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|Subject: From First To Worst In 15 Months||Date: 10/5/2008 12:55 PM|
|Author: Milligram46||Number: 257748 of 501016|
Fifteen months ago Seattle area real estate agents were cooing over how it was still a sellers market here. Real estate prices were going up, and national magazines were pointing to Seattle and Portland as pockets of strength that meant that surely the weaker markets out there would be turning around.
Fifteen months later, Seattle has gone from first, to worst, with Forbes magazine declaring that Seattle is now the hardest market to sell a home in. Worst for Puget Sound, prices have "only" gone down 11% in the last year, and many here are now feeling there is another 30% to 50% to go.
...Radar Logic, a New York City-based real estate data and analytics company, today released housing sales transaction numbers for a sampling of homes in 25 of the country's major metropolitan areas. This story is based on these numbers.
Of the cities measured, Philadelphia has had by far the steepest increase in home sales, with transactions more than doubling from the same time the previous year. Seattle marks the other end of the sales spectrum, having seen its transaction numbers drop by 43.7% from the previous year...
Additionally you have Safeco Insurance inhaled by Liberty Mutual - white collar jobs gone. Wamu meltdown - white collar jobs gone. Starbucks in reverse - white collar jobs gone. Amazon, REI, and Nordstrom, all retailers, with Amazon best prepared to weather a storm lacking the overhead of brick and mortar, and also running a fiscally lean operation. Now you've got Microsoft saying there is a "review of hiring," here, and lets toss in what is clearly going to be a long term Boeing strike. Seattle is losing tens of thousands of high paying skilled labor or white collar jobs all at the same time, and at a time when the market is overbuilt and as someone living here can tell you -- still building!
I was driving yesterday and saw a sign for a local condo development (prices have dropped here to as low as $150K) offering - 0% down and teaser rate financing, to say I was gobsmacked is an understatement.
Last night when this story ran on the local news they showed this couple trying to sell their Queen Anne home for $529K, they haven't had a single person even come through the house and its been on the market for seven weeks. The sad reality for them, and thousands like them, is their home is probably only worth 1/2 what they are asking - reality is just three or so years away. The question is, what will they do when they are upside down on the mortgage, and more like them, and the $700 billion bailout is long gone.
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