Reality is finally sinking • The Seattle bubble

Oh man. They let Elizabeth Rhodes just take a day off, and watch what happens:

Ahhh! It’s right there in a giant black print, above the crease on the cover page! I can’t imagine the Seattle Times real estate advertisers feeling too good about this…

Eric Pryne, Seattle Times: Home prices in King County in August decline to April 2006

The median selling price of homes in King County fell last month to its lowest level since April 2006, according to figures released Tuesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The broker-owned service said the median price of single-family homes sold in the county in August fell to less than $ 424,000, down more than $ 53,000 from August 2007. The 11% drop was the first double-digit drop year-over-year. for King County since the subprime mortgage crisis hit the market.

“Right priced homes always sell in 15 or 20 days,” said Jerry Howard, management broker in John L. Scott’s office in West Seattle.

Matt Deasy, managing director of Eastside operations at real estate giant Windermere, said the sharp year-over-year decline in median home prices should come as no surprise.

Unless, you know, they listened to the realtors who brag each month as a “good time to buy”.

I also liked this piece of Presentation of Yesterday’s Times by Cindy Zetts:

The most accurate comparison of home sales numbers is done by looking at sales for the same month each year. Indeed, seasonal variations in the real estate market can distort the picture when comparing one month to the previous one.

Some players in the real estate industry said they expected the local situation to improve in August, as the market downturn began in August 2007. Until last month, they said, the numbers compared a bad year to a good one. But August’s numbers don’t show improvement – in some cases the declines are more dramatic than in previous months.

Looks like it’s finally becoming undeniably obvious that the REALTOR © ® ™ has no clothes on. It’s nice to see the Times finally stop firing its shots.

[Update:] The two-digit title was above the fold on the PI homepage, also.
Aubrey Cohen, Seattle PI: Home values ​​drop by double digits

The potential home buyers are out there in Seattle, watching and waiting.

“Different people tell me this is a great time to buy,” Hurricane White of Seattle said at an open house in Greenwood on Sunday. “I heard this in April, and as I expected, I got to look at more properties.”

And the prices continued to fall.

“You now have properties that have been on the market for a while and are starting to have panicked sellers,” said Glenn Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University. “The bottom line here is that for potential sellers, these are bad numbers, and what they’re going to have to assess is whether it’s the right time for them to put their house on the market.”

Crellin noted that prices tend to drop towards the end of the year and that Washington still has plenty of adjustable rate loans due to the reset to higher and potentially unaffordable payments in late 2008 or early 2008. 2009.

“This suggests to me that we are going to continue to see problems and instability in the market really over the next 15 months,” he said.

But Crellin also called the timing of the market “nearly impossible.” Buyers should check whether the price of a single-family home is right and, if they can afford it, plan to own it for at least three years, he said.

Note that Crellin is the guy who last november said this:

“Landlords need to focus on why we are dealing with housing in the first place. It’s a shelter. They need to focus on housing and potential tax breaks… and not overly worry about whether a house is worth $ 5,000 more or $ 50,000 more in a year.

I don’t think there’s any reason to think we’re going to see a big drop [in home values]. Median prices have stabilized in recent months. I think we’ll see limited price increases until the middle of next year.

How he managed not to completely destroy his credibility with the media now is a mystery to me.

Mike Benbow, Everett Herald: The housing market favors buyers

There are good deals on homes in Snohomish County, but the credit crunch and the upcoming elimination of a program that allows builders to help homebuyers with their down payments is making things more difficult, said the agents.

“I cannot stress enough the incredible opportunity that currently exists for upward-moving buyers,” said J. Lennox Scott, CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The price gap between the affordable price brackets and the higher price brackets has narrowed, which means these buyers can afford to ‘jump the price’ in a new home.”

Dick Beeson, a broker at Tacoma who is director of listing services, said low interest rates and good selection should make this a good time to buy, but getting a loan is difficult.

“Buyers are stymied by the inability of the credit world to collectively get on top of making loans instead of being afraid of the nearest letter of disapproval,” he said.

I’m a little disappointed with Mike Benbow, who has done little more this month than reprint the NWMLS press release.

Brian Everstine, Tacoma News Tribune: Home prices drop dramatically, again in Pierce County

Median home prices in Pierce County fell in August even as the number of homes on the market fell. Figures released Tuesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service showed an 11.9% drop from the same period a year ago. This is the 11th decline in the past year and the largest.

Pat Maddock, a Coldwell Banker Bain agent and former president of the Pierce County Association of Realtors, has checked out the West Coast areas and is convinced that West Washington is in great shape. Even though the statistics seem rough for Pierce County, it’s nothing compared to areas like Phoenix and Las Vegas, he said.

Low prices, many homes on the market, and low interest rates continue to show that this is a great time to be a buyer. But buyers are “resting on their hands,” thinking things could get even better and waiting to buy. Another factor could be the tightening of the credit markets which made mortgages more difficult to obtain.

“If you wait for the market to bottom out, you’re going to miss it,” Maddock said. “You don’t know it’s at its lowest until it goes up to the top.”

Do not forget, “when the market collapses it enters One day!

Rolf Boone, the Olympian: Housing market collapse continues

South Sound home sales remained calm in August, but prices were largely flat, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported on Tuesday.

On an annual basis in August, sales of single-family homes and condominiums stumbled, falling nearly 31% to 303 units from 439, the data showed.

Home prices since the start of the year, however, tell a different story.

Since January, median home prices have fallen about 5% from a year-over-year decline of almost 8% in August.

I guess until the price drops hit double digits you can call them ‘stable’. Looks like it’s a good time to buy … Right?

Here are a pair of bonus TV and radio stories:

Don Porter, KING 5 News: A mixed bag domestic market in western Washington State
Tim Haeck, Radio KIRO: King County home prices drop dramatically

I think the double-digit year-over-year decline may have broken some sort of psychological barrier and finally made Seattle-area homebuyers realize that yes, prices are really going down, even here. , in the land of pink ponies.

(Cindy Zetts, Seattle weather, 09.09.2008)
(Eric Pryne, Seattle weather, 09.10.2008)
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle PI, 09.09.2008)
(Mike Benbow, Everett Herald, 09.10.2008)
(Brian Everstine, Tacoma News Tribune, 09.10.2008)
(Rolf Boone, Olympian, 09.09.2008)

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