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Saturday, September 05, 1981

Tuesday Open Thread

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


ob said...

How about the OFHEO numbers?

Still home price growth, but it sure is slowing down.

lucy said...

Cover of Business Week this week - Nightmare Mortgages:
I thought the link on the right to the Map of Misery was interesting (

plymster said...

Check out this front page peach from the Seattle Times.

Staged ghettos, gleaming concrete floors, 45 minute commute, fall-through financing (appraisal problem?). This "nightmare" should wake up anyone. Soon enough our economy will be waking up with night terrors.

e-sidedave said...

Escalating Aspen real estate values astound even experts

john_law_the_II said...

I'm really interested to see where the last bubble holdouts, vancouver and seattle, take this housing bubble. sometimes I can't tell whether I'm on the seattle blog or the vancouver blog. the thing about both is each is supposedly special, yet last year just about every area in the US considered itself special.

synthetik said...

re: front page Seattle Times article

good article, and while the tone is "it's expensive here", they end the article on a positive note.

"The couple finally found their dream house within the Red Oaks subdivision in north Lynnwood, a house that had been on the market since February but had not yet sold because two offers had fallen through.

Built in 2001, the house is on a cul-de-sac and backs up to a protected wetland. It features four bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms, an island kitchen, a bay window in the master bedroom, a den with built-in bookshelves and French doors, nice light fixtures and attractive paint colors.

"It was a slam dunk," Adam said. And the couple got it for $397,000, "below our budget, which is just fine." They moved in Aug. 20."

Would you call this success:

a) Living in Lynnwood
b) 42 minute commute each day into Seattle
c) Buying a 400K home in Lynnwood at the PEAK of the market

I'm going to assume that a family that does no research on a place before they move has any clue of their financial interest either. Too bad they haven't bothered to watch television or read a newspaper - they could be renting a nice 3 bedroom with a short commute;

saving their money for 18-24 months until they could buy something closer to Seattle.

I'm assuming they have sufficient equity to not get an ARM... but what happens when people stop drinking their $5 mocha-lata-frappa-fatty-boom-blatty drinks??

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read this yet apparently we are special!

"Real estate in the Pacific Northwest is still being pumped up by fleeing Californians. Californians (retiring baby boomers in particular) see that their homes have reached record prices and they've been selling. They are flooding into neighboring states with pockets full of cash, buying homes larger than the ones they sold for prices that seem, by comparison, pretty low and, in the process, driving up prices in the Northwest, particularly in the Portland, Ore. and Seattle metro areas."

"The Northwest's real-estate boom is likely to continue, albeit a bit slower, because those Californians are still moving around and also because that region's economies are strong, Yun says. Both cities are riding a strengthened technology sector. Seattle is going strong on orders for Boeing aircraft and increased international trade at its port."

synthetik said...

>northwest's real-estate boom is likely to continue

Shug, it's obvious there has been an influx of people from california.

That is not likely to continue because:

a) It's already too late to cash out for anyone in CA who hasn't sold their house (few buyers)

b) the median prices between Seattle and So. Cal/SF is getting closer (CA is dropping fast)

c) Media attention is now so great the Seattle market has tipped already

It's great to talk about jobs but this area is not diversified -- what happens if there are any problems with Boeing or Microsoft? Terrorist attack involving an airplane or just general layoffs due to the US economy as a whole.

meshugy said...

Shug, it's obvious there has been an influx of people from california.

I didn't post that...but funny that you think anyone who posts something you don't agree with is me.

meshugy said...

Here's a link to the article:

Boom to bust, almost overnight

Anonymous said...

Seattle was about 12 months behind San Diego/Las Vegas on the runup. On the downside, things always happen faster, so I'd guess we're 6 months behind them on the price cuts. Looking at the bubble leading areas right now, things are going to be nasty nationwide, no area is "special". Seattle, with it's high % of interest-only and other exotic loans, will get hit hard.

Peckhammer said...

Yesterday, on "To the Point," Warren Olney did interviews in a segment called, "Is Housing Bubble Losing Air?"


The piece is the second story, I believe. You can skip ahead in the recording.

For more than a year, some economists have predicted the bursting of what they call the housing “bubble.” When we first aired this program in May--things haven't improved in the meantime, Fortune magazine said the boom was already over. Since then, sales of new homes have fallen and the inventory of unsold homes is at a record high. If prices drop, what's the fate of mortgage-holders with interest-only loans who think their houses are banks? What are the consequences for the economy as a whole

Listen to the chief economist for the NAR completely dismiss the legitimacy of an academic economist. The NAR-TARD portrays the midwestern economist as a crazy conspiracy theorist -- even using "War of the Worlds" as an analogy for the fiction he created about the bubble.

synthetik said...

interesting article re: buyers being turned away for using

"But the seller’s agent refused to show it to them. Why would she turn away an eager buyer? Not because of the Wolfs’ race, creed or color. Instead, Mr. Wolf, a software engineering manager at the online directory InfoSpace, said he and his wife were shunned once the agent learned they used an online broker called Redfin."

"As it turned out, the Wolfs’ offer was the highest of five bids made for the house they wanted, and they were able to buy it despite the balky broker. (They toured the house with a friend who is an agent.) They also received a $16,300 commission rebate from Redfin and became firm believers in online real estate brokers."

synthetik said...


looking around I see no other dissenting opinions. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

forgive me for not buying in to your online persona. It's perfectly logical for a poet/musician to own a 500K home and be so concered about the RE market to bloviate and wave your pom-pom's on almost every RE blog around.

If you really were "joe homeowner" you'd have enough information by reading these blogs that you'd have sold your home months ago.

Any sane person would.

synthetik said...

Fantastic perspective on how housing bubble is/will effect the eoncomy from Economist Max Wolff:

"The housing troubles ahead are serious and this is largely symptomatic of the greater shake-out in progress. A significant portion of the middle class is no more. Housing is about to turn onto another serious problem for these beset masses. It will join health coverage and cost, pension woes, massive debt, intergenerational demands and stagnant wages. All of these afflictions are related and interacting. Wages have not kept-up, health care costs run several times the rate of inflation, and college tuitions soar. Aging parents require help with medical costs, children cost more and their early career wages don’t come close to supporting a middle class existence."

Anonymous said...

I am a new reader, so you probably talk about this a lot, but what are people's thoughts on condos? I have a condo in Uptown that I bought 5 years ago and am thinking of selling to get a you think the condo market in urban areas will remain stronger than the housing market, so holding onto it while I look for a house could be a win-win or would you advise that I sell the condo as soon as possible, and rent until housing prices fall/stabilize?

Peckhammer said...

do you think the condo market in urban areas will remain stronger than the housing market

NO! I think the condo market is going to go down like an Antonova 32 cargo jet. Over the next couple years, there will be an enormous amount of inventory coming on the market. If you can sell now, and get a good price, I would do it.

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Anonymous said...

I sold my condo in August, am renting now. Condos will fall the farthest, as most condo-target-market people will be renters instead. With a condo, you're basically getting an apartment anyway. With a house, at least it feels like you're a better place than an apartment.

Anonymous said...

Condos are ALREADY dropping in price.

Lordy, read the Seattle Times RE section on Sundays to educate yourself! Please!

They're dropping prices since July at least and offering incentives.

Sell that sucker while you can and rent til you can afford a house- ie. when the home prices drop far enough.

There are still some greater fools out there in Seattle who will buy.

Anonymous said...

The OFHEO news was very bad for those who are banking on continued appreciation.

I saw the interview on CNBC and the head of OFHEO was seriously stating this is a bust in progress.

Furthermore, those numbers apply only to houses 400K and under. they do not deal with high end homes.

The head of OFHEO said the numbers would be worse, he assumes, if it was an across the board study.

Bad news for continued appreciation, GREAT news for those who are wanting the idea of reasonably priced homes to come back into fashion!

meshugy said...

The bubble inventory tracking site had some interesting things to say about Seattle:

Inventory Wrap Up

Counting from 1/1/06 to the end of the second quarter 2006, the average increase in inventory in the 9 markets this blog tracks was 78%. They range from Seattle's meager 44% rise to The OC's 130% jump in inventory.

Lastly, the core markets such as the OC, LA, the Bay Area and lagger markets like Seattle still have a ways to go in building up the kind of inventory that allows for the type of real price reductions SD and Sac are seeing.

meshugy said...

This site will create a personal real estate report for your neighborhood.

Home Insight

It took them a week or two to do it. It has lot's of detailed data about inventory and prices. My hood (98117) shows:

For June, July, and August (98117):

% of asking price received: 102%

Sales over asking price: 34

Sales under asking price: 16

Sales at asking price: 15

It also shows that almost no new houses have been put up for sale over the last month. Inventory in 98117 peaked in early June (45 houses) and has been heading down ever since. There was a precipitous drop over the last few weeks and is now below 20 houses.

Interesting mostly confirms what I've seen around here in Ballard. Lots of quick sales and overbidding. Low inventory and a few way overpriced houses taking reductions.

Anonymous said... always, 'shugy, you seem to be looking at a far different set of data than the rest of us. Seattle is up over 42% since May and keeps climbing.

meshugy said... always, 'shugy, you seem to be looking at a far different set of data than the rest of us. Seattle is up over 42% since May and keeps climbing.

Actually...inventory was down in August. Even the housing tracker shows that: