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Wednesday, October 14, 1981

Weekend Open Thread

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

Update: The Tim here. I just wanted to point out that this weekend is the anniversary of my marriage to my lovely wife, so I'll be out of town and otherwise fairly busy. I most likely won't be making another post until Monday.

18 comments:

SeattleMoose said...

Let me be the first to wish you...."Happy Anniversary".

Great blog....keep up the good work.

Matthew said...

I've been trolling through the local RE sites this weekend, seems that the condo market is still going strong. First we had the MODA, the 300 sq ft dorm rooms sold out almost instantly and now it seems that people were camping outside of the Brix in lawn chairs.

I can't believe that with the news nationwide that housing is slowing some people are still lining up to pay for these condos....

stephen said...

I live in the Juanita area and leaving the house this morning I drove by a local condo project (Juanita something) that I kid you not had a kid standing on the curb waving a sign 'Condos in the low 200's'. It's a shame he was not in a monkey suit :-)

Dustin said...

First things first... Happy Anniversary Tim!

I find it interesting that RCG is called out for never talking about the bubble and then when we do, the best that the Seattle Bubble community can do is call me a "bag of wind".

Considering The Rules, I find it shameful that the moderators leave up unprovoked insults. But then again, I guess I should just be glad that you guys are paying attention. ;)

Peckhammer said...

Apartment hunt will be tougher for renters

Snipped From the Seattle Times:

Renters about to apartment-hunt for the first time in several years: Be prepared.

The apartment market is shifting from one that favored you to one that's increasingly giving landlords the upper hand.

You'll find fewer vacant apartments to choose from. You'll pay more for what you do find.

Why the big change?

Chalk it up to strong job growth that's attracting newcomers, condominium conversions taking apartments out of the rental pool faster than developers can build, and sky-high house prices that keep renters renting, said Mike Scott of the apartment-analysis firm Dupre+Scott.

Some 66,000 jobs have been added regionally this year, according to the Puget Sound Economic Forecaster, published by Conway Pedersen Economics. This is in addition to 50,000 created last year. The forecasters expect another 45,000 to be added next year.

Vacancy rates are expected to shrink further through the end of next year. And rents are expected to climb by 4 percent or more by next spring.

Matthew said...

Dusty,

Actually, I think it is good that YOU are paying attention. ;)

synthetik said...

I have a question... you know I am predicting a pretty steep recession for mid-2007, while I hope I am wrong - I think it's wise to prepare and consider getting involved in industries and companies that would be fairly resilient/resistent to recession.

Any ideas? Surely, anything connected to housing is going to take a major bath - but considering that housing/construction has been such a large part of our economy this part 5 years, where does that leave us? Worse yet, if consumer spending is 60-70% of our growth and -that- comes to a halt, what to do?

Some that come to mind are items that keep peoples mind off their problems (porn, alcohol, cigarettes, movies), or necessities like grocieries, household items, gasoline, and healthcare (boomer effect, health insurance); Crime should also increase (start a security or alarm system company).

I think even organized crime gets hurt by a recession too (see Sopranos) heh. What about law? RE law will die but you'd think that general lawsuits might increase.

My wife and I were talking about this last night. Starbucks recetly announced a planned massive increase in number of stores worldwide. Would people tend to buy more $4 frapp-latta-chino drinks, or less? Are businesses going to be more likely to buy MS Office software licenses or skate by without for awhile?

synthetik said...

I owned a computer integration business from 88' to 01'. Initially my main product was an IBM compatible PC 286 or 386 (remember the 386-40!).

Each computer was supposed to come with a copy of DOS or Windows 3.1.

During the early years of my business (88-94) upwards of 90% of my customers were not legal on their software (Novell ELS, Wordperfect 4.1, Lotus 1.0a --remember those? all pirated; then later Windows 3.1/95/NT/Office)

As the economy started to get better it seemed like there was more willingness from my clients to buy legal licenses. A few years after that, Microsoft launched a massive direct marketing campaign designed to scare businesses into purchasing legal copies. Almost all my clients rec'd a letter stating that they may rec a visit soon to make sure they were compliant.

It worked like a champ. I'd say the compliance rate jumped from 15-20% to 85-90% in 2-3 years.

Faced with another recession, would companies look to cut back in this area again? What would that mean for Microsoft?

Business - just like consumers cut back wherever they can. They take longer to pay their bills and start to watch the supply cabinet. Cheap crap from China will be as popular as ever.

On the flip side, defense spending usually goes up so maybe that would negate any downturn in tech.

synthetik said...

Dustin,

For the record as a guest commenter I can only edit or delete a post that I create.

I'm sure if Mr. Tim was around he would address it.

Peckhammer said...

Each computer was supposed to come with a copy of DOS or Windows 3.1.

During the early years of my business (88-94) upwards of 90% of my customers were not legal on their software (Novell ELS, Wordperfect 4.1, Lotus 1.0a --remember those? all pirated


You are stirring up memories. I too had a computer integration business in and around the same time. This was in addition to my steady gig at a medium-sized law firm which gave me access to a good client base via referrals. Anyway... When I started there, the firm had a single copy of Windows, and a single copy of MS Office -- for the entire firm!

SeattleMoose said...

Latest "trend data" from Bob Glover RE Site

Date / Listings / 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%
16-Sep / 9959 / 362 / 36%
21-Sep / 10121 / 162 / 39%
28-Sep / 10639 / 518 / 46%
05-Oct / 10434 / -205 / 43%
14-Oct / 10428 / -6 / 43%

Hard to say where this is going. As Tim pointed out inventory usually "pulls back" this time of year as folks wait for spring. October is pivotal for this reason.

Regardless, compared to last year, there are many more listings in the 350K to 450K price range and the quality of the homes in this range is starting to improve. Also a lot of "price reduced" and motivated seller" popping up which was completely absent a year ago.

So now we sit back and wait for the inevitable 40-60% drops to occur and we are good to go...

Dustin said...

Synthetik,

That definitely works for me!

Lake Hills Renter said...

Two houses on my route to work that i've been watching came off the market this week. No "sold" placcard or anyting, just *poof* sign is gone. The one down the street replaced it with a "For Rent" sign.

MisterBubble said...

For the record, that rental article that peckhammer posted is a Lizzie Rhodes Special...

I wonder if Lizzie isn't looking for a new corporate teat to suckle, now that it's become impossible to write rah-rah "journalism" for the real-estate industry without losing all credibility as a "journalist"....

Southside said...

Grab a newspaper and count the number of RE related advertisements - doesn't take a genius to figure out who writes her paycheck. What a shill.

Just remember kiddies, when you start seeing foreclosures, don't assume the market is headed south!

Matthew said...

That link made me want to barf southside, thanks.

RE agents are one step above used car salesmen in my mind. Wow. Their rhetoric never ceases to amaze....

Lake Hills Renter said...

One step above? I put them at least a step below for the most part.

synthetik said...

at least most people KNOW that a used car salesman is going to stick it to them...