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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Times' August Blurb Gets It Right

Here are a few interesting quotes from the Seattle Times' pre-article blurb about the August NWMLS figures:

The Puget Sound housing market is still stronger than most of the rest of the country, but signs of slowing are clear.

Last month, the third month in a row, median home prices were nearly flat — up just 0.5 percent compared with July in King County, 1.5 percent in Snohomish County and 0.2 percent in Pierce County. Prices in Kitsap County slipped 0.2 percent.
...
The decelerating pace locally mirrors the trend nationally.
You can probably already tell that this piece wasn't written by Elizabeth Rhodes. No, it was penned by business reporter Drew DeSilver. Stay tuned tomorrow for the inevitable "Everything is fine. Nothing is ruined." report from Ms. Rhodes.

I realized why the papers have waited this long to report on the August numbers. It's not that they are waiting for the recap sheet, so much as it is they are waiting on the NWMLS press release. I guess they just can't bring themselves to tackle the raw data on their own. They need the guiding hand of the press release to show them the way... or something.

(Drew DeSilver, Seattle Times, 09.12.2006)

21 comments:

richard said...

Meshugy pointed out the $15K M.O.M. drop in the median before the Times/PI business reporter. Is this an omen?

meshugy said...

15K is a big drop...hard to say what that means. It could signal the beginning of a major downward trend, or could be just a monthly fluctuation. That's the problem with MOM...it's hard to really know what they mean.

I've noticed that historically there have been price drops from July to August in Seattle.

July 2004 : $330,000
August 2004: $325,000

July 2002 : $287,000
August 2002: $279,950

But in the end the YOY appreciation was still significantly higher. That might be the case here....

richard said...

It could just mean more singles and FTB's decided to jump in on entry level properties this month. Or maybe the new construction town homes/condos weighed heavily on the median.

Perhaps the 30% reduction in CA sales has slowed the X-cali penetration into the top quartile of the market.

I agree 1 month median price declines are inconclusive without any drill down/break out of the data.

All I can say is it looks similar to what has happened in other west coast markets.

Anonymous said...

Median is down in all 3 percentiles on Benengebreth this week.

that is a first.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Yahoo.. Tol housing stock message board and some person placed a comment that the Increasing Inventory of Houses in the USA Was good because more agents would be needed to sell the houses.. ...I almost fell over laughing-- since when is a lot of inventory good for agents?? I just know the agents hate holding a lot of none selling inventory. It costs agents a lot of out of pocket expenses holding none selling real estate listings.

I remember having to lease the sign from the real estate office then having to put Sign up or pay someone to do it for me.
Then having to pay for advertisement cost out of pocket.
Then cost of flyers, open houses.. Believe me it adds up Quick.. its expensive having listings that are just that listings..

Heres part of this persons comment:

More jobs were created in the USA than had been expected. In addition, the consumer spending numbers came in double what had been expected. Gas prices have come down. The roads and the malls are jammed, people are working. Wages are up. Homes are selling on pace with what they were 3 years ago...not too shabby.

As I have said for over a year and a half now, the listing price of a home will not have a detrimental effect on the economy. I also doubted that there would be a pullback in spending from the consumer because of the RE market. I was correct on both counts. I also said, and continue to say that higher inventories of RE will create a demand in the real estate industry for more agents. This is because more agents will be needed to sell the increased stock of real estate. This is partly the reason that the USA economy saw unemployment drop last week.

meshugy said...

This old news for us...

Home buying 'frenzy' may be leveling off

Seattle home prices fell last month from their July level and posted the lowest year-to-year increase in 18 months, according to new statistics released Tuesday.

August prices fell 3.8 percent from July and were up 8 percent from August 2005, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Prices have dipped month to month several times in the past year, but the year-to-year increase was the first in the single digits since April 2005 and the lowest since February 2005.

Anonymous said...

Too much of the local data is still ambiguous, it shows we haven't reached the tipping point yet. But all the fundamentals show that the past 3 years are unsustainable. Wages aren't going to go up 30% in the next 3 years, so housing has to come down.

matt said...

Hahaha! This article is loaded with 'Pom-Pom' goodness.... some gems I noticed...

They point to strong job growth and low interest rates and say Seattle hasn't attracted as many speculators or seen prices shoot as high as some other places.

Yes, key cheer-leader word here (besides 'strong job growth', the typical standby, ala Boston, San Diego... etctera)... but the words AS HIGH as some other places. Again, I'm not sure where the smugness originates from, Seattle is NOT San Francisco, it is NOT New York and never will be. Why our prices MUST be as high as these world class cities is beyond me, they're not a high-water mark folks. I'm sorry but Grunge is dead and 30-something fleece-crunchy does not a fashion-mecca make.

But potential buyers who wait might still be disappointed, even if prices do fall, he cautioned..."It is very conceivable that even though prices will come down, (increasing) interest rates will eat up much of the differential,"

Buy now, or be priced out forever!!! Hahahaha. Nice one dude. I know you're all hoyty-toyty with that tweed sports-coat and an economy Phd. but houses MUST be bought and sold by people who are able to afford them. If interest rates go up, then prices must go down. The reason things are so out of whack is because of toxic loans. Wants that financial methadone is gone, things have to be 'priced to sell', which in itself is oxymoronic because are things ever 'priced not to sell'?

austinbell said...

Again, I'm not sure where the smugness originates from, Seattle is NOT San Francisco, it is NOT New York and never will be. Why our prices MUST be as high as these world class cities is beyond me, they're not a high-water mark folks. I'm sorry but Grunge is dead and 30-something fleece-crunchy does not a fashion-mecca make.

Huh? What the hell does this have to do with anything? Why does this type of thing repeatedly come up in comments in a blog about real estate/housing bubble? Everyone here always tries to deny it, but this not so much a RE blog but really an "I Hate Seattle" blog -- the housing bubble is just a refuge of hope for people who want to see a lot of pain in the city they despise, for whatever reason. This might not apply to everyone here, but it is without question a substantial segment of the followers of this blog. I'll await the cries of denial and outrage mixed in with more comments about how awful Seattle is and how it thinks it's so hot but it will never come close to being as good as NYC, San Diego, Denver, Kansas City, Cedar Rapids, Tallahassee, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Man, are you defensive or what? Someone saying something negative about Seattle fashion sense (or lack thereof) does not equate to "people who want to see a lot of pain in the city they despise". Calm down and get off your high horse. If you think Seattle realy is a world class city like NYC or SF, then make your case. Running around like Chicken Little doesn't do it.

deeplennon said...

meshugy- Where do you get Seattle specific #'s?

The Tim said...

I can answer that. They come from the "King County Breakout" report that the NWMLS provides. I have created a page with links to each of these monthly reports from February 2002 (the first month they provided it) to the present.

matt said...

I'll await the cries of denial and outrage mixed in with more comments about how awful Seattle is and how it thinks it's so hot but it will never come close to being as good as NYC, San Diego, Denver

Geez Louise... I love Seattle despite its frumpster REI fashion-sense, and geek-chic (non)hipness, makes it more endearing...

Lets just a call a spade a spade here... Trying to tout us as a jet-set international hotspot, lofty towers of post-modernist all-glass multi-million dollar condos? Maybe Vancouver, B.C. but not here ...err... Craftsman townhome ghettos is what I'm seein' goin' up. That and our median income is not San Fran or NYC...

BTW, and Denver? I would never compare ourselves to Denver... Burnt brown and gray for 9 months, not the Emerald City by any stretch...

Peter Taylor said...

Everyone here always tries to deny it, but this not so much a RE blog but really an "I Hate Seattle" blog -- the housing bubble is just a refuge of hope for people who want to see a lot of pain in the city they despise, for whatever reason.

Classic ad hominem. Ignore.

matt said...

Hehehehehe < /Pee-Wee Herman Chuckle>

This's is a good one

Why the sudden interest? Nyhus and Parmenter said the city has more wealthy people in general, and wealthy empty-nesters in particular

Hmm... sudden interest? More wealthy people in general? Than when? Psuedo-demographic quakery a-go-go, the typical none-sense we've seen from downtown condo-cheerleaders. Absolutely not one shred of data to back any of it up...

In addition to their size, luxury units feature touches such as granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances

Again, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances should be the hallmark red-mark on the door of the housing bubble afflicted. I say if you walk into a place and its decked out like this... quick bubble-buck should be what comes to mine...

Costly condos are nothing new elsewhere. A recent search of New York real estate listings found more than 100 condos and co-op apartments costing between $10 million and $70 million

Pfft, again with the New York business... guess what folks, not New York, seriously. I know its hard to take and I agree with you, you CAN get a good slice of pizza in town, but New York? hardly...

matt said...

"At some point they have to take a little bit of a rest. Even though we have a lot of buyers out there, they're running out of money."

A decent article in general, DeSilver's a little less emotionally engaged than Patron Bubble Saint E.Rhodes, but as for this quote? I'm thinking that people've been out of money for quite some time now. Its called a negative savings rate. What they're really out of is exotic mortgage options, when the neg-am/i.o.'s aren't footing the bill on your 103% financing options, you've beat the dead horse into the mud...

R.I.P. toxic loans, we hardly knew ye'

Lake Hills Renter said...

R.I.P. toxic loans, we hardly knew ye'

They were known a little too well, IMO.

deeplennon said...

"The Tim said...

I can answer that.."


Thanks senior blog master.

Whew said...

Everyone here always tries to deny it, but this not so much a RE blog but really an "I Hate Seattle" blog

"Seattle is not New York" <> "I hate Seattle"

Anonymous said...

Matt said:

BTW, and Denver? I would never compare ourselves to Denver... Burnt brown and gray for 9 months, not the Emerald City by any stretch...

Uhm...not to nitpick, but when you refer to "gray for 9 months," I think you were talking about Seattle. Denver has over 300 days of sunshine a year.

(Incidentally, I wouldn't compare Seattle to Denver, either -- except for the massively higher derpression and suicide rates here, of course....)

Wanderer said...

First time poster, long time reader here. I have never thought of myself as a “blogger” but I really appreciate having a place that I can read up on counter views of the market. As a (potential) first time home buyer, I was never comfortable relying on RE agents’ assessments of the market because their car payments are so obviously tied to the outcome. The PI isn’t much better since I find scant evidence of analytical reporting… throughout all of their sections. Though there are a lot of “IMO”s, I am routinely impressed by the attempts to use solid numbers… on both sides of the argument (you too Meshugy).
Concerning the discussion over whether Seattle is/not a nice place to live, I think the whole thread is rather ridiculous. It is pointless to argue over how great the city is… especially when there is such a great economic measure of what potential American homebuyers think. We all vote with our dollar, so rental rates in each city really determine the intrinsic value of each property. Local wages and job opportunities place an upper limit on those rents. Having rented in Paris, Honolulu, Seattle, Ann Arbor, Charleston, Saratoga Springs, Norfolk, and Orlando, and Groton over the last 10 years (excuse me while I vomit), I know that rental rates (supply) reflect the overall quality of life (demand). It doesn’t really matter whether anon “likes” it here… it matters how much the average person is willing to pay to live here. Perhaps it is my MBA over-analytical side, but one of the best things I have seen on this blog is the P/E ratio. I would love for one of you internet wizzes to pull together some numbers showing (average rent)/(median home price) for the major markets… instead of using anecdotal blathering like me.