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.

Real Estate Heat Index off the charts in 2017

After the final 2017 Seattle-area real estate sales data was released last week by the NWMLS, I updated my chart of the “Residential Real Estate Heat Index” for King County single-family homes and condos.

As a reminder, the “Residential Real Estate Heat Index” is an index that rolls changes in the median price, new listings, total inventory, pending sales and closed sales all into a single number to measure the relative “heat” of the market. Note that this index only looks at the real estate sales market. It does not factor in any other economic conditions such as wages, interest rates, rents, etc.

Below is the latest data for the heat index of King County single-family homes and condos…

Around the Sound: 2017 Puget Sound market wrap-up

It has been quite a while since we looked at the housing stats for the broader Puget Sound area. Now that 2017 is over, let’s update our “Around the Sound” statistics for King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

Prices are climbing and listings are declining across the board, but sales were strangely mixed. December closed sales were up from a year earlier in Snohomish, Pierce, and Island counties, while falling everywhere else…

NWMLS: Listings drought intensifies, months of supply hits a new record low in December

December market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release:

“Exceptionally Low” Inventory Slows Year-End Home Sales, Contributes to Steep Price Hikes around Greater Seattle region

This is the lowest level on record (going back to 2000) for months of supply. The previous record low was December 2016 at 0.76, and the record low before that was December 2015 at 0.86. Supply and demand have never been as far out of balance in the Seattle area as they are right now…

December Stats Preview: For-sale inventory hit an all-time low

With the close of December, all of 2017 is now in the books. Today we’ll look at our regular monthly “preview” charts, and the rest of this month we’ll update as many of our stats as possible to look at how the whole of 2017 played out.

Short story for December: Inventory hit a new all-time low point in both counties. Foreclosures are still basically zero, and sales were surprisingly strong given how low the inventory is.

Here’s the snapshot of all the data as far back as my historical information goes, with the latest, high, and low values highlighted for each series…

Case-Shiller: Seattle home prices edged down just barely in October

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to October data that was released this week, Seattle-area home prices were:

Down 0.1 percent September to October
Up 12.7 percent year-over-year.
Up 20.0 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.1 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 10.6 percent.

Seattle still has by far the largest year-over-year price growth, despite falling off just slightly in each of the last three months of data. The only other city with double-digit price growth from a year earlier is Las Vegas at 10.2 percent.

Will the new tax laws slow Seattle’s housing market? (Part 2: New deduction limits)

Let’s finish off our discussion of how the Seattle-area real estate market may be affected next year by the changes to the tax code. In yesterday’s post we discussed the doubling of the standard deduction, and concluded that it is likely to have very little effect. Today let’s look at the other two big changes: The reduction of the mortgage interest deduction cap from $1M to $750k and the capping of local sales, income, and property tax deductions at $10k…

Income Taxes Paid by Home Price

Will the new tax laws slow Seattle’s housing market? (Part 1: Doubled Standard Deduction)

Now that the big GOP tax plan has passed, let’s have a look at how it may affect the Seattle-area real estate market next year when it goes into effect.

There are two major changes to the tax code that will matter to home buyers and home owners: the doubling of the standard deduction (from $12,700 for a married couple in 2017 to $24,000 in 2018) and the reduction of the mortgage interest deduction cap from $1 million to $750k.

First up let’s look at the doubling of the standard deduction…