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Saturday, April 24, 1982

Wednesday Open Thread

Here is your open thread for Wednesday, April 25, 2007. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or article for a main post, please make it known.

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


Anonymous said...

Looks like RCG is finally able to see the obvious: Realtors going the way of the dinosaur.

meshugy said...

More Than 430,000 Foreclosure Filings Reported in Q1 According to RealtyTrac(TM) U.S. Foreclosure Market Report

Seattle is very low on the list:

Seattle is ranked 73 out the 100 largest areas.

We only have one foreclosure for every 464 houses.

Troubled areas like las Vegas or Sacramento have 1 foreclosures for every 50-60 houses.

Washington State is 21st on the list.

Looks like we'll be relatively untouched by the sub prime fiasco. We only have a fraction of the foreclosures of the really troubled areas.

meshugy said...

Seattle housing prices strong -- for now"

New data released Tuesday show that Seattle-area house prices continue to defy a sinking national market, with the best year-over-year and month-to-month figures in February among 20 major metropolitan areas.

The latest figures, from Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, show that Seattle-area house prices were up 10.6 percent in February from the same month in 2006 and 0.5 percent from January. Both were the largest increases among the indices' 20 cities -- most of which posted declines year-to-year and month-to-month.

In Seattle, sales of all homes were up 1.9 percent in March from a year earlier.

It's too early to tell if prices will go down, but any decline would probably not amount to much, Crellin said. "I'm convinced we're going to have a softer landing than most other markets around the country."

Crellin pointed to the area's strong economy and its lower percentage of riskier loans than in many other areas.

Statistics from the national Mortgage Bankers Association and RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., company, show that the percentage of subprime loans in Washington -- those for borrowers with weak credit -- delinquent mortgages and foreclosures are lower in than those for the country as a whole.

Crellin also noted that, while inventory has increased in recent months, compared with the same months last year, it is not high by historic standards.

Deejayoh said...

synthetik said...
Looks like RCG is finally able to see the obvious: Realtors going the way of the dinosaur.

Think you need to read past the headline. I am not so sure they get it....

Yes, the times they are a’changin’ (thank you Bob Dylan); but this is inevitable. With more time demands than ever in our lives, there is a GROWING need for good real estate agents…you simply can’t be everywhere at once, and when it comes to buying or selling a home, many people will need a real estate agent to help them with the transaction. Yes, technology is shifting the economy from what I can tell; but again, as far as I can tell, it only seems to be creating more room for everyone to fit in…everything from full-service real estate agents, to limited service real estate agents, to good ole’, simple & straight-up real estate advertising firms…and look…oh, joy…to even humble real estate attorneys who help out FSBO people…[double sigh, warm fuzzy feeling & holding back tears of joy]…what heavenly bliss!!

Just for fun, replace "real estate agent" with "travel agent" and set the clock back 5 years...

Terry said...


Why do you suppose the article was entitled: "Seattle housing prices strong -- FOR NOW"

Scott said...

Another story from the PI:

Mortgage wholesaler abruptly shuts its doors. From the story:

"MOUNTLAKE TERRACE -- A well-regarded lending wholesaler that rode a boom in subprime home mortgages has abruptly closed after a market reversal, leaving 300 people out of work.

Employees at Mortgage Investment Lending Associates Inc. told The Herald of Everett that the work force was notified Friday by e-mail from founder, principal owner and chief executive, Layne Sapp, and was given only moments to confirm the development with superiors before leaving."

I wonder who they were lending to; probably Seattle area borrowers...

wreckingbull said...

Looks like we'll be relatively untouched by the sub prime fiasco. We only have a fraction of the foreclosures of the really troubled areas.

Forclosures are not the major fallout of the subprime mess. The real effect is the drying up of the funny money. In a nation with a negative savings rate, a typical Seattle homebuyer is going to have to plop down 50 to 100K now. Almost every friend I have that bought in the last 4-5 years did so with zero or near zero down. Forclosures are the bruise, while tight credit is the broken bone.

Scott said...

wreckingbull, you are 100% correct...

Deejayoh said...



This data point should be for King/Pierce/Snoho counties if you are using S&P for seattle versus the nation. That is the area that the index is based on.

Based on that area, sales were down 10.4% vs. 8.4% for the nation

Anonymous said...

Think you need to read past the headline. I am not so sure they get it....

yep, I was just being st00pid. With the profits that McDonalds has been showing I'm sure they won't have a problem finding work...

Terry said...

The truth about “median price” statistics is finally getting into the mainstream media…..

... Christopher Thornberg, a principal with Beacon Economics in San Francisco, put it bluntly.
"The median price is a bunch of hogwash," he said. "You can have prices looking like they're up when they're down, because it is incredibly subject to where slowdowns are occurring. If there is more slowdown in a (lower-priced market), then you could show the median price going up just because there is a shift in the type of product being sold..."

San Francisco Chronicle

Deejayoh said...

Chris Thornberg was my TA for a Statistical Modeling class in B-School - while he was a PhD candidate.

He's a smart guy

Lionel said...

From housingpanic:

"Good Time for Tenants - Real estate slump pushes house rents down

Many people are trying to hold onto houses they purchased as investments by becoming landlords. That has flooded the Northern San Joaquin Valley rental market with houses, pushing down rents and forcing landlords to compete for tenants.

Many rental properties originally were bought by speculators who got caught in the real estate downturn, explained Paula Leffler Zagaris, whose Liberty Property Management company manages 1,500 rental houses.

"They were gambling," Zagaris said of investors who intended to quickly sell — or "flip" — houses to cash in on rising property values. "Anybody who did that before October 2005 was a genius and made a lot of money. … But if they bought after that, they're stuck.""

Luckily this can't possibly happen in Seattle.

Richard Anderson said...

Verrrry interesting

softwarengineer said...


I see King County gets about 16,000 new immigrants a year, [probably lots of them Microsoft imports], and I hear, without them, the local home prices would have collapsed like the rest of the nation.

If you're a new college graduate from i.e., the University of Washington, you're likely out of luck for these local Seattle jobs [or your salary expectations are higher than Gates wants to pay for interns], unless you're experienced in your field. I hear Texas has some positions for Seattle born kids with low experience levels and degrees. Good luck.

On foreclosures [includes repossesions?] rates in Seattle, meshugy, here's the PI story URL:

Yesterday we were wonderful, today its 35% worse. Makes me wonder if this data base is all wet?

Richard Anderson said...

softwareengineer, you will find that salaries in texas are approximately 10% higher in IT than here in Seattle. At least that's what I've been seeing. It didn't always used to used that way.


Deejayoh said...

Yesterday we were wonderful, today its 35% worse. Makes me wonder if this data base is all wet?

Typical Aubrey Cohen story, written in such a way you can't even figure out what is going on.

Here is the press release from RealtyTrac. Shug posted too

Washington stats
1Q07/4Q06 = +27.58%
1Q07/1Q06 = +1.52%

35% is national YoY, it was 26% QoQ