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Sunday, April 04, 1982

04.04.2007 - Wednesday Open Thread

This is your open thread for Wednesday, April 4, 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!

26 comments:

The Tim said...

...and today, I'm flying out to Chicago. Should have internet tonight, and will be back tomorrow night.

Jazen said...

Ah, my hometown.
So what thinks all of you about the Realtors report of "pending" sales? Think it's fudged? I do, but, I admit, I have become paranoid of trusting realtors.

matthew said...

Jazen,

what report? Do you have a link?

refractedthought said...

So what thinks all of you about the Realtors report of "pending" sales?

I think the only reason it's up is because people all over the country were scrambling for suicide loans before the standards tightened.

Pending sales are a red herring right now, anyway. Show me closed.

Matthew said...

Can someone post a link to the report? Thanks.

burien top team said...

Check out this visualization of the history of house prices since 1890, adjusted for inflation, and plotted as a rollercoaster using Atari Rollercoaster Tycoon software!

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/04/real_estate_rol.html

Deejayoh said...

I posted a link to the NAR press release yesterday.

Dow went up 128 points on what was largely a negative release. We live in strange times.

For a breakdown of what the release truly means, see this link

softwarengineer said...

PSYCHOLOGY IS THE KEY TO PERSUASION AND REAL ESTATE "SOFT LANDING" PROPONENTS SHOULD BECOME PSYCHOLOGISTS

I prefer going to economists for REAL answers on real estate health, they usually can't ignore things like sales prices decreases, repossession rate increases and local construction job layoff increases. Not that any of this data makes any difference to psychologists.

Check out Dr. Roubini's (a real economist and I nick-named him Houdini) blog for today (I think it answers all your questions):

http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini

Mark said...

Ride the Real Estate Rollercoaster. It's a good way to visualize US home prices adjusted for inflation.

http://tinyurl.com/2e4rmf

I wonder what will happen next?

Deejayoh said...

Feb 2007 construction numbers just released
YOY figures, % change

total: -2.4%
Private Residental: -15.0%

Jazen said...

Report
http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/03/news/economy/bc.usa.economy.housing.reut/index.htm?postversion=2007040311

seattlehotty said...

deejayoh, contruction numbers down is a good thing, correct? That should limit the excess supply in any downturn and prevent prices from dropping as far as they otherwise would.

Also amazed at my conversations with others recently and how many of my friends with no experience in real estate are planning to buy soon either to flip or to hold and rent. Of course, there was always the last purchaser in on the stock bubble in 2000, too. When I start seeing average joe's pursuing an investment strategy like this, I know the speculation has gone too far.

Deejayoh said...

Good for prices, as long as it slows faster than sales are dropping (which isn't happening)

Bad for the overall economy, as it comes out of growth. Plus it is usually a leading indicator for non-residential construction spending by about a year.

I've seen the chart but can't seem to find the link now. will try to post.

Lookie Lou said...

Since we moved to Kirkland in August one thing that continued to amaze me was how many people we would meet on a casual basis and implore us to Buy Now (for our own good!). This included the checkout lady at Costco informing us that she was making more from her condo appreciating than from her job. A visit to the doctor and I was told to Buy Now because Real Estate only goes up. Meeting several new people at work was almost like reliving the tech bubble bust. Back then coworkers told me how easy it was to invest in tech stocks. It was a no-brainer. Our accountant wanted to sell us mutual funds loaded with tech stocks because they would never go down. My point is that with any asset bubble, if just about everyone is offering advice on the easy money then the market will aim to disappoint the masses.

Peter Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Taylor said...

Lenders willing to help struggling homeowners

NEW YORK - As home foreclosures mount, mortgage companies are knocking on doors, sending letters and making phone calls with a simple message for struggling homeowners: They’d rather modify your loan than foreclose.

EMC Mortgage Corp., which has a $78 billion loan portfolio that includes subprime loans made to homeowners with weak credit, this week launched a 50-person team it calls “the Mod Squad.” Members will spend an unlimited time on the phone with troubled borrowers, sifting through their bills to compute a workable monthly payment. In an industry that often rewards workers for getting off the phone quickly, the team is preparing to speak to just three people a day.

“You can’t just run this like a call center; it needs to be run like a counseling center,” said John Vella, president and CEO of EMC. Right now, $2.14 billion in mortgages, 2.74 percent of EMC’s portfolio, is in default, up from 1.93 percent a year ago.

uptown said...

Just took a look at rental listings on craigslist. There was so much to choose from; 1814 listings just for Seattle (though a few are incorrectly listed or dup's, say 5%). Wish they would make the interface a bit more user friendly.

uptown said...

And Windermere has broken past 9,000 listings for King County. It was 8,148 at the beginning of March.

FinanceGuru said...

Isnt it normal for inventory to increase in the springtime???

MisterBubble said...

No, it's "normal" for sales to increase in the spring.

F- in reading comprehension.

Wanderer said...

Come on now MB... to deny that inventories rising right now is anything but normal is incorrect. MOM inventory levels have been positive every month since 2001, as high as +10%, with "normal" increases of 6% or so. Of course sales have gone up 18-38% for the same period.

Wanderer said...

And before the flames start... I understand that increasing from 8100 to 9000 is more than 10%. My point is that guru was at least technically correct.

T,V & Mr.B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T,V & Mr.B said...

The Fact is, though, that invenotry is substantially higher than STLY

MisterBubble said...

Yeah, I was wrong. I should have thought a bit more before I posted that reply.

You're right, wanderer...inventories have traditionally risen, MOM, in the spring and summer months. Of course, that trend makes sense, considering that inventories also traditionally drop in the winter months.

I guess I saw financeguru trying to confuse seasonal inventory fluctations with the rate of those fluctuations, and I overreacted. He is technically correct; I get the F- in reading comprehension today....

MisterBubble said...

That said, I will take this opportunity to point out that (if uptown is correct), inventory has grown by the largest MOM percentage in 5 years.

Will sales grow by the same amount?