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Wednesday, September 09, 1981

Weekend Open Thread

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


Peckhammer said...

I am tired of the references to "New York-style living in Seattle." And I am tired of "New York" being used as the catch-all negative reference to the downsides of urban density.

Case in point, is an article in the PI today:

One swank condo on Lower Queen Anne once boasted "New York-style living in Seattle."

People probably never imagined they would get a sprinkle of Bed-Stuy as part of the package.

The article, entitled "Crime is changing character of Queen Anne" goes out of its way to label the crime wave in Queen Anne as a New York style phenomenon. What a bunch of BS.

Bullets blasted windows last month at Dick's burger joint nearby. That burst of gunfire came a week before a person was stabbed in the parking lot of the popular eatery... neighbors complain about incidents involving weapons, aggressive panhandling, human waste on sidewalks, transients in alleys, vandalism and nightclub-related mayhem... A sniper in Queen Anne? Crazed people smashing windows? Burgers with bullets?

Maybe Queen Anne is getting a New York state of mind after all."

Or maybe Queen Anne is just another part of a city that views itself as somehow different than the rest of the country.

Of course, the reality of urban density goes against the grain of Mayor Nichol's grand master plan of fattening the wallets of developers such as Paul Allen, and growing the cities tax-base with vertical development. So rather than disclose the truth -- the whole truth -- it's easier to parade out the NY references to explain away Seattle's dark side.

Maybe people will think twice about plunking down $790,000 for a two bedroom condo at the Lumen so they can revel in Seattle-style living in Queen Anne. Or maybe not...

LoneLibertarian said...


Don't you know that SEATTLE IS DIFFERENT.

IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE. Violent crime? NOT SEATTLE. Housing bubble? NOT SEATTLE. etc etc

NY maybe, but not here, not in the refuge (or is it refuse) we call seattle.

Anonymous said...

Actually, heard an alarming statistic where Seattle was top 3 in the nation for rising violent crime.

It was on the network news a few weeks ago.

One other city was New Orleans I believe and I forget what the third was.

Anonymous said...


richard said...

Looks like inventory is growing again after the big labor day drop.

Ziprealty is showing 2677 listings for Seattle this weekend.

Christina said...

Seattle needs to have real New York bagels and more egg creams. Then it will know peace and can justify its high cost of living.

Crashcadia said...

Here is one from the Seattle P.I.

Drug use up for boomers, down for teens.

Perhaps the stress of all those ARMs is starting to show.

Anonymous said...

richard- thanks for the zip news.

I hadn't been checking my zips much for a week or so cuz not much was happening.

Just went and checked and -wowsers!- little bit of action there the past day or so.

Odd time to be throwing the house on the market.

Is this the beginnings of the famed "Panic Selling"? A couple of my zips increased by almost a third. Why would that happen at this time of year? Is that in any way normal?

The Tim said...

Odd time to be throwing the house on the market.

Actually, if you check out this graph from the Seattle Bubble spreadsheet, you'll see that it's fairly normal for there to be a bit of a surge in listings in September, followed by the beginning of the winter drop-off in October. Of course, it's also fairly normal for listings to sag slightly in July and August, whereas this year they kept on going up.

seattle price drop said...

The site is getting interesting for Seattle.

Drop a zip code in to get info on # of foreclosures/preforeclosures/bankruptcies in that area.

If anyone has an account with them, it would be interesting to know: how many of these are listed on the MLS and how many are "hidden inventory"?

In every zip I checked (98105,98115,98103: Ravenna, Green Lake) there were 30- 40 foreclosures. That's about a third of the Zip Realty totals for # of homes for sale in those zips.

Several tony properties on Belvoir Place NE and 34th-39th Ave NE. One of them was priced 1,295,900.

Several in Green Lake for 600-900K.

Looks like even the high rollers are hurting.

It's tempting to get an account just to see how many of these properties were purchased in the past year.

seattle price drop said...

Big news on the lending front:

From the Boston Globe:

State regulators closed 11 mortgage firms in MA. after investigators found evdience that brokers steered propspective homebuyers into mortgages they couldn't afford and lenders looked the other way.

"Lenders are being investigated primarily for inflating borrowers incomes on loan application documents and failing to correct the disparities before selling the bundled mortgages on to the MBS market", Commissioner of Banks, Steven Antonakes said.

More news of junk MBS added to the pile.

Nolaguy said...

Wikipedia has a "housing bubble" article:

Very comprehensive.

Found the link at the Paper Money blog.

meshugy said...

Here's a quote from Schiller:

Housing market may be on ice, but the blame market is red hot

"Every time a boom ends, people are similarly puzzled," said Yale University economics professor Robert J. Shiller, who forecast the tech-stock crash in his 2000 book "Irrational Exuberance" and began casting doubts about the real estate market in 2003.

"I'm not even sure [the cycle is] about to end now, but I have a strong suspicion that the current change in the market is an important turning point," Shiller said.

meshugy said...

Condo sales taking off

After years of dormancy, the condo market is taking off, driven by early retirees who want a break from home maintenance and singles who want a price break compared with single-family homes, real estate agents say.

meshugy said...

WA state unemployment up...but Seattle's is down"

The business week ahead

Washington state and local jobless figures for August are released. In July, the state's unemployment rate hit 5.3 percent, the highest since November. But the Seattle-area rate was 4.2 percent, down from 4.3 percent the month before.

Anonymous said...

How appropriate that your baby is wearing red glasses....

Anonymous said...

'Sez 'Shugy:

"Housing market may be on ice, but the blame market is red hot"

...and from the article:

Sales of single-family homes in the Chicago area in July were down 18.6 percent from a year earlier, and condos were off 8.4 percent, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. Nationally, sales of all types of homes were 11.2 percent lower in July than a year earlier.


More 'shug:

"Condo sales taking off" Thurston county. Versus data from three years ago. From the article:

Through July of this year, 55 condos had sold in Thurston County, a 34 percent increase compared with the 41 that sold during the same period three years ago, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

(Wow!!! Fifty-five!!!!)

And yet more:

"WA state unemployment up...but Seattle's is down" July. The linked article is about this coming Tuesday's announcement of new figures. 'Shugy has posted the same (July) numbers at least twice now -- don't be fooled into thinking that this is new information.

(Not incidentally...a 0.1% change is statistically insignificant.)

'Shug...I don't know what to're scraping the bottom of the rose-colored barrel. Better luck next time.

SeattleMoose said...

Here is this weeks listing trend analysis...

Date / King Co / Delta / %
07-May / 7302 / /
15-May / 7486 / 184 / 3%
21-May / 7665 / 179 / 5%
11-Jun / 8099 / 434 / 11%
18-Jun / 8154 / 55 / 12%
24-Jun / 8352 / 198 / 14%
01-Jul / 8417 / 65 / 15%
08-Jul / 8758 / 341 / 20%
15-Jul / 9057 / 299 / 24%
22-Jul / 9139 / 82 / 25%
29-Jul / 9044 / -95 / 24%
05-Aug / 9059 / 15 / 24%
12-Aug / 9191 / 132 / 26%
19-Aug / 9348 / 157 / 28%
26-Aug / 9442 / 94 / 29%
02-Sep / 9363 / -79 / 28%
09-Sep / 9597 / 234 / 31%

Fall is coming...

manystrom said...

I'm a former Seattleite currently living in Boston. I thought prices in Seattle were high, but they've still got a ways to go to reach levels here.
Here is a link to an article I penned about my experiences with the stock & real estate bubbles in Japan, in the early 90's. I had just graduated from college and moved there.

Michael Nystrom

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many ways it has to be said: Seattle is not Boston. It isn't New York, nor is it Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Tokyo. It isn't even Vancouver.

Dan Savage said it best: Seattle is Dubuqe, putting on airs. A small town, with small-town thinking, small-town ways, and small-town provincialism that grew a bit too fast in the 90s. For all of its talk of "world-class cities" and "New York style living," Seattle isn't even close to the same league.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any Seattle Times article on August MLS #s. Can somebody please point it out if I missed it? Thanks.

The Tim said...

I've been keeping my eye out, and I haven't seen one either. It's really quite odd. When they finally get around to it, I'll be sure to post it.

The Tim said...

meshugy said...
Condo sales taking off

Yeah, I posted that article nearly a month ago.

meshugy said...

Boeing seems to be going strong:

Marketplace: Aerospace elevates Northwest exports

According to Parks' latest report, this is a record-breaking year for exports in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Most of the credit goes to our state's aerospace industry.

In the first half of the year, Washington exports of transportation equipment (mainly aircraft) reached $15.8 billion, up 61 percent from 2005, according to a report cited by Parks from the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.

Meanwhile, Boeing took ­orders for 493 aircraft compared with 117 for its rival Airbus.

meshugy said...

Looks like we had income growth after all:

Seattle feeling slightly richer

Per-capita personal income in the Seattle metro area in 2004 drops by about $1,635, to $39,999. Growth that year falls to 4 percent, but 2005 growth jumps to 4.2 percent — much closer to the national averages of 4.9 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

The adjusted numbers better reflect the reality of the Puget Sound area's economy, said Dick Conway, economist and co-editor of the Puget Sound Economic Forecaster.

The local area emerged from recession in mid-2004, after the rest of the country, but is now growing faster, he said.

Anonymous said...

Oh, for the love of...let's take a second to think through this, mmkay?

"Per-capita personal income in the Seattle metro area in 2004 drops by about $1,635, to $39,999."

OK. A drop in real personal income...

"Growth that year falls to 4 percent, but 2005 growth jumps to 4.2 percent — much closer to the national averages of 4.9 percent and 4 percent, respectively."

...coupled with below-average income growth in 2004, and average income growth in 2005...

"The local area emerged from recession in mid-2004, after the rest of the country, but is now growing faster"

...and the "conclusion" is that our incomes are growing faster than average???

Sorry, shugy, but that's a gigantic load of horseshit. I'm starting to agree with the others: you're an industry shill. Either that, or you're so completely biased that you've abandoned critical thought.