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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Workplace Anecdotes

My coworker that is selling his Northgate-area house still hasn't had any luck. In fact, the home that he originally listed at ~$475,000, then dropped to ~$450,000, has had the price reduced again to ~$425,000. Furthermore, it now shows up as a "new listing," listed in the past seven days. Hmm, interesting.

Also, I just had the pleasure to listen in on a conversation between a few coworkers regarding housing appreciation around Seattle. For reference, these are generally intelligent people (engineers) that do not have any particular "in" regarding real estate. Here are some of the quotes that I was quick enough to type:

"I think in some areas (around the country), the bubble is popping, but I don't think you're going to see a lot of it around here (Seattle area)."

"Microsoft is here forever."

"There's nowhere else to build."

To coworker: "I could see your neighborhood leveling off...maybe. But probably not."

"I think we're not going to see the kind of gains we've seen over the last two years... but I don't think we're going to go down in price. ... I think mine (neighborhood) is going to continue to go up."
It is interesting to hear what average people think about whether there's a bubble or not. Perhaps in the future I can "seed" some conversations to get a regular pulse on general real estate sentiment.


Nick said...

"There's nowhere else to build."

That's always my favorite one- usually in tandem with "people will always need a place to live."

Presumably, neither of those conditions held in Japan during the 14 years of depreciation they just went through

Anonymous said...

I actually had someone say to me that there was no land left to build on all the way up from Seattle to Bellingham!

Even within the city of Seattle, the "no land" argument doesn't work.

There hasn't been empty land in the city for decades, but that hasn't prevented realestate cycles.

Especially in the south end, there is quite a bit of underdeveloped land that can be reclaimed as long as the infrastructure and businesses are there to support redevelopment.

seattle price drop said...

Not surprised to hear about your co-workers problem selling his house- the price reductions, taking off the MLS and relisting).

For those of you who haven't seen it, check out the "Final Sales Price" vs "Original Asking Price" list in the comments section a few articles previous on this blog.

It's in the comments for "The Increasing Expense of Living in Seattle" and is pretty shocking.

The market is changing faster than expected. And today the Fed raised interest rates another 1/4 point. That should help things along.

TJ said...

Let's see Boeing moved it's headquarters. I don't think it is much of a stretch to imagine Microsoft moving to Bangalore maybe - they moved a lot of research jobs there. Besides Vista is delayed and the free competition is gaining ground.
Biotech better pick up the slack if Seattle wants to remain a wealthy "company town".

meshugy said...

Anyone asking for over 400K to live in N.Gate is crazy...that area is not exactly a hot neighborhood in Seattle.

However, Ballard is showing no sings of a slow down yet. Over the winter things leveled off...I thought the days of the bidding wars were over. However, I've been tracking homes in the area and once again we're seeing a lot of over bidding. these were all sold in the last two weeks:

7716 33rd Ave NW

Listed: $549 Sold: $588

7332 Earl NW

Listed: $489 Sold: $500

7328 28th Ave NW

Listed: $399 Sold: $450

Anonymous said...

people are high in Ballard, in ain't that great of a neighborhood, lots of mixed housing and lots of dumps... seriously, tons of them, dingy dingy craftsman with mildew/mold problems beyond imagination.... people who overbid in that section of town got oatmeal for brains, that and its about a gazillion miles from the freeway, Northgate's got one up on them there...

seattle price drop said...


Those price reductions are from Ravenna and Laurelhurst, with just a few from Lake City. Not one of those properties was Northgate.

Last I checked, Ravenna and Laurelhurst were considered extremely desirable places to live.

Which is why I was so shocked (and yes, delighted) to see that so many sold under asking and how weak the over asking finals were.

meshugy said...

Hi...I wasn't talking about your listings....I was referring to Tim's anecdotes from work.

I'd have to look closer at your listings to see what the situation is. In general, I follow the houses around Ballard and often go to the open houses so I can asses the real value. Often when you see big reductions its because the house was way, way over priced to begin with. The listings I posted were all in line with current pricing and still got over bid which gives some indication that there's still a competitive market, at least in Ballard.


Mikhail said...

I have heard a number of friends tell me that prices can't fall in the Puget Sound since tough zoning regulations prevent much building. However, why is it that I keep seeing so many new sub-divisions when I drive around places like Samammish or Issaqua?

Does anyone know where to find construction trend statistics for the Puget Sound over the last 5 years or so?

nwcoastguy said...

My favorite line in South Florida a year ago was "they stopped making land ya' know!", to justify buying beyond people's actual income. I hear the same thing here along with how different they believe it is than the rest of the country.

Unfortunately, the Floridians were forgetting about the upper 4/5th's of Florida which is quite a bit of geography.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can drive quite a ways north, south and east of Seattle and there's quite a bit of geography to be seen.

The other unfortunate thing is it doesn't really matter if you can't come up with money for the lifestyle most Americans live (credit cards, SUV's etc.).

Yesterday a co-worker told me she saw a converted chicken coop for sale....I had to ask her three times if she was bs'ing me. She wasn't. The asking price was in the upper 2's.
This will have to come back home to to speak.

Marinite said...

Yesterday a co-worker told me she saw a converted chicken coop for sale....I had to ask her three times if she was bs'ing me. She wasn't.

You should get a photo of that for sure.