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Wednesday, March 31, 1982

03.31.2007 - Weekend Open Thread

This is your open thread for the weekend of March 31-April 1, 2007. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!


Yelli said...

I posted this on the previous thread, but I thought I'd post it again. It's amazing how little human nature actually changes over the years. People will always look for the quick buck.

Jazen said...

What year is that from?
Very interesting.

Yelli said...

I'm not sure, but the blog I found it on put in the file name for the image "1875". So I think you could assume it's that old. Looks like it, anyway.

Tom said...

I see many houses listed on the market get pulled off if not sold in few weeks. looks like the RE agents are coordinating to reduce the inventory by convincing the sellers that wait if you can.

EconE said...

condos getting pulled without going STI also. I wouldn't have been surprised 2 years ago. When a unit came up in a good building it was snapped up. Now...with hardly anything moving...when they just "disappear" overnight...I know they'll be back.

SLTO Troll said...


a bit of a reality check from detroit where the economy was pegged on automakers and nothing else... kinda scary if our economy is boeing and MSFT dependent...

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

this is an amusing job post

William said...

Is the Seattle Condo Market finally slowing. As I peruse the listings over the past two months, I do not see the advance in prices, and it appears as if there are a lot of projects coming on board to be absorbed. There are some sellers who are lowering their prices as a result. Anyone care to comment.

Puget Sounder said...

I got a few laughs reading these bios of "home loan sales people".

Terry said...


Interesting cartoon and I agree that there are always people looking for the quick / easy buck.

Charles MacKay's, "Tulipomania" in his book, published in 1852, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in investing in anything.

matthew said...

the condo market is def. slowing.

Chris said...

Countrywide execs abandon ship

Welcome to the Enron of Mortgaes...

matthew said...

All hands, abandon ship!!

ron said...

Agreed this market is definitly showing signs? in several months if this trend continues it should start getting interesting arround here as well.

Take a drive though Mukilteo area in everett- I kid you not inventory properties for sale have from my best guess gone up 3-4 fold if not more in the last several months.

ron said...

Going though Mercer island today im guessing or lets just say theres more signs than a couple of weeks ago.
hard to create a trend out of couple weeks, we will just watch and see.

ron said...

Out there Garage Saling arround the Neighborhoods-

I have several routes I take and watch the pulse of the areas overtime.. I would say that Im seeing record amount of Building going back about 10 years of my routes.

Interesting it is- at the level of what appears small players building houses.. They are speckling these houses though the neighborhoods.

These builders do they really understand the economics behind what there doing? Do they understand how many more of them are chasing the same profits? does Anyone?

Place in large proft margins and they will all build or chase those margins until they dont exist... when its to good to be true its usually ends up false in the end.

ron said...

Everyone here should take a Drive Through Mukilteo which is arm off Everett.

Its upscale compaired to most of everett with housing pricing starting in the high 3s 400,000. range.

Its off the puget sound- there are so many signs and new construction.. I notice very little Sold Plaques being placed on the For Sale signs.

Deejayoh said...

Interesting it is- at the level of what appears small players building houses.. They are speckling these houses though the neighborhoods.

Ron -
I think you are spot on with this observation. And what these guys don't realize is that they are the marginal builders out on the high end of the cost curve. Things go south, they are the first to be underwater.

Case in point, my buddy w/whom I was having a discussion about the direction of Seattle's housing market. He is a small builder. He pointed out all the usual - seattle doesn't have any subprime, millions of people moving here, blah blah blah. End of the argument was "I have to be bullish, my family depends on it" - like wishing it was true was sufficient.

If you figure that all of these small builders have the same mentality about it - then you have some irrational behavior coming up that is just going to lead to more pain. I'm not gonna have a lot of schadenfruede about this, but I won't say I didn't try to open his eyes

rentalbliss said...

I believe the silent inventory is huge right now I have already seen a 10% increase in inventory in the last couple weeks and know of 2 houses coming on line very soon on my small little block. We have not had anything for sale on our block for years. It will keep growing and growing and growing. I sometimes start to doubt that this will unwind at all until I take a drive around the bothell snohomish area, like I did today the amount of building and resales is honestly mind boggling.

Richard said...

It looks like one of the small builders in 98115 (Wedgewood/Bryant Neighborhood) went belly up. The house is half framed, and the workers spray painted in big pink letters "Pay us or we're filing a lein against your property" across the back wall. The house is visible from the Burke-Gilman trail at 40th ave ne.

Deejayoh said...

lots of observations, but I prefer not to do the shuggy-style "here's what I saw last week" analysis

Jazen said...

The small builders probably figure, might as well do something for the lot/property we bought. That way at least they can rent it.

NoFate said...

Not sure if anyone posted this article from the PSBJ last week:

Apparently the sales of lots to new construction has dropped alot in Seattle recently...

ron said...

You have made the same observation as I have...

Just anyone here take a drive through the residencial areas on the eastside.. especially the Upscale areas-

Medina, Clydes Hill to name a couple.. Or just drive the main residencial roads slow down at the road crossings look down the roads and Observe the New Houses being speckled in.... just about every single road shows construction on 1 or 2 lots just from the main arterials..

If you drive down the residential roads you will very likely encounter many more.. Its seems to more prominent on higher priced areas where houses range in the 600,000+

I scour these neighborhoods for fun on the weekends while garage sailing..

I been ebayer for fun last several years.. back in 2000 to 2003 I would spend several hours on friday and saturday every week traveling the higher end areas- Not so much anymore just couple hours every week during the spring summer..

I swear this year I see the most that I have seen in the last 10+ years since Ive started this hobby.

These builders have many different names and many dont even have signs verifying who they are.. I have stopped several times out of curiousity to ask questions most the time there just small operations.

Wonder who tracks all this activity- some of the projects were from last year that appear to coming online soon.

Curious on when? whe majority of these builders got there permits. If there small operators it could take couple of years to complete there projects, Maybe? some of these projects sure seem to possibly be taking longer.. Now they might be rushing there inventory to market- given all the talk on television with lending and such.

ron said...


Rent those houses you say..

well then lets kill 2 birds with one stone.. If all those houses being specklied through the neighborhoods are going to be rented.

maybe texas sized rents are coming to Seattle... Now that would really kill the housing market in Seattle if we EVER got to Texas SIZED rental values.

ron said...

Imagaine paying Texas Housing costs in Seattle- Well our Professional Jobs wages are about the same.

Killer in Texas is Utilities Cost- imagine paying 6-700. dollars a month to Air Condition your home or there property taxes.

Again Texas for professional jobs pays about the same in Dallas.

Its amazing to think with about the same wages Dallas Texas is running almost record forclosure rates... Housing prices are less than 50% in many parts of Dallas.
Food about 30% less everything about 30% less across the board. Except Utility Power and Property Tax.

Why are they running almost record forclosure rates.. NO HOUSING APPRECIATION~!!

Sister bought a house on the Golf Course in Fort Worth in the Dallas area... 2,400 square feet new home with swimming pool 220,000. dollars now 1 year later its worth 180,000. dollars... 40,000. shortsale in the making- Possibly divorce in the workings. Both her and the husband are on the ropes working in the Mortgage industry for the same company thats threatening layoffs.

Alan said...

My 850 sqft condo in Texas cost around $100/month for power in the 100 degree summer. Power and water are much cheaper in Texas than they are here.

There are areas of Austin that have prices comparable to here, but prices fall off quickly as you get out of central Austin. The roads are great in Texas and commutes are not too bad. The cost to rent is about the same as the cost to buy.

Travis County property tax is 2%. Some neighboring counties have 3% (imagine paying $12k a year just to own that $400k POS on the Eastside). Property tax is a killer there, but housing prices were not bad at all when I left.

Steve said...

SEA's and PDX's (my market) may run out of steam soon if lending here becomes like that in NYC.

SeattleMoose said...

from slto troll's article about Detroit...

"Real estate agent Ron Walraven had a three-bedroom house in the suburb of Bloomfield Hills that had listed for $525,000 sell for just $130,000 at the auction."

OUCH!!!.....a 75% haircut off the "wine and cheese party" highs!!!

Unless both Boeing and MSFT collapse like Detroits auto industry did, I don't see THAT much pain here.

I stick to my forecast of 30 to 50 percent off (depending on submarket bubbliciousness) peak prices at the "bottom" for Seattle and surrounding.

If one of the above two industries does collapse (recession?)....then ramp up the predicted haircut.

Need to Know Seattle Condos said...

Finally, a solution to the Viaduct question... Announcing the Viaduct Condominiums

Slinky said...

I wanted to address Shug's post on the places with the most housing growth. Even I can spot that pattern.

Fort Stewart, GA: Army
Jacksonville, NC: Marines (Camp Lejeune)
Odessa, TX: Oil
Lafayette, LA: Oil
Kileen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX: Army
Lake Charles, LA: Oil
Midland, TX: Oil
Casper, WY: Natural Gas
Clarksville, TN: Army (Fort Campbell)
Fayetteville, NC: Army and Air Force (Fort Bragg, Pope AFB)

Follow the money, y'all. There's a reason the economy is growing, and it's either (a) oil prices are high, which makes the wildcatters happy or (b) the Long War (Orwell, anybody?) is enriching those areas with the federal dollars coming in. Somebody has to keep the families at home fed, clothed, and sheltered.

Lookie Lou said...

This castle just popped up close to where we are renting in Kirkland. For only $710k it is sure to catch the eye of the ex SoCal folks with the reference to Laguna Beach, CA.. The really appealing part is the "outdoor bedroom". Also noted in the description is that it was appraised for 730K in Sept 2006.
Truly a bargain.

cosmos said...

lookie lou - Just FYI - that 1250 sq ft "bungalow" property was bought in 8/05 for $587,500. The prices in this area are just mind-boggling. I'm going to enjoy seeing them come back in line with financial reality.