July 11, 2006

Softening Markets ‘Filter Through’ To Northwest

A trio of reports on the markets in the northwest. “Home sales in western Washington dropped 6.1 percent in June compared to a year ago. Brokers reported 9,413 closed home sales last month, down from 10,027 reported in June 2005. Last month’s decline is the fourth consecutive month of slower sales, according to NWMLS statistics.”

“Brokers added 14,541 new listings to the MLS database during June, boosting inventory more than 25 percent from a year ago to 29,856 properties. ‘We are starting to get into a rhythm, a beat of even-handedness between inventory and the number of prospective buyers in the market,’ said MLS director Dick Beeson.”

From Bend, Oregon. “It’s a $3.9 million home with Japanese gardens and waterfalls where ‘Park Avenue elegance blends with Ralph Lauren Western charm,’ the ad read in the Bend Bulletin. Although accustomed to such advertising, longtime Bend residents shake their heads when they see ads like this one.”

“The city issues on average 6,000 building permits a year. Barbara McAusland, who’s been active in city growth issues for several years, sees all around her failing traffic management, escalated housing costs, rampant sprawl and what she perceives to be bad planning by city officials.”

“‘We can only construct so much stuff at one time. We can’t disrupt traffic on every side of town simultaneously,’ said Tyler Deke, Bend’s Metropolitan Planning Organization manager.”

“The majority of Bend’s new population hails from California. They flock to the area primarily for its lower-priced real estate, four seasons and close proximity to recreation. In California the average median statewide price for a home earlier this year was $562,380, $200,000 more than the average median Bend home, which was $346,450 in May.”

“‘To me affordable housing is something a community thinks about 10 years before they need it, when they begin to see the prices rise,’ said Bend’s Chamber of Commerce President Mike Schmidt. ‘It should encourage developers to build smaller, more affordable units instead of going to the mega-home, which is what we’ve done here.’”

From the Mail Tribune. “Jackson County housing prices are still edging up, but sellers can’t expect to necessarily get more than what they paid for their homes a year ago. The recent slowdown in Southern Oregon real estate activity reflects the normal pace before the four-year run-up, said a long-time local real estate agent.”

“‘We had a dip from a really strong market for four years and we’re returning to a more normal pattern,’ said Rick Harris. ‘Look at the difference in interest rates (now well above 6 percent), they were still low last June and then we began hearing of a softening market in places like Southern California and Las Vegas. Those things have filtered through to our market.’”

“East Medford, which saw a nearly 2 percent decline in median price in May, stormed back with an 18 percent median gain to $329,700 in June. As appraiser Roy Wright points out, the slowing trend appears to be near the bottom with transactions down just 5 percent from last year.”

“Despite rapidly increasing inventories, more than 350 percent above the 2005 level, west Medford prices eased up 6 percent to $244,000.”

“Central Point activity remains cool with inventories nearly triple what they were in mid-2005. While activity fell nearly 45 percent, the median price of a home in the Phoenix-Talent area climbed 9.1 percent to $283,500.”

“The number of new home sales continued to decline, with the pace falling more than 41 percent. But apparently that can be attributed to the lower end of the market, because the median price for 206 new homes going through the Southern Oregon MLS system was $339,950, up nearly 16 percent. The turn-around time for those homes, however, extended nearly a month to 118 days.”

“Harris said there is a key difference between investors who bought property to flip it quickly during the rising national market and those who buy property here in preparation for retirement. ‘My sense is that a lot of the people who come here to retire stake a claim in our town while they are still working so they can afford it when they retire.’”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2006-07-11 14:46:31

‘Harris said there is a key difference between investors who bought property to flip it quickly during the rising national market and those who buy property here in preparation for retirement. ‘My sense is that a lot of the people who come here to retire stake a claim in our town while they are still working’

They used to push this line in Arizona. Why wouldn’t it make sense to bank the retirement funds and put more down on the next home when it’s time. These folks are speculating, IMO and paying interest to boot.

Oregon is following a now-familiar path. Bottom end is dropping out of the market and the industry takes comfort in the resulting increase in the median, even as inventories skyrocket.

Comment by Mary Lee
2006-07-11 15:03:42

350% increase in listings….. I live in Medford, and the concept of the “bubble bursting” is foreign territory. The runup in Jackson county was from California…..and people still expect to profit from a CA exodus, despite CA’s sales plummeting……and other markets attracting CA buyers. Lots of “buyers” in today’s market are people trying to move up…..and need to sell their current homes at the inflated prices…. but wages here don’t support buyers at the low end. The waiting game has commenced.

Comment by seattle price drop
2006-07-11 17:33:38

Yes Mary Lee, Medford is going to have to share those CA equity locusts with us up here in WA. As inventory builds, they’re our last hope and now everyone’s talking about Californian buyers, not just realtors.

Even in Bellingham, people are waiting for those San Franciscans to show up and buy a house.

Comment by optioned unarmed
2006-07-11 18:04:16

The CA equity locusts seems to be getting diluted somewhat now… They are spreading out over more territory, even as their numbers start to decrease.

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Comment by deflation guy
2006-07-11 20:08:07

I live in the Seattle area. One of them landed next door to me last month. They seem like a nice enough family. It’s probably a smart thing for the people who actually go through with it - as long as they sell high and pay with cash when they get to their destination.

Comment by optioned unarmed
2006-07-12 04:14:18

Equity locusts are people too!

The phenomenon of equity-locustism is problematic because it spreads out the bubble. The people themselves are simply human beings, making choices about how to live their lives.

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 22:59:24

For some reason, the picture of all those empty houses waiting for a Cali buyer makes me think of the Stones song “Waiting on a Friend” …. it’s a lonely time for empty houses for sure…

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Comment by nhz
2006-07-12 06:51:50

just for the record, in many EU markets this spreading of the RE locusts has kept the bubble inflating for another 3-5 years.

The pattern is the same in many ways as we see now in the US: people moving from bubble areas to the still-relatively-cheap areas, increasing national average sales price, strongly increasing inventory for sale, stable or declining sales numbers and in some areas the bottom end of the market is starting to drop out. This anomaly is possible thanks to crazy lending without limits; it is tough to guess how long it will continue.

Comment by albo
2006-07-11 14:52:37


Yesterday at this time there were:
871,447 active homes Nationwide
today 882,109
Usually they jump only by a couple of thousands per day - except end of the 2Q when it went down but it is already up by 12 since then.

Comment by Neil
2006-07-11 14:57:35

Do we start a pool for when it break 1 million? :)

My guess: 9/15/06 (ides of September)

Note: I’m still saying it will take until the ides of October for the national media to realize we’re in a full scale housing bear market.


Comment by bublicious
2006-07-11 15:01:12

‘We are starting to get into a rhythm, a beat of even-handedness between inventory and the number of prospective buyers in the market,’ said MLS director Dick Beeson.”

Huh? The “answer the question while at the same time saying nothing ” award goes to….

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-07-11 15:06:21

‘9,413 closed home sales last month..Brokers added 14,541 new listings to the MLS’


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Comment by Pismobear
2006-07-11 15:11:27

Use an even number - - 15000 ok? Or 16000? Round up!!! heheheheheh :-)

Comment by Robert Cote
2006-07-12 02:51:17

June is supposed to be a high volume month. That rate not seasonally adjusted is 1.1 million. Seasonally adjusted less than a million. So much for the NAR sales rate predictions this year.

Comment by albo
2006-07-11 15:08:15

if it only keeps on growing by 0.3% pay day - less than current avg.
it should hit 1M around 8/24

Comment by albo
2006-07-11 15:01:20

12K I meant.

Comment by stanleyjohnson
2006-07-11 15:06:36

Albo you beat me to numbers. Unless they added another state this is a big jump.


mid may was 799,000
6/10/06 was 836,471
6/14/06 was 840,935
6/17/06 was 846,120
6/20/06 was 850,317
6/22/06 was 855,892
6/24/06 was 860,647
6/29/06 was 866,037
7/01/06 was 858,675
7/09/06 was 870,854
7/11/06 today 882,239

Comment by deeplennon
2006-07-11 15:53:34

Interesting, but needs to be related to year over year to mean much, anyone have that data?

In most parts of the country people prefer to sell their houses in the summer.

Comment by lalaland
2006-07-11 16:34:48

“In most parts of the country people prefer to sell their houses in the summer.”

And which parts would those be? Not the East Coast, where you’ve entered the stickily humid and torpid vacation months. Ditto Midwest. Ditto South. Southwest is just scaldingly hot. House-hunting might be feasible, weather-wise, in most of CA and NW. But most buyers want to close escrow and have time to move before the school-year begins. That applies everywhere. And by July, it’s just too late for that.

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Comment by david cee
2006-07-11 17:08:17

Yeah! Buyers dying to look at overpriced listings in 109 degree temp in Las Vegas and 114 degrees in Phoenix. We are in the summer Non-Buying season…and we are crashing everywhere but the figures won’t be out until mid August.

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 23:02:08

maybe everyone was talking about the bubble around the 4th of July barbecue and got skeered… i know it was a hot topic at mine.

Comment by freeloading roommate
2006-07-11 19:04:08

I saw this and wondered if they could have added a new area. This jump just seems too big, and at some point the have to add new localities, right?

Comment by Melody
2006-07-11 15:07:53

“The city issues on average 6,000 building permits a year. Barbara McAusland, who’s been active in city growth issues for several years, sees all around her failing traffic management, escalated housing costs, rampant sprawl and what she perceives to be bad planning by city officials.”

This really pisses me off. They build thousands of homes and forget to think about the roads and highways. Sacramento is a total failure in that regard. It should be illegal to build more than the community can support!!!!!

Comment by mad_tiger
2006-07-11 17:27:15

“This really pisses me off. They build thousands of homes and forget to think about the roads and highways. Sacramento is a total failure in that regard. It should be illegal to build more than the community can support!!!!! ”

Apparently these officials never have played SimCity.

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 23:03:35

lmfao! that should be required training for these mooks!

Comment by dwr
2006-07-11 15:08:58

this is OT, but Buffett really needs to sue Kiyosaki for defamation. He drops Buffett’s name at least once in every article he writes. “Hey Dude, you ain’t no Warren Buffett!!”


Comment by Mort
2006-07-11 15:46:07

He ain’t no Jimmy Buffett either. Heck, he ain’t even a breakfast buffet. He is, however, a legend in his own mind. ;-)

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 16:30:20

LOL….quit making me laugh . This RICH DAD POOR DAD stuff is a classic “let me tell you the secrets of riches”, for a price ,that’s a bunch of bullshit .

Comment by Comrade Chairman Greenspan
2006-07-11 17:50:21

In Kiyosaki’s defense, he was calling housing a bubble back in 2005 at the height of the rah-rah bullshit. And if any of these “investors” had actually read one of his books, they’d have learned that RE should be bought for cash flow, not appreciation (i.e. wait for a greater fool).

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Comment by NOVA fence sitter
2006-07-12 06:01:07

Yeah. After he goaded everyone into housing he says “oh by the way we are in a bubble” Its like Jim Cramer going negative on tech stocks in 2000.

Comment by Jim D
2006-07-12 09:41:56

That’s unfair - after reading his book about cashflow for properties, it’s one of the things that kept me from buying in CA.

Comment by freeloading roommate
2006-07-11 19:08:49

at least he has his head on straight about the housing market — he basically compared buying a house today to buying AOL at the peak of the Internet Bubble

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Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 19:45:08

freeloading roomate …..For the longest time he was pushing real estate ,( he helped promote the bubble ), It’s just been recently that he changed his tune .

Comment by bottomfeeder1
2006-07-11 19:11:39

poor me a margarita no salt.

Comment by WArenter
2006-07-11 15:10:42

Northwestern Washingtion state, Whatcom county, total inventory of all types (sfh, condo, land, comm’l..) from Keller Williams RE site:

01/04/06 1,951
07/06/06 3,110

59% increase

Local realtor says prices are starting to come down.

Comment by deeplennon
2006-07-11 15:55:52

Again, only relevant year over year, do you have the 7/1 data?

Listing volume is very cyclical in Western Washington based on season.

Comment by seattle price drop
2006-07-11 18:16:09


Whatcom County just started keeping track this year so YOY is not available. It’s the only county in WA. (and maybe the whole US!) where that is the case.

I’d also add that listing volume is not as cyclical here in Western WA as in most areas of the US. Certainly not like the SW or NE. Climate’s pretty much the same all year round.

Inventory’s held pretty steady all year in Seattle, til just recently. And just been steadily increasing all year in Whatcom County.

In Whatcom’s biggest city, Bellingham, in one zip code, inventory went from 146 on April 1 to 320 on July 11. So there’s plenty of homes to choose from.

Now all we need are jobs outside of construction and grocery store cashier and we’ll be just fine. The inventory’s been rising steadily throughout the winter, spring, and now summer. Lot’s of planning in the works too!

We are in the midst of a “boom” and everyone’s catching the energy!

Seattle Moose- The zips I check in Seattle have added so much inventory in the past 10 days that it’s skewing the percentage of reduced properties. For instance, zips that were 50% reduced last week, added new inventory (not yet reduced- give ‘em 2 weeks) and went down to 25% reduced because of that.

Things are getting interesting in Seattle.

Comment by SeattleMoose
2006-07-11 21:15:53

Date Whatcom Co Change
7-May 2221
15-May 2263 1.89%
21-May 2284 2.84%
11-Jun 2438 9.77%
18-Jun 2424 9.14%
24-Jun 2458 10.67%
1-Jul 2480 11.66%
8-Jul 2508 12.92%
11-Jul 2521 13.51%

Another data point based on a different set of data….but the trend is unmistakeable.

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Comment by SeattleMoose
2006-07-11 16:50:46

I track country RE listings at the Glover Site

Date King Co Change
7-May 7302
15-May 7486 2.52%
21-May 7665 4.97%
11-Jun 8099 10.91%
18-Jun 8154 11.67%
24-Jun 8352 14.38%
1-Jul 8417 15.27%
8-Jul 8758 19.94%
11-Jul 8846 21.14%

The wind has changed direction and is picking up in strength….the storm approaches.

Comment by deeplennon
2006-07-11 17:53:18

King county listings and pending sales month by month with percentage change to the previous year’s monthly numbers. I can’t find numbers for before August. Interesting how far listings were down last summer, I’d be surprised if current listings are higher than 04 listings.

August 05: 7,041 -26.39%, 4,271 +12.39%
September 05: 7,496 -18.79%, 3,767 +5.05%
October 05 : 7,355 -16.27%, 3,649 +4.26%
November 05 : 6,766 -12.72%, 3,078 -5.09%
December 05 : 5,472 -11.07%, 2,392 -7.89%
January 06 : 6,060 -13.14%, 2,610 -6.22%
February 06 : 6,200 -9.45%, 2,999 -13.2%
March 06 : 6,359 -5.53%, 4,106 -8.12%
April 06 : 6,802 -1.05%, 3824 -10.02%
May 06 : 7,348 +8.35%, 4,288 -4.52%
June 06 8,011 +16.83%, 4,156 -6.08%

Source: NWMLS http://www.nwmls.com/discover/library/statistics/recaps/Recap2006/jun06Recaps.pdf

Comment by dwr
2006-07-11 15:12:01

this is also OT, but will the California Assoc. of Realtors EVER put out another housing affordability number? They’ve delayed the release at least three times already. Maybe in 3 years when the affordability numbers are back to 40% or so.

Comment by Curt
2006-07-11 15:28:55

That’s nothing, the National Assoc of Home Builders used to put ou a handy year by year summary of sales and months of inventory


But, as you can see, when the numbers started looking dismal, the data stopped flowing in Mar of 06. Wonder why?

Comment by dwr
2006-07-11 18:49:35

I didn’t know they had stopped providing data as well. Thanks!

Comment by freeloading roommate
2006-07-11 19:50:47

Ha ha… that’s hilarious.

Comment by WaitingInOC
2006-07-11 16:28:30

“The median sale price for an Orange County home was $617,000 in February — up 11.2 percent in the last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems. Just 2.9 percent of homes selling here in the fourth quarter of 2005 were at prices that a family earning the median income could afford, data from the National Association of Home Builders show.”

The foregoing is from an April 2006 article.

Considering prices have gone up (though not much) since the end of 2005, and interest rates are up, and wages are not increasing significantly (are they even keeping up with inflation?), you’ve got to believe that less than 2.9% of homes in OC are affordable to families earning the median income. Clearly, this is a ponzi scheme in OC, as only those people with homes can afford to buy homes, so the homeowners are basically selling their homes to each other. This is going to end badly for a lot of people. But, for people like me, it will be an opportunity to buy my first home.

Comment by Melody
2006-07-11 21:27:59

That’s incredible. I noticed on ZipRealty a flipper bought a home in May of this year in Laguna Niguel to flip. Will he be successful? He is asking for almost 200,000 more….. since May!!!

Some people have a lot of guts.

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 23:09:35

Funny, this schema has played out in many colletible markets, where prices rose sharply as new outside investors were pulled in by reports in the media about profits to be made, then when everything gets sky high, investors pull out and get burned in the downspin and you end up with dealers and collectors-turned-dealers basically buying and selling to each other for years after the burn.

Comment by nhz
2006-07-12 06:58:40

“Clearly, this is a ponzi scheme in OC, as only those people with homes can afford to buy homes, so the homeowners are basically selling their homes to each other.”

I’m sure this is a major bubble factor in Europe as well, because there too housing is unaffordable at current pricing for a huge majority. I guess many of the people who got rich from the housing bubble are spending most of their equity on more homes (investment, speculation, ‘vacation’ homes etc.), driving up the prices among themselves.

Comment by John
2006-07-11 15:12:04

I actually just sold my house in the Seattle area. Anyone have any strategies for buying in this kind of market? We’ve seen enough price reductions to not buy anything in the first or second week and we’ll be doing 20% down (as opposed to the suicide loans). We feel pretty immune to the frenzy. We’ve walked away from a number of situations where RE agents were trying to start a bidding war, etc. Renting isn’t an option, but we can stay with friends for a limited time, so we can wait until the right opportunity comes up. Any other thoughts on how to buy a place in the Seattle market and not get screwed in process?

Comment by Mort
2006-07-11 15:48:51

You can talk to my agent. His name is Ben Dover. Get it?

Comment by Chilipepr
2006-07-12 04:42:01

speaking of Ben Dover… have you read this?

Comment by sell high buy low in SLO
2006-07-11 15:50:41

Strategies for buying in this kind of market? How about NOT buying? Why buy something that is guaranteed to drop in value over the next 12 - 36 months? The evidence, both objective and anecdotal, is overwhelming. Two solid weeks of reading this blog should convince anyone of that.

You are very fortunate to have sold when you did. Apparently the PNW is a little behind the curve, as compared to California, Arizona, and Florida, where it is insanely obvious that prices are cratering. I would say you managed to sell at the very peak of your market. IMO, find a place that meets your shelter needs for a couple of years, hedge your cash against inflation, and go bargain hunting sometime in 2008.

Comment by HARM
2006-07-11 16:06:25


Why is renting “not an option”? If you have a large family, lots of pets, etc., why not just rent a house? You can do it for 50% or more off the cost of “owning” just about anywhere.

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-07-11 15:58:25

Just curious, why is renting not an option?

Comment by SeattleMoose
2006-07-11 16:54:51

“Any other thoughts on how to buy a place in the Seattle market and not get screwed in process?”

You WILL be screwed if you buy at the top of the market. If you just sold you should put your equity in a safe place and buy a MUCH NICER place in a year or two. Why throw away all that equity when the market is clearly poised for a steep fall?

Comment by david cee
2006-07-11 17:13:01

18% of all defaults are going to the Trustee’s sale. Get educated on Notice of Defaults, track them thru the auction date, then watch the great deals. You need cash at the sale, but you can call the bank REO department and tell them you want to buy the property as-is and close in 2 weeks.

Comment by flat
2006-07-11 17:18:44

think xmas eve 07, court house steps

Comment by We Rent!
2006-07-11 15:34:56

Still waiting for the day that SOMEONE gets a newspaper, magazine, or broadcast network to admit that increasing local and national median prices DO NOT necessarily denote rising prices!

If I sell candy bars for 2, 4, 5, and 10 bucks a pop (in equal numbers), the median price is 4.50 bucks. If I suddenly drop the prices to 1, 3, 4, and 9 dollars, BUT SELL RELATIVELY FEWER OF THE CHEAPER ONES, the median price (of bars sold that month) will still go up!!!

People have noted around here - and it makes sense to me - that rich folks will still buy expensive houses regardless of any market conditions. As the market slows down on the low(er) end, we EXPECT the median to still scoot up. We may very well not see much droppage until the NUMBER of transactions on the lower end picks back up. But, when it happens… whoa baby. :mrgreen:

Comment by We Rent!
2006-07-11 15:41:59

A VERY crude example for illustrative purposes.

Median: 4.5

1,3,4,4,9,9,9,9 (prices lowered a buck each)
New Median: 6.5

Comment by Mike/a.k.a.Sage
2006-07-11 22:37:17

What about the drop in total revenues changing hands. This is a crash in and of itself.

Comment by Darth Toll
2006-07-11 15:48:20

“We may very well not see much droppage until the NUMBER of transactions on the lower end picks back up”

Interesting theory, and I agree with it to an extent. Now inventory is climbing so fast and sales are slowing to such a degree that you have a crash situation where ask prices literally free-fall as the number of asks multiplies and there are no (or very few) bids. This is showing up in the reductions statistics where there are a few hundred (Sacramento area) reductions every day. But without more actual sales it is hard to establish the current price of anything. And as you said, the ultra-high-end housing won’t actually stop due to what’s going on with the “peeps.”

Comment by freeloading roommate
2006-07-11 19:48:25

Very interesting… perhaps we need to start looking at metrics like $ per square foot to see what’s really going on, or just focusing on the price of the homes with the median square footage.

Comment by nhz
2006-07-12 07:04:18

“perhaps we need to start looking at metrics like $ per square foot to see what’s really going on”

That will not work, because clearly the mix of homes sold is changing when there are problems in the low end of the market. The price in $/sq.ft can be much different for expensive homes. The RE broker organisation in my country used to publish numbers like these until some time ago; it was totally impossible to get real clues about the market direction from these numbers …

For a good start you have to look at the OFHEO numbers.

Comment by Nolaguy
2006-07-11 15:38:57

John, why is renting not an option?

I don’t think now is the time to buy in Seattle. We’re a little behind on the curve on what’s happening right now in SD and Florida. Renting could be the best move.

Comment by Davis_ renter
2006-07-11 15:41:31

A note quote from Fortune.

The imagination economy, By Geoffrey Colvin, senior editor-at-large
July 5 2006: 4:02 PM EDT

“(FORTUNE Magazine) — The U.S. economy faces a historic problem, and how it is resolved will drive major consequences for managers, investors, politicians, and especially workers.

The problem is that Americans’ pay isn’t going up. That’s remarkable because the economy is booming - growth is strong, unemployment low, productivity rising smartly. Yet the latest figures show that the broadest index of pay (inflation-adjusted wages, salaries, benefits) is no higher than it was at the end of 2003. ”

So homes can double in price but wages are flat for 2+ years. It boogles the mind.

Comment by We Rent!
2006-07-11 15:43:37


Comment by Davis_ renter
2006-07-11 15:45:46

Boogle = boogle with a bigger WTF varible >; )

Comment by Davis_ renter
2006-07-11 15:46:07

Boogle = boggle with a bigger WTF varible >; )

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-07-11 16:17:09

Grammer is not important here! We are not your students.

Comment by LJR
2006-07-11 19:21:23

Grammar is not important. We are not here to be understood!

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Comment by Soliel
2006-07-12 07:27:07

Poor grammer makes it harder to read and distracts from the message. So I would say, if you want to express an opinion and be heard…YES, grammer IS important!!!

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-07-12 09:37:33

Capital “IS” - What does this mean? Bad Grammer!

Comment by San Diego RE Bear
2006-07-12 09:48:50

As is grammar.

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-07-11 16:01:48

“It boogles the mind.”

I prefer the Kelly Bundy version: “the mind wobbles”.

Comment by flat
2006-07-11 17:20:20

what will wages be as HIC dies and in 08/09 MIC gets hacked

Comment by Mike in Pacific Beach
2006-07-11 19:36:15

the slow erosion of the middle class.

Comment by nhz
2006-07-12 07:23:42

and it’s not just the US:

in the Netherlands, incomes increased by 56% over the last 20 years, which is just barely above inflation; real wage growth was maybe 1% yoy on average and probably negative for the last 5 years. In the same 20 years, home prices increased more than 1000% in many areas thanks to ever more creative financing and leverage.

Just like in the US, corporate profits and incomes of the highest corporate managers and government officials are booming like never before.

Comment by dannll
2006-07-12 09:45:06

Have to understand the definition of “booming economy”, i.e. corporate profits. With the rise of the multinationals there is no necessity to sell in the U.S. to make money. They can produce their widgets cheaper in China, India, Indonesia, etc and sell them there cheaply as well. The American middle class is no longer necessary to the ‘economy.’ Consumers elsewhere can take up the slack. As the HELOC ATM runs dry, look for the middle class to be increasingly marginalized economically as well as politically. We (the people) can’t afford the politicians in the best government money can buy.

Comment by Inspired
2006-07-11 16:38:20

The single problem with why your statistics don’t add up, is this:
1) The govenrment reports all of thosse numbers.
For example:Higher wage inflation = BAD for corporate profits..supposedly BAD for Wall Street.
All headline numbers are reported with the best SPIN possible…so their house of cards {credit/debt} won’t fall down.
Not included in wages..executive & mgt. pay ie stock options.>>but is reported and taxes are deducted immediatley.
Unemployment in June was 8.7% up from 8.5% not 4,6%(headline #) see alternate methods of reporting underutilization of labor…source DOL mo. report A-12.
The economy is now “GNP” NOT “GDP” GNP is computed differently, this is reported as 5.6% growth BUT the deducted inflation # is only 2.2% { Also the government DID NOT adjust for ….Medicare & other such payments that previoulsy were always paid in DEC were delayed to JANUARY..this was BILLIONS. {therefore Q4 was smaller and Q1 0f 2006 is better!, but everyone exepcted Katrina to have an effect so why not double the bad news? AND add it back in January?
OF COURSE, to walk thru every corrupted Govermnment statistics requires MAN POWER….that only the bankster have…
The public here’s the good news and pulls out the plastic …another month of deciet and no political fallout!
don’t worry be happy…as your wealth is stolen nightly.

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 16:57:31

Can anyone name one state that doesn’t have a bubble .

Comment by lalaland
2006-07-11 17:03:51

the state of denial

Comment by lalaland
2006-07-11 17:03:56

the state of denial

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-07-11 17:06:41

Nothing from North or South Dakota? Does anyone actually live there?

Comment by freeloading roommate
2006-07-11 19:12:50

At least when I left there about 1.5 years ago, Texas did not have a bubble IMO. If I could buy a house where I am now at Houston prices, I wouldn’t hesitate. Still I think the entire US will be affected by a real estate downturn as it hits the lending industry and mortgage availability declines everywhere.

Comment by DannyHSDad
2006-07-12 03:54:20

Last year in Austin,TX wasn’t so hot [our 3+ year old home lost 13% in value, when we sold in fall'05] but it seems to have gotten some heat this year: “Austin sales jump 15 percent in May”.

Comment by rocketrob
2006-07-11 17:12:58


Comment by uncle_git
2006-07-11 17:45:44

It’s just got bubbles :)

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 17:54:42

Lol..I was thinking Iowa might of escaped the bubble .

Comment by talon
2006-07-11 18:32:27

It didn’t completely. I sold my house in Iowa CIty last year, and had a mini bidding war going over it (only sold for a couple of thousand over asking, but still…) Existing homes were appreciating at about 7% YOY, but the new construction was way overpriced. IC is a college town with a stable economy, but not too many high paying jobs (physicians at the med school, lawyers, a few administrators and athletic coaches etc. in the $150,000 range, but that’s about it). Every time I looked, another development was going up—condos, row houses, cluster homes, McMansions, etc., and all of those were in the $250-300K range—way out of line for the average income in that town. I spoke to one of my friends back there last month and he said that NOTHING is selling, which is very unusual. Historically during spring selling season houses rarely stayed on the market more than a week. His neighbor listed his house in March, it’s had several price reductions, and it’s still available. This thing is national, no doubt about it.

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Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 20:02:47

Wow , I guess the over building went on everywhere .This is the most bizarre market I have ever seen. Also I think it just got to the point where the boom got so much media coverage, and you had all those shows pushing real estate ,(like flip that house etc.)

Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-07-11 17:13:58

There are a few buffalo herds up there in the Dakotas. Don’t know about any people.

Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-07-11 17:25:29

There was some dissing of “In the Bag” Watts, and Liah-ah. I think I have it figured out. Also, the Cat Lady losing weight and hair from lack of selling. Suzanne, Fat Ass Gary, and Liah-ah had already developed the new weight loss system to replace WW and Jenny Craig. They have cornered the market on creating stress on FBers who will be in such deep doo-doo that they will naturally lose weight. Think of all the benefits that this bubble is having to reverse the obesity epedemic we had been facing as a country. All hail to Fat Ass, Liar-rah, and Suzanne for such great work!!!!

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 23:16:48

Maybe put some long market bets on the Ramen manufacturers?

Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-07-11 17:32:26

Some additional acronyms





Comment by Davey Jones
2006-07-11 17:47:08

At one time I did not think that where I live - Mobile, Al - had a bubble.

But it has found us.

Prices have gone up 25% in the past 1 1/2 years according to last Sunday’s paper real estate section. And they are expecting corresponding increases the remainder of this year.

The speculators are out in force here.

We had one house sold on our street a couple of months ago with a bidding war over it. I was mowing my grass a couple of Saturday’s ago, this car stopped, guy asked if I knew any houses for sale, could he look at my place. I told him it wasn’t for sale and hadn’t been since I bought it 10 years ago. He gave me his card anyway.

Someone mentioned the secondary markets were now being infested by these scavengers, looks like they were right.

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-11 18:04:17

The equity locust strikes again .You will have a bunch of vacant properties soon . It’s really weird .

Comment by buddhaman
2006-07-11 23:19:13

Maybe especially true in areas near Katrina as many shows hyped these areas as prime for an equity swoop…

Comment by bottomfeeder1
2006-07-11 19:31:30

i will be in bend next week for 10 days,actually fall river 30 miles south and it is truly nice place.great fishing deer everywhere elk herds.the only fish hatchery in eastern oregon 500 yards from my porch.my father bought an acre there in 84 built his own 3 story cedar chalet for 125k the land cost him 25k.he has survived cancer 3 times and he cant stand being here in los angeles for 5 months a year in the winter.its the only thing keeping him going.i love it there i fish the deschutes for 5 lb browns all day and the craine prairie reservoir has 20 lb rainbows.however they have a bubble there now the lots cost 125k to 200k and building costs are up.the only people moving in are rich retirees building huge homes and the area has lost its charm .la pine is growing but there is no work you have to be financialy secure to move there because there are no jobs.it is illegal to pump your own gas in oregon because they want jobs for people to pump it.gas pumper is a good job in central oregon.

Comment by soldtoosoon
2006-07-11 21:28:51

Bend has as many or more houses for sale than Seattle, Eugene, SF, Salt Lake, Boise. Bend??? I sold last year. Glad I did.

Comment by Mike/a.k.a.Sage
2006-07-11 22:38:38

And What about the drop in total revenues changing hands. This is a crash in and of itself.

Comment by Operation
2006-07-11 23:17:10

I’m really interested in relocating to OR. I am so sick of San Diego. I was in Portland last week and couldn’t believe how much nicer, greener and friendler it was in comparison to platic-ass So Cal.

Anyone know of a good OR MLS? The ones I’ve seen are crap.

Comment by Mr Fester
2006-07-12 00:06:59

Last week,eh. I would recommend you try a visit again at the winter solstice to get Portland’s real character before planning a move. June to September are an anomoly. If you can find ways to enjoy short, dark winter days in the rain, you are ready to be an Oregonian.

Comment by Soliel
2006-07-12 07:30:37

Yeah, I had a friend who lived there for 6 months. He loved the city but had a hard time with the gray skies.

Comment by John in VA
2006-07-12 04:36:20

Bend’s Chamber of Commerce President Mike Schmidt. ‘It should encourage developers to build smaller, more affordable units instead of going to the mega-home, which is what we’ve done here.

Unfortunately, tax policy in many states and municipalities does not support this. I know — I built a spec house in WA several years ago. The city and state imposed an unbelievable amount of taxes and fees that took about $20K right out of the profit margin. One was an “impact fee” of $13,000; this is supposedly to cover the infrastructure cost burden that the new home creates (of course, the buyers still pay property taxes).

The net of this is: most of these costs are fixed, regardless of the size of the home. Building a bigger home is the only way to reduce the percentage of the sales price paid out in taxes and fees. Build a $150,000 house and pay $20K in fees or build a $600,000 house and pay $20K in fees.

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-07-12 06:53:52

Good point John on why the bigger houses have been become popular with builders .

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