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Tuesday, September 01, 1981

Friday Open Thread

This is your open thread for today. Please post random links and off-topic discussions here.

22 comments:

Peckhammer said...

The Stranger ran an article about the migration of musicians to Portland, OR.

Once upon a time, Seattle was funky and laid-back. That was before the "Center of the Universe" became a business center and glittering condos dotted the Belltown skyline.

Over the past couple of years, significant members of Seattle's music community have been drifting south, drawn by Portland's inexpensive cost of living and vibrant creative community.


The article focuses on musicians, but having been part of the Pratt Art community, I can attest to the fact that many artists are moving out of Seattle as it becomes more and more unaffordable.

When I first moved here, Fremont was touted as a vibrant art community. When Fremont evolved into Thaimont, then Barmont, and now Conversionville, artists were moving away to other outlying areas such as Georgetown. But a quick search for some of Georgetown's modest WWII-style box-like housing -- built in liquifaction-central, and in the flight path of a thousand vapor-trails -- yeilds only one hit under the half-million dollar mark: $419,500 on South Orca Street.

Seattle has become special -- the kind of special that redefines my view of "livibility."

richard said...

Business Week posted this map of Option Arm use in the US.

Map of Misery

They put Seattle at 15.5%. Well above average, but well below parts of California. Apparently we're comparable to Arizona and Florida. Great company.

Peckhammer said...

Friday, 1st September 2006 17:05

Forex - Dollar recovery comes to a halt on US housing market collapse fears

LONDON (AFX) - The dollar's early afternoon recovery, in the wake of a solid US jobs report for August, came to an abrupt halt on mounting concerns that the US housing market is teetering on the verge of collapse.


The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

matt said...

- Dollar recovery comes to a halt on US housing market collapse fears

But not in Seattle, Seattle's declared its autonomy... The continental shelf's pushing us into the Pacific where no economic influence can touch us... We might as well be a different country, right? Don't we use our own currency and stuff?... yeah, the "Star Buck"

Eleua said...

After looking at Richard's Map of Misery, I started axing myself some questions.

While this would be impossible to know...

Can anyone take a stab at what the average price of a California home would be, if they did not have the exotic finance options they are now using?

How much of a drop would that be?

What are the economic ramifications of 30,000,000 people upside-down on their homes to the tune of $200K each?

What would happen to our market, should that occur?

dash_point said...

Richard-
That's one enlightening graphic. That pretty much busts the assertion that places like Orange, San Diego and especially Santa Barbara were riding high on fundamentals.

But why was San Francisco omitted from that chart? Given prices, I'm certain that place is riding high on bad loans.

I'm guessing CA is in for some pain, and I'd include our whole coast in this implosion.

synthetik said...

>30,000,000

Based on US Census, CA ranks nearly dead last #49 in home ownership. Big surprise eh?

Coming in at 59.7%. Washington is #42 @ 67.6%.

Sweeping generalization: More home ownership, more acute the problem.

http://tinyurl.com/znqdb

SeattleMoose said...

I REALLY wish all the Anon posts would be banned.

All bloggers should have a permanent ID, not some "group name".

It is easy to be throw darts when you are essentially invisible and nobody can hold you accountable for anything you say. It is pure cowardice.

We might not always agree with Meshugy but at least he has the guts not to "hide in the crowd".

Sorry for the rant...bad day at work.

Pollyanna said...

Interesting BusinessWeek article this week: Nightmare Mortgages.

seattle price drop said...

That Business Week article is going to wake up many who have been asleep to this mess.

It covers it all from the individual home"owner" to the banks to the secondary loan market.

And the picture on the front cover (house being squeezed by a giant snake) sums it up pretty well too.

Too bad they didn't publish it last summer- could have saved a years worth of people from buying in to a house of cards.

Anonymous said...

WAMU is leading the band when it comes to "messy bank records and RE lending".

I've seen the article on other bubble sites.

Anyone got a link to that article?

Think it was in the Wall Street Journal.

seattle price drop said...

"WaMu confessed it bungled the underwriting for option ARM's, improperly measuring debt to income ratios for 2004 and most of 2005".

I don't have the link for the original WSJ article, but there's a discussion of the loan mess at:

http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

From the blog discussion, it sounds like our very own WaMu may be leading the pack when it comes to potentially scaring off MBS "investors".

seattle price drop said...

More bizarre news from Mish's blog:

Detroit Free Press did an article about the US median income dropping since 1999 (when adjusted for inflation).

Big surprise, MI comes out on top with a 12% drop in that states' median income.

But here IS a surprise: WA. is near the top also, with an 8.1% drop.

MT., N.D., WYO. R.I. and D.C. were the only places that saw a rise in median income from '99-'06.

see: "Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis"

or "globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com"

Crashcadia said...

Richard,
Thanks for posting the link to the map of misery.

For the past year I have been the laughing stock at my place of work for speaking about the bubble and believing that the Puget Sound area was not special or immune to this larger credit bubble.

I passed the Map Of Misery around at lunch today, along with the article on the Nightmare Mortgages.

It was the first time that some of the sheeple took notice.

I have been a rather bearish voice when it comes to housing and the greater economy as one of my fellow workers has been considering a purchase of his first home. Many of my other fellow workers have been telling him to get in at any cost, as housing only goes up.

People are starting to wake up. Once the fear spreads, the bubble will really start to pop.

meshugy said...

Did anyone see this?

Age-old, old-age question: Are we unique?



It's the same for a city's personality. It's just as easy to think of Seattle as special; defying the trends ahead. Our regional narrative continues to insist that we remain a red-hot real estate market, ignoring the cautionary data. The rest of the country might be experiencing a pop in the housing bubble, but the "we're different" idea suits our perception of ourselves.

I would suggest Seattle is riding its wave, too. The real estate numbers reflect the swell in the tsunami ahead: In King County we keep building (a 43 percent increase in housing permits), while home resales are shrinking (down 13.7 percent from a year ago). Our inventory of available homes is huge as we shift into an era when no one wants to be the last person to buy a home at its most expensive price.

On top of that, Seattle is a place where mortgage magic tricks have made the out-of-reach home at least seem affordable.

Unsustainable? Remember, that's somebody else's problem. And one reason why the national savings rate grew to a negative $83.5 billion in July, compared with a negative $67.6 billion a month before.

We're no different in Seattle.


Unfortunately he didn't really back this argument up with any data...the statement about inventory is greatly exaggerated.

Anonymous said...

Memories are so short. Just 6-7 years ago you could use this same blog by just substituting 'stock market' for 'real estate'. I heard one expert after another talk about 30,000, 40,000 even 50,000 DOW. It was the new deal and historical fundamentals just did not apply...

It just seems so obvious that the housing price appreciations over the past five years are due to low interest rates and laxed lending policies to the extreme that it's seems odd to have to present the arguements...

The option ARM of course became the standard because it was the only way for buyers to keeping buying houses they couldn't afford otherwise and brokers (80% of loan origination now) to keep their businesses making money...

At the risk of offending and with all due respect, anyone that truely believes otherwise is just being stuburn. If the market does not implode in this area it will defy the odds and then will truely be 'Special' ;-)

Stephen

The Tim said...

meshugy said...
Did anyone see this?


Actually yes, it showed up in my inbox last night, but I've been busy this morning doing some hard-core sleeping in. I'll probably make it a post this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Bloggers.. So Flipping what. How the Hell is someone being accountable by posting some handle like Peckhammer Seattlemoose. Like I really know your name? address phone etc.

Personally I use Anonymous so I dont have to go though the hassle of using just another password. I passworded to eyeballs.. I love the fact I dont have to login.

So what we just give our opinions here its not like it really matters wether were using some handle.

I personally just most read the remarks not giving a dame wether its mushegy.. I can almost pick off a mushegy remark without reading the blogger handle.

Im following this market myself and i'm fearful that the downside is going to effect us all. Probably a lot here hoping for the fallout are going to feeling the pain maybe in some cases just as bad.

This isnt a problem thats inclusive to just the people buying into the greater fool theory. Many jobs are going to feeling the pain as well.

I work at Boeing and many of our orders are linked to the world economy. Maybe my timeline is just downstream from the domino effect that possbily is in order.

Anonymous said...

In Fact Personally if I had to LOG IN.. I would never leave any sort of MESSAGE...PERIOD..

I regularily go to BENS BlOG for well over a year.. I have never left any messages because of the LOG IN PROCESS.. Its not important enough for me to go though the log in process to leave messages.

Its simple here so I just type a message hit Anonymous and type the letters.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Mushegy comments for Quite a While..
Mushegy is slowly loosing confidence in His/Here argument. Its been a slow process. Give Mushegy about 6 months.. Im willing to bet within 9 months Mushegy will be sick to the stomache & will be see what what he/she considered an assett turn into a overhanging Liability that most likely will upside down. The Roller Coaster ride going down might to much for Mushegy to handle.

Why else would Meshugy spend so much time on the housing Blogs if He/She was so confident why spend so much time trying to feed the Bears?
By spending so time with the Bears Mushegy is running the risk of becoming a Bear. I think Mushegy will learn maybe the Bears are a Bears for a good reason. The Bulls are going to get slaughtered by the Bears in about 18 months in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, he didn't really back this argument up with data..."

Like maybe some skewed and doctored NWMLS data?

Or some old article, presented as though it's todays' news?

LOL. Mark Trahant is editor of the Seattle PI. It's an editorial. Frankly, I'll trust a disinterested editors' presentation of a situation over the REIC anyday.

Especially when the stakes are this high.

BTW, he wrote an editorial last month on the crap loans that bolster this market. Perhaps he's thinking that people have already stored that info and he doesn't have to keep re-iterating to "prove" his point.

Eleua said...

The only reason I like log-in names is so I can keep track of with whom I am having a conversation.

When you have multiple people posting under "anon," it is like going to a large gathering in San Jose, and asking to speak exclusively with Mr. Nguyen.