more want to move to Bellevue, particularly west Bellevue, for easy commute, great schools, great neighborhood and amenities.

    In the “Seattle is Dying” documentary, there was an apparel store owner moved from Seattle to Bellevue, she was doing so much better after the move, I think more businesses and people are realizing that.

    With Amazon moving to Bellevue in a big way, upcoming Facebook building and REI HQ in Spring District, and light rail, it’s just going to get much better.

  156. 406
    Realistic says:

    RE: Justme @ 389
    CS also had a bump in spring of 2008 and yet it was followed by a steep decline. This summer should be interesting to watch.

  157. 407
    Erik says:

    RE: JWoods @ 405
    You are probably right. I like to make fun of Bellevue because in 2013, I made the decision to invest in Seattle and not Bellevue. Both are good investments. I bought condos and it seemed more difficult to overbuild in Seattle as opposed to Bellevue because of land scarcity, so I chose Seattle. I’m keeping my condos that are on the transportation track to Bellevue.

    When my son is ready for school, I’ll be living in Kirkland for the schools.

    Amazon moving to Bellevue is a good thing for Seattle real estate prices too. I thought Amazon was moving to the east coast, so I’m glad the are only moving to the east side. We sent you a piece of our amazon, so please send back a portion of your Microsoft, it’s only fair.

  158. 408
    Market Psychologist says:

    “Don’t confuse brains with a bull market” – Humphrey B. Neill

  159. 409
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: sfrz @ 404 – Similar to my acquaintance, he’s probably ridden these cycles before to get where he is today and sees the writing on the wall. The CS Index for Seattle is almost a perfect peak. Like you said, there may be bumps here and there but the downward trend has been sharp and will continue.

    I think this next election will be key. My prediction: either Bernie or Trump will win. In both cases, the market will tank. Bernie will burst the optimism bubble or Trump will hit the accelerator and drive us off the cliff. I am rooting for Bernie because I think we need the structural change that he advocates for. This BS economy of hyper-inflated assets (stocks, bonds, RE) is ultimately very destructive and will only exacerbate the social, political and economic problems we face.

  160. 410
    JWoods says:

    RE: Erik @ 407
    That’s funny, I’ve looked at Seattle since 2012, there were a number of houses/projects I was very close to get, but for different reasons things didn’t work out. They would have all worked out great financially.

    Things worked out better for me in the Eastside. I stopped looking in Seattle 3 years ago.

  161. 411
    JWoods says:

    Has anyone done an Opportunity Zone project around Seattle area? My tax accountant told me about this last year, it seems a great way to roll forward capital gains. What are the pros and cons? Any particular area around Seattle to recommend?

    I don’t want to do a project in Opportunity Zone myself, but if there is a capable and trustworthy builder/operator running the show, I’d be happy to invest in it.

  162. 412

    RE: JWoods @ 405
    Yes JWoods

    The trouble is you have no raw data to support your hypothesis, neither does your foe. If we had real salary raw data in Seattle instead of guessing, we could make credible RE planning for the future. Will it ever exist? IMO, it would take a good old reset of RE to prices that real incomes could afford to fix it, not drummed up Mother Goose Fairy Tale Book examples…its gonna happen soon at a theater near you too.

  163. 413

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 409
    Bernie?

    LOL….Medicare for all? 70% Americans [assuming it isn’t more like 80-90%] don’t support Medicare for All if it raises the debt and/or taxes. Period. He’s knocked out before he got in the ring with Trump.

  164. 414

    RE: JWoods @ 411
    Ask Your Professional Advisor How Much He Invested In It and In Writing Too

    If its zero or there abouts, its a bad investment. Period.

  165. 415
    Market Psychologist says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 413

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/412545-70-percent-of-americans-support-medicare-for-all-health-care

    “Seventy percent said they supported providing ‘Medicare for all,’ also known as single-payer health care, for Americans, according to a new American Barometer survey.

    The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 42 percent of respondents said they ‘strongly’ supported the proposal, while 28 percent said they ‘somewhat’ supported it.

    Fifteen percent said they ‘somewhat’ opposed the measure, while another 15 percent said they ‘strongly’ opposed it.

    The results mirrored a Reuters-Ipsos poll released in August, which also found that 70 percent of Americans supported ‘Medicare for all.'”

    ———–

    Forgot to mention Creepy and Corrupt Unlce Joe stands no chance, IMO.

  166. 416

    RE: softwarengineer @ 414
    BTW, the Track Record of Financial Advisors the Last Decade is a COMPLETE Joke

    If they were so savvy, they would have recommended 100% in stocks for optimum returns [even better than RE]. Period. The raw data is clear on this. None of them recommended 100% in stocks, so they were all wrong. They should quit their jobs and become Vegas gamblers….LOL

  167. 417

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 415
    I Read Those Decrepit Poll Questions Too

    I stated “if there was no tax or debt increase to the question”. It changes the poll results drastically, as we would assume. Just because it chases Trump around with baseball bat doesn’t make it palatable, unless you have no statistical poll interpretation skill, like math regression analysis.

  168. 418
    David B. says:

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 415 – The wrinkle is, a big chunk of affluent middle-class professionals lose interest in Medicare for All once it is explained to them that their private Cadillac-level insurance policies they get via their employers will go away. Consider it the analogue of the Trump voters who hated “Obamacare” and wanted to see it repealed but liked the “Affordable Care Act”.

  169. 419

    Speaking of Convoluted Theories With No Raw Data Backup

    Have you Bubbleheads watched the Barr Hearings today? IMO, let’s fire 99% of the attorneys; they speak an English language that no one can understand, like obstruction against false allegations of collusion/spying on an American citizen. That’s comparable to that NY AG targeted Trump Fascist German Bank KGB bank grabbing up his bank statements, totally unconstitutional. But we’ve gotten so used to normal policy corruption against the Trump Populists, even this OBP illegal activity is supported by the Open Border Party (OBP). Its not so funny if the OBP gets their personal bank records stolen like that. LOL

    P.S. IMO, Mueller is running scared he’s not implicated in the “fake” DNC Russian FISA Dossier later on….today’s Barr hearing was caused by Trump. Trump’s draining the swamp of Washington DC mealy mouthed attorneys…LOL

  170. 420

    RE: David B. @ 418
    Yes David B

    I’d add too, does Medicare for All mean I [you too] get our money back for paying into Medicare all our lives? That doesn’t matter, its too fair….LOL

  171. 421
    Justme says:

    RE: squirrel @ 402

    Nice try, but flowery illogic does not work. “Via the reverse scenario….” is not a logical argument. It sounds a lot like a certain character that depicts himself in a flowery mumu dress on this blog.

  172. 422
    N says:

    Interesting to note the Zumper rental report shows apartment rents down 5% month over month in May. Shouldn’t we be entering peak rental rates?

    https://www.zumper.com/blog/2019/04/zumper-national-rent-report-may-2019/

  173. 423
    Eastsider says:

    RE: N @ 422 – In Bellevue, move-in incentives are increasing in newly built apartments.

  174. 424
    whatsmyname says:

    By Justme @ 421:

    RE: squirrel @ 402

    Nice try, but flowery illogic does not work. “Via the reverse scenario….” is not a logical argument. It sounds a lot like a certain character that depicts himself in a flowery mumu dress on this blog.

    Sorry, Justme. The poster, “squirrel”, is not me. I would never have let you off so easy. Btw, I read his “Via the reverse scenario” to mean pretty much the same as “the flip side of the coin”, used by you in post 399. If those are logic disqualifications; I guess you’ve called out yourself.

    Other examples of your poor powers of perception might be that “flowery” and “mumu” are not accurate descriptors of the avatar you have seen many dozens of times. Which of your recollections should we trust? Or should you trust?

    But getting back to logical skills, please demonstrate the reasoning behind your often repeated claim that Deerhawke’s homes are doubling the price of housing around here.

  175. 425
    Sfrz says:

    Inspector Story: Eastside Chinese family buying several mil $ home. Later, he was called to inspect a 2nd residence (double $$ of last home) for the family. He jokingly said are you trying to buy the. neighborhood? Answer: (straight face) yes.

  176. 426
    Erik says:

    RE: JWoods @ 411
    Yes, I recommend more subsidized housing in north Everett. That seems to be where our government places the north sound people that need government assistance to live.

  177. 427
    S-Crow says:

    Agent email today: how come we haven’t had any updates from you!

    Escrow: Our mutual clients signed LAST FRIDAY. You were included in the collaboration with your very own clients for the scheduled appt. Do you not check your email? Have you not checked-in over the last week with your very own clients?

    Agent: ……crickets….. (no response, naturally)

    Escrow: anything else?

  178. 428
  179. 429
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: JWoods @ 401 – With Amazon’s propensity to change their mind, it’s quite possible an expansion into Bellevue in future years never takes place in a meaningful way. Just ask the people who rushed out and purchased properties in Long Island City how that panned out for them.

  180. 430
    JWoods says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 429
    Yeah that’s possible, but not likely IMO.
    Like all investments, it’s a probability bet.

  181. 431
    OA says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 429

    To me, it’s two different situations. Bellevue’s city council is pretty business-friendly from what I’ve heard and read. Plus Amazon already has a big presence there.

    What happened in Long Island was more political.

  182. 432
    ess says:

    By OA @ 431:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 429

    To me, it’s two different situations. Bellevue’s city council is pretty business-friendly from what I’ve heard and read. Plus Amazon already has a big presence there.

    What happened in Long Island was more political.

    Totally different situation. In Long Island City – it was all in the planning stage. In Bellevue – it is all action, including the leasing of space, and the purchase of a 200 million dollar development site. Not to mention there is an ongoing Amazon presence in Bellevue. Quietly, without much fanfare, Bellevue is going to become a major Amazon center. And it all is going to tie into and be timed with the development of light rail that will connect Seattle and Bellevue. Housing prices and rents for owners and investors should benefit as a result of current Amazon developmental activities.

  183. 433

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 393
    Yes Market Psychologist

    Your common sense applies to private, boats, useless time shares, private planes, RVs, etc….its better to rent hotels, boats, RVs and planes than buy them…the cost of marina storage (i.e.) and maintenance is an arm and a leg, etc..

  184. 434

    RE: ess @ 432
    I’m Not Sure if Making Business Discretely Makes it More Successful

    But AMZ warehouse pay ($13/hr) is way too low for Bellevue housing and numbers of higher paid tech employer numbers (still can’t afford Bellevue housing? Salary raw data missing too) at AMZ (raw data not there BTW for high paid tech workers’ numbers) vs. low paying warehouse jobs get mixed together in news.

    https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/amazon-is-no-longer-a-seattle-company-heres-what-that-means-for-future-workers-and-hq2/507-583592441

    “…What’s different about Amazon’s push is that it’s hiring high-level jobs in satellite offices, while those typically have tended to stay concentrated at headquarters.

    The largest tech hub outside Seattle is the San Francisco Bay area, where 6,000 corporate staffers work. That includes offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto (home to Stanford University), Cupertino (home to Apple) and Sunnyvale.

    Next on the list is the Washington, D.C., area, which has 2,500 Amazon corporate staff. And then New York City, which has 1,800 and which Amazon says will ratchet up to 3,800 within five years.

    The Boston hub was launched in 2012 when a single employee, Michael Touloumtzis, was sent out to “plant the flag,” in his words….”

    Sounds like the high paid tech worker assumption to Bellevue lacks raw data, so its anyones’ guess at this point. I wouldn’t make RE planning decisions based on this convoluted milestone unknowns…it lacks system engineering accuracy.

  185. 435
    Justsomedude12 says:

    Amazon has already said their planned 25,000 HQ2 Long Island City positions will not be going to Bellevue, but rather spread around the rest of the country. I linked the article in one of the previous threads.

    So with 25K going to WA DC and 25K going elsewhere around the country, that’s 50K potential new positions that are already spoken for. Not sure there’s going to be much left over for Bellevue.

    Leases may have been signed for in Bellevue and all that, but those can always be broken or sub-leased like Rainier Square. It has been mentioned that Amazon may be diversifying into real estate, so that could be part of the plan.

  186. 436
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 435

    Amazon’s MO is action first and announcement later, not the other way around. I think Bellevue is quietly becoming an HQ2. After there are already 20,000-25,000 people in Bellevue, they will come out with the announcement.

    What you see from the pattern of leases and purchases there is a campus clustered around light rail.

  187. 437
    ess says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 434

    The jobs in Bellevue are going to be the high paid technical positions, not the lower paid fulfillment ones.
    The future is never guaranteed, but when a company plops down 200 million for a building site, chances are better than 50/50 that something good is going to happen.

  188. 438

    SWE’s MOM Investor Report for April 2019

    Apr 0.21% 0.02% 4.05% 3.69% 2.92%
    YTD 0.88% 2.97% 18.25% 20.27% 13.31%
    Last 12 mo 2.90% 5.42% 13.48% 8.71% (2.78%)

    Longterm CDs, Longterm Bonds, American Stocks, Foreign Stocks, Foreign Stocks

    The YOY stock market growth has almost tripled recently, its on fire Bubbleheads….the long-term CDs have slowed their pace a bit, lowering the 30 year home mortgage rates a small amount….bonds reflect lower interest rates too, they’re way up now. Time to shift retirement investments all to stocks again, IMO, yes. Trump’s move to lower interest rates for home mortgages is working. This can’t hurt Seattle RE at all, its good news for buyers and sellers…albeit waiting on RE investment and staying with American Stocks instead is the best advice right now. Raw data doesn’t lie.

  189. 439
    ess says:

    By Deerhawke @ 436:

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 435

    Amazon’s pattern is action first and announcement later, not the other way around. I think they are quietly becoming an HQ2. After there are already 20,000 people in Bellevue, they will come out with the the announcement. What you see from the pattern of leases and purchases there is a campus clustered around light rail.

    I believe Amazon is up to approximately three million square feet in Bellevue, either through leased space or the potential for development on their latest purchase. That is room enough for approximately one quarter or so of the size of the current Seattle Amazon workforce. And who knows if they are even done yet acquiring more property?

    Amazon doesn’t sign long term lease agreements just for fun to give their real estate development department and lawyers practice in acquiring space. When they do those things – it is with plans to develop the area. Not to say that the economic situation may change, and they may scale back their plans. But the lease they signed in Seattle with the subsequent decision to sublease that property was a clear message to Seattle City Council – you mess with us too much, and suffer the consequences. Politics is not only the only hardball game in town, so is business. Besides – there is discussion that Amazon will sublease that property for more than they paid – so it looks as if it will be a pretty good business decision coupled with that very loud message that hopefully was received and digested.

  190. 440

    RE: ess @ 437
    You Know the Definition of Assume ess

    It makes an As_ of you and me….LOL

    Don’t count your chickens before the raw data proves it….I have a job for you, I came up empty handed looking for it. Give me the raw data on numbers of high tech employees in AMZ Seattle [or possibly Bellevue, Boston, Wash DC, SF???] in writing. You know SWE, I don’t believe allegations without raw data to back them up….good luck….its all in turmoil now at AMZ (IMO) and lacks a company numbers milestone planning system engineering approach. Transparency, IOWs.

    Why do you think they’re looking for HQ2 in the first place…its all changing at the speed of light…otherwise I assume avg pay $13/hr at AMZ in general and an anomalous count of high tech at Bellevue or any other HQ2 location for that matter…after all, its a warehouse company and doesn’t need design engineering like real manufacturing companies. I’m sure it hires almost no Mechanical Engineers, etc…

  191. 441

    RE: ess @ 439
    3M SF?

    That doesn’t sound like tech workers galore….it sounds like a giant warehouse worker area…again, no raw data, so its anyone’s guess…

  192. 442

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 435
    Yes, Your Take Makes More Common Sense For Now

    When HQ2 turmoil settles down, we’ll know more…

  193. 443
    randomseattledummie says:

    @ Justme

    More bad news!!!! Unemployment down to 3.6%. Definitely a sign of impending doom.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/03/economy/april-jobs-report/index.html

  194. 444

    RE: softwarengineer @ 438
    YOY Trending is the Only Way to Go

    My example regression analysis on Trump YOY approval rating was rising slowly up a week ago, its gone from 48% to 50% today. I’m sure the Mueller Witch Hunt conclusion drove this increase. Again, watch the news carefully for “key system engineering milestones” and raw data direction….this applies to RE planning too. The excellent stock market YOY raw data numbers were a Trump approval boost too:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/political_updates/prez_track_may03

  195. 445
    Justme says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 443

    Don’t be a dummie. It’s not “low unemployment” that caused the housing bubble 1 and 2. You should know that already. But “low unemployment” may necessitate that Fed tightens more to avoid wage inflation. The Fed hates wage inflation.

  196. 446

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 443
    CNN and NBC are Both Going Down the “Ratings” Toilet

    https://rightwingtribune.com/2019/05/02/cnn-viewership/

    Its a right wing news source, so what….I use left wing news sources too…apparently CNN/NBC have lost their credibility falsely alleging Trump was a Russian spy…even the NYTs and the WSJ agree with SWE on this “never-ending” Fake Witch Hunt News from CNN/NBC.

    I see the Covington Catholic School 15 YO child ‘brutally” attacked by the media for wearing a MAGA hat has launched the $275M defamation lawsuit against NBC, legal papers were served yesterday. That’s gotta be a proverbial knife in the Fake News back…LOL…legal opinion is varied, but many powerful attorneys note its a good case against NBC.

  197. 447

    The Per Capita Income is Not the Average Skewed Income With Billionaires Like Gates Averaged In

    Meaning the $28/hr average income in 2019 is $19/hr per capita. This agrees with other SWE raw data sources at about $20/hr in Seattle [or Kansas City, SF, NYC, etc,etc]…

    “…The 2017 nominal median income per capita was $31,786. Because there are quite a few extremely wealthy individuals in America, the mean is much higher. In 2017, the mean income per capita was $48,150. The Census Bureau reports it in the Current Population Survey, Table PINC-01….”

    https://www.thebalance.com/income-per-capita-calculation-and-u-s-statistics-3305852

    I’ve been documenting this for years and all the MSM [even FOX] has deaf ears to the real per capita pay raw data….LOL…BTW, the avg number of “per capita pay” workers per Seattle household is 1.2, about $48K per Seattle area household IOWs. Not near the $250K/Yr to be Middle Class in Seattle…

  198. 448
  199. 449
    ess says:

    By softwarengineer @ 441:

    RE: ess @ 439
    3M SF?

    That doesn’t sound like tech workers galore….it sounds like a giant warehouse worker area…again, no raw data, so its anyone’s guess…

    The development and leased office space that is currently at 3 million square feet is in downtown Bellevue. I would suggest that there is an excellent chance that Amazon is going to develop class A office space – not warehouses in that area. One assumes that any expansion of fulfillment centers in this area will take place in less expensive industrial areas with better access for trucks around the Puget Sound, not downtown Bellevue.

  200. 450
    Sfrz says:

    RE: randomseattledummie @ 443 – before you start patting yourself on the back for siting CNN, you might want to review the Smith-Mundt Act. All corporate sponsored “news” is BS. https://artvoice.com/2018/07/11/is-the-government-conducting-psychological-operations-on-united-states-citizens/

  201. 451

    RE: ess @ 448
    Possibly

    They may have another buyer under their sleeves to flip it for a profit too….and who says warehouse workers can’t work at nice Bellevue Office Buildings with conveyors and freight elevators delivering to the trucks below? The actual AMZ Warehouse Office locations mix tech and warehouse together from the pictures I’ve seen:

    https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=pictures+of+amz+warehouse+offices&fr=yset_ff_syc_hp&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

    We need Seattle AMZ tech worker body counts [and avg salaries] in writing. Sometimes, like nurses and teachers the pay is still horrifying and $20 something per hour, ask a Mechanical Engineer like Erik or myself that’s seen or even experienced the degreed engineer pay at $17/hr recently….I saw it “in writing” recently on a Bellevue company packaging cost proposal for electronic devices. The Seattle 787 engineer at Boeing I dated a decade ago had 10 years experience told me she made $70K/Yr, etc, etc….at least she still got the pension before Boeing butcher axed that 5-6 years ago…

  202. 452

    Our Governor Ellis Is Running for President in 2020

    His new proposed agenda includes elimination of all gas cars by 2030 and forced building codes [i.e., expensive solar cells on our homes roofs, etc, etc], albeit there is no raw data on Seattle solar cells working at all in our cloudy city. Also electric cars need coal, nuclear sources in general anyway.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/electric-cars-and-the-coal-that-runs-them/2015/11/23/74869240-734b-11e5-ba14-318f8e87a2fc_story.html?utm_term=.59a1341c9504

    Solar Cells on roofs Under Perform in Cloudy Cities Like Denmark and Seattle:

    https://phys.org/news/2017-08-solar-cells-underperform-cloudy-countries.html

    Denmark uses mass coal now anyway for electric car charging , kind of like Germany buys all its natural gas from Russia and belongs to NATO anyway….LOL

    They say the carbon footprint is worse for electric cars than gas cars, if you assume they have to charge ’em with coal or nuclear. Oil is cleaner but far more expensive. There is no “cost effective” proven way solar cells work in cloudy days, so the charging stations would be “intermittent”. These bugs are horrifying with no solution and we’re making it mandatory before we find out its just another Obamacare lie? LOL…we need to reduce OVERPOPULATION instead.

  203. 453

    In Your RE Budget Planning

    You may want to stop buying all new gasoline cars if we go mandatory electric car like California. Wash St Governor Ellis is proposing a $CASH$ for gasoline clunkers [whatever that means in writing], hey your 2025 $50K Camry will have to be junked by 2030, LOL, Ellis will give ya like $500 for it???

    I like Deerhawke’s comment, “everything we do just makes it worse”….LOL

  204. 454

    We Pay the King County Colleges and Public Schools Over Half Our Property Tax Bill

    55% of the take folks….that’s not chump change…the 1st half [my bill was about 3 times my Kansas City Investment Home] was due last April 30th. The schools are sucking us dry folks. You folks in $700K homes should be seeing rent size monthly property tax bills [about $600-700/mo], and there is no senior “retiree” discount if ya make more than $20/hr retired. Put some $CASH$ away for your intermittent $40K roof solar system and make sure ya recycle….we get richer this way they allege.

    Blind fold yourself when ya vote, and don’t research the Obamacare book before ya vote it in….I love the “flat-Earthers” taking over science and math, they improved our public schools too…not.

  205. 455
    Justme says:

    Weekend update, King County active inventory, graphical edition.

    Many potential homebuyers in King County went on strike in April 2018, and one year later, the strike is still going strong, with Case-Shiller index dropping for 8 months in a row in the expensive areas, while lower-priced subregions are having a small spring price bump, due to foolish or uninformed that are still overbidding on product in the lower-priced subregions.

    The graphs compare 2017-2019 inventory on an hourly basis. 2017 was the year inventory was at a multi-year low for most of the year, a fact that was much ballyhooed by the sell-side and inflation-mongers of the property market. But the shoe is now on the other foot. Combine the increase in inventory with a much more realistic criterion that 1month worth of active inventory is all that is needed for a “balanced market”, the property market has shifted radically since March 2018 and continues to do so in 2019. Click the link and scroll to see the graphs. Click on each graph for an enlarged view. ESC and scroll to navigate.

    https://imgur.com/a/eOC5apS

    2019-05-04 King County SFH active for-sale inventory 2017-2019
    2019-05-04 King County Condo active for-sale inventory 2017-2019
    2019-05-04 King County SFH active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017
    2019-05-04 King County Condo active for-sale inventory ratio YYYY/2017

    Commentary: It’s time again to put the inventory levels in a bit of historical context. For the first week of May,
    2012 was the last year the KC SFH inventory exceeded the current count. That’s right, this week in 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018 were all lower than this week in 2019. Why is this happening? Well, it is because lots of product is coming on the market, but even at the peak of buying season, product purchases are lest than 50% of what is being offered.

    Product sales continue to lag new listings, and many sellers are being left behind. Price reductions are commonplace, with an increasing 282 price reductions for KC SFH product the last 7 days. Many >4wk old listings are languishing on the market. There is little doubt that the bubble-bust is in full swing. There are lots of sellers, but not enough willing buyers at the prices being offered. Many buyers are on strike, refusing to buy at currently offered prices. Sellers have gone from “I think I’ll wait another year” to “Better get my house on the market before it is too late”. Still, many sellers are over-pricing the market by a significant amount, and their product is languishing.

    Absorption of product continues to be well below 50%, with SFH absorption to pending at 47% for the last 4 weeks. Clearly, many buyers are unwilling to participate at the current price levels. That pesky buyer strike, again. Buyers that find themselves competing with another buyer will do well in just withdrawing from bidding. Better yet, don;t do any bidding at all, and join the strike. The sellers had their seller strike in 2013-2018, and uninformed buyers engaged in panic-buying. No more. It is time to show the sellers who really sets the price.

  206. 456

    More OVERPOPULATION Car and Other Cost Problems in Seattle Besides Gridlock

    How much is your car insurance going up with an excellent driving record in Seattle? 15% a year? My tabs went down from $330/yr to $280/yr [big deal, LOL]….Xfinity grabbed their 15%/yr increase, now, $4/gal gas, etc, etc….yes Erik, it is a rat race…boy am I glad I’m not on the freeway parking lots getting 0 MPG , and worried sick with the heat or air conditioner on that electric car battery will suck dry…LOL

    Food is totally controlled by diesel oil price and have you noticed? Prices can stay the same, but the containers have like half as much in ’em, etc, etc….

    Better re-roof now, before oil driven house materials go up through the roof, literally ;-)

  207. 457
    Realistic says:

    May I ask you guys for advice? A listing agent lists a property for sale and the neighbor informs him of a $5k issue that involves the property boundary, but both the agent and the seller fail to disclose it. After the sale closes the listing agent then shares the buyer’s cell phone # (without buyer’s knowledge or permission) with that neighbor who then calls the buyer out of the blue and harasses him. So, we have two problems here – failure to disclose a defect and sharing buyer’s contact.

    What’s the best course of action about both of the above if the buyer has no contact with the seller and the listing agent is dodging communication? Should the buyer file a formal complaint with the listing agent’s broker and with the attorney general?

  208. 458
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Realistic @ 456 -If the transaction closed and it were me and I have knowledge that the adjacent owner discussed the problem with the listing agent and it could not be resolved easily, then I’d go after the listing brokerage with an Attorney. Hard.

    The phone thing is peanuts.

  209. 459
    sfrz says:

    Mold in the attic and crawl space of an Eastside new build. Why?

  210. 460
  211. 461
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Realistic @ 456

    I am not an attorney but I have a lot of legal background in this general area. This is where having Kary’s advice would really come in handy. (What ever happened to him anyway? Did he retire? )

    It really matters what the details are here. You may want to be more specific with us about what the property issue is.

    But if the listing agent had knowledge of a property complaint before listing the property, then it probably should have been disclosed on the Form 17. There is at least one specific line in the form where boundary issues are addressed.

    Not disclosing this to you might give you a cause of action against the seller, the agent and/or the agent’s brokerage. Giving out your cell phone number is really unprofessional, but not really actionable.

    You should make sure you carry out all your communications with this neighbor via email or in another written format. What is said on the phone does not really provide an evidentiary trail.

    I would warn you about consulting an attorney unless you really find you need one. At $400 per hour, it mounts up quickly. I called my attorney about a property matter to ask a simple question. The conversation lasted 20 minutes and I had the answer I needed and at the end of the call said so. I was expecting a bill for $200, since these guys always round up. Instead, I got a windbag email (not requested) later that day to “document” what was said, then got billed later in the month for $900. This included the 30 minutes on the phone, an hour of research to confirm what he had said, the time to draft the email, etc. etc.

    Once you include paralegal time, research, drafting, $5000 is not even a day’s billings for most attorneys. You might just want to settle with your neighbor for less. And half the time this is what the attorney will recommend anyway.

    I had a property dispute several years back where a neighbor demanded $10,000 to settle a property dispute regarding a wall. He threatened suit. After looking into the case law, etc. we negotiated him down to a settlement of $5000. But my lawyer’s bill was $6,000. And the neighbor got a bill from his attorney for $4500.

  212. 462
    Matt P says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 460 – If the settlement is small enough, then he can go after the sellers for that amount in small claims court.

  213. 463
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 460
    I really like De Vrieze in west Seattle. She’s fair and very knowledgeable. She’s my favorite real estate attorney I’ve spoken to. I just saw her once for a consultation and she really helped me out. I would go in to see her in person if I were you, and not try to consult on the phone.

    I don’t have ties to her, I just thought she was good. I’ll go back to her if I need anymore help.

  214. 464

    RE: S-Crow @ 457
    I Was Going to Suggest Its a Void RE Contract if It Wasn’t Disclosed in Writing

    My Rich’s Stove lacked State Inspection and Caught After Sale….my contract was null and void at that point until the inspection was done.

    Yes, where the Hades is Kary when we need him?

  215. 465

    RE: Deerhawke @ 460
    Yes Deerhawke

    When ya fight City Hall its never a financial win, my friend spent $10Ks in legal fees on a bogus L&I company lawsuit and still lost money winning…I’ve learned as I get older to avoid courts. Period. Just bite your lip and pay the fines…ya live longer too from stress avoidance….LOL

    I was my own attorney decades ago and won too. Even my attorney told me “being your own attorney” means doing things they can’t do because is ruffles the judges’ feathers…sometimes the difference between winning and losing.

  216. 466

    RE: sfrz @ 458
    Assuming the Building Contractor Is Still Around

    They disappear after sales BTW and the warranty is a joke then…that happenned to my brother in law after the pipes burst inside the sheet rock walls…get out your $CASH$?

  217. 467

    RE: Eastsider @ 459
    Or the Home Insurance

    The trouble with insurance claims…if something else happens, they cancel your insurance.

  218. 468

    RE: sfrz @ 458
    The Home Could Have Been Framed in the Rain

    The glue board [and the decrepit 2×6 board] they use today turns into mush or warps quickly when it gets saturated, especially lumber soaking at the base in water. Its a roll of the dice if you get a framed house assembled in water/rain….warppage “gaps” happens too, ask neighbors if they got new house mildew too..do you have a rodent problem too?

  219. 469
    Erik says:

    How come justme and sfrz keep saying Seattle real estate prices are tanking, when in reality, prices are going up? It’s weird.

    Those commenters have lost all credibility with me.

  220. 470

    RE: softwarengineer @ 450
    Better Pay Needed for Our RE Market

    …” ‘For too many years, the FAA has not been provided budgets sufficient to ensure appropriate oversight of a rapidly growing global aviation industry.’

    For too many years, the FAA has not been provided budgets sufficient to ensure appropriate oversight of a rapidly growing global aviation industry. Staffing has not been adequate for FAA employees to oversee much of the critically important work of validating and approving aircraft certification. Instead, much of the work has been outsourced by designating aircraft manufacturer employees to do the work on behalf of the FAA. This, of course, has created inherent conflicts of interest, when employees working for the company whose products must be certified to meet safety standards are the ones doing much of the work of certifying them. There simply are not nearly enough FAA employees to do this important work in-house….”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/capt-sully-sullenberger-where-boeing-and-the-faa-went-wrong-in-this-ugly-saga-2019-03-19

    Much of this was a result of Boeing relying too much on the Deming Method Toyota “just in time” inventory planning and in Boeing’s case, way too much outsourcing [causing huge schedule slides]….simultaneously the FAA has lost its experienced/skilled workforce [what fed government agency hasn’t?] due to EEO’s demise to allow more diversity and butcher ax skills/experience. Now the 787 and 737 MAX 8 junk we make now…

    Will real manufacturing [cutting metal] happen again in Seattle? We’ve got a mountain of people to train first, like American manufacturing engineers and plant engineers first…this can take 5-10 years, BTW. This “low wage” service economy Seattle is in is the problem.

  221. 471
    Deerhawke says:

    Jon Talton’s column in today’s Seattle Times is Exhibit #1 in the long term bull’s case for Seattle real estate. Really strong piece that puts a lot of things together in one place.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/the-seattle-area-economy-defies-an-easy-peg-and-thats-a-huge-strength/

    For those say it is all about tech, that misses the point. Seattle is not just a tech economy, it is a diverse economy whose strengths build upon one another.

    (Spoiler Alert: This article is going to give Justme fits.)

  222. 472
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Erik @ 462

    Erik, good point. For legal advice, go to a small practitioner in an unpretentious office. You get a lot more time for your money. The guys in the Columbia Tower have to pay a lot of rent for those “prestigious” addresses with view conference rooms and burl conference tables.

  223. 473

    RE: softwarengineer @ 450
    That Relationship Didn’t Make Me Marry the $70K/YR Women 787 Engineer Either

    I wonder if she’s laid off now? She was buying a $450K home [her ex gave her the hanging noose debt] in Tukwila at the time, and desperately looking for a mortgage buddy. My house was paid off and no way was I gonna go in to debt with her….she had no wealth….

    Ya see why SWE is still single…LOL

  224. 474

    RE: Deerhawke @ 472
    Yes…Another Option: Just Call an Attorney

    I’ve gotten free legal advice over the phone if the question was simple and straight forward.

  225. 475

    RE: Deerhawke @ 472
    LOL Deerhawke

    When I won a legal child divorce custody battle in the 90s my opposition was those expensive attorneys [and two paralegals too] in their Taj Mahals’ skyscraper offices in Seattle….the attorney “team” there I defeated in court was amazed I did so well and complimented me too. We became friends too. They wanted my paperwork for historical boiler plates later.

  226. 476

    RE: Deerhawke @ 471
    Old Money Drying Up Now?

    Assuming old money isn’t drying up you have a good case, but assuming it is drying up that flips the outcome too…with this low wage “pension-less” service economy Seattle’s in.

    With Boeing pensions for new employees reduced/eliminated, the old money will suck dry faster now as pensions get smaller with time? You know my opinion, but it all lacks raw data to date and is anyone’s guess. The Boeing retirees I know from Toastmasters all have P/T jobs after they retire BTW. I’m an odd duck in comparison.

  227. 477
    sfrz says:

    RE: Erik @ 469 – I am saying to look at the MACRO level. This is a WORLD wide Central Bank QE massive bubble. The pressure cooker valve is assets (ie housing speculation, stock speculation and buy backs). These times, we all need to remind ourselves of the 1929 crash. Yale economist Irving Fisher jubilantly announced, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” His proclamation was just prior to the October crash. He went broke in November.
    This is a forum in which we all can learn from. Take want you want and need. Leave the rest on the table.

  228. 478
    sfrz says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 468 – That’s exactly what I was thinking. They framed it during the wettest period of the year.

  229. 479
    IssaquahResident says:

    People who think that home prices are growing in the short term should check again Zillow market trends for Seattle. We may be having a bump in the lower end of the market this Spring, just like there was a bump in Spring 2009-12. Looking at the listings on the Eastside, most of them seem to be investors dumping what they bought 2-10 years ago. Some of them could be the same people who are preaching strong economy in this place.

  230. 480
    Justme says:

    @seattletimes Whoa, lots of people prejudging Mike Rosenberg @ByRosenberg based on some rather incomplete information and accusations by another twitter user. Do not make a judgment until the COMPLETE story is known.

    I would caution anyone who is tempted to rush to judgement that much of the information published so far is an incomplete selection of private messages and that much of the context appears to be missing.

    I support due process for everyone in criminal matters as well as employment matters. Yes, that includes even bubble-mongers. Wait for all the details to be known.

  231. 481
    sfrz says:

    RE: Justme @ 480 – Wow. That is brutal. He is layin’ low like broccoli.

  232. 482
    Eastsider says:

    By Deerhawke @ 471:

    Jon Talton’s column in today’s Seattle Times is Exhibit #1 in the long term bull’s case for Seattle real estate. Really strong piece that puts a lot of things together in one place.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/the-seattle-area-economy-defies-an-easy-peg-and-thats-a-huge-strength/

    Respectfully disagree.

    According to the article – “median household income in King County was $83,571 in 2017, far above the national average of $57,652.” So household income is 45% above national average.

    Now according to Zillow, the median home value in the United States is $226,700. In Seattle, it is $726,500. That is a whopping 320% above national home prices.

    How does 45% additional income support 320% more homes? Is there a limit to how high prices will/can go?

    Btw, Seattle home prices has dropped 3.1% YoY and is predicted to decline another 1.6% next year according to Zillow.

    (Spoiler Alert: Zillow rates Seattle’s market temperature as COLD .)

    https://www.zillow.com/seattle-wa/home-values/

  233. 483
    Justme says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 482

    Jeez, man. Don’t be logical. Bubble-mongers hate logic. It gives them fits.

  234. 484
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Justme @ 483 – No disrespect meant to Deerhawke, but he is biased towards being bullish on home prices.

  235. 485
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Justme @ 483 – Unfortunately, logic does not always prevail. Vancouver is Exhibit A. Vancouver’s median household income is around USD 54,000, which is below U.S. national average of $57,652. Yet their home prices is the third highest in N America, after Silicon Valley and San Francisco. They don’t have Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing. But they do have a lot of Chinese money. So perhaps RE prices have less to do with FANG and more to do with global wealth looking for a home to ‘park’.

  236. 486
    hp says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 482
    Ouch. Wait till more people see that.

  237. 487
    Erik says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 484
    Right. I believe Deerhawk said that him and his wife moved over to Seattle from NYC many years ago because they thought Seattle had a good economic future. So far he was right, and he’s done well for himself. So now you think deerhawk may have only been right for the first part of his prediction?

    Chances are that Seattle will continue to thrive. Seattle has their hands in so many sectors with a promising future, the chances are that Seattle will continue to thrive. Statistically speaking, it just makes sense.

  238. 488
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 485
    RE: justsomedude12 @ 484

    I am a long term bull, but maybe that requires some explanation.

    I do not think that we will see a return to double digit increases in Seattle real estate prices any time soon.
    It is possible, but that would really surprise me.

    I also do not see large long term declines in real estate prices here any time soon. A short correction is always possible– in fact we just had one.

    I foresee that Seattle’s real estate market will continue to outpace the national market. I think Seattle’s real estate market will continue to lag in prices behind some of the current market leaders like NYC, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, etc.

    Count on 4-5% annual increase in prices over time. Given the rather high base we are starting from, that makes for a very substantial annual change in prices. Count on the commutable areas near employment centers to account for the bulk of the price growth.

    All of the points made in Talton’s column are why.
    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/the-seattle-area-economy-defies-an-easy-peg-and-thats-a-huge-strength/

    If all you have is the affordability argument about why things here are inevitably going to crash, I am sorry I have heard it for 30 years. I understand the argument. I just don’t buy it.

    I heard that argument when I lived in New York City in the 1980’s. I have heard that same argument here in Seattle since the early 1990’s. I particularly heard it from people preaching the imminent fall of real estate in Seattle from 2012 to now.

    In cities that are undergoing fundamental transformation into global cities, technology centers, financial centers, broad-based commerce centers– it is entirely possible that housing simply becomes less affordable.

    One of the great contradictions of our era that the internet is supposed to make learning and work occur remotely. You are supposed to be able to go to college while fishing on the beach. You should be able to trade a massive stock portfolio at the base of a ski slope.

    But instead of having work and innovation dispersed so that it can reinvigorate every small town in America, we are getting technology and innovation clusters in certain places. Why? Because that is where the real cross-hybridization of ideas and technology takes place. Real estate in those places has become far more valuable over time than real estate in other cities.

    Seattle is clearly the home to a broad variety of inter-linked commercial, technology and innovation clusters. Those clusters are going to grow and add support systems.

    And the pace of growth will only increase. If you think the pace of growth during the past decade was fast, the pace during the next decade will be even faster.

  239. 489
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 488
    I agree that Seattle currently has a good economy and will probably continue for some time. However, I don’t agree that the sky’s the limit for home prices.

    Historically, US home prices increase at roughly the same rate as inflation*. If current inflation projection is 2%, home prices will not grow at 4-5%. No one is forecasting wage growth of 4-5% either.

    During the Internet Bubble, investors bid prices to unsustainable level. They were right about Internet but wrong about valuations. So you can be right about the economy but wrong about stock (home) prices. As we witnessed last year, all it took for prices to crater was an increase in interest rates. And if the economy is doing great, shouldn’t interest rates rise and (home) prices plunge?

  240. 490
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Erik @ 487 – Hmm… over the last 2-3 decades, many people came to Seattle. I am sure many among them now believe prices are unstainable. What is your point?

  241. 491
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 488 – Your current comment would apply in 2006/2007 just before the housing crash too. Just saying…

  242. 492
    justsomedude12 says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 488 – I believe the reason home prices have been able to appreciate the way they have over the past few decades is the move from one income households to two income households. This provided a huge (roughly double) increase in buying power and can’t be ignored. Over the last few decades this transition has bid up prices. This is pretty much over now that two incomes are commonplace and baked into current home prices. We won’t go to three income households, so no further push.

    The main X factor now is interest rates. Will they stay the same, or go up? We saw that even a modest increase to 5.5% on a 30 yr fixed caused a decline in greater Seattle area home prices. That should tell you something about the link between prices and affordability.

  243. 493

    RE: IssaquahResident @ 479
    The Housing Tier System is there to Allow Folks to Buy Up and Sell

    If the lower tier sales disappear it will affect the upper tiers too…in our case the lower tiers seem to be the only ones left folks can loan qualify for and the upper tiers aren’t getting buyers from lower tier sales….that’s “game over” in my book.

    The market has hit a dead end and the limit is the low tier.

  244. 494

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 492
    The Average Seattle Home Owner

    Has 1.2 incomes, not 2….I think its divorces doing it. The available single women today who make professional pay get chronic divorces and if there’s generally little or no principle loan equity paid off by the divorce, the couple has to split the debt and lose the house. I also dated a Bellevue system engineer from Boeing with a $500K home and recently laid off….she was looking for a mortgage buddy too. Eventually a lot of the Seattle homes land up in one income names…

    I do hope your marriages last, but they generally do not.

  245. 495
    Erik says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 490
    No rebuke here. Based on the comments of justsomedude, he has not been reading deerhawk’s comments. Deerhawk believes in Seattle’s long term growth as do I. I’m providing background he missed.

  246. 496
    justsomedude12 says:

    By Deerhawke @ 488:

    RE: Eastsider @ 485
    RE: justsomedude12 @ 484

    “Count on 4-5% annual increase in prices over time.”

    “If all you have is the affordability argument about why things here are inevitably going to crash, I am sorry I have heard it for 30 years. I understand the argument. I just don’t buy it.”

    I think a crash in Seattle area real estate is unlikely. I think 4-5% annual price increases is also unlikely. I think in reality most likely we get somewhere in between.

    That is assuming interest rates stay low. If interest rates increase, more downward pressure is put on prices.

  247. 497
    Market Psychologist says:

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/loftium-pivots-real-estate-biz-now-offers-discounts-apartment-tenants-rent-rooms-airbnb/

    Real estate startup Loftium pivots to rentals, stops offering down payments for share of Airbnb profits

  248. 498
    Comment says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 482 – not to say that this would account for all of what you describe re: the ratio of income to home price. But as income goes up, percent of income spent on housing also goes up.

  249. 499
    BacktoBasics says:

    Seattle has no place to build house. Housing price constituted by three components: land, material and labor. All three components are under inflation pressure. scarce of buildable land, shortage of labor, and material cost. a 4~5% YOY (2% national inflation plus 2% local adjustment) Seattle housing cost will be a norm for the coming years.

  250. 500
    uwp says:

    NWMLS stats are out. https://www.nwmls.com/News–Information/page/Latest-Press-Release

    KC SFH Pendings up, Closed sales flat, YOY.
    Median price up ~%3 MOM.

    Months of inventory at 1.67 (about 10% lower than last month).

    Buyer’s strike, uh… continues?

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