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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Unignorable Slowdown In Tacoma

Surprise, surprise—Barbara Clements of the Tacoma News Tribune reports on a slowing market in Tacoma!

If your home's taking longer to sell, you're not alone.

Home prices are still going up, even though sales have dropped dramatically when compared with 2005.

And now that it's spring – prime home-shopping weather – more for-sale signs are popping up in neighborhoods around the South Sound. (Sellers: Read that as "more competition.")
More homes on the market

The Pierce County market has seen a surge of home listings, up 29 percent compared with this time last year.

Fewer transactions

Pending sales, in which offers are made and accepted but not yet closed, dropped by 12 percent last month versus 2005.
Local brokers are puzzling over what this means as they look toward the traditional summer selling season. Dick Beeson, MLS director and broker with Windermere Real Estate/Commencement Associates in Tacoma, said the market seems to be "taking a bit of a breath." "We just don't know how big a breath," he added. "We don't know if it's a big gulp or kind of a sigh."
Kudos to Ms. Clements for actually telling the full story of the housing situation in Pierce County. It's only a matter of time before King County starts to see numbers like these. Maybe then our local reporters won't be able to ignore the reality that the slowdown is upon us. Maybe.

(Barbara Clements, Tacoma News Tribune, 05.06.2006)


seattle price drop said...

This article's an example of good reporting and informing the public of the actual RE situation so they are really armed with info they need if they're in process of decision making.

Nextquestion: When is ANY news organzation in Seattle going to step up to the plate and do a bit of public-informing?

The KOMO news RE rahrah blurb last night was a disgrace to the profession. Hideous.

seattle long term buyer said...

the situation in Tacoma's only going to get worse when all those new condo conversions hit the market at the same time...

builders know they have to sell it this summer or lose big... buyers are just waiting till summer is over...

the only thing hot this summer will be the weather...(and that's not even that hot)

Dukes said...

Tim, you should really write to some of those "sunshine reporters" that you mentioned in your previous post.

All you need to do is write to the reporter, there is always an email address available at the end of the story, tell them what we on this blog already know and see with our own eyes. Then provide all of these reporters with a link to this blog.

That might get a different side of the story out to some of these local shills.

Hell, all of us should write to these reporters each time they write a story that is obviously full of bullshit, and provide a link to this blog so that they can get educated.

Power to the people...

KOMO TV 4 said...

I'm planning on dropping KOMO a note about their flagrant pandering story on last nights news.

First thing I did when I got up this AM was look up their website.

matt said...


I've written to a few of these reporters and sadly, the only thing you get back regarding an informed discussion is "well, to each their own opinion" and "we'll just all have to wait and see". They're overly objective when writing back to you about the story, and brush of any criticism about their reporting as... 'both sides'. But sadly they never interview an economist or escrow people or anything that might be looking into the clunky guts of the wonderfully shiny machine, that is local RE

seattle long term buyer said...

reporters don't like admitting that their story has holes... it makes them sound incompetent... (which some of them are)

Unlike the interview journalists, reporters just spit out the lines that show on the teleprompter...

given the nature of live broadcasts they don't even know what they're reading until after they've read it...

now the question is who's writing the news...

meshugy said...

Hi folks....I've been keeping track of inventory every day for the last week or so. It's climbing everyday...are we starting to see the conditions for a slow down in Seattle (i.e., higher inventory and less sales?). Won't know for sure until the #s come out next month. If sales go up in tandem with inventory then prices will hold...but if not then we could see some price reductions.

Here's the data:

Date King County/Seattle
Apr.27 6,841/1,967
Apr.28 6,916/1,989
Apr.29 6,992/2,003
Apr.30 6,995/2,008
May 1 6,977/2,010
May 2 6,969/2,014
May 3 6,984/2,051
May 4 6,995/2,047
May 5 7,091/2,065
May 6 7,213/2,113
May 7 7,249/2,127

So there's a clear upward trend in inventory. That's normal for this time of year. Here are some #s from previous years:

May 2005 6,782/1,827
May 2004 9,792/2,454
May 2003 12,422/3,169
May 2002 11,034/2,711
May 2001 10,484/2,719

So it seems pretty clear that despite rising inventory, King County and Seattle are currently well below historical norms for inventory. But it could build up fast, and if sales slow then prices drop.


S Crow said...

And today, for sellers, the For-Sale-By-Owner debate continues. Today's Seattle Times devotes the entire front page, above 'n below the fold--probably to the shagrin of Realtors.

A recent post by the NAR, Blog,suggests that by going without a Realtor, it costs sellers on average about 16% or roughly $31,800 on an average home (don't know what they are basing this number on).

See our take on it at our Blog: Snohomish County Real Estate

Plus, see our sister Blog for our commentary on Quit Claim Deeds and why they should not be treated like a "light-switch."--taking people on and off title as if there are no ramifications. See it at: The Closing Table Blog

S Crow said...

oops, sorry bad link.

Try this:

Snohomish Co. Real Estate

BN said...

Again, the real sign of a slowdown
is rising inventory and slowing
sales. Prices always lag.

I am a seller in the midwest market
and know for sure that the market
there is flooded with inventory.
We have dropped price once and
will have to drop again.

Unfortunately I do not see that
kind of inventory buildup here (eastside specifically). The 2%
increase is too meager to mean

Only time will tell which way the
seattle market is going to go

barbara clements said...

Hey all, Barbara Clements from the TNT here. Hadn't trolled the blogs in awhile, and thanks for your comments.

You all would not believe the amount of crap I received when I first started reporting last winter the market was slowing (while my competitors to the north were saying the exact opposite on the front page). I felt like I had to justify my story each month to the editors.

Not to mention the nasty e-mails I received from brokers and readers telling me I was full of *&^^^.

So I finally started publishing the inventory ## and the the initial listing price v. the final sales price.

The e-mails finally stopped.

Keep up the good work, Seattle Bubble,


Anonymous said...


You are totally ,absolutely amazing and well-admired by truth seekers everywhere.

I am SURE that you took a LOT of flack for reporting facts and I and many others thank you for sticking to your guns.

You deserve a major promotion. Major!

Anonymous said...

That's Seattle Price Drop above. Can't sign in with my name- always comes out Anon.

We've been having constant sales under Asking in Seattle to, but nobody ever pays attention to that. Focus is intense on the handful of properties that go over asking.

Would you please move to Seattle and start reporting for the Seattle Times?!!

Seattle Price Drop