NWMLS: Home prices and sales stagnated in June

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Five posts in a single day! This has to be some kind of record.

The NWMLS just updated their June stats, 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 again in June, the fourth 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 morning, the rate of increase is rapidly declining from the all-time high set in December. Closed sales were down a bit from a year earlier, while pending sales were up slightly.

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

CAUTION

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

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

June 2019 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 4,625 +2.5% +24.4%
Closed Sales 2,718 +2.9% -1.5%
SAAS (?) 1.32 -16.2% -9.4%
Pending Sales 3,166 -6.6% +6.3%
Months of Supply 1.70 -0.3% +26.2%
Median Price* $695,000 -0.7% -2.8%

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

King County SFH Inventory

Inventory was up just 2.5 percent from May to June, which is much smaller than the double-digit gains we have seen over the same period during the last three years. June of last year saw a 28 percent month-over-month gain. That said, this month’s inventory level is still the highest we’ve seen at the end of June since 2012. Overall, the supply situation is still a marginally good sign for buyers.

Here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

New listings were down 22 percent from May to June, and were down 11 percent from a year ago. That’s a bit concerning for those of us who were hoping to see a continued expansion of supply.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales rose just 3 percent between May and June, and were down 1 percent from last year. Closed sales have been in a fairly tight range between about 2,400 and 2,900 in June every year since 2013, and this year fell right in the middle of that range at 2,718.

King County SFH Pending Sales

Pending sales fell 7 percent month-over-month but were up 6 percent year-over-year. At the same time last year, pending sales were down 10 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

The good news is that even after the steep drop-off since December, we’re still at a higher point than any other time after mid-2008.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

That’s four months in a row now that we have seen falling prices compared to a year ago. It seems that $700,000 appears to be a bit of a price ceiling right now for King County single-family homes.

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

June 2019: $695,000
June 2018: $715,000
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

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

Update: Here’s their story, by Paul Roberts: June real-estate numbers tell a now-familiar story: Seattle is losing buyers to Tacoma, other outlying spots

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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.

57 comments:

  1. 1
    uwp says:

    Thanks for the updates Tim! Always appreciated.
    One note: your “King County SFH summary” has “May” in the table header rather than June.

  2. 2
    ronp says:

    thanks for the update, amazing run up in prices since 2010, we will likely never see such a decline and then increase ever in our lifetimes. I am glad it has plateaued, hopefully for a long time, or reverts to the modest natural increasing value — https://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted

    The mortgage backed securities boondoggle was an anomaly. Now back to your regular nightly programming…

  3. 3
    Joshua Fausset says:

    That is stating it mildly. The whole real estate market is about to tank over the next two years. Real estate interested people are trying to downplay the signs of the crash and say it’s just a plateau or mild correction. But the general public has seen this movie before and will not catch the falling knife to backstop all the speculators who profited in the run up but will get hurt in the crash.RE: ronp @ 2

  4. 4
    TheBenBernank says:

    Is Snohomish county also available?

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    When stock markets fall, RE will fall hard, just like last time.

    When will the stock market tank? I don’t know, but corporate earnings growth is dropping like a rock.

  6. 6
    BacktoBasics says:

    Home owners don’t care if the price is stagnated. People can’t live on the street. So inventory and price have absolutely no effect. Your primary house is for living not for trade.

  7. 7
    David says:

    RE: BacktoBasics @ 6 – People still have to drive to work, so inventory and price have no effect. If there was only one car left in Seattle, it would actually sell for less that sticker!

  8. 8
    Nicole says:

    RE: ronp @ 2
    I wonder. I just saw an ad for Zillow mortgages. All this non-bank lending has less oversight than regular bank lending, and yet the mortgages still get sold off once they are written. After the 2008 mortgage bust it was found that something like 60% of the failed mortgages came from non-bank lenders (Countrywide, et al)

  9. 9
    Deerhawke says:

    Thanks for the timely info and updated charts Tim.

    My take.

    After all of the giddy partying and craziness of Q1 2012 through Q1 2018, you might have thought there would have been a serious hell-to-pay hangover. This site had plenty of real estate prophets during that time calling us to repentance, proclaiming the massive drop in store to atone for past sins. Repent for the end is near.

    But no. Instead we got a mere 3 quarters of headache and shakiness during Quarters 2,3, and 4 of 2018.

    The story of 2019 is taking a little Sunday aspirin, shaking it off and getting back to the boring normal of work on Monday morning.

  10. 10
    Eastsider says:

    From Calculated Risk – In Seattle, (June) sales were down 3.5% year-over-year, and inventory was up 69% year-over-year from very low levels.

    High end is definitely in trouble.

  11. 11
    Justme says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 9

    LOL, Deerhawke didn’y say anything about there being a crazy “party” in 2012-2018 while the bubble was inflating. And now he is trying to spin that the hangover is not as bad as it feels. Good luck with that one.

  12. 12
    uwp says:

    RE: Justme @ 11 – Justme, can I get an update on the price of Amazon stock and the US 10-year treasury rate? It’s been a while since you last posted them for some reason.
    Thanks!

  13. 13

    I’ll Repeat my Old Blog From Days Ago

    Restaurants are closing in droves in Covington, five bit the dust recently at the Home Deport shopping center and the after visiting many of them in the Kent area on vacation recently, the attendance is observed way down too. Covington isn’t the only one:

    “…He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs). The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.

    With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.

    “Everyone is looking at the model right now, asking how do we do math?” he says. “Every operator I’m talking to is in panic mode, trying to figure out what the new world will look like.” Regarding amount of labor, at 14 employees, a Washington restaurant already averages three fewer workers than the national restaurant average (17 employees). Anton anticipates customers will definitely be tested with new menu prices and more. “Seattle is the first city in this thing and everyone’s watching, asking how is this going to change?”

    https://www.seattlemag.com/article/why-are-so-many-seattle-restaurants-closing-lately

    Las Margaritas in Kent was a 25-30 year old local favorite in Kent, its newly remodeled restaurant “new location” caved in at Home Depot too. The Black Diamond Bakery is a Kent area tourist spot with long “1 hour wait”lines generally all Summer in the recent past….not anymore, the place is a Summer Ghost Town and has been sold recently by two owners…there were two tables full when we we were immediately seated a few days ago.

    The reason is not just $15/hr IMO. Real estate follows restaurants’ trends or is this business trend just a minor glitch and has no relationship to real estate sales because its apparently going down? You pick bloggers.

  14. 14

    When Did the Once Great COSTCO Become a Burger Flipper Walmart Pay Company?

    New July 2019 COSTCO Pay data:

    https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Costco-Wholesale/salaries

    The pay shows almost all workers make like $11-14/hr…that will pay the high rent in Seattle with a single income? Not.

  15. 15

    Per Capita Pay Exaggerations Not Just in Seattle Area

    Its Kansas City making similar things up too with no raw data?

    https://www.tonyskansascity.com/2019/07/kansas-city-living-wage-virtue-signal.html

    Ya see why I ask workers about their pay, and don’t depend on Fake News alone…you decide bloggers, is this low wage an impact on future rents in Seattle and home price trends? Or just more SWE exaggerations? I sure wouldn’t want 60-70% of my net pay going for rent, how about you?

  16. 16
    N says:

    I don’t see any discussion of the Seattle Times storyline (re: Seattle down, suburbs up as much as double digits YOY). Rather than taking the data to fit your narrative, lets have an honest discussion on what these numbers mean.

    Do you discount this trend? Does it confirm that it’s a affordability issue in KC and overall demand is still strong (as is the economy)? Are the outlying areas just trending behind Seattle? How long does a trend hold where outlying areas are hotter than the KC? Generally I’d much rather have location, especially if we do face a downturn.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/june-real-estate-numbers-tell-a-now-familiar-story-seattle-is-losing-buyers-to-tacoma-other-outlying-spots/

  17. 17

    RE: N @ 16
    Yes N

    Without good data we’re all using a flashlight with no batteries. We all have our biases, but good data is neutral.

  18. 18

    RE: N @ 16
    My Son-n Law From Kansas City Saw a 33% increase in Gross Pay at Bank of America

    Its one data point, but he was unemployed and making $10/hr a few years ago. He now makes $48K/Yr with a high school diploma in KC, with just a few years experience too. The rent on a 3 bdrm house with 1/2 acre just miles from City Center is $600/mo too. Beat those numbers in Seattle.

    His secret is my family management, keeping him in my rental and making sure its stable for like five years too. Ya need a reliable car with a insurance to make the big bucks too. Employers aren’t stupid.

  19. 19
    ohd1122 says:

    By uwp @ 12:

    RE: Justme @ 11 – Justme, can I get an update on the price of Amazon stock and the US 10-year treasury rate? It’s been a while since you last posted them for some reason.
    Thanks!

    Amazon stock is almost back to the level it was ten months ago, but not quite. Facebook stock is still about 10% off of one year ago. Google stock is down from one year ago and has been pretty flat for the past 18 months (GOOGL). Microsoft stock remains within range of an all-time high. Apple is up vs. one year ago, but down >10% from high ten months ago.

  20. 20
    The Tim says:

    RE: uwp @ 1 – Thanks, I’ve fixed it.

    RE: TheBenBernank @ 4 – Yes, I plan to post an update to the “Around the Sound” data from the other counties later this week.

  21. 21
    sfrz says:

    RE: Deerhawke @ 9 – I would respectfully disagree Deer. There is no longer a normal, or back to a “normal.” We are in uncharted territory: debt in the trillions; stock buy backs creating artificial highs; the speculative euphoria is at all time highs. The hangover is going to cost us all.
    From Dave Rosenberg @EconguyRosie: “For those who “can’t see the recession, it’s illustrated for you in this chart. The NY Fed model now pegs recession risk at 32.9%, a 12-year high. History shows there’s no turning back at this level.” https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-9pfmEWwAA79t2.png:large
    People can buy or not buy. It’s up to the individual on the risks they are willing to take.

  22. 22
    uwp says:

    RE: ohd1122 @ 19 – Thanks! I thought Justme would be quicker on the draw (like he used to be), but for some reason he didn’t want to let us know that Amazon is within 3% of it’s all-time high.

    And the 10-year Treasury yield is at 2.06% (if anyone cares).

  23. 23
    ohd1122 says:

    RE: uwp @ 22

    Or that Amazon has essentially been dead money for almost a year. It’s kind of funny how the real estate market in Seattle and Amazon/FB/Google stock prices started plateauing at around the same time! Tech shareholders better hope for a good earnings quarter.

  24. 24
    Blake says:

    A few updates on the looming recession from David Rosenburg:
    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1148252544541614080

    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1148281359544324096

    And for those of you banking on the Fed sharply cutting interest rates… Historically such sharp cuts have ONLY ever been followed by recessions. (i.e. it is too late!)

    Pass the popcorn because … here we go again!

  25. 25
    Eastsider says:

    By Eastsider @ 10:

    From Calculated Risk – In Seattle, (June) sales were down 3.5% year-over-year, and inventory was up 69% year-over-year from very low levels.

    High end is definitely in trouble.

    Again, from Calculated Risk – Las Vegas Real Estate in June: Sales down 11% YoY, Inventory up 89% YoY.

    The recent sales slowdown/reversal appears to be a nationwide phenomenon.

  26. 26
    ohd1122 says:

    Article on MSN today about national real estate market: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/the-housing-market-is-about-to-shift-in-a-bad-way-for-buyers/ar-AAE5hSU?ocid=spartanntp

    Realtor.com chief economist predicts drops in inventory supply, which could cause rise in housing prices but not necessarily in high cost areas such as Seattle.

  27. 27
    uwp says:

    By ohd1122 @ 23:

    Or that Amazon has essentially been dead money for almost a year.

    I guess, if you bought it during September 2018 as opposed to any other time in all of history.

    If you aren’t at all-time highs you’re dead money… That’s certainly one (pessimistic) way of looking at it!

    I wonder what percentage of the time individual stocks are at all time highs as opposed to up and down but trending up the long haul. We’ll leave that question to the philosophers.

  28. 28
    ohd1122 says:

    RE: uwp @ 27

    We can have this debate until the cows come home and that’s my point. You asked for an update on Amazon’s stock price. Turns out, both of us have different perspectives on Amazon’s recent stock performance. We’re both at least sorta right. Yes, it’s at an all time high (or close enough), but it was at the same place almost a year ago, cratered 30%, and has finally clawed back to the same place after six months. So what does it all mean? Someone smarter than me should weigh in, because I have no idea. If it drops 10% after earnings in two weeks how would you interpret that? And more importantly, how would that affect the Seattle real estate market?

    Turns out looking at one data point in a vacuum to draw broader conclusions doesn’t always work well.

  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 24 – It’s all over. If you ain’t cashed out of the Seattle market by now, you’ll be boarding up windows and wishing for some bump stock modified AR-15’s when the homeless zombies strike!

  30. 30
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: Justme @ 11

    Actually I continually —under—estimated the rise in the market during the whole period from 2012 to early 2018.

    But wait, where is that MASSIVE drop you kept saying was on the way, just around the corner, on the way, in process as we speak, etc.etc.

    Is it still coming? Or was that it in 2017? Was that it? Was that all?

  31. 31
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: N @ 16

    I am not sure what Paul Robert’s normal beat is, but he is very new to real estate. At this point he is trying to stitch together a bunch of quotes to make a story but he really doesn’t have a sense of the overall picture. He cannot put together a narrative that weaves together month to month change, YTD change, annual change and seasonal change. What he gives us is a bit of a pastiche.

    Look at the charts above. Good information is there. Be as objective as possible.

    What happened over the past two years?
    What happened over the past year?
    What has happened since January?
    What happened in the second quarter?
    What happened this month?
    What do you normally expect to happen during this time of year?
    When you put it all together, what is the overall narrative?
    What do the trend lines and fundamentals lead you to believe about the future?

    That is economic forecasting in a nutshell. The Seattle Times could and should do better.

  32. 32
    Deerhawke says:

    RE: sfrz @ 21

    You can be short and long term bullish on the Seattle economy, but still believe we are in for a doozy of a national recession is the medium term. Given the length of this current expansion, I personally believe we are long overdue.

    Will Seattle get off without consequence? Of course not.
    Will Seattle enter after the rest of the country like in the past? Probably.
    Will Seattle come out a bit faster than the rest of the country like in the past? Probably.
    Will Seattle gain at the expense of other areas as in past recessions? Quite likely.

    So if you are a short term investor, it has to be a hell of an opportunity to be worth it. Not just merely good. It has to be excellent.

    If you are a long term investor, you will do fine.

    I sure wouldn’t want to make a bet right now on anything in the 2-3 year range.

  33. 33
    David says:

    The sky is going to fall SOON has been the mantra going back two years. You can read every comment above and you’ve collectively read every comment going back 2 years.

  34. 34
    formerSeattleite says:

    By Blake @ 24:

    A few updates on the looming recession from David Rosenburg:
    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1148252544541614080

    https://twitter.com/EconguyRosie/status/1148281359544324096

    And for those of you banking on the Fed sharply cutting interest rates… Historically such sharp cuts have ONLY ever been followed by recessions. (i.e. it is too late!)

    Pass the popcorn because … here we go again!

    And this time, instead of going from 5%/6% to 0%, they’ll be going from 2% to 0%. It definitely won’t be as effective this time around. They’ll have to come up with something new to inject financial steroids in the system.

    By David @ 33:

    The sky is going to fall SOON has been the mantra going back two years. You can read every comment above and you’ve collectively read every comment going back 2 years.

    True… maybe even longer than 2 years.

  35. 35

    By Deerhawke @ 31:

    RE: N @ 16

    I am not sure what Paul Robert’s normal beat is, but he is very new to real estate.

    I haven’t gone back to look to see if he’s the one who also did the article on the Case-Shiller data, but this article is much better than that one. I would be critical of focusing on minor changes or small areas, but the one thing he caught (and could have even expanded on) is Seattle politics affecting the numbers. Wealthy people no longer feel wanted in Seattle and even feel attacked. Look at the map at the top of the article and you see Mercer Island and Bellevue with significant price increases. Not so for Seattle. The wealthy are fleeing Seattle.

    Area 390 (Central Seattle) is particularly telling, and one of the worst if not worst performing areas in Seattle. There the median is only down about $10,000 YOY, but the mean is down $225,000! ($1,148k vs. $1,378k). Sales have been relatively steady in that area, but only as a result of lower prices. (Note I have done only a basic check for change in mix. The median square footage is up by about 100, and the mean down by about 200, which is less than 10%.)

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not guaranteed.

  36. 36
    biliruben says:

    Head tax repealed. SFH zoning firmly in place. Most regressive tax structure, most favorable to rich in nearly the entire country. If the rich are fleeing, they are idiots. Maybe we have just run out of people who can afford million dollar shit shacks.

  37. 37
    GoHawks says:

    Amazon and MSFT both over a trillion in market cap now and mortgage rates are at a 2 year low. The sky sure is falling.

  38. 38

    RE: GoHawks @ 36
    Now We Need Raw Data on AMZ and MSFT Employment Wages and Employees Hired in Each Wage Band

    How many warehouse and low paid administration MASSES versus a sprinkling real professional high paid jobs requiring experience at MSFT/AMZ?….these details get masked IMO. How many of the high paid jobs advertised were actually filled YOY? 0%? Who knows without raw data.

  39. 39

    By biliruben @ 35:

    Head tax repealed. SFH zoning firmly in place. Most regressive tax structure, most favorable to rich in nearly the entire country. If the rich are fleeing, they are idiots. Maybe we have just run out of people who can afford million dollar shit shacks.

    Seattle still has not given up on its blatantly illegal income tax. That is currently pending before the state Supreme Court if I recall correctly.

    And no, it’s not the most regressive tax system–that’s just propaganda of groups that want to push an income tax in Washington.

  40. 40
    elliptico says:

    Say, what is Powell dumping into the punch?

  41. 41
    biliruben says:

    So what state has the most regressive tax structure? Everything I’ve seen says Washington.

    Property tax is reasonably progressive, and very low compared to other states.

    Sales tax is very regressive, and extremely high.

    No income tax, and likely never will be, baring a constitutional amendment.

    Lot’s of corporate tax breaks.

    Every list I’ve ever seen has Washington #1 for screwing the poor and getting on their knees for the rich.

  42. 42
    Blake says:

    By GoHawks @ 36:

    Amazon and MSFT both over a trillion in market cap now and mortgage rates are at a 2 year low. The sky sure is falling.

    The 2007-9 Great Recession started in December 2007, but the speculators in the stock market kept things bubbly til September 2008. We’ll may see a “blow off” before they dump and run…

  43. 43
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38
    Yes Kary… I’m curious what state actually has the most regressive taxes… in your opinion. Or better yet: not in your opinion, but ACTUALLY! Cite a source or two please…

  44. 44

    By biliruben @ 40:

    So what state has the most regressive tax structure? Everything I’ve seen says Washington.

    Property tax is reasonably progressive, and very low compared to other states.

    Sales tax is very regressive, and extremely high.

    No income tax, and likely never will be, baring a constitutional amendment.

    Lot’s of corporate tax breaks.

    Every list I’ve ever seen has Washington #1 for screwing the poor and getting on their knees for the rich.

    Every list you’ve ever seen probably has the same source. Use altered data enough times and pretty soon it becomes the truth.

    Note I’m not saying our system isn’t regressive, and I’m not even against an income tax.

    I would also note that this issue is really a sub-issue of what I posted about Seattle not being friendly to the wealthy and their feeling attacked. It goes beyond the income tax. Also it probably goes beyond the wealthy. I suspect the recent zoning changes are not too popular with a number of SFR property owners.

  45. 45
    Dustin says:

    By Deerhawke @ 32:

    RE: sfrz @ 21 – I sure wouldn’t want to make a bet right now on anything in the 2-3 year range.

    I think there will be a reaction to the trend that has favored dense/urban living that has bolstered Seattle in recent years, and an increasing backlash against progressive politics more specific to Seattle. This will be intensified by continued increases in crime and violent events in urban neighborhoods (from package and auto theft to events like the random stabbing that occurred downtown yesterday), as it leads people to feel unsafe in the city. These changes could lead to:

    -More people leaving Seattle to live in the region’s suburbs (Bellevue? Sammamish? Redmond? Shoreline?)
    -More people leaving the region to live in other major cities that are cheaper and more politically moderate (Midwest?)

    Anemic growth could be the norm in Seattle for a while as economic and political turbulence plays itself out.

  46. 46

    By Blake @ 42:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38
    Yes Kary… I’m curious what state actually has the most regressive taxes… in your opinion. Or better yet: not in your opinion, but ACTUALLY! Cite a source or two please…

    I don’t know because I haven’t studied every tax system. I have studied the report that Washington has the most regressive tax, and it is BS because it only gets to that result by allocating taxes to people that they don’t pay. Only naïve people who don’t understand either business or economics think that poor renters in Seattle pay real estate taxes. Posts from such people will surely follow here, and can also be found in recent threads.

  47. 47
    Dustin says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 34:

    RE: N @ 16 – The wealthy are fleeing Seattle.

    At least for the last couple of years, I’ve felt central Seattle has been overvalued compared to other areas of the Seattle real estate market. Maybe Amazon’s amazing transformation of South Lake Union convinced people that small apartments could have immense value. I think the tony SFH neighborhoods on the periphery of downtown – Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Montlake, etc – will retain appeal to certain buyers. Mercer Island and Bellevue will probably benefit from the completion of East Side Link over the next several years.

  48. 48
    Blake says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 45
    So… you would never argue that if we raise property taxes rents would inevitably go UP due to the increased cost for landlords?

    Sorry, but that is ABSURD!

  49. 49

    RE: Blake @ 41

    The events that created the start of the recession happened around August 3rd 2007. None of the markets were immediately impacted with most of the down-slide happening in 2008. The stock market peaked (and I use the Dow) around October 5, 2007 breaking into the 14,000 range. By the end of February 2009 it was half that at just over 7,000, though I seem to recall it being at under 7,000 briefly around the same time, maybe a bit after and into March.

    It’s possible that many didn’t notice the decline until September of 2008, because the 60 day period from September 15, 2008 to November 15, 2008 (more pronounced in the first 30 days of that period as I recall) the decline was the steepest. But the decline was well under way by mid September of 2008 dropping from 14,000 to to 11,000 or so before mid September and then down to 8,000 pretty quickly during the heat of the 8 year cycle Presidential Campaign. I believe it bottomed out around the time of the Inauguration or shortly thereafter.

    This in response to your “The 2007-9 Great Recession started in December 2007, but the speculators in the stock market kept things bubbly til September 2008.”

    Not so, and people should pay attention to the final days of the Campaign coming up when there is a very strong pull both for and against the markets, which is why there is talk of Presidential and Party pressures on rates.

    To be clear, the crash of 2008 is not a once in a lifetime event and I have seen it twice since I’ve been old enough to pay attention to such things. In many parts of the Country the same thing happened in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Seattle was spared that time, I think because Microsoft was ranking up during the same time.

    By the time the major rise in home prices 1985 to 1989 or so turned into the same type of major crash we experienced in 2008, Microsoft was beginning a massive employee hiring phase that counter balanced the decline. That caused the Seattle market to be more flat during the previous Great Recession as opposed to down as to home prices.

    It is difficult to be a student of the market if you are trying to pull the facts into the direction of the point you are trying to make (this not aimed at you specifically Blake). All would be better served if you drew conclusions from the data vs calculating the data after the fact to help make your preconceived point.

    As to the housing market…well this comment is already too long, but try doing a YOY at end of July using June of previous years and July of 2019. This July is more normal for June. The snow, and school year cycle resultant changes due to the snow, set the markets off kilter a bit by about 20-30 days. In addition to the YOY do those stats. I won’t do them until the Season ends because when the season ends is an important factor to consider. Last year we had a shortened season and this year we should have a longer one. Weakness started in July last year, but I think this July will look more like last year’s June and maybe even 2017s June.

    Overall the stance is to be bearish enough to be cautious, which is always the case moving into the campaign cycle of an 8 year Presidential campaign. We are in a 4 year cycle, which usually is not as important because the incumbent party has more strength. But this particular President likely creates the same vigor and pull on the markets as an 8 year cycle.

    I expect the markets to survive and being bearish does not mean that you believe with certainty that there will be a crash or even a correction. Bearish means proceed with extreme caution, and only proceed if other factors make proceeding compelling enough to proceed regardless.

  50. 50
    formerSeattleite says:

    By Blurtman @ 29:

    RE: Blake @ 24 – It’s all over. If you ain’t cashed out of the Seattle market by now, you’ll be boarding up windows and wishing for some bump stock modified AR-15’s when the homeless zombies strike!

    I’m not saying it is or it isn’t but the Fed (aka Jerome Powell) sure is putting on a rosy picture for the economy. I think only something unexpected at this point could derail it? (war? new president in 2020? economic crash in China?)

    By David @ 33:

    The sky is going to fall SOON has been the mantra going back two years. You can read every comment above and you’ve collectively read every comment going back 2 years.

    Yup… maybe even more than 2 years?

  51. 51

    By Blake @ 47:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 45
    So… you would never argue that if we raise property taxes rents would inevitably go UP due to the increased cost for landlords?

    Sorry, but that is ABSURD!

    Over the very long term, but in 2018 taxes went up and rents down.

    It’s only absurd if you get your understanding of business and economics from reading newspapers. You know, the same entities which are going out of business.

    Rents are affected by supply and demand. Higher taxes would reduce the supply of rentals over the very long term, and only in a very marginal way. Prior to 2018 rents were not rising due to landlords having higher costs. They were rising due to higher demand.

  52. 52

    By formerSeattleite @ 49:

    Yup… maybe even more than 2 years?

    Probably all the way back to the beginning of SB. And except for Erik, I don’t recall anyone here being particularly bullish on the local market (although I’m sure there were some).

  53. 53
    biliruben says:

    It doesn’t need to be long term, Kary. If I am a landlord, and the rent isn’t covering my carrying costs, id likely sell, decreasing supply. If I’m a renter, and my landlord Jack’s my rent 30 percent, I’m going to consider Tacoma, decreasing demand.

  54. 54
    formerSeattleite says:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/the-housing-market-is-about-to-shift-in-a-bad-way-for-buyers/ar-AAE5hSU?li=BBnbfcN

    According to realtor.com, housing market is about to take off (again) and go back to bidding wars.

  55. 55
    JustNoise says:

    RE: formerSeattleite @ 54 – In “small, inland markets where a typical home is still affordable for a middle-class family”. Probably not in expensive, coastal markets.

  56. 56

    By formerSeattleite @ 54:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/the-housing-market-is-about-to-shift-in-a-bad-way-for-buyers/ar-AAE5hSU?li=BBnbfcN

    According to realtor.com, housing market is about to take off (again) and go back to bidding wars.

    I saw the link to that article a couple of days ago. Didn’t consider it worthwhile to even click. It also doesn’t justify a separate response, so . . .

    By biliruben @ 53:

    It doesn’t need to be long term, Kary. If I am a landlord, and the rent isn’t covering my carrying costs, id likely sell, decreasing supply. If I’m a renter, and my landlord Jack’s my rent 30 percent, I’m going to consider Tacoma, decreasing demand.

    How many landlords in Seattle do you think were so affected in Seattle by the last tax increases? Pretty damn close to zero probably, given the rise in rents the prior year. And if the government gave the landlords a year holiday from taxes, in this market the rents would not drop unless that holiday required it.

    But you’re assuming landlords expect to cash flow. Believe it or not, buildings are often bought with the expectation of no cash flow.

  57. 57
    Blurtman says:

    By formerSeattleite @ 50:

    By Blurtman @ 29:

    RE: Blake @ 24 – It’s all over. If you ain’t cashed out of the Seattle market by now, you’ll be boarding up windows and wishing for some bump stock modified AR-15’s when the homeless zombies strike!

    I’m not saying it is or it isn’t but the Fed (aka Jerome Powell) sure is putting on a rosy picture for the economy. I think only something unexpected at this point could derail it? (war? new president in 2020? economic crash in China?)

    Folks expect a long-running bull market to retrace, the longer the run lasts. The Fed had to try to raise rates to be able to lower them to goose the economy in the future. So now, the Fed can lower rates to keep the party going. But when they can no longer lower rates, then the fun begins. Until then, party like it’s 1999.

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