Around the Sound: Still a dismal market for buyers everywhere

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Let’s take a look at our stats for the local regions outside of the King/Snohomish core. Here’s your October update to our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

Things are looking pretty similar all around the Puget Sound region—extremely low supply, high demand, and skyrocketing prices. The one tiny bright spot for buyers is that new listings are higher than they were a year ago in every county.

First up, a summary table:

October 2020 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $745,000 $579,972 $430,000 $437,000 $395,000 $449,000 $441,500 $474,450
Price YOY 12.9% 17.2% 17.8% 13.2% 13.4% 24.7% 17.6% 13.2%
New Listings 2,986 1,309 1,512 472 492 173 197 320
New Listings YOY 29.7% 20.6% 23.1% 27.9% 21.8% 29.1% 4.2% 4.9%
Active Listings 2,258 652 881 280 217 122 188 323
Active YOY -37.6% -59.2% -46.6% -42.5% -54.4% -60.3% -44.9% -51.4%
Pending Sales 3,007 1,403 1,658 524 549 182 219 331
Pending YOY 16.0% 12.4% 11.2% 10.3% 11.8% 16.7% -0.5% 2.2%
Closed Sales 3,027 1,438 1,520 527 522 179 232 344
Closed YOY 36.0% 36.0% 18.0% 28.9% 15.0% 32.6% 22.1% 19.0%
Months of Supply 0.7 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.9

Median home prices were up in every single county from a year earlier. King County’s 13 percent increase was actually the smallest around the sound, while the largest price gains were in Island County.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Year-Over-Year Change in Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Here’s the one sort-of bright spot for buyers: New listings are on the rise, especially in King County.

New Listings of Single-Family Homes

However, active listings are down dramatically from a year ago in every county. The biggest decline was in Island County (probably no surprise then that prices are up the most there), where listings fell by 60 percent from a year earlier. King County saw the smallest drop, but was still down 38 percent.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Closed sales were up across the board in every single county. The biggest gains were in King and Snohomish Counties, which both saw closed sales increase 36 percent from a year ago. Pierce and Thurston had the smallest gains at 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Months of supply is just absolutely abysmal for buyers everywhere. Every single county less than one month of supply in October.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

In summary: It’s still a pretty terrible time to be a home buyer, across the entire Greater Seattle Area.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 4 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.

556 comments:

  1. 501
    Erik says:

    RE: chip&dip @ 500
    I’m not gonna let some party snack talk about me like that!

  2. 502
    Erik says:

    RE: chip&dip @ 500
    Nasty Erik, ha ha ha! I’m trying to convince these computer geeks to invest in real estate. If they have high incomes, it’s even easier. So much more can be gained with real estate vs saving into a 401K.

  3. 503
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 488RE: Erik @ 495
    I take it back, rates could be going up. Maybe I should look closer at that graph.

    From an investor I follow:

    “Fears brewing that Fed will raise rates sooner than 2023/2024 after all. Reflation searches skyrocket on Google. @CathieDWood at @ARKInvest sees 2 paths: 1) Inflation SOONER; Fed changes course & rates bump. 2) Velocity stays low; inflation stays low; rates stay low. I think 2.”

    Maybe the Fed lied to us and rates are going up.? This guy thinks we’ll have low inflation over the next few years, but who knows.

    So, if inflation stays low, rates will stay low. and I can refinance at lower rates. I should be cheering for less stimulus.

  4. 504
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Erik @ 503 – Gas prices are up. Food, too. Thank goodness Blatz beer is holding the line, although I have a sneaking suspicion that the XXtra Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos bag has gotten smaller. What is Biden doing about this!

  5. 505
    ruxpert says:

    so what is the market euphoria all about?
    https://youtu.be/69TnvJ5-kyg?t=568

  6. 506

    RE: Blurtman @ 504
    Food Cost is Almost Free Now

    Most of the cost of food at Safeway is plastic containers made from oil….if oil goes up so will food. Cheap labor is a moot point in comparison and a useless food price fix now.

  7. 507

    RE: Erik @ 503
    Don’t Feel Bad Erik:

    The trend uncertainty in inflation won’t change much? The likely Biden Tax Increases won’t pop up until a tax plan change passes Congress for 2022 and wasting time on a dead end impeachment isn’t speeding it up either. The Dem version immigration bill just won’t fly for the Dems….not with Killer Flu travel restrictions and poverty for indoor workers/businesses. the fun goes on and on…LOL….the future is clear as mud now.

  8. 508
    Erik says:

    RE: ruxpert @ 505
    Brought to you by Kitco, the precious metal distributor. They are trying to scare people out of the stock market, so they can sell more precious metals. I don’t take advice from salespeople when it comes to investing.

  9. 509
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 507
    I suspect I’ll have time to refinance before rates go back up. I heard the banks aren’t doing cash out refi’s on investment properties though. I wasn’t planning to pull money out, but I thought it was interesting. If I want to pull money out, I’ll just have to get a HELOC.

    One more economic dip and Biden will start loosening lending standards, watch. That will be the beginning of another major real estate crash.

  10. 510

    RE: Erik @ 502

    You do sound a little like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas “For us to live any other way was nuts. Uh, to us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls.” :)

  11. 511
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 510
    Thanks. I see myself more like the mother monkey though.

    Mother monkey is trying to kick all the little baby code monkeys out of the den and they won’t leave. But they are scared little code monkeys…. “No mommy, I can’t leave! For what if I get eaten by a tiger?!!!” Then the group of scared little baby monkeys finds every reason they can to not leave the den. Mother monkey gets frustrated and starts beating her fists near the monkeys to leave, but they won’t. They just keep coming up with excuse after excuse why they have to stay in mother’s den.

  12. 512
    chip&dip says:

    RE: Erik @ 491 – No lies, except the ones that you like. Any one that is new to this site please be aware that Eric boasts from his reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which was writing by a snake oil salesman.

    https://thecollegeinvestor.com/4726/ultimate-hypocrite-robert-kiyosaki-companys-bankruptcy/
    “Practice What You Preach
    What upsets me the most is that Kiyosaki is portrayed by many as a financial guru. His Rich Dad, Poor Dad book made him famous because of the practical advice that he pretended to gain throughout his life. He talks about life lessons learned, and how that allowed him to do great things in real estate and other ventures.
    The problem?
    Prior to his 1997 publication of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki never had any documentation of the wealth he supposedly amassed (Forbes)
    There really wasn’t a rich dad, even though his book specifically claims there was one (Smart Money Magazine, February 2003)
    In the end, this “non-fiction” story is just fiction, and so it calls into doubt the advice he gives to readers and followers.”

  13. 513
    Erik says:

    RE: chip&dip @ 512
    Rich Dad Poor Dad is in one of my favorites. I read a lot and it was very eye opening. If you want to make any big money, you gotta stop working for cash and make cash work for you. Great and very true message. I bought his cash flow board game and I think it really helped me with the way I think about money. Why not make money off borrowed cash? It’s a lot easier to make than working for money and you can make money a lot faster his way.

    I follow Robert Kiosaki on Twitter and what he’s been saying has come to fruition. Now he’s saying this:

    “First 100 Days. Biden to start printing money. 1st Step change the rules of the Fed. That is why Janet Yellen, former Fed Chairman is Sec of Treasury. Once Fed rules changed helicopters start dropped money directly to people. Dollar will be destroyed. Buy gold silver Bitcoin.”

    He’s been saying this since April 2020.

    He also said covid is a cover to bail out the repo market, which seems pretty likely to me.

    Why all the hate for Robert Kiosaki? He’s totally right. Wayyy easier to make money fast in Real Estate investing vs working for cash and saving until your old. The one thing that got me motivated was he said this… Employees have one income stream, their job. If they lose their job, that income stream dissolves and they have nothing. Since that point I’ve been trying to develop a passive income stream from real estate equal to my earned income in order to reduce my risk. I think it’s a really good point. Along the way to my goal, Covid struck and the Fed gave landlords a year off of paying their mortgages. Now they are gonna give landlords a $10k EIDL grant as a bonus. If you want money and financial security, real estate is where it’s at. Employees are ripped off on a daily basis.

    And if Robert Kiosaki is right about more and more printing of money, that’s even better for landlords. When the fed prints money, housing prices go up, and mortgage owed stay the same increasing a landlord’s net worth. Wake up and do what the smart money does party snack!

  14. 514
    ruxpert says:

    RE: ruxpert @ 494

    Another episode:
    Washington DC Real Estate?

    Radio-Theater
    Far-Fetched, yet Intriguing listen/audiocog:
    Regardless of what side you currently reside in the DemoRub Trap,
    this appears to present some intriguing story-telling; you may enjoy?

    Situation Update, Jan 14th, 2021 – The FEMA Military coup to SAVE America, not destroy it
    ‘The Amazing Information’ starts at 8:40 minutes in
    https://youtu.be/-cvxsr9Q63Y?t=509

  15. 515
  16. 516
    Erik says:

    RE: ruxpert @ 515
    I think Robert Kiosaki is a drama Queen. He is saying some bold things. He’s been pretty much right so far though. I like to watch him on Twitter as things unfold to see if he’s right. So far Robert Kiosaki has been right. Now we have the house, senate, and president all democrat and we are primed to print money. Biden is bringing in Janet Yellen to change the rules of the fed so they can print more money. At this point I kinda think he’s gonna be right again. My real estate investment money is all in Tesla and holding or else I may buy bitcoin.

    Real estate prices are going to skyrocket if we have massive inflation. It will be easy for landlords to sell and pay off property as mortgages stay constant and the value of the dollar tanks. Viva Joe Biden! He’s gonna screw America, but it doesn’t mean landlords still can’t profit.

  17. 517
    northender says:

    RE: Erik @ 516
    For about the last 15 years I’ve thought off and on that inflation and interest rates were sure to rise at some point but no, rates have only fallen and inflation has stayed low. But this has been a lucrative time to own and hold property anyway.

    I could imagine some increased inflation but don’t think it would get crazy. And even if there is inflation there is a potential for dems to impose rent control that would limit the benefits to landlords. The legislative session has just begun but already some wacky bills have been introduced to prohibit eviction and establish rent control for one or more years after the covid emergency passes. You can look up SB5160 and SB5139.

  18. 518
    OA says:

    By northender @ 517:

    RE: Erik @ 516
    For about the last 15 years I’ve thought off and on that inflation and interest rates were sure to rise at some point but no, rates have only fallen and inflation has stayed low. But this has been a lucrative time to own and hold property anyway.

    I could imagine some increased inflation but don’t think it would get crazy. And even if there is inflation there is a potential for dems to impose rent control that would limit the benefits to landlords. The legislative session has just begun but already some wacky bills have been introduced to prohibit eviction and establish rent control for one or more years after the covid emergency passes. You can look up SB5160 and SB5139.

    100% agree on the interest rates and inflation. It’s really odd that for the past decade we’ve had fairly low rates and inflation has been low as well, it’s not supposed to work that way.

  19. 519
    ruxpert says:

    You thought 2020 was bad? 2021 will be ‘dreadful’, ‘unprecedented’ – Gerald Celente
    https://www.kitco.com/news/2021-01-14/You-thought-2020-was-bad-2021-will-be-dreadful-unprecedented-Gerald-Celente.html

  20. 520
    Blurtman says:

    Quite amazing to hear people discuss the lack of inflation in the comments section of a story that describes RE price inflation of 13 – 25% YOY.

    Nota bene: There is RE, equities, college, health care, automobiles, etc. price inflation. Compounding the pain has been flat wages.

    Less than a decade ago, Seattle was like any other town. People with nothing but problems. Then, out of the sky came a solution. Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life…Your new bodies are growing in there. They’re taking you over cell for cell, atom for atom. There is no pain. Suddenly, while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds, your memories and you’re reborn into an untroubled world…Tomorrow you’ll be one of us…There’s no need for love…Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life is so simple, believe me.

  21. 521
    Erik says:

    RE: northender @ 517
    The fed lowers interest rates to increase inflation. When inflation gets too high, they raise interest rates to lower inflation. What happens when inflation is low and we can’t reduce rates any further to raise inflation? We print money.

    I think inflation will slump again and we won’t be able to lower rates any further. Then we’ll start printing money and devaluing our currency. Landlords will get richer and employees saving in diversified index funds will get poorer. The sheep that were told to invest in a well diversified 401k will get slaughtered and end up working for money until they die. The ones that have passive income that increases with inflation will be saved.

  22. 522
  23. 523

    RE: Brianna @ 522
    Biden wants $2T More Federal Debt Now

    How does he get that much debt? Will it portend higher interest rates in 2022 when the Trump tax tables are replaced with much higher Biden ones in 2023? Time will tell…use a crystal ball, its more accurate….LOL

    Seattle Real Estate price increases now has its head on the 2022 Biden tax increases head extractor and the blade is coming down in about a year? How can anyone be haughty and pretend to know? The Tooth fairy knows….LOL

  24. 524

    Generally I’m not a fan of low rates, but then I’m probably the only one who remembers buying 30 year bonds at 18%. :) One of the reasons so many have been buying into get rich quick schemes for many years now is that interest rates have been too low. Same with home prices getting out of control because rates are too low. I will remind people that the appreciation rate we see is not commonplace around the Country. When home prices double every 20 years, that is equivalent to an old-timey 5% passbook savings account. Many not out in the middle of nowhere houses took 20 years to be worth double what the owner paid, while here we have seen that happen in 2 to 4 years in many cases. So ask yourself why that happened and why it might not happen again. Picture this area as it was 15 to 20 years ago and whether it will plateau as to that type of explosion of new businesses hiring at high salaries and even possibly start unraveling. 20 years ago the Seattle Area had nowhere to go but up…but can you say that today and in the long term? Not saying the answer is no. That is for each of you to answer. I don’t think that can happen without a new crash first. So investing for appreciation today thinking home prices will double again in short order, at some point if not today has to be a nonstarter.

    I have a question that’s off on a tangent. In the talks about stimulus and the Federal Government coming up with a plan to provide needed funds to the States I hear this. States HAVE to only spend what they have. They don’t have the same ability as the Federal Government to use debt to fund…vaccinations, rent assistance and all of the things that are coming down the pike due to 2020. BUT…here’s the question. Why should people who live in a State with a 10% income tax pay more Federal Tax dollars to fund the States that have NO income tax? Shouldn’t all of the States have the same Income Tax if people in other States are expected to pay the shortfall of a State with inadequate funds? If inadequate funds are because of the Income Tax differential between States, why should the Federal Government fund the States that don’t tax as much as others? 7 States have NO Income Tax. The top 10 States have an average Income Tax of about 10%. California’s is 13% or so. Hawaii is 11%. A few others are just under 10%. So why should/would California care that WA doesn’t have enough money? I know no one wants high rates and a Federally mandated income tax, but isn’t that what is needed? If the Federal Government has to fund the shortfall, shouldn’t they have some say in how much is collected? Or should it be a loan to the States that have no Income Tax from the people whose tax is 13%?

  25. 525
    Erik says:

    RE: Brianna @ 522
    They will continue printing money then.

  26. 526
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 524
    Bah humbug Ardell. The party is just beginning and it sounds like you need another shot. Real estate is still technically in expansion and inventory is at record lows. I am wearing my party hat and you can too. It’s time to think positive and buy buy buy. We can sell when we hit Hypersupply and King County inventory is nearing 8000. Seattle Real Estate prices to the moon!

  27. 527
    Justsomedude12 says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 524 – I see what you’re saying about the state tax issue, but I don’t think it’s as simple as states with no income tax get more federal funding. States tax their residents in a variety of ways, some do it through income tax, some do it through higher property tax or higher sales tax, or any combination of those and other taxes.

    I’m including some state and and also county/local taxes there, but just speaking in broad terms about tax revenue within a state.

    Admittedly, I don’t know the formula or criteria for how much each state gets in federal funding. I’m just thinking they probably don’t give more to the states with no income tax to make up for the fact that those states have no income tax. But who knows, nothing the federal or state/local governments do could shock me too much.

  28. 528

    RE: Erik @ 526

    Erik…I talk to people who are buying HOMES to LIVE in. :) They might not talk here…but they do read here. In fact I’m not a big fan of investors sucking up all the houses leaving not enough inventory for families which drives up prices. I’ve always been a residential real estate agent, 30+ years, doing mostly what I call “a family trade”. Usually I only do investors who bought their primary residence with me. You were the exception to that rule…not really though because I don’t have that rule for sellers. Only buyers.

    I have a lot of clients like OA as example who had $500 and now have a $1.5M net worth. I don’t know why you don’t believe him. Most of that is their $600,000 house I helped them buy that is now $1.2M. The bulk of their net worth is already real estate. They don’t need more of that type of asset.

  29. 529

    RE: Justsomedude12 @ 527

    Property Taxes are usually earmarked for things and can’t be used for Vaccines. Not 100% sure. But that is usually the case. Where did we get the money to buy the vaccines we have? I think States did pay for what they have received to date. That the County or the School District received money does not give money to the State for these things. That is why a County Tax like a Property Tax can’t replace an Income Tax.

    I don’t think anything Property Tax and pay for anything COVID related except maybe as it relates to what schools need.

  30. 530
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 528
    Yes, if your perspective clients read this site, you should most definitely align with them and not offend them. I would not align with me on this site if I were you, because they may think you have the same beliefs. I could give 2 sh!ts about what these code monkeys think about me because I’m here to talk real estate and learn more. I have nothing to sell or gain from these shifty eyed introverts. If they want to wake up and start investing in real estate, I will help them, although I have nothing to sell them. Right now they think saving a percentage of their paychecks and trying to feed off it until they die is the way to go. That’s bad thinking. I have had a couple software people from here contact me and I helped them the best I could and I have no problem doing that. They were satisfied and I was happy to help. I don’t want anything, I just to help pull them out of their ignorant state.

    OA created a fake story and is leading people into the wrong direction. Like Justme did, that will keep Seattle Bubble readers poor. OA is keeping readers poor and ignorant.

    Here’s OA’s story:
    -Came from a poor family that didn’t help him financially
    -Graduated High School 2008
    -Went to UW 4 years and took student loans for something that isn’t software engineering
    -Works at software company
    -Invests 50% of income into diversified index funds

    Okay, at this point he has say $80k in student loans and his first job is starting out at a tech company, but he’s not a software engineer. He can’t buy property because he has student loans because he’s up to his ears in debt and he is scared to death of risk. He had to pay the $80k of student loans off before he bought property while he was renting. OA wants no debt and to only invest in very safe diversified index funds.

    So this is the claim of what OA did in 9 years following UW graduation:
    -Paid off $90k in student loans
    -Bought land on the Eastside while renting and paid off the land with earned income
    -Built his own house and paid it off with earned income
    -Got married
    -Has 2 kids
    -Now magically has enough money to retire

    All in 9 years investing in well diversified index funds. OA saved $2M coming right out of school while still affording a family. He took no risk, he just went to work, and put his money in well diversified index funds.

    I can understand why a code monkey reading this would not like me. If you agree with me, they may not like you either and that’s bad business. What I’m saying is the truth, these software people need to stop hoarding their incomes and they need to invest in real estate. If they have high incomes, it’s so much easier.

    And I have a suspicion OA is Eastsider in disguise as justsomedude12 pointed out because they write the same and have the same screwed up logic that keeps good people poor.

  31. 531
    Brianna says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 524

    Yes, overall low rates have been horrible for affordability. I feel sorry for first time home buyers. Starter homes are twice what they were 20 years ago when we bought our first home.

  32. 532
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 528
    I’m sure you’ve helped create a lot of money for your clients as you’ve helped me. Your the best agent I know. You sell for investors because investors know you get them top price. Your staging is amazing and you are well worth your commission. I’d love to buy more properties with you, but like you said, you like to work with families.

    My argument is that OA is lying and that investing in real estate is much more lucrative than investing in 401k. If your clients were smart, they’d buy with you, live in the house, then buy a new house, and rent the old one out. Then sell something every 5 years or so and pocket $300k. That’s what I’d do if I lived in Kirkland.

  33. 533
    justsomedude12 says:

    By Erik @ 530:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 528

    And I have a suspicion OA is Eastsider in disguise as justsomedude12 pointed out because they write the same and have the same screwed up logic that keeps good people poor.

    It’s actually Eastsider and IsErikRichYet that I believe are the same person. My proof? Have you ever seen them in the same room together? I rest my case.

  34. 534
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 524

    You are clueless about state/local taxes.

    WA ranks #17 in state/local tax collections in the nation. We need to spend less, not collect more.

    How High Are State and Local Tax Collections in Your State?
    https://taxfoundation.org/state-local-tax-collections-per-capita-2019/

    Today’s state tax map shows state and local tax collections per capita in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. D.C.’s tax collections per capita ($10,841) are higher than in any state. The five states with the highest tax collections per capita are New York ($8,957), Connecticut ($7,220), New Jersey ($6,709), North Dakota ($6,630), and Massachusetts ($6,469). The five states with the lowest tax collections per capita are Alabama ($3,206), Tennessee ($3,322), South Carolina ($3,435), Oklahoma ($3,458), and Florida ($3,478).

  35. 535
    Eastsider says:

    Another urban legend is our state/local taxes unproportionately hurt the poor and worsen the wealth gap. The fact is rich/poor divide in WA is slightly better than the US average.

    List of U.S. states by Gini coefficient
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Gini_coefficient

  36. 536
    Erik says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 533
    Oops, I got them confused. So many software people on here’s all with the same thoughts, it’s easy to get them confused.

  37. 537
    Bumble says:

    By Eastsider @ 535:

    Another urban legend is our state/local taxes unproportionately hurt the poor and worsen the wealth gap. The fact is rich/poor divide in WA is slightly better than the US average.

    List of U.S. states by Gini coefficient
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Gini_coefficient

    The fact that our income spread in WA is about average for the nation says little or nothing about how WA then taxes its population.

    Obviously we don’t have a state income tax in WA (think about how that might affect your Gini index, if the index even takes state income taxes into account). To compensate, we have high property taxes and sales taxes in WA. It is the latter that disproportionately (not unproportionately) consumes a larger share of income for Washington’s poor. So you aren’t going to see some of the features of our regressive taxation in an income comparison.

    By some measures, WA has the most regressive tax structure of any state in the US. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/washingtons-paradox-progressive-politics-but-regressive-tax-system/

  38. 538
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 534

    As I said earlier, total taxes aren’t relevant to available per State for pandemic relief. County taxes aren’t part of that State budget. Where are the funds for pandemic relief, State paid, coming from?

  39. 539
    Eastsider says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 538 – I believe we have (had?) enough “rainy” fund to pay for the pandemic relief. Why would we have a “rainy” fund otherwise?

  40. 540
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Bumble @ 537

    It is true that WA does not have an income tax. But it is one of very few states (3?) that imposes a B&O tax on businesses. B&O tax accounts for one fifth of the state tax receipts. The progressives keep harping on the income tax because they want to collect more money. WA already has a higher than average per capita tax burden.

    WA sales tax is 6.5% (CA 7.25% MA 6.25% IL 6.25%), about the same as other similar states with an income tax! So your statement is false – ” It is the latter that disproportionately (not unproportionately) consumes a larger share of income for Washington’s poor.” (You may want to stop reading propaganda from progressive sources, including the Seattle Times.)

    We are already taxing the “rich” via the B&O tax. The state should have allocated more budget to fund cities and counties which would have reduced local sales tax burden.

    The Infamous B&O Tax
    https://www.seattlebusinessmag.com/article/infamous-bo-tax

  41. 541
    Bumble says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 540

    The Seattle Times was simply citing a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Would you prefer an article from Sinclair-owned KOMO citing the same report? https://komonews.com/news/local/wash-state-has-most-unfair-tax-structure-in-nation-report-finds?_gl=1*1dhzaqb*_ga*RkRpZTRvbVlqNE1RWXc5SEFBV3VsaHp6RmtoQzJveEltTWpOeEhJQWVmOE9zTjROYjlmMUZ4Ui16TEtEUDRfZA..

    And if you write off everything in The Seattle Times as “propaganda,” you appear to be an unthinking soldier in the current culture war. Judge EACH article in ANY publication with a critical eye.

    As for B&O taxes, which are less than 1%, you are conflating business taxes with personal taxes. Yes, there is some relationship between the two categories for people who own businesses. For example, my business pays B&O taxes before I get my share of the company profits as income. But if you are going to say that B&O business taxes affect the personal taxation of WA residents, why stop there? What about the half dozen other taxes businesses pay to the state? You are missing the point. Poor people in WA (especially those earning less than $24k) pay a much higher percentage of their personal INCOME to the state than even average earners (not wealthy business owners) in WA pay from their personal INCOME. That fact is demonstrable, not an “urban myth.”

    Taxes are complicated. Assessing the fairness of taxes is complicated. I’m not going to pretend that I have wrapped my head all the way around it. I have to read what experts have concluded and judge for myself whether their conclusions are supported and persuasive. In my view, the experts have shown that the way WA taxes it’s citizen’s INCOME is regressive. I urge you to read the report I cited, which simply shows “incomes are more unequal in Washington after state and local taxes are collected than before.“

  42. 542
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Eastsider @ 539

    Not the case. To date and before the coming Biden plan, The Care Act has given $1.87 Billion to the State of WA for PPE, testing, etc. plus additional funds directly to counties and cities. See ofm.wa. gov for details. Washington Office of Financial Management.

  43. 543
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 542

    Total to WA State from Federal funds as of 1/5 for Pandenic Relief was $2.95 Biliion.

  44. 544

    The market has officially opened for 2021 this weekend. Sometimes that happens around the 8th, but most times it is more mid-Jan.

    This means that some if not most homes that came on market Thursday and Friday are solidly booked as to appointments through Monday and some are even solidly booked up to the review date. (anecdotal as to the houses I am reviewing of course)

    This continues to be a problem due to COVID given ALL showings must be by scheduled appointment, even on vacant houses, and no 2 agents can overlap. So the sellers should and are not taking into consideration that buyers can’t GET IN to see it! I think it’s time for longer review times with no early offers. I haven’t had a problem yet, but I have seen near fisticuffs with agents pretending they have an appointment who don’t. I don’t blame them really because when there are no available appointments before the seller is looking at offers it may make sense to just go and figure it out. Especially since agents often need to make appointments before knowing if their clients want to see it in order to get a “spot” on the schedule.

    If there is ONE thing I would say is affecting real estate due to COVID it is THIS . Hard to explain without showing you a picture, but basically when you want to see it you go to a chart and can’t schedule if the time is blacked out by already confirmed appointments…and the calendar for all days is totally black, especially for daylight hours and sometimes up through and into the no daylight hours.

    I’ve always hated the term “looky-loos”, but clearly this is not a good time for people to schedule an appointment to see a house if they have no real possibility of making an offer on it. There are way too many people who want to see it than the “will review offers on Tuesday” is able to accommodate.

    This will continue as long as the State COVID guidelines are ONE agent and their clients only and no going to the house at all without a scheduled appointment which is more of an mls thing at the moment. In normal times we don’t need appointments for vacant houses and we don’t have to use the automated showing confirmation app to go to a house. But during COVID this calendar app becomes the be-all-end-all as to whether or not you can go to see it. There is a bit of “gaming the system” going on, but almost by necessity. If you don’t grab an appointment as soon as the house comes on market…good luck getting any appointment.

    It’s really a frustrating mess. I don’t usually complain about market conditions, but this has been beyond crazy for way too long now with no end in sight.

    Makes me wonder why LWSD announced it is opening schools (optional and part time) when everywhere else I am seeing the COVID numbers are at an all time high. On the bright side, I think Kim, and likely me too shortly after him, will be getting the vaccine sooner than later. He’ll be 74 on Feb 3 so he’s 1b tier 1 and likely will get it along with his kidney dialysis treatments, same as he gets flu shots. I’m a spring chicken at 66 and healthy as a horse, but they likely will do age 65+ after some higher priorities and more essential workers. I’m in no hurry. There are many people I’d rather see get it than me, even if it is just because they are scared shtlss. I only worry for Kim and not myself.

  45. 545
    Eastsider says:

    RE: Bumble @ 541

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I have already stated that WA sales tax is 6.5% (CA 7.25% MA 6.25% IL 6.25%). How is it more regressive than other states? …unless you are advocating for no taxes at all, or tax credit (aka universal income). Totally “progressive” concept.

    WA collects more than its fair share of taxes. It could have shared the excess revenue with local cities/counties to offset their budgets. If you are so concerned about regressive taxes, I suggest that you start with your state legislature to reduce state spending and increase local spending.

    I believe the state budget has outpaced inflation and the population growth in the past decade

  46. 546
    justsomedude12 says:

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 544:

    Makes me wonder why LWSD announced it is opening schools (optional and part time) when everywhere else I am seeing the COVID numbers are at an all time high. On the bright side, I think Kim, and likely me too shortly after him, will be getting the vaccine sooner than later. He’ll be 74 on Feb 3 so he’s 1b tier 1 and likely will get it along with his kidney dialysis treatments, same as he gets flu shots. I’m a spring chicken at 66 and healthy as a horse, but they likely will do age 65+ after some higher priorities and more essential workers. I’m in no hurry. There are many people I’d rather see get it than me, even if it is just because they are scared shtlss. I only worry for Kim and not myself.

    I think the logic is that we can open things up for those in lower risk categories, and those in higher risk categories can continue to quarantine. It sucks for the higher risk people who must still quarantine, but they’d have to do that no matter what.

    Given the options of everyone being forced to quarantine, or just higher risk people and those who choose to quarantine doing so, I think the latter makes much more sense. These blanket lockdowns were a mistake. They needlessly ruined many peoples’ financial lives and tacked on huge amounts of unnecessary debt to future generations. They are an emotional reaction, rather than a logical one.

    End of rant.

  47. 547
    Seah says:

    I thought the 3D virtual walkthrough is suffice . I see it on Redfin and Zillow . Do we know how many average bids one house gets , particularly on the east side .
    What are creative ways buyers are doing to “ win “? I know people write a letter but … everybody will be doing that.
    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 544

  48. 548
    Eastsider says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 546

    Agreed. Most European countries have kept schools opened since summer/fall. Same as Japan. Despite that dangerous policy, Europe still has fewer Covid cases per capita than the US. And Japan has practically no cases in comparison.

    Stunting our kids is inexcusable.

  49. 549
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 546

    I would not have closed anything ever.

    I’m just saying the numbers right now are higher than several months while they were closed, so why now?

  50. 550
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Seah @ 547

    No. You can’t buy a house without physically seeing it. I just returned from showing a house and nothing that I personally examine first hand is in a photo or 3D tour. I am not a fan of 3D tours BTW. Bad for the seller and not good for a buyer.

    You are correct as to needing creative ways to “win”. No we don’t tell what they are because then we have to create new ones. :)

  51. 551
    Erik says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 544
    Sounds like low supply and high demand to me. The market started early and people are having trouble scheduling a time to see a house. Buyers are willing to run out onto the Covid infested streets just to buy a house. That’s high demand and aligns with the data we see on this website.

    You are a very healthy 66 and you look great. If I was Kim, I may get the vaccine just because he’s a little older and may have a compromised immune system. Personally, I’m not getting the vaccine. I don’t get the regular flu shot or any other vaccines because I like to be as natural as possible. I am in my 30’s and I have a high immune system.

    I didn’t even want my kids to get vaccines. My more traditional Midwest wife did, so we settled on an extended vaccination schedule that spaces out the vaccines that my naturopathic doctor gave us. Vaccines are great, but they just aren’t for me. My preference is to not get injected by a vaccine from an experimental government project called “Operation Warp Speed.”

  52. 552
    Erik says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 546
    I completely agree.

    I had been waiting years to see what would happen before this past presidential election. When there is a Republican in office, something always happens before the presidential election to bring down the economy. Democratic cities and the media used the virus to shut down the economy before the election. Media put fear into people that watch news. That paved the way to shutdown cities. There is no way anyone would have believed Joe Biden, the 78 year old white career politician lawyer would ever win unless that happened.

    The question I ask myself is if China sent it over on purpose wanting this outcome? Well, China closed down air travel within China but left it open to the US and Europe. They knew not to spread it through their own country but sent it to us. That’s pretty suspicious. I tend to believe based on what I’ve seen that the virus was sent from China on purpose. Then Democrats used it to get the guy out that was taking money from China. There are too many coincidences here.

  53. 553
    Erik says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 523
    Scroll down and read Tim’s opinion on politics.

    https://ellis.fyi/

    After reading that do you think you were censored by Tim for being off topic or because you have a different political opinion?

  54. 554
    Blurtman says:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 546 – The illogic of shutting down the economy was pointed out on this very blog many months ago, when the NYC mortality data became known, so good on you for finally catching up.

    And now we have a peer reviewed publication from Stanford, no less, pointing out the uselessness of lockdowns.

    Assessing Mandatory Stay-at-Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID-19
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33400268/

    Most sheeple need to believe that their leaders are competent. This offloads responsibilty to someone else, and provides a (hopefully decreasing) degree of comfort. And yet the LA County public health officer, Barbara Ferrer, has a foo-foo PhD degree. She is not a scientist or MD, and LA County COVID19 mortality is out of control.

  55. 555
    ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    RE: Erik @ 551

    I haven’t had a vaccine since the polio vaccine when I was a small child. I’ve never had a flu shot. If it gives my children some peace of mind, I will get vaccinated. As your children get older their opinions will matter a great deal. I don’t want to worry them unnecessarily. I want my 90 year old Mom to get it, so if they make it easy enough to get, I’ll do it.

    My sister got COVID with no issues besides mandatory quarantine. She had some issues with taste. I encouraged her to eat healthy things she usually hates while she can’t taste them anyway. :)

  56. 556
    David says:

    By Erik @ 552:

    RE: justsomedude12 @ 546 – That’s pretty suspicious. I tend to believe based on what I’ve seen that the virus was sent from China on purpose.

    It is TOTAL coincidence that a Chinese lab was manufacturing this virus and that it magically appeared in everyone right next door. Evidence otherwise is circumstantial.

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