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Wednesday, October 28, 1981

Weekend Open Thread

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


Peter Taylor said...

King 5 News put together a "news" story about the Business 2.0 article regarding Seattle's "Bubbleproof" status. Of course, it just a simple respin of the Business 2.0 article with no countering viewpoint. That didn't stop them from broadcasting the same story at least half a dozen times on their various local evening news programs and on Kong. They did have some heinously fugly "Real Estate Analyst" that reeled off the standard talking points. Lots of high paying jobs, "not making any more land", Seattle is the best place in the world to live and everyone wants to live here, huge demand for our teensy tiny supply, etc. etc.

"No bubble here! Just a huge number of affluent people chasing a tiny inventory of highly desirable homes!"

Geon said...

I noticed the Realtor or Analyst, not sure what it was, footage was from April '06? Well, that's what I thoughtI saw.

BubbleRider said...

Great take on the nature of statistics and real estate in the New Yorker. Massage the numbers enough and bubbles can pop and deflate at the same time!

Grivetti said...

The magazine calls Seattle one of five bubble-proof markets. San Francisco, Boston, (Lost Angeles) and New York are also on the list.

I can smell the crack-fumes form King-TV pouring out the front door now!

BOSTON'S HOUSING price rollercoaster is heading downhill.

Los Angeles Foreclosures Increase Dramatically

San Francisco:
Bay Area home prices decline, sales slow

New York:


hmmm... Bubble proof? Holy Geezus, what's a bubble then?

Again, talking points have been issued but in my opinion "returning to a normal market" is the Realtor equivalent "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" line of malarky...

Kaleetan said...

Notice how all the top five superstars are home to the Main stream media.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Vancouver.

I love this "we're running out of land" argument. According to the RE establishment, there are several cities in North America facing this predicament. And yet, they still keep finding it. Strange, huh?

What neither Seattle or Vancouver are running out of, however, is air space. Don't know how many of you have been to Vancouver lately but if you had, you would have noticed dozens of 30, 40, 50 and soon to be 62 story condominium buildings which are not challenged by land restrictions. Why can't the same happen in Seattle? In any event, one wonders what the RE establishment has to say about them. Here, they're saying nothing, while inventory rises, sales decline and all RE property sits for sale for longer periods.

I don't think that Seattle has gone through the same off the dial runup in prices as Vancouver has. At the same time, we're both hearing the "we're special", "we're differnt", "we're running out of land" hyperpole that you're hearing there. It will be interesting for both of us, perhaps to varring degrees, to hear the spin come Spring 2007.

Joe Consumer said...

Johnny Rent -

My understanding was that the runup of prices in YVR was due in no small part to the massive influx of Asian - specifically, Hong Kong - money. This kind of speculative cash isn't flowing into the Seattle market, in large part to the big difference in govt. regulations.

I believe that in the early-mid 90s, Canada jump started the money flow by linking investment to residency status - foreigners could literally buy residency with the appropriate level of investments in Canada. Given the geographical affinity to Asia, Vancouver was a beneficiary of these dollars, and the condo boom was originally borne from this, right?

emailers2 said...

So, the Boston market is bubble proof? Does that mean that prices never fall? Oh really, maybe King 5 should let Boston in on that little secret.

The Boston Globe reports from Massachusetts. “Condominium prices in downtown Boston declined 6.9 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30, the second consecutive quarter in which slumping sales drove prices down. The median condominium price was $419,000, down from $449,950 in the third quarter of 2005, according to Link.”
“The median price was nearly 11 percent below the condo market’s price peak of $470,000, which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2005. The number of condos sold fell 19.7 percent. Prices declined in 8 of the 12 central city neighborhoods tracked by Link.”
“The market correction comes as developers continue to plan and build condo projects in Boston. In the third quarter, there were 1,554 condos on the market, less than five months’ supply. ‘What’s remarkable is, yes, sales are off,’ but price declines are ‘marginal,’ said Debra Taylor Blair, president of Listing Information Network. ‘We’re not looking at 20 percent price declines,’ she said.”
“Larissa Duzhansky, a New England economist, predicted prices will not rebound until 2008 because housing has become increasingly unaffordable. In Boston last year, personal incomes increased at a 4.7 percent average annual rate, failing to keep pace with a 9.5 percent housing price increase.”
“‘Even if they’re dropping, they’re still high,’ said Duzhansky.”

Anonymous said...


You'd be right about a large part of the fuel for the last run up in Vancouver. Asian immigration not only helped a condo boom but was also responsible for a rise in SFH prices. That said, Vancouver has always had a very strong downtown condominium and apartment population - at almost 100,000 persons, second only to Manhattan in terms of downtown density so I'm told.

This time around, however, immigration is at a lower ebb as is population growth. RE prices in the past four or five years can't be attributed to the Asian effect. We're by far the least affordable city in Canada, equal to the most bubbly markets in the US, with over 50% of gross income required to buy a median priced home - and, the net effect to us is greater than the US as we can't write off mortgage interest or property taxes.

The higher they climb, the further they drop so I'm expecting a major correction here.

PepeDaniels said...

All of these "arguments" are the same for Miami/Fort Lauderdale where I believe they're suffering a %25 drop in sales.

No more land = "gator locked" and so on. Great job market etc...

As for the Asian immigrants saving Vancouver or Seattle (or anywhere else), Miami Dade has Latino's who will "save" any drop in prices. There is an amazing amount of money from Latin American and I don't think it will pull S.Florida out of a major adjustment.

When I was reading S. Florida blogs about the bubble, people were laughing about the idea that many of the Latino's who often times come with few financial resources in third world terms will want to buy into the condo market to save it!

Christina said...

"Sandwich Man," the October 29 Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, has "Housing Mr. Bubble" as the definition for the 16 Down Clue "Putting up a guy in the bath?"