NWMLS: Listings up, sales flat, prices fall in May

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The NWMLS published their May stats today, so let’s take a look at how the month shook out for the housing market. The King County median price of single-family homes was down year-over-year in May, the third month in a row of declines. Inventory was up from a year ago again, but the as we mentioned in the preview post earlier this week, the rate of increase is rapidly declining from the all-time high set in December. Pending and closed sales are increasing, but only modestly.

The NWMLS hasn’t published their press release yet, so let’s get straight into the numbers.


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

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

May 2019 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,511 +26.2% +54.9%
Closed Sales 2,642 +23.1% +6.8%
SAAS (?) 1.57 +5.0% -1.1%
Pending Sales 3,388 +8.3% +2.3%
Months of Supply 1.71 +2.5% +45.1%
Median Price* $700,000 +1.4% -3.6%

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

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory was up 26 percent from April to May, which is the second-largest May increase on record. May of last year saw a 37 percent month-over-month gain. This month’s inventory level is the highest we’ve seen at the end of May since 2012. Overall, the supply situation is still a good sign for buyers.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings were up 29 percent from April to May, and were up six percent from a year ago. It’s the highest number of new listings in the month of May since 2012.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales rose 23 percent between April and May, and were up 7 percent from last year. Closed sales have been in a fairly tight range between 2,300 and 2,700 in May every year since 2013, and this year is no exception.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales rose 8 percent month-over-month and were basically flat year-over-year. At the same time last year, pending sales were up 24 percent month-over-month.

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

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

We knew the huge gains late last year wouldn’t last. Although the rate of increase is falling off fast, we’re still in basically record territory. Very few times have seen year-over-year gains in inventory that were this large.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

That’s three months in a row of falling prices compared to a year ago. Definitely interesting. Perhaps prices around here have finally hit a saturation point?

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

King County SFH Prices

May 2019: $700,000
May 2018: $726,275
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

So far there’s no story posted yet on the May data from the Seattle Times. I’ll update this post when their story goes up.

Side-note: In case you missed it, last month the Seattle Times real estate reporter Mike Rosenberg was suspended from his job for inappropriate behavior. His harassment detailed in that story is very disappointing and frankly, gross. Men should treat all women with respect, all the time. It is really not that hard. It’s especially disappointing to me because I have highly respected his work at the Times for years.

Here’s Paul Roberts’ story for the Seattle Times: Seattle housing market stays cool, while Tacoma and suburbs keep up the heat

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

About The Tim

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


  1. 1
    uwp says:

    Two posts in 3 days… Loving the #content!

    It’s weird how much the sidebar is off from from the final inventory numbers this month. May is almost 400 listings higher in NWMLS compared to the sidebar, while April ended with 100 fewer on the NWMLS vs sidebar. Perhaps a lesson not to pay the sidebar too much attention?

    Anyway, we are heading into the time when listings started to grow pretty quickly last year. We may finally see how this year will play out.

  2. 2
    Marc says:

    Nothing in this month’s stats is surprising to me as I have been bearish since February/March of 2018 when I noticed inventory bottomed. I think inventory will continue its upward trajectory for the rest of the year and next year BUT, I have to concede that when it comes to price, the YOY comparisons are going to start getting tougher next month. We’re a small firm and see a tiny fraction of the market but we saw more multiple offer deals in May than any other month this year. This leads me to believe that June prices won’t take a big dive and will end up being pretty flat YOY as opposed to the declines we’ve been seeing lately.

    Looking further out the price graph, those YOY comparisons won’t get any easier because last year’s higher interest rates did a number on sales prices. This year we’re likely to see interest rates to the exact opposite (fall) and that will give support to prices and give the appearance of stability in our market despite increasing inventory (in absolute terms).

    I think the following spring in 2020 is when we may see more meaningful price declines as inventory will be much higher than it was this past spring and we will most likely be in a formal, albeit not-yet-officially-declared, recession and the headlines will be crying out about inverted yield curves and recession risks. To me that means buying in a bidding war this year is almost certainly catching a falling knife.

    What I tell my clients is to only buy now if you find a house that really, really fits your needs and you’re certain that you won’t need to move or sell for at least 3 to 5 years and preferably longer. And whatever you do, don’t get in a bidding war.

  3. 3
    dman says:

    Next few months should be very interesting. Especially if stocks don’t hold up

  4. 4
    Market Psychologist says:

    Past gains are not a guarantee of future returns, indeed.

  5. 5
    Eastsider says:

    Monthly new listings is near decades high. Pent-up sellers?

  6. 6
    Lulu says:

    10 year treasure is down to 2%. Fed is going to cut short term rate twice this year. Mortgage rate is down. We will see what will happen to Seattle housing price.

  7. 7
    Erik says:

    Mike Rosenberg is a dirty dirty man. Mike has not only hurt that poor young innocent female journalist, he has hurt me as well by his crude remarks. I once looked up to Mike, now I’m just hurt and confused.

    Anyway, great data post Tim. Housing prices are going down and it feels like we are transitioning to Hypersupply. Time to dump that real estate in the next couple years and rebuy when this thing tanks. There’s still time to sell after we artificially drop interest rates. I sold one this year and I’ll likely sell another next year. Then I’ll sit and wait for the big dump. Im not selling my favorite rentals as they can just sit and collect rent during a recession. I want to retire after the he next cycle, I just need 5 Seattle condos paid for so I can sit around and collect sweaty renter cash.

  8. 8
    David says:

    RE: Erik @ 7 – I don’t see the problem with Rosenberg’s behavior. This “victim” did not work with or for him. She was just someone he knew. Unfortunately, this”victim” had an axe to grind after being fired herself.

    Unless this was in the context of a work matter, then there is no harm to that unstable ‘victim’. She who private messages someone on Twitter after hours and late night is not one with clean hands.

    So, misery loves company as evidenced by the ‘victim’. I also see no reason for Tim to pile on.

    Private behavior is not a basis for suspending someone outside of work. Especially non-threatening blather on a Twitter account between consenting adults. If you do not like something being said, tell the person and move on.

    There really should be a law that allows Rosenberg to sue this ‘victim’ for false light damage to reputation.

  9. 9
    Erik says:

    RE: David @ 8
    Women are victims and men are predators. That’s how it works. This is how the world we live in is setup. I don’t make the rules, I just try to figure out how it works and try to make the most money I can.

  10. 10
    disasteraverted says:

    RE: Marc @ 2

    I like your analysis and style, are you a realtor or?

  11. 11
    richard says:

    RE: Marc @ 2 – my pessimistic view is, if FED is determined to pump up housing market. The extreme measure I guess will be FED intentionally suppress 30 year rate to artificially low level, say 2%(average annual inflation rate) and government hand out $50K credit to a first time buyer towards its down payment. My question is, under this extremely crazy condition, how high the house price will go?

  12. 12
    Justme says:

    @ The_Tim, have you ever considered increasing the vertical size of the plots? I find it difficult to follow the graphs and distinguish one year from another. Something like 2X the height would improve readability considerably, I think.

    >>It’s the highest number of new listings in the month of May since 2012.

    To me it looks like the highest since May 2007, but that may be the aforementioned readability :-)

  13. 13
    Erik says:

    RE: David @ 8
    Tim is totally piling on. Maybe Mike Rosenberg tried to dance with Tim’s wife at a party? Now Tim finds a story where Mike got in trouble and and he attacks. Goes for the throat.

    I actually find it pretty hilarious.

  14. 14
    David says:

    By Erik @ 13:

    RE: David @ 8
    Tim is totally piling on. Maybe Mike Rosenberg tried to dance with Tim’s wife at a party? Now Tim finds a story where Mike got in trouble and and he attacks. Goes for the throat.

    As gross as Rosenberg’s LAAATE night ramblings to this ‘victim’ might have been when filtered through a public outing, it is just talk.

    BTW, I hate Rosenberg’s politics, but in no way would I agree with what this false victim has done.

    I despise virtue-signaling cuckery.

  15. 15
    David says:

    I’ve just seen a 960sf house in Burien sell for about $400/sf at $400k. Please, please, please Fed, lower the rates!!!

  16. 16
    Erik says:

    RE: David @ 14
    Yeah, Mike Rosenberg is gross. He shouldn’t be talking like that to women.

  17. 17

    WTF happened here? I just stopped by to check out Tim’s graphs and noticed the lack of activity. And not only is there little activity, but a third of the comments here are about the Times’ reporter story over on Crosscut, an article I didn’t even really pay attention to over on that site.

    FWIW, here’s my take on the current market. There’s a lot less buyer pressure out there, depending somewhat on the local area inventory. I’ve not personally seen an area where inventory was such that the buyer pressure was as strong as say two years ago. That said, multiple offers are still very common, but the number of offers received does not tend to be as high of number as in the past (not that the goal was ever to have too high of number). And OMG, sometimes a seller has to accept or counter the only offer made! /sarc (Seriously, that does suck because having a choice of buyer/agent/lender is very nice for sellers.)

    This market is though yet another example of how stats can be deceiving. As I mentioned on our Facebook page back in March, the median deviated from reflecting value due to bidding wars in just the opposite manner that it did back when short sales and REOs were common. In the more recent example, some houses were selling far over what the sellers and listing agents believed possible, and those sales impacted the median. Unfortunately, unlike the prior short sale/REO situation, there’s no easy method for filtering those out. I would say that doesn’t really matter because if you want to determine how much a particular house has changed in value over time, you just need to look for comps for that house over time. But it does matter because what has been greatly reduced, if not eliminated, is a significant chance of selling (or buying) a house for more than what it is worth.

    Where we’re at currently is very similar to what I was describing three years ago down in Thurston county. A market that is not bad for sellers, but also not as horrible for buyers as what we had then. Buyers actually have time to consider properties and don’t need to take time off work to go see that one property they think looks really special.

    As to where we’re headed–still no crystal ball over at the Krismer household. I will say though I the unwinding from the extreme bidding war situations has gone much smoother than what I thought it would, particularly if you consider the simultaneous impact that higher real estate taxes have had in some areas.

  18. 18

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – I Missed Your contributions Kary

    Excellent blog above….but seriously, its gotten too off comment orientated this week. More attacks on people than (SWE and Kary are the “devil” kings of gabbing on and on about ‘useless” gibberish, nothing credible and hogging the blog) analysis contribution s like yours. Nice to see ya back!

    I noticed a legal anomaly on listing prices recently. Realtor.com, etc, etc lists my rental house without referencing the 1/3 price I actually grabbed it up for about 5 years ago….how many sweetheart deals are taken out of the selling price history anyway? No wonder property tax assessments are easily challenged and lowered by hiring your own assessor and mailing a change request to the court. They’re easily approved, average in the Sweetheart deals, don’t omit them? You know the ropes better than I do, and I’m sure could help “normal” clients make this work for them financially [and provide Kary business too….LOL].

    Have a great day and thank you for all your help to me in the past.

  19. 19
    uwp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – If you look back 3 posts you’ll see the 1,000 comment thread that you’re used to.

    And welcome back!

  20. 20

    RE: Lulu @ 6
    Yes LuLu

    There is no gain without pain and risk, ask any successful person. I’m glad I’m retired and out of the stock market when we’re shifting to more tariffs and manufacturing….its like a Money Market fund buying up repossessions with $CASH$…your personal money supply is drier for a bit but rebounds after sales return to normal prices again. Stocks eat cake then. I see job growth is way down as more unskilled “bag people” OVERPOPULATION pours in non-stop; about 1 million invaded YTD, the perfect storm that caused a MASSIVE 16% sudden [MOM] increase in homelessness in LA, IMO. Can anyone else cite a better reason? Another “untouched” topic by the Open Border Party (OBP) affecting Seattle Real Estate are 2019 wild fires for the West Coast [includes Seattle] this Summer….are they homeless camp related are just anomalous power line down? If it was power lines that caused harmful smoke b air pollution over Seattle for weeks, how come the lines just started failing recently and coincidentally….the Tooth Fairy?

  21. 21

    RE: uwp @ 19
    I Find That Commendable to Kary

    While your blog adds what to the Bubble? A nothing burger?

  22. 22

    RE: David @ 15
    LOL David

    What’s its listing address…is it trashed in the listing pictures too? I’m beginning to think the market may improve with interest rate hikes and not “ugly homes for $CASH$” sold at remodeled insane mortgaged “museum home” prices. Erik is right, there’s a Seattle Real Estate sucker born everyday…use a cheap white wash show style before sale, flip ’em for quick profit, don’t hold on to them…$CASH$ in Erik’s college fund for his new son…great formula and who would know? LOL

  23. 23
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Erik @ 9 – Awfully simplistic view, not sure I agree with you.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Notme says:

    Erik is a lad-lord
    but will protect the womenz
    from the predators

    -an ironical red/blue-pill bubble haiku
    (with intentional typo)

  26. 26
    AKK2019 says:

    Been reading this blog for a couple years now. We are in the construction business and are seeing builders just putting pause on further construction as their current houses are not selling. Finished a couple penthouses in Seattle that were a “for sure thing” according to the builder. 2 months later, $250k lower and still sitting. One builder just stopped paying (not just us) and is sitting on lots of houses that are barely moving (All in the millions). Tricky times right now, we will see how this progresses. I am not a real estate expert so i love all the input and info i am seeing here. Thank you everyone.

  27. 27
    don says:

    RE: AKK2019 @ 26

    Don’t wait to file liens on the non pay property.

  28. 28
    Eastsider says:

    RE: don @ 27 – Buyers of these properties also need to be careful. Standard title policy does not cover builders’ unpaid bills.

  29. 29
    don says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 28
    Good point.
    Probably any bank financing attempt would turn up a lien on the title. Cash buyers would have to replicate that dd though.

  30. 30
    pedaltothemetal says:

    The boomer on my street has a relatively nice moss pit. Its just been sitting. Where have all the 2018 prices gone?

    Goodbye bubble, bubble goodbye, it’s time to say goodbye.

  31. 31
    David says:

    If the Fed is going to dangle an interest rate cut, they need to follow through or people will linger around waiting.

  32. 32
    Joe says:

    Interesting statistics. Prices have dropped on a year-over-year basis each month for the last three months. The market simply went too far too fast.

    What is driving the decline is the rent v ownership computation. When I rented a home five years ago, the rent was equal to the cost of ownership. I’m in the same house five years later, and because of the home price increases in my neighborhood, the ownership cost would exceed the rent by $2000 per month. That’s $24,000 savings per year. Plus, I don’t have the headache of owning a $1M asset that has been trending down for a year or so.

    I don’t worry about the market rising again anytime soon. Emotion-driven people who wanted to buy a house have already done so. The remaining buyer population is much more value-oriented than it was just two years ago.

  33. 33
    David says:

    RE: Joe @ 32 – You will eventually get kicked out of that rental house when the owner has enough equity. Buh bye spread.

  34. 34
    dman says:

    Stock market surging again after the crappy jobs report. Funny how that works?

    Everyone chases the fed’s (potential) rate cuts.

  35. 35
    Eastsider says:

    By dman @ 34:

    Everyone chases the fed’s (potential) rate cuts.

    If this low interest rate policy continues much longer, we will soon have a pension fund crisis. Pension fund returns are now under 6%, far below assumed actuarial rate of return of around 8%. According to Moody’s, state, federal and local government pension plans are $7 trillion short in funding.

  36. 36

    RE: AKK2019 @ 26
    Thank You for Your Input

    May I ask the price range of the units that won’t sell now?….a listing site would be nice too….but if you’re personally, economically involved you may not want to expose that detail and I understand. The unit price range may be enough information to wing it anyway.

  37. 37

    RE: Eastsider @ 35
    Good Point Eastsider

    There’s always a Yin to a Yang….no matter what we do. Trumps home-run [thank God we got one good player on the team, IMO] on Mexican Tariffs. They mind Trump or watch it all go up in flames…LOL….he’s my kind of legal planning for real estate too. Bold and risk taking.

    State pensions like California, Washington too, are the worse financially. Commercial pensions at Boeing are being eliminated already and the Boeing retirees better worry…the young ones aren’t paying in at all, like they were…plan your real estate spending accordingly or risk doom.


    The article also states that legislature can cut your State pension with a rap of the lectern hammer…

  38. 38
    Erik says:

    RE: dman @ 34
    Mexico reached a trade deal with the USA. That could be why stocks are up?

  39. 39

    RE: dman @ 34
    Yes, I Found That Odd Too

    But a “new-style” booming economy without Quantitative Easing [welfare to the banksters] can mean different things to different entities? If the stocks are mostly global profits [they are], then the typical American workers [most are not invested in stocks, except their retirements to some degree] could be a partial moot point? A very unpredicatable world today, just surf the Big Kahuna Real Estate wave and hope you don’t fall into the NWO sharks guessing wrong…. LOL

  40. 40

    RE: Erik @ 38
    Christians 1
    Lions 0

    Erik, LOL

  41. 41
    richard says:

    wow. Redfin did something amazing: option to cut out buyers agents. Is the buyer agents’ fat cat life going
    to end? Not a fan of redfin, but like to see the fight between disruptor and monopoly. haha

  42. 42
    Justme says:

    Weekend inventory update, graphical edition:

    Graphs are up, please check the link

    King County (Seattle+suburbs) SFH inventory rose to a new yearly high this week, as predicted after a slow end-month week last week. Highest inventory value on this date since 2012. But sales have been flat relative to 2018, per NWMLS end-May report. The buyer strike is continuing.

    For more graphs, see https://imgur.com/a/KGQe6gE

    More SFH stats, as of late this morning (Saturday):

    450 price reductions this week.
    394 closed sales this week
    714 new listings this week
    1760 pendings with < 1mo DOM

    Please follow and retweet. Data needs to be socialized with as many potential buyers and sellers as possible. The buyer strike is alive and well, and causing more price reductions. Keep striking. Let’s bust this bubble, and good!

    #housingbubble #buyerstrike #bustthebubble #sellingpanic #bubblesarebadforchildren

  43. 43
    David says:

    By richard @ 41:

    wow. Redfin did something amazing: option to cut out buyers agents. Is the buyer agents’ fat cat life going
    to end? Not a fan of redfin, but like to see the fight between disruptor and monopoly. haha

    The bigger problem is the seller’s agent. The reason you get so many calls from listing agents is that they have to NOTHING but put the property on the Internet.

    Case in point; put the property on a FSBO site and see how many seller’s agent calls you get vs buyer’s agents. Seller’s agents are the rent seekers who bring nothing more than restricted access and almost never sell the property themselves.

  44. 44
    S-Crow says:

    RE: AKK2019 @ 26RE: Eastsider @ 28

    Regarding GC’s/Builders starting to not pay sub’s:

    Almost every Title Insurance Company that I work with (the usuals) are asking for an Affidavit (of Liens and Possessions) or equivalent UP FRONT by sellers/builders regarding contractors that have worked on property that come to market. In reviewing a preliminary Title Commitment, a lot of agents don’t even see this stipulation because it is sometimes not contained in normal schedules of exceptions but contained in the notes that follow. Agents typically just stop reading after they see the DOT’s listed in Schedule B and then think that’s all there is to a Title Commitment. The notations are very important. The Affidavit is due to the enormous amount of contractor work being done on homes that come to market as well as flips. The Affidavits ask for lien waivers from any contractor that has worked on the property within the last six months, unless otherwise accepted by the Title Insurance Co’s.

    I completely empathize with specialty contractors who have done work for GC’s/Builders and then stop getting paid. Frankly, there are not too many things that piss me off more in housing than the little sub’s getting their finanacial asses handed to them through no fault of their own but by complete financial mismanagement and huge debt loads that GC’s/Builders can have. The builders always seem to get “blindsided” by a market change that they could never have seen coming. The little specialty contractors get screwed. So, throw liens on the property right away. And, sub-contractors should ALWAYS review any lien history (particularly recent) on development they are being asked to work on or bid work on. It’s public record.

  45. 45

    RE: S-Crow @ 44 – Eastsider mentioned a “standard” title insurance policy. I’m not sure he was being technical in that term, but from memory a standard policy doesn’t cover unrecorded lien items, where the “homeowner’s” policy would. This supports that recollection: https://lakesidetitle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/EagleLoanPolicyVersusTheStandardALTAPolicy-PT-WB.pdf

    Many builders only offer standard coverage as part of their forms, but buyers can upgrade to homeowners for a relatively small fee ($100).

    As to the risk from liens that is a complex topic, and the specifics have probably changed since I last looked at the issue. But for some occupied properties notice needs to be sent before providing the goods/services, where for others the deadline to file a lien can be X days after the work/products were last delivered. Builders would be more in the latter group.

    For new construction I would also be concerned about warranty issues. Many small builders have warranties written by attorneys who apparently were instructed to make sure their clients never have a warranty claim. They have the buyer waive any and all implied warranties and then provide only illusory coverage (e.g. warranting that it was built to code, or with the proper materials, etc.) Surprisingly the larger builders tend to have better warranties.

  46. 46

    Sellers Are Not Selling to Relocate as In the Past

    This should decrease listings as we stay put…the main reason the article gave was “wage similarity” anywhere. I noticed that recently too, Kansas City, NYC, Seattle, etc, etc….same average pay. There’s simply no wage increases now for relocations, we aren’t selling. We need industrial skills and manufacturing engineering experience again [merit based immigration? only?] to gain high paying jobs and severe ourselves from this low paying [although companies like AMZ claim the opposite with no data] high tech and service economy dragging our wages and pensions down or it is hopeless in my book and will not change, it will worsen. Mexico knows this better than the Open Border Party (OBP) too, their manufacturing is their life blood, its America’s as well…

    Buyers will see fewer and fewer listings if this YOY trending the last decade continues, listings will evaporate. Retirees stay put too, they dig in, prepare their homes just so [like the Bubble head above noticed the Boomer’s nice unsold house]….but once its spruced up and the gem of the neighborhood, it stays off the market into their golden years…my home, same scenario. I put about $50K of upgrades into it for retirement, the last thing I want to do now is sell…even Billionaire Buffet is frugal this way too.


  47. 47

    Speaking of builders…surprised no one brought this one up here yet.


  48. 48
    JWoods says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 44
    “And, sub-contractors should ALWAYS review any lien history (particularly recent) on development they are being asked to work on or bid work on. It’s public record.”
    Can you share how to check any lien history on the property? Thx.

  49. 49
    David says:

    RE: JWoods @ 48 – You need to check with the Clerk of Courts office for filed liens.

  50. 50
    David says:


    I’ve filed $millions worth of liens over the years.

  51. 51
    David says:

    Other than documenting the starting point for lien filing initiation, the most important thing to remember is that a lawsuit must be filed or you lose your lien rights forever:


    If you buy a property with liens later discovered, the liens are not forever – or even one year. When I practiced in a Southern state , you had one year. WA State is 8 months. Also, contested litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and distracting.

  52. 52
    Sam says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – Welcome back Kary. Missed your cogent arguments and adult articulations…glad to know you are safe and around! This blog needs adults like you, Ardell, Deerhawke regardless of your/their biases.

  53. 53
    Sam says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 35 – Somewhere I read many pension funds were buying equity tech unicorn (both pre and post-IPO), or generally increasing their tech share. My extreme conspiratorial streak would think pensions could be a factor in ensuring equities do not crash, but I myself don’t give that much credence yet. Here’s a quick google-returned article of similar theme: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/pension-funds-private-equity-transition/

    Question is, even if govt can’t meet pension obligations due to lower than expected rate of return, will they allow rates to rise to deflate the assets they have inflated, besides causing a recession, not to mention increasing their own debt servicing. Or they might just cut the pension itself (or tax it more).

  54. 54

    By David @ 49:

    RE: JWoods @ 48 – You need to check with the Clerk of Courts office for filed liens.

    Actually it’s the Recorder’s office–the same place deeds are recorded. For King County: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/records-licensing/recorders-office/records-search.aspx

    Checking with the courts would only show filed lawsuits. Note: Liens being filed is not necessarily bad–lawsuits would be much more concerning.

    You can also get good information at Labor & Industries’ “verify a contractor” site. That will show claims against the bond as well as whether they are paying certain taxes–the latter of which is probably the best pre-indicator of a problem.

  55. 55

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 47:

    Speaking of builders…surprised no one brought this one up here yet.


    Interesting story, but I’m not seeing how it’s a Ponzi scheme as claimed by the article. Ponzi schemes are investment schemes.

    But claims of fraud are quite common in contractor situations, even those without the types of practices mentioned in that article. As part of their cash flow practices they don’t typically segregate money for each job, so money from one customer goes to pay another customer’s creditors. That leads to claims of “Robbing Peter to pay Paul,” etc.

  56. 56
    formerSeattleite says:

    By Ardell DellaLoggia @ 47:

    Speaking of builders…surprised no one brought this one up here yet.


    Wow, this is scary. Poor families. This guy needs to go to jail for 10+ years, easily.

  57. 57

    Today’s News Clarifies the New Problems Facing Real Estate

    80% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck….its worse in Seattle folks, the real estate is much higher and so are rents in Seattle.


  58. 58

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55
    Thank You Kary For Your Law Experience

    Thank you Ardelle for you “good” detailed realtor experience. These folks don’t shoot from the hips…excellent blogs!

  59. 59

    RE: Sam @ 53

    I Just Talked to a Retired Cement Industrial Skilled Union Worker

    All union members [electricians, plumbers, cement workers, etc, etc…] are losing their health insurance coverage and the Seminar to discuss the fall-out is already scheduled. None to say he was “thin skinned” and angry about the “union take-away”….they still grab your health benefit contribution anyway, but give you no insurance….so it was hard to get the story straight from this stressed-out retiree, Thank God he still has Medicare, but the ‘under 65” workers have nothing now….here’s more on this new story, albeit he tells me it has already received limited MSM coverage…its new news to me. To you too?


    Its getting worse under Obamacare. Trump has kept the premiums of federal worker health care frozen the last couple years, something Obama failed at, it was going up like 10% a year before Trump. So was Medicare Part B [office visits, its frozen under Trump the last couple years, about stable at $135.50/mo to retirees] The AFL/CIO is a joke now and just a dues collection agency….I would have never said that years ago, new input digested and changed my mind.

  60. 60
    TheBernank says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 46 – Interesting. This runs contrary to what I personally observe in Seattle everyday, which of course I get that we may be an anomaly. But if this is national data, it makes sense that perhaps most of the rest of the country behave in this other way. I’m pretty surprised to see that mobility has decreased over the past several decades – that was the most surprising to me.

  61. 61

    Last Week 30 Year Treasuries [long-term CDs] were 2.5+%

    Today they’re going up again to 2.6+%….stocks are up with interest rates too. The Chinese better be shaking scared of Trump’s tariffs, like Mexico hopefully weathered….Mexico’s citizens like the Trump plan to rid them of the “bag people” from Central America, they were interviewed and are delighted its happening. Who would know. The Chinese look like looters in comparison now…

    More savings interest and let’s hope too, better quality homes for sale in Seattle without crap for cash at insane prices [picky buyers at higher interest rates improve unit quality, who would know]…IMO, saving your money, spending it wisely and implementing integrity in contracts again can make America Great Again.

  62. 62

    RE: TheBernank @ 60
    Yes, Too Much Shooting at the Hip IMO

    We rely on the MSM too much, it misinforms and loots our money. Rather than cite reasons why Seattle is somehow different are “not as bad” with higher prices than average America with no raw data. Let’s just use “common sense” instead, especially with average PER CAPITA wages all about the same in Seattle or Kansas City [NYC, anywhere]…about $20/HR…its a flat table folks.

  63. 63
    Nicole says:

    RE: TheBernank @ 60
    There are a couple of factors I’d add to the list of reasons people can’t or won’t move: high cost of child care means people are more reliant on family resources for help. Ditto high cost of taking care of older folk and other people with long term care needs. Crummy education in many parts of the country that don’t want to pay taxes deters some people from moving. Also high cost of living means that more families rely on two incomes, so while one person might be able to move for a job their spouse/partner may not be willing/able to relocate. Finally, some residents of more liberal coastal areas may be uncomfortable moving towards where they perceive as less safe, conservative areas inside the country: increases in hate crimes around race and homophobia are a deterrent for some who either might become a target or who don’t want to live in that kind of environment (even if things are not as they seem, the concern is real.)

  64. 64
    richard says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 56 – people have too much to spend and be aware of those smooth talking builders!

  65. 65
    uwp says:

    “Salesforce is officially making Seattle its second HQ after its Tableau acquisition”


    Oh no!

  66. 66
    David says:

    By Nicole @ 63:

    RE: TheBernank @ 60
    There are a couple of factors I’d add to the list of reasons people can’t or won’t move: high cost of child care means people are more reliant on family resources for help. Ditto high cost of taking care of older folk and other people with long term care needs. Crummy education in many parts of the country that don’t want to pay taxes deters some people from moving. Also high cost of living means that more families rely on two incomes, so while one person might be able to move for a job their spouse/partner may not be willing/able to relocate. Finally, some residents of more liberal coastal areas may be uncomfortable moving towards where they perceive as less safe, conservative areas inside the country: increases in hate crimes around race and homophobia are a deterrent for some who either might become a target or who don’t want to live in that kind of environment (even if things are not as they seem, the concern is real.)

    People in other parts of the country are perfectly fine with West Coasters staying right where they are. They don’t want WCers.

    From a crime standpoint, the homosexual community has an elevated crime profile as well. See Dean Corll – the first real serial killer that stalked my area as a kid and buried the dozens of bodies about a mile from my house. Also see Catholic priests, 25% of kidnapped and murdered kids are boys (as opposed to the 1% of the population of homosexuals), and on and on.

    Liberal West Coasters and Right Coasters are also HIGHLY racist in their actions. You do not see them moving to minority-populated areas. Case in point: Bernie Sanders. So high minded that he moved from NYC to 99% white Vermont.

    Bernie looks like he took a bath in fiberglass when he gets around minorities.

    This is generally true of almost ALL leftists that I have seen. They will not actually live what they preach.

    Why? Because they cannot survive in those communities. When you hear lefties knocking, for instance, Southerners, they are really mocking minority communities and using White Southerners as straw men. When you hear lefties talking about crime in other areas, they are really knocking minorities.

    Southerners, though, built the rockets that sent men to the Moon. The Midwesterners and Southerners will take the businesses from the coasts, but they don’t want the liberals from those areas. They prefer you stay right where you are.

  67. 67
    Erik says:

    RE: uwp @ 65
    I saw that too. I’m hoping that actually come to SLU. We need more jobs in the area to absorb the inventory. Prices could go up a lot more in Seattle.

  68. 68
    Luke says:

    RE: David @ 66

    Uhh, do we have a moderator here? This asshole is spreading hateful, bigoted lies about LGBT persons.. either there needs to be some basic moderation (this kind of language should be grounds for banning) on this forum or my time here has come to an end.

  69. 69
    Erik says:

    RE: Luke @ 68
    I find your cursing offensive. Stop, you’re hurting me!!!

  70. 70
    sfrz says:

    RE: Luke @ 68 – I’ve requested he be banned before. The toxic, sexist nature of his posts are appalling.

  71. 71
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Erik @ 69

    Erik– He makes a valid point.
    Luke– this site is only updated very occasionally. The guy who started it has other fish to fry these days. There really is no moderation to speak of. This allows people like David and SWE to use the site to make weird right-wing political comments and occasionally to put up toxic, racist, sexist posts that have little or no connection to Seattle real estate.

  72. 72
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: uwp @ 65


    How interesting. Just around the time that Amazon is making its own HQ2 in Bellevue, Salesforce is ramping up in Seattle. It is all positive long-term for Puget Sound real estate.

  73. 73
    David says:

    RE: Luke @ 68 – See Dean Corll or shut up.

  74. 74
    David says:

    I see no announced expansion of Salesforce. Just a direct purchase of an existing company. This usually means some downsizing due to cross-functionality. And also the real possibility of overpaying to get into a market – then later realizing they overpaid.

    As Charlie Munger says: “I’ve basically never seen a business that suffered long-term from downsizing.” (paraphrased).

  75. 75
    richard says:

    RE: David @ 74 – that is good point. not every aqusition can be spinned into a positive to real estate.

  76. 76
    Nick says:

    I posted back in April that I purchased a house in Snohomosh County. Redfin now values us at 33k above purchase price 60 days later. Now I know the online valuations can be flawed but from what I’m seeing in inventory I’m glad we bought when we did. These lower interest rates are a prime driver in this market. I’ll repeat another poster, What do you think valuations will be if a 30 year mortgage move towards 2%?

  77. 77
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Luke @ 68 – To be fair, you need to complain about Nicole’s “less safe, conservative areas inside the country: increases in hate crimes around race and homophobia are a deterrent for some who either might become a target or who don’t want to live in that kind of environment.”

    Also, if you want a moderator, perhaps you should first pay attend to your own language (“a**hole”.)

  78. 78
    OA says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 76


  79. 79
    Nicole says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 76
    I wrote “they perceive as less safe…(even if things are not as they seem, the concern is real.)” which is not the same as saying they are less safe.

    But of course people will read things the way they want them to read. And if folks want to feel threatened by the fact that hate crimes are up and that makes some people more nervous than others, what can you do?

  80. 80
    Voight-Kampff says:

    Every comment section, everywhere, every time. It eventually succumbs to tribalism.
    Come on people, let’s hug it out.
    We can do better!

  81. 81
    Any says:

    RE: Nick @ 76

    The lowest the 30-year mortgage average has ever been the past 40 years is 3.4%. If it were to actually go to 2% that means the economy is in a super bad spot, and who knows what the market would look like.

    Did you mean the 30-year treasury approaching 2%? That has actually almost happened a couple times, is more of a possibility.

  82. 82
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 71
    Okay. In the more rural areas I’m from they would laugh in Luke’s face and tell him to grow a pair. I’ll stop cause I like you and probably some others that share your view. I think people need to grow thicker skin.

  83. 83
    Erik says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 72
    I know, it’s awesome. A longtime ago you compared Seattle to NYC, where you are from. You said, small pull back and then boom is how NYC got so expensive. That’s what is happening here.

  84. 84
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Nicole @ 79 – Yes I read your whole comment. But nowadays with snowflakes like Luke, you can’t even comment on crime statistic among black, homeless, or LGBTQ people (even with qualifications.) People get triggered easily over every little “unjust” or “offensive” thing, real or unreal. I assume these are unhappy people. Oops. Sure enough, a couple people joined Luke immediately. Totally predictable. Dumb!

  85. 85
    Erik says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 84
    We found common ground. I’m tired of having to tip toe around thin skinned snow flakes myself.

  86. 86
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Erik @ 85 – I bet the Tim reads most comments but hasn’t deleted any for reasons you stated. You have company LOL.

  87. 87
    Jeff says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 86RE: Eastsider @ 86
    You right wingers are so “thick skinned”, until for one of many examples, someone points out your racism in supporting or excusing a President who started the idea that the former President is a Muslim born in Kenya. Then you’re saying how very mean people are for calling you a name like “racist”. Now you’re the real snowflakes. Grow some yourselves.

  88. 88

    RE: Nicole @ 63
    Yes Nicole I’ve Probably Noticed That Concern Just Looking Out the Car Window on Weekdays

    WINCO parking lot is now full at like 1PM weekdays and so is traffic congested on south I-5 through Tacoma…why isn’t the traffic at work then? My guess is many are bartering with relatives and friends for day care in Seattle now and quit their day jobs, because it pays about the same…another reason why?

  89. 89

    RE: Eastsider @ 84

    LOL….I like that name its less toxic than my “psychological legal” name for it “folks with thought disorder level III”….

  90. 90

    RE: Erik @ 82
    I Like Deerhawk too Erik

    I like lots of RINOs and OBP types too.

  91. 91

    RE: Erik @ 85
    I Used to Hate Kary’s Blogs Many Years Ago

    When I worked. I suppose I was a more of a RINO or OBP type then too? Now I’m free and retired and kicked off those shackles years ago…LOL….I like Kary now…LOL….we all can improve.

  92. 92

    RE: uwp @ 65
    Again…No Numbers on Who’s Making How Much Average Pay at Salesforce

    Could have little or no effect on home sales in Seattle? Also, are they all, i.e., lower paid H-1Bs replacing our NW high school students’ jobs at Microsoft? The article doen’t say…


  93. 93

    RE: Jeff @ 87
    Jeff, Obama’s Father Was a Muslim and a Sheep Herder

    Did it affect Obama’s politics, of course it did. I agree pointing this out may sound Racist to you, but to a historian its “just raw data”….non-partisan.

  94. 94
    JustNoise says:

    You’re all f**king bananas, haha! I’m with Voight-Kampff – can’t we just hug it out? (And…uh, just avoid the subject of politics and focus on SEATTLE REAL ESTATE?)

  95. 95
    Deerhawke says:

    I know Alzheimers creates real memory issues, but remember this??

    The Tim says:

    June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11 – Please find a way to be more concise. It’s difficult for anyone to have a meaningful conversation when the comments are flooded with so many posts from a single person.

    Six posts in a row and only one has any relationship to the topic.

  96. 96
    uwp says:

    By softwarengineer @ 93:

    RE: Jeff @ 87
    Jeff, Obama’s Father Was a Muslim and a Sheep Herder

    Did it affect Obama’s politics, of course it did. I agree pointing this out may sound Racist to you, but to a historian its “just raw data”….non-partisan.

    Barack Obama’s father got an M.A. in Economics from Harvard and worked in the Kenyan government.

    I don’t know why I bother.

  97. 97
    Zabto says:

    RE: Luke @ 68 – Just add him to your mute list? https://seattlebubble.com/blog/forum/#/discussion/2446/ignore-function

    RE: Deerhawke @ 95
    You know what he said! You didn’t even install the script? :’-( so much hard work for naught!

  98. 98
    David says:

    By Any @ 81:

    RE: Nick @ 76

    The lowest the 30-year mortgage average has ever been the past 40 years is 3.4%. If it were to actually go to 2% that means the economy is in a super bad spot, and who knows what the market would look like.

    Did you mean the 30-year treasury approaching 2%? That has actually almost happened a couple times, is more of a possibility.

    If rates go reliably low, try a Libor Loan. You can get below average interest rates. I’ve done great with those loans. But only because I felt the rates would remain low for extended periods.

    If rates can remain low long enough, you can pay down the principal low enough to make refinancing easier if needed. I think the longest I have ever had a Libor loan was 10 years and the rate never exceeded 3% (perhaps 2.75%?).

  99. 99
    David says:

    Libor loans apparently will in the future be called SOFR loans.

  100. 100
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Jeff @ 87 – Oh dear, triggered another snowflake. Biden, (Bill) Clinton, and John F Kennedy are right wingers by your standard. They were all against illegals, against public funding of abortion, and for free speech. Guess what, you will be choosing between two right wingers for POTUS in 2020! Hehehe…

    Okay, I am done triggering snowflakes. Enjoy the sunshine and don’t meltdown! LOL.

  101. 101
    Longtime Listener First Time Caller says:

    There is no reason for the comments section of this blog to exist. Comments take away from this site and make it worse. Tim’s site is data driven; new stories are as frequent as the data, which makes news slow. Tim’s should make the comments more valuable by limiting their number to one comment every week, perhaps one every two weeks.

    The comments as they currently stand are cheap, and inflated in value. They are driven by a collection of small time investors with high opinions of themselves. Some of them used to dislike each other, but after trolling this blog for years – DAILY – they’ve formed a guardianship who defend the outlandish in each other and insulate themselves from common sense in a way that pollutes the blog and prevents good discourse.

    The preponderance of material comes from people who are not stable enough to withstand the 24 hour news cycle and the internet. It stinks.

  102. 102
    Any says:

    RE: David @ 98

    Not asking how to get a lower rate loan, was just pointing out that 30-year rates have never been close to 2% like he was suggesting.

  103. 103
    seek help says:

    RE: Longtime Listener First Time Caller @ 101

    Agree. Tim made a brief attempt at restoring order earlier this week, but it’s fallen on deaf ears.

    The mute button might make them disappear, but sadly, the venue will still exist for them to stir their toxic shit, which it seems is what their existence is all about.

    Blog sucks now. see ya

  104. 104
    Erik says:

    RE: Zabto @ 97
    Hahah! Good point Zabto. Previously Deerhawk said he blocked SWE and his life was better since. Now Deerhawk is commenting on SWE’s posts. Does not make sense.

  105. 105
    Lurker-569 says:

    I just lurk here and never post but just wanted to say the comments section of this blog is a tire fire. There used to be interesting nuggets here and there but now it’s just the same people arguing about stuff that has nothing to do with real estate, injecting their politics or conspiracy theory in the mix. This isn’t your personal “blog” so stop using it as such.

  106. 106
    whatsmyname says:

    Hate to change the subject, but did anyone notice that none of the RES ONLY (sfr) map areas in the latest King County breakouts have a median below $400,000. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

  107. 107
    Erik says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 105
    I don’t understand. Are you talking about some data you pulled up yourself or are you talking about the relevant data Tim posted?

  108. 108
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Erik @ 106
    It’s one of the stats pages associated with the NWMLS press release that Tim’s charts are based on.

  109. 109
    Erik says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 107
    I see. I just look at the data and I don’t know where it comes from.

  110. 110
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Erik @ 108 – I think the NWMLS graphs are the best thing Tim does. You can visualize current, seasonal, and historical context all at once in all the topics covered. You can also see where YOY comparisons may sometimes be more reflective of anomalies than trends.

    Still, the market has a lot of individual geographies, and they don’t all move in step, or even in the same direction; so it adds a lot to see those breakdowns. The big move up wasn’t everywhere, and now while some of those top markets have been deteriorating; the laggards have been moving up. For some of the readers here who can jump into $1MM+ properties, the last year looked probably pretty good, but I think it’s only getting tougher for many people at the lower end of the affordability chain.

  111. 111
    Nick says:

    I wasn’t suggesting that rates have been that low before. I am suggesting they will get that low going forward. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a 30 year mortgage break below the 3% threshold within the next 12 months.RE: Any @ 102

  112. 112
    AKK2019 says:

    Im going to skip on the details of who and what properties they are (For now)
    But here are a few that they have
    $3,100,000 in Kirkland
    $2,700,00 in Kirkland
    $4,480,00 in Yarrow Point
    $4,700,00 in Yarrow Point
    $4,700,00 in Bellevue
    $5,300,000 in Medina
    And there are others that they are randomly delisting, then listing again 100k higher than before…

    By softwarengineer @ 36:

    RE: AKK2019 @ 26
    Thank You for Your Input

    May I ask the price range of the units that won’t sell now?….a listing site would be nice too….but if you’re personally, economically involved you may not want to expose that detail and I understand. The unit price range may be enough information to wing it anyway.

  113. 113
    Luke says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 77

    Sorry, but that is not even close to the same as what David posted. That you think that they are somehow comparable says a lot.

  114. 114
    Eastsider says:

    By Luke @ 110:

    That you think that they are somehow comparable says a lot.

    How would you know? You assume/accuse too much. Get a life, or grow up.

  115. 115
    Luke says:

    I also love all of the “snowflake” and “growing balls” responses, as if my intolerance of equating being gay with being a rapist or pedophile is a stain on my masculinity. Not only is that a really messed up response to me raising an issue with the unacceptable sh!t being posted on this forum, but it also totally avoids the root issue: David has equated being gay with being a rapist and/or pedophile. Tim needs to take control of the toxic, crazy, bigoted sh!t being posted on his website because reasonable people aren’t going to want to wade through the sh!t that is being posted by a few loons for the increasingly rare nuggets of reasonable, rational discussion about the housing market.

    I gave Tim a couple days.. he obviously doesn’t care to moderate the forum. The loons can have what’s left.

  116. 116
    Erik says:

    RE: Luke @ 112
    Goodbye Luke.

  117. 117
    Erik says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 109
    It sounds like the data comes from the MLS cartel. I do not have access to that data since real estate is not my profession.

  118. 118
    Jeff says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 100
    I’m just hangin on this blog because it’s become a lot more fun than flamin the Trumpanzeze and Bernie Bros on the Zuckerborg. Plus, the growing divisiveness on Seattle Bubble recently is a data point in and of itself. I have my own opinion about that interesting tad-bit, but I’d rather just add to these divisive and off topic comments.

  119. 119

    By Erik @ 114:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 109
    It sounds like the data comes from the MLS cartel. I do not have access to that data since real estate is not my profession.

    No, you just don’t know how to use Google.


    See second page for SFR stats.

  120. 120
    Sfrz says:

    RE: Luke @ 112 – I would repost some of the things David has posted, but they are too vile. I am as salty as a sailor, but some are so over the top disgusting that you just have to leave the room. I follow Tim on other sites and he does not present like this. He is a dad, a homeowner, a lover of Archie McPhee’s. Don’t stop posting . That’s what the bullies want.

  121. 121
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Erik @ 113 – He is still in the US two years after the election. LOL.

    As to people who want to ban “right wing” comments because they are off topic, they should note that our builder occasionally posts “left wing” comments too. Should we ban him? Of course not! (I see that they nod in agreement haha.)

    Enjoy the sunshine!

  122. 122

    RE: Erik @ 104
    OBP Folks All Lie Erik

    How’s the Condo Flip for Profit business going? Sounds like that last deal with Ardell went excellent, I’m so proud of you. You are the flipper king on this blog for common sense, the Snow Flakes call you the devil now….laugh Erik, they’re the lazy folks that do nothing with Tim’s data except blame FREE SPEECH Erik. They want us edited out because they don’t like FREE SPEECH. Period. They all need pity.

    They contribute nothing and allege that’s the best way….LOL….what are they smoking, the good stuff?

    They don’t like SWE either. BTW, Tim is doing an excellent job ignoring these lazy bums. Real Estate is a milestone plan for the savvy investors like us Erik, while its a “simple minded” con game to them. I’m so glad we both keep on topic, and use FREE SPEECH at the same time….why is this bad Snow Flakes?

    Enjoy the hot day today…I’m so glad I retired early as a savvy investor out of debt, I’m going to the State Park to cool off today ;-)

  123. 123
    David says:

    RE: Luke @ 112 – Did you know that “sh!t” (as you say) is over 55% bacateria. My advice is to avoid a house with a lot of bad growth including bathhouses.

    I once helped the popo shut down a bathhouse across the street from a property I owned. It included glass walls for the bathroom so men could watch others use the toilet (according to their website). This was terrible for resale value.

    It was a “stank festival” across the street let me tell you.

    I will say two lesbians did assist me in getting that place shutdown. They also directed the NBC affiliate to film from my house. So thanks to them!!

    Speaking of lesbians, I’ve lived in two neighborhoods now where lesbians “divorced’ their girlfriend and returned to the embrace of men. Both sold their houses at firesale prices just to get away from the other. I always imagined the men they ran back to with huge beards and brown sweaters. I’m still bitter about this.

  124. 124
    uwp says:

    By whatsmyname @ 109:

    Still, the market has a lot of individual geographies, and they don’t all move in step, or even in the same direction; so it adds a lot to see those breakdowns. The big move up wasn’t everywhere, and now while some of those top markets have been deteriorating; the laggards have been moving up. For some of the readers here who can jump into $1MM+ properties, the last year looked probably pretty good, but I think it’s only getting tougher for many people at the lower end of the affordability chain.

    Yeah, I was looking at the breakouts and noticed how pronounced this has become. For those looking at 750k+ it’s gotten easier, while the sub 600k SFH has continued to be few and far between, with the farther out areas catching up to the core in price.

    Not a great market for first-time buyers (unless they are looking for a condo).

  125. 125
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Nicole @ 63 – I agree with some of what you said, particularly aging parents and dual income families. But if families were committed to reducing down to one income earner so that the other earner could be freed up to devote time and energy to family and the community, then the west/east coast folks WOULD mobilize into the interior of the US. But it seems to be more and more these days that people would prefer to have a presitigious, successful job rather than well disciplined children with good character, decent human beings. Seems like mis-alignment to me, but that’s just my opinion.

    As for political differences, I think that is a second tier consideration. People will find other like minded people wherever they go, wherever they are on the political spectrum. I think people move because of jobs and earning power.

  126. 126
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Nicole @ 79 – I question the very definition of a hate crime. What constitutes one?

  127. 127
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Voight-Kampff @ 80 – there is no us without a them

  128. 128
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 71 – people should be free to say whatever they want. Just say no to censorship

  129. 129

    RE: TheBernank @ 122
    What the Poll Numbers the MSM and the OBP Ignore About the Milenials

    70% of are just like my 30 year old daughter…they just want to housewives with a working husband.


    So what you’re saying will make most of the millennial women smile…

  130. 130

    RE: TheBernank @ 122
    Excellent Blog TheBernank

    I enjoyed it this morning and you’re right on!

    Since I’ve been “early” retired the last 4 years I’ve discovered something….just care giving for me [1 person and a house]…the time and money to just care for one healthy male is worth like $50-100K if you paid to have it done by care givers and other professionals…Hades, the first thing I did in 2015 was set up an office with printer, laptop and professional office S/W to retiree to, 70% of my day to day weekday “retirement” work is the same work I did at work….LOL….its all official work duty stuff too.

    But the big difference is the four window “home” office with a sunshine view, kitchen, television and free break times to read MASS books work will never give you.

  131. 131
    district says:

    Apple with plans for up to 4,200 employees in SLU


  132. 132
    uwp says:

    By district @ 131:

    Apple with plans for up to 4,200 employees in SLU


    That’s potentially a pretty big deal. How many major tech companies will have 1,000+ employees here?

  133. 133
    Market Psychologist says:

    Rumor has it that there will be tech bros as far as the I can see soon, each making $500,000 and ready to pay $5 million for a one-bedroom condo built in the 70s with views of alleyways and tent cities. I like to lay awake at night fantasizing about that glorious future. Some say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one… hehe

  134. 134
    David says:

    By softwarengineer @ 129:

    RE: TheBernank @ 122
    What the Poll Numbers the MSM and the OBP Ignore About the Milenials

    70% of are just like my 30 year old daughter…they just want to housewives with a working husband.


    So what you’re saying will make most of the millennial women smile…

    This is fine unless the doting husband decides he wants an upgrade after the first 3 kids. Or is mean to her.

    After practicing crim law for so long, I’d seen enough bad situations to know women need to work. Benjamin Franklin said accountancy is perfect work for women. Though most of my ancestral women-folk look like they could plow a field without a horse.

    Given a choice, I’d like to run off to join the circus. Sfrz can join me as the carnie freak.

  135. 135
    ruxpert says:

    Peak real estate season is here — and with it the hottest market since July 2018

    It may not be the most expensive market, but it’s still ferocious

    By Zosha Millman, SeattlePI June 12, 2019


  136. 136
    Corndogs says:

    RE: Erik @ 7 – ‘Sweaty handfuls of renter cash’ sounds like a Corndogs quote, haha!

  137. 137
    biliruben says:


    Flipped POS glorified 2-1 on a busy street in nimby land. Don’t quite know why this pisses me off, but hope the flipper eats it, like the dude did trying to sell a similar shitshack over above northgate for a mil. That one was taken off the market after a few big cuts stiol failed to attract any idiots.

  138. 138
    don says:

    RE: biliruben @ 136

    A Warbox with a new hat.
    “Cape Cod”… howl.

  139. 139
    Eastsider says:

    Here is a timely article on property assessment appeal. I strongly recommend using an independent appraiser if you want to be successful.

    As a Washington State Resident, How Do I Appeal My Property Assessment?

  140. 140

    May Saw Prices Going Down Tim Alerts Us

    Outside of the prices were too high for a plethora of reasons, that clearly must include political views to understand possibly why and thus political reasons are real estate orientated, or we can run around in brainless circles like OBP headless chickens [I was raised on a farm and saw many chickens with their heads cut off] and allege its all Trump’s fault. I’m joining the OBP, I prefer censorship of FREE SPEECH to con everyone into closed communication…we mustn’t hurt Snow Flakes’ feelings as we lose our shirts ignoring all reasons…LOL

    Political Issues That will affect my homes value:

    1. Ignore Homelessness, its not a problem at all.
    2. Ignore Sanctuary City policies that tax us to death, its not a problem at all.
    3. Ignore the main cause of Seattle pollution “wild fires”, i.e., direct cause from homelessness camps made worse with illegal immigration.
    4. Ignore MASSIVE dead zones in Puget Sound from “over-building” [ raw sewage waste creating acid and heavy elements killing off sea life].
    5. Ignore the data from other cheaper states red states that makes the Seattle area look like an pure organized crime cess pool….i.e., school costs are beyond believable in King County and they produce #18 schools in the country compared to #15 schools with property taxes paying in 1/3 revenue [Kansas].
    6. Ignore H-1Bs replacing our NW high school kids at Microsoft for cheaper labor and S/W quality decreases [weekly patches and virus S/W]….[BTW, my H-1B subpar MSFT O/S S/W spontaneously just shut down and interrupted my blog for 30 min, just cut me off to reboot more endless and useless(?) patches]. I love H1-Bs, I’m a good OBP puppet. Now, how does this affect real estate prices? They go up with MSFT H-1B hoards, because taxes go way up to pay for their “unlimited” chain migrations’ schools and older parents’ health care costs stealing our Social Security and see #1 and #4 too.
    7. Ignore our clogged freeways, we can solve the problem with recycling plastics, useless trains, bridges and electric cars…BTW, plastics have been in our sea water for many decades, they’ve been concentrated in canned foods’ lining too for 100 years…has it affected lifespans? No.
    8. Ignore all outsourcing of manufacturing jobs in Seattle, it doesn’t matter….

    Put up your MANDATORY $40,000 useless solar cell system [it doesn’t work at night for electric car charging anyway]on your Seattle Home’s roof and enjoy the rolling “electric grid” blackouts with the new greed deal….LOL

    Enjoy your retirement years when Medicare for all means 3 month waits for doctors’ visits and most local doctors don’t accept Medicare anyway….it doesn’t matter. SWE is nuts…LOL

    etc, etc…

    Do you see now why OBP blocking FREE SPEECH is good for you and is off topic anyway? LOL

  141. 141

    RE: David @ 134
    I Agree David

    Being a stay at home housewife is probably a lot more “WORK” than most look busy offices grasping iPhones like “continuous” business tools while watching HULU, etc.. and constantly texting friends at work…LOL…ya can’t fool SWE, I’m a business manager and see the actual raw data. They love to gossip about the other workers doing the same exact things on their more visible laptops…hey, they sound like OBP type Snow Flakes…LOL

  142. 142
    NW says:


    Jan 26, 2015: shack sells for $324,900
    Shack gets cosmetized until Sep 10, 2015, lists @ $849,999
    Jan 11, 2016: cosmetized shack sells for $749,499
    May 31, 2019: time to make more $$$, lists @ $950,000
    Jun 13, 2019: price reduced to $899,950

    4 years & 5 months. 277% percent increase.

  143. 143
    Justme says:

    What is going on with the front-page-sidebar (“powered -by-redfin”) inventory data? A drop of 290 units in KC/SFH from one hour to the next seems very strange.

    06.13.2019 03:00 3907 4160
    06.13.2019 04:00 3908 4160
    06.13.2019 05:00 3910 4160
    06.13.2019 06:00 3910 3870
    06.13.2019 07:00 3914 3870

    As uwp noted in comment 1 on this thread, the official NWMLS end-month May inventory number was also much higher than the redfin number. Any insiders that can look and see what is going on?

    I glanced at new listings, new pendings, etc etc (on redfin) and did not see anything that would explain the sudden change.

  144. 144
    NW says:

    Tl, dr: Dark & depressing house with beautiful views & dangling prices, gets fresh 111k price reduction.


    Jun 15, 2017 Listed $1,575,000
    Sep 18, 2017 Sold $1,400,000

    Apr 29, 2019 Listed $1,650,000
    May 17, 2019 Price changed $1,610,000
    Jun 13, 2019 Price changed $1,499,000

  145. 145
    IssaquahResident says:

    Justme, Redfin is definitely off. Zillow is showing north of 4.5K SFH available now for KC.

  146. 146

    RE: Justme @ 143

    I took a quick peek at the realtime numbers and they are not even close to the numbers in the sidebar. I always do my own stats, so don’t know how others filter their feed. Used to be the NWMLS press release stated that they were projecting for “late entries”. Tim would likely know that better than I as I don’t read their press releases except here on SB.

    The entire County stats are less relevant to me recently than ever due to performance of the market being very different from one area to the next. This more true now than when the market was fairly uniformly moving in the same direction, though not to the same degree. That has not been the case since July of 2018 or so.

    I’ll show you what I see the way that I do it. Townhomes cause a lot of variance in King County because some are SFH and some are condo. So I pull those separately and you can do with them as you will. I also pull out the manufactured homes and boathouses and pull the SFH differently.

    In fact since comments have been degenerating so much, I’ll give a fuller breakdown just to have some good info/data in a comment.

    King County

    One story homes – For sale (A) 539, All Pendings (P) 604, Sold in 6 mos (S) 1,886
    1 &1/2 story (usually some attic as living space) – A 92, P 85, S 241
    1 story with basement – A 544, P 444, S 1448
    1&12 story w/basement – A 124, P 92, S 326
    Split Entry – A 206, P 218, S 670
    Tri-level – A 145, P 144, S 429
    2 story – A 1377, P 1428, S 3,353
    2 stories w/basement – A 629, P 387, S 1012
    Multi-level & res Townhome – 693, P 437, S 1442
    Misc Res-Floating homes, Manufactured homes, etc. A 60, P 23, S 108

    (P.S. I double checked that backwards at the end of the post and came up with a variance of 8 houses from 4401 to 4409. That likely shows the activity since I started typing. I spent a bit of time separating median price by broad age categories like pre 78, 79-2000 and 2000 plus to show the considerable difference in median price by age. I decided not to post that as the asking price median in the older houses not sold was double the price of the sold property. That’s a bit odd, but I expect shows the reluctance of builders to buy teardowns at those elevated prices. I’m going to run those numbers again because while we expected that was happening, the numbers were jaw dropping.)

    Does not include multi-family like duplex, tri-plex, etc. Though a case could be made that 1-4 units that are lender-wise considered same as single family should be included. Many who can’t afford a SFH are opting for buying a duplex and living in one side and renting out the other or going the 3-4 unit route living in one…or at least considering that. In fact the interest in duplexes as an option is growing so much that many are lamenting that no one is building new ones. Most of the newer than old ones are in Snohomish vs King that I have run across and not brand new sold together as a duplex.

    Condo Townhome – A 197, P 210, S 587
    Other condos not townhomes – A 1,094, P 671, S 2,416

    I like to do SFH, not townhome, by age and price as well. I include all the SFH categories noted above without multi-family and townhome when I do this. It shows how age can greatly impact price and how asking prices by age can have a great disparity when compared to sold prices by age. (see P.S. above)

    Hope that helps someone. I haven’t had time to run numbers not associated with my actual clients for awhile but will try to pop back and answer any questions if you have them.

    REQUIRED DISCLOSURE: Stats in this post are hand calculated in real time by ARDELL and not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  147. 147
    Justme says:

    RE: IssaquahResident @ 145

    Yeah, and most of the discrepancy for KC/SFH is in the plain “Agent-listed (used house)” category, with 2985 (redfin) and 3443 (zillow). If anyone feels like manually wading through zillow and find some homes that are on zillow, but not listed as active on redfin, and in fact determine why the redfin status is something else than active, that would help. I already did something similar around Jan 7 and don’t really feel like doing the work this time.

  148. 148
    Ardell DellaLoggia says:

    RE: IssaquahResident @ 145

    Zillow is not a brokerage with one massive feed from the MLS. Also I think easier for For Sale By Owners to list there. They’ve taken some measures to reduce bad info. But still not the same feed as a Brokerage site.

  149. 149
    Justme says:

    RE: Justme @ 147

    I collected some KC/SFH active inventory counts from redfin and zillow earlier today but did not have time to post. Here they are,

    categories            redfin      zillow
    total(from web)         3915        4541
    agent-listed            2985        3443
    new construction        1068        1029
    fsbo                      14          70
    foreclosures              34          38
    total(from categories)  4101        4580

    As I mentioned earlier, most of the difference is from the plain “agent-listed” category, with 2985 (redfin) versus 3443 (zillow). If anyone knows or can dig up an explanation for that mismatch that would be useful. Also surprising, for redfin, the total added up from the categories is notably larger than the single-query total from one all-encompassing web search. Very strange. For zillow, OTOH, the category counts add up reasonably closely with the single-query total.

  150. 150
    Justme says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 146

    Thanks for the data. I have a couple of questions/observations:

    1. Do you know with any certainty that your categories constitute disjoint sets (that is, a property can only be in one category)?

    2. The total for SFH from your data, is 539+92+544+124+206+145+1377+629 = 3656, assuming disjoint sets and not counting any form of townhomes.

    3. Is new construction excluded from your numbers? If so, 3656 is higher than both redfin 2985 and zillow 3443 corresponding numbers (I think neither redfin nor zillow include any form of attached townhomes in their SFH, BTW). Not sampled exactly at the same time, I realize, but the difference is large.

    Overall, the main motivation for me is to figure out (a) why end-May NWMLS was so much higher than redfin , and additionally, (b) what is behind the big 290 count spike down at redfin this morning, which appear also not to agree with other sources.

  151. 151
    Cap”n says:

    It seems that Redfin price estimates for 4+ bedroom SFH in Seattle and lake forest park are often coming in higher than I would expect given the YOY price declines. And many listings in that category that come on market at or even just below the Redfin estimate are languishing. I know it is a crude measure, but for many homes it feels like prices are dropping faster than Redfin’s algorithm can track.

  152. 152
    Erik says:

    RE: Corndogs @ 136
    I did pick that up from you. Come back and help these people learn about real estate.

    You should argue with Deerhawk at some point. You both seem to know a lot about the real estate market with opposite political views. We have corndogs in one corner, the conservative multi family owning kid from Gig Harbor. In the other corner, the liberal house builder and rental house investing machine from NY.

  153. 153
    Rentin’ says:

    RE: Cap”n @ 151 – I’m starting to lose all trust in Redfin estimates. I’ve noticed that the day one of my neighbors’ home is listed, the Redfin estimate goes up 200k higher than it was before. I realize the list price factors into the algorithm, but it seems really manipulative when the estimate is 900k one day, then the property is listed at 1150k and the Redfin estimate is then adjusted to 1200k. It makes me wonder how much the Redfin/Zillow estimates have contributed to the crazy run-up in prices because people have a lot of trust in the estimates. It helps them justify an insane price when “Redfin says it’s worth…!!!”

    I should also add that I benefited from the estimates myself while selling my last home. The day we listed the estimates kept changing and it was really stressful. Thankfully they ended up higher than our list price and we got a full-price offer. It’s a positive for sellers but I think it’s a real negative for buyers.

  154. 154
    Cap”n says:

    RE: Rentin’ @ 153

    Precisely. Zillow estimate is the same. It was at 1.2 million for a house in LFP, house went on market for 1.5, Zillow immediately goes to 1.48. Having that type of result would seem to benefit Redfin (you save more, we make
    More) and Zillow (Re agents, we got you bro)

    Maybe buyer’s refusal to agree with the algorithm in a declining market will eventually take hold even more than it already has.

  155. 155
    Cap”n says:

    RE: Cap”n @ 154

    And another thing, both Zillow and Redfin I believe are forecasting declining prices in the next year. Seems like the fact that you think it will be worth less tomorrow should play a bigger role in what you think it is worth today, but the algorithms don’t appear to take that into account in a meaningful way

  156. 156
    Rentin’ says:

    RE: Cap”n @ 155 – I agree. In areas I’m looking the prices have remained flat from last year, but the estimates seem to be significantly higher than a year ago. The forecasts are down, but I agree that isn’t factoring into the estimates. I have also noticed that the longer listings sit unsold, the estimates start declining, which is interesting.

  157. 157
  158. 158

    RE: Realistic @ 157

    Possibly just a time lag. The listing was cancelled in the mls this afternoon. Or the seller is leaving it on Zillow as a For Sale by Owner.

  159. 159

    RE: Justme @ 150

    1) They can only be on in SFH category but they can be listed twice as condo and residential (sfh), but usually only in the townhome overlap. They can be listed in two areas at the same time and show twice in the same category. mls can and does pull those in the month end stats, but not sure if Redfin can in the hourly stats.

    2) You wouldn’t totally ignore the 693 and the 60.

    3) No. New Construction not excluded. No age range used for those numbers.

    I don’t think Redfin and NWMLS are calculating the numbers the same, as you have figured out. None are ever 100% accurate as all are subject to some agent error or procrastination in posting. Best to use one source exclusively in most cases to identify trends rather than trying to play them off one another.

    In smaller than all of King County stats, which most agents work with, we exclude the double postings and errors. But not really possible to do that on a large scale, nor is it necessary for most agent needs.

    People buying and selling a house in Kirkland don’t really want or need to see what’s happening in Kent…nor would they want the stats diluted by what’s happening in Kent.

    Better to brake it down into markets that are somewhat cohesive.

    What is your primary area of interest? Can’t be all of King County. No one’s is.

  160. 160
    TheBernank says:

    RE: Cap”n @ 155 – I assume RF and Zillow are doing this using basic forecasting tools (Moody’s, treasury yields, etc.), or does anyone else here know how they do it?

  161. 161

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 133
    Based on Your Honest and Brunt Blogging Style [Its Excellent BTW IMO]

    You’d agree the chronic/growing homelessness toxic mess in Seattle is making this area stinky, repulsive and dirty…along with “just plain offensive” to many would be home buyer settlers in Seattle…

    I was at the Kent City Hall bringing out the homelessness crisis/emergency worsening in the Seattle area and asked for “Round Robin” thoughts to solve it. I was treated very “COLD”, no smiles….they all just blamed the homelessness on the homeless lazy attitude and they should just get a job. I corrected the audience by informing them that many work jobs in Seattle but simply can’t afford the rent and work too. They knew I was right, but these Snow Flakes will never admit the truth, it kills their Open Border Party (OBP) “politics” platform to let in more budget crisis homelessness. California’s new 2019 budget has allocated $660,0000,000 just for homeless….what is Washington’s? Zero?


  162. 162

    RE: Rentin’ @ 153
    They Eliminate All the Lower Sweetheart Deals

    They’ve been extracted from the listings websites. With Seattle home prices so high I’m wondering if that’s 50% of the data. Repos, deals from relatives and other reasons galore [like just a generous friend] are all stripped clean from the estimates…

  163. 163
    N says:

    The Zillow estimate for the house I rent is down ~3% yoy (June to June) and forecasted to drop 4.6% in the next 12 months. The rent estimate is also the lowest it’s been in probably years.

    The value of a property is what someone will pay for it, I am not sure why the projected future value would play much into the current valuation. And of course these are just projections.

  164. 164

    RE: Market Psychologist @ 133
    Great Blog

    I’d add about 50% of homelessness are folks that work, they don’t have enough net pay at $10-15/hr to afford rent.

  165. 165
  166. 166
    Realistic says:

    RE: Justme @ 147

    Here are a few listings I found with discrepancies in their status:

    3624 SE 5th St, Renton, WA 98058
    Zillow: Active, Redfin: Pending since 5/30

    2506 NE 6th Pl, Renton, WA 98056
    Zillow: Auction, Redfin: off market

    8217 S 118th St, Seattle, WA 98178
    Zillow: off market, Redfin: Active

    3109 SE 19th Ct, Renton, WA 98058
    Zillow: Auction, Redfin: off market

    14612 SE 140th Pl, Renton, WA 98059
    Zillow: Active, Redfin: Pending since 5/20

  167. 167
    uwp says:

    The tracker can be sort of helpful for some trends, but really the important numbers are from the NWMLS and we get those monthly from The Tim. So I wouldn’t worry too much about the blips and bloops in the sidebar.

  168. 168
    mukoh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – Kary,
    I think you missed where software”engineer” posts then replies to himself and goes on to have a conversation with himself in comments. That’s the post count discrepancy, maybe he is off the sauce or green.

  169. 169
    David says:

    Hmm, I’ve just had something new happen with a home sale I had never run across before.


    1) Submits Purchase Agreement
    2) Includes Promissory Note for Earnest Money
    3) Inspection Contingency
    4) Does not follow through on the inspection but then submits offer cancellation based on failed inspection. This after the realtor said they became concerned about the price and canceled the inspection.
    5) Submits cancellation based upon failed inspection (again it never happened. Also, no neighborhood inspection contingency either.)

    MLS is being sued for monopoly power. I see why.

    MLS should require Buyers to submit wired funds as earnest money same day as offer acceptance or within 24 hours.

    Otherwise, it is just a continuing scam on Sellers. Remember, Seattle Bubble was intended to call attention to inequities of the market system. A lot of people commenting in here are realtors looking to help brand themselves. Real buyers and sellers are who count most.

  170. 170
    IssaquahResident says:

    Never heard about promissory note for earnest money, but I like it. Should it be a part of the offer?

  171. 171
    Justme says:

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 159

    If I add together ALL the KC/SFH numbers (incl landed townhomes) in your post I get

    539+92+544+124+206+145+1377+629+693+60 = 4409

    which is far from redfin 4101 but not so far from zillow’s 4472 that arises from removing fsbo and foreclosures from 4580 (I sampled sometime the same afternoon as you). So that seems to hint that the zillow numbers (properly filtered) are close to the NWMLS numbers. Oh, and because zillow has both NWMLS and non-NWMLS fsbo and foreclosures, I could get the 4472 down by 60 (70-14 plus 38-34 from my table above). At that point zillow adjusted by the 60 would be 4412 versus your 4409. That is so close that a different samplig time easily would explain it.

    Taking a step back again, this leads me to think that the big redfin 290 drop on Weds at around 6am is fishy. But I can’t explain exactly what is wrong and what happened. My inventory graphs this week will surely look funny and very likely will be too low and not be correct. Perhaps redfin will eventually self-correct and perhaps not, we shall see.

  172. 172
    Justme says:

    RE: Realistic @ 166

    What a mess.

    The 1st one never was pending on zillow, so redfin pending likely correct.

    The 2nd one is now active on zillow and pending on redfin, different than when you looked.

    I gave up :). Thanks for the examples, though. My feeling is that the website update routines between NWMLS and all the secondary websites all have problems and fail or have delays quite frequently, and that some programmer or webmaster is dealing unsuccessfully has to deal with a lot of failed updates for whatever software and data quality reasons.

  173. 173

    RE: mukoh @ 168
    We Certainly Don’t Miss Your Posts

    You contribute zero….how do we fix homelessness and make Seattle a more livable city to buy? The Tooth Fairy, Mukoh? I know, you could care less about homelessness or selling conditions in Seattle?

    This is a very serious issue and not something we can ignore. Period. Can you help me Mukoh, I need support to fight it? From everyone with a conscience. I’m sure sales will improve with homelessness fixed in Seattle too.

  174. 174

    Getting the 737 MAX 8 Back in Production Will Assist Seattle Home Sales’ Prices

    But as of today, “the fun goes on and on”, etc, etc…

    The milestone to get the MAX 8 flying again by August 2019 is now “FAA certification” by July 20. It takes 45 days from FAA certification to get them flying again, if ever, I’d add…


    The FAA take on milestone MAX 8 schedule compliance is unknown and omitted from the article too. I wish I could offer more hope than this…the raw data is fog.

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