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Tuesday, February 16, 1982

02.16.2007 - Friday Open Thread

This is your open thread for Friday, February 16, 2007. Please post random links and off-topic discussions here.

20 comments:

tacoland said...

Friday February 16, 7:47 am ET
Analysts Expect January Housing Starts to Decline From December

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors will look for clues on where the housing market is headed Friday when the Commerce Department reports January data on starts, construction and building permits.
Analysts expect a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6 million units, a decline from December's rate of 1.642 million.

After setting records for five straight years, sales of both new and existing homes suffered sharp declines in 2006 and sent ripple effects throughout the economy.

As the building industry battles slumping sales and home prices, housing shares have fallen sharply. According to the Commerce Department, sales of new homes dropped in 2006 by the largest amount in 16 years.

rentonite said...

Well the numbers are out, and quite low ... 1.4ish. Yikes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17184424/

Grivetti said...

Looks like Aubrey over at the P.I. has issued an apology to the local bubble-boosters for his "Seattle housing prices plummet..." piece via a strangely timed article...

Area's housing prices still strong

Lot of weird statistics to pull the slump back into the black...

The price of a typical house in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area was $372,900 in the final three months of 2006 -- up 11.3 percent from the same period in 2005

Strange, never heard about this rogue 3month-YOY stat before... well as long as it makes the RE section happy, I suppose its all good (my conspiracy-theory self working overtime).

"When we get the figures for this spring, I expect to see a discernable improvement in both sales and prices," David Lereah, the association's chief economist

Oh hell, David says we've hit bottom, so I BELIEVE HIM!!!

Vickie said...

As we see median price increases throughout the region, we must remember that does not mean real prices are increasing, which many realtors and speculators would have you beleive. In San Diego, as things were beginning to fall apart, the median price rose there as well for the first few months, leading the local media to state that "prices are still strong in San Diego" What a farce.

dan said...

This (median price being misleading) is why you should use Case-Shiller indices. It's the index that's closest to showing what's really happening

http://tinyurl.com/2fyptx

witzend said...

Was just looking at the real estate section of craigslist/seattle. Sure seems like a huge amount of homes listed here!

For comparison - is anyone familiar with what this section looked like a year ago, or two years ago (how many postings there were daily)?

Also, looking at the photos, many are apparently not primary residences (Don't look lived-in).

Thoughts, opinions?

Nolaguy said...

Is this is joke?:

http://tinyurl.com/2opcav

$468k???

Terry said...

nolaguy,

What's the problem! It's got hardwood floors, stainless steel in the kitchen, and are those granite countertops? Wow! It's worth every penny!

Mikhail said...

witzend: "Was just looking at the real estate section of craigslist/seattle. Sure seems like a huge amount of homes listed here!"

It's hard for me to give a lot of credence to a seemingly large number of craigslist postings when the listing inventory I see for my area (East Bellevue, 98008) on ZipRealty is making new lows (37 today, down from 95 in October).

Also, the number of 3 bedroom single family homes for rent in Bellevue for less than $2000 on Craigslist is worse than it was this time last year. As a renter I keep a close eye on the Craigslist rental market for Bellevue.

All I can say is that things seem VERY tight for both sales and rentals in the Bellevue area.

Mikhail said...

I noticed a VERY fascinating chart showing the foreclosures and defaults for the San Diego area. Does anyone know if such a chart exists for the Puget Sound?

http://piggington.com/motivated_sellers_abound

It would be interesting to see if we are seeing the Seattle area defaults are signaling greater foreclosures up ahead...

synthetik said...

>It would be interesting to see if we are seeing the Seattle area defaults are signaling greater foreclosures up ahead...

Don't forget, we're about a year or so behind San Diego in the Real Estate cycle.

The time to buy in SD is probably still 2-3 years away, which means we have an even longer way to go.

Of course, this is assuming:

a) The national/global economy doesn't go into a free fall

b) We continue to have plentiful access to cheap crude oil.

witzend said...

nolaguy,

No, unfortunately not (I know, rhetorical question). But what better example of the unsustainability of the market?

This is(what ought to be) your typical "starter home", and at a price that realistically could only be afforded by someone with a salary of about $150k!

From the same ad:

"Own this house for $2,334.54 per month! *
* This price is based on a 6.37 APR and a 20% down payment"

I'm guessing there's more to those terms than meets the eye.

also, for the sake of comedy:

Doesn't that fancy refridgerator look out-of-place?

And what is up with those colors? Holly S*&%!

"Convenient to Hwy 99" uh, hopefully not too convenient.

Herb Wright said...

Nolaguy what's wrong with that house? Designer clown colors fetch big bucks in the north end.

MisterBubble said...

"Also, the number of 3 bedroom single family homes for rent in Bellevue for less than $2000 on Craigslist is worse than it was this time last year."

Well, gee...I've noticed that the number of craigslist listings for six bedroom rental homes with servant quarters and views of the sound for less than $2000 is virtually non-existent!

I guess the slowdown isn't really happening. The mansion market sure is tight!

Nolaguy said...

I like how the house is described as "Awesome".

In 2000, I bought a 2000sf home in Magnolia for $425k. This was just before the dotcom bust, so housing was a little frothy.

I was nervous as hell about paying so much, but it was a premier neighboorhood (i was a block from Magnolia BLVD, and 3 blocks from Discovery Park), the house was very sound, and I put down a large down-payment to where my PITI was $1700.

I immediately did a big remodel that cost $125k. Hired a contractor/designer - it turned out great. I was planning to live in this house for the rest of my life.

Well, as life will sometimes dictates, 3 years later i was getting divorced and decided to sell the house.

I felt *extremely* lucky that I sold the place for $585k - essentially breaking even.

I have a few points I guess:

* If a fixer-upper in Magnolia was $425k in 2000, should this POS in north ballard be $468k in 2007? I don't think so.

* Does the potential buyer of this POS think they'll have my same experience? Fix it up and live in it the rest of their lives? I certainly wouldn't want to live there no matter how nice the house was made.

Anyways. My previous house in Magnolia is now Zillowed for $772k. Crazy. I wouldn't pay that much for it - and I still miss it.

http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=48855537

Erik said...

Why on earth would this have happened?

"30-day change: [upwards] $62,609"

What the hell?

Nolaguy said...

I saw that, too. 10% gain in 30 days!?

I guess the market is HOT HOT HOT.

SourMash said...

Speaking of Zillow, in my neck of the woods (SE Shoreline) Zestimates have spiked downward in the last 30 days. The value on my place has dropped 6%. It's been a steady decline over 4-5 weekly refreshes.

I think it's because the reassessment numbers are sinking in, but it could be comps. The values are still about 20% too high by my guess, but something is causing a hint of realism to appear.

amitc said...

Hi Tim, other readers,

Thought you might be interested in this, I used Yahoo Pipes to add a filter to the Seattle Bubble feed to show "Non-Open Thread" articles.
The link is
Seattle Bubble Articles Only

Tim, if you believe it is useful to others, do add the above or it's copy to the Seattle Bubble blog page.

Thanks
Amit

stephen said...

All I can say is that things seem VERY tight for both sales and rentals in the Bellevue area.

Rent, not true. Plenty of perfectly nice homes between 1500-1800 a month. Buying, right, you can write off the Eastside, it's pointless. Everybody has collectively lost their minds and there is simply no point in waiting for them to come to any rational thought process on RE, at all. Nata, nothing, the biggest dump in the entire area will hit at 380k (although one really bad one popped up at 330) and they are mostly uninhabitable....