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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Seattle-Based WaMu Shrinks As Housing Cools

Although cooling in the housing market may not have reached Seattle just yet, some of its effects are being felt here:

Responding to the cooling housing market, Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, said on Wednesday that it was laying off 2,500 support employees in its mortgage unit.

The Seattle, Washington-based company said it was also reducing the number of mortgage processing offices to 16 from 26 and sending some of the work to "lower cost domestic and offshore locations."
I don't think this would be a good time to be in the mortgage or realty business, as far as job security is concerned.

(Wire Service, Reuters, 02.15.2006)
(Associated Press, via Forbes, 02.15.2006)


Anonymous said...

Don't they know that it's different this time? That real estate only goes up? Hello?

Anonymous said...

How can you say that cooling has not begun?

Check the Zip Realty list and see for yourself how many properties have undergone *reduced pricing*.

Also check the *Days on the Market* numbers on Zip.

biliruben said...

Prices are reduced all the time, in all markets.

It may be that flippers misjudge the market, price way too high and then reduce the price when the get no bites. That's what I'm seeing around me.

It may be that the amount of price reductions are just exactly the same as what we saw a year or two years ago.

Or it may be that the market is cooling.

But just because you see price reductions doesn't mean diddly.

Inventory is still very tight, and I think prices have reached a plateau, but I haven't seen any evidence of a fall yet. Maybe in 6 months.

waiting said...

I don't know, I think that what I'm seeing right now on the MLS lists is not something that would have happened 2 years ago.

I would be very very careful if I were a buyer right now- unless I had money to burn of course.

Dukes said...

Looks like inventory is creeping up to me:

1/2: 7,938
1/10: 8,666
1/20: 8,330
1/30: 8,425___1/06 sold: 2,468__1/05 sold: 2,491
2/10: 8,703
2/14: 8,660

Dukes said...

From the NW MLS for last 24 hours...

24-hour Market Watch

New Listings 562
Solds 303
Pendings 393
Expireds 78
Price Increases 85
Price Reductions 212

Anonymous said...

dukes, thanks for the numbers.