Wednesday Links: August 30

There’s a statewide report about the market for the second quarter out from the UW center for real estate research.  Most of it is what you’d expect; low inventory, rising prices, and King County standing out for both.  I’m paying particular attention to the details at the end about building permits.  In a market so desperate for an increase in inventory, seeing new permits down 8% is a bummer.

The Case-Shiller numbers for May-June are out, and there aren’t any huge surprises there, either.  We’re still in the fuzzy are-we-aren’t-we territory around whether the market is starting to bubble, but it’s looking more and more like we did embark into bubble lands in the spring.

It might be interesting to take a look at the effects of flood insurance programs on housing.  We’re not seeing much flooding in Seattle, despite setting records both for rainfall, and stretches of time without rainfall, this year.  Still, good food for thought.

Wednesday Links: June 7

Everybody knows the first three rules of real estate are location, location, location.  This story gives you a pretty good idea of why.  A mining company is having to pay to move a town out of the risk zone created by its mine, and it’s expected to cost around one billion (not a typo) dollars.  It really is easier to move house than to move a house.

The Seattle Bubble has the breakdown on the preliminary stats from May.  The big takeaways are that inventory was up month over month, but down year over year.  May being up over April is to be expected – we should see that continue through August and a taper in September or October – but I am perennially hoping for inventory to be up year over year, too.  Or at least to be the same.  Inventory, please!  We needs it.

Rent price stats are out, too, and Curbed Seattle has a good breakdown of them.  The headline takeaway is that median rent prices are up year over year, but that’s not what’s most interesting about this article.  Read past the headline for a breakdown on where the data is coming from and how it’s calculated.  There are meaningful differences in methodology across sites that means you’re going to have a preference for one over another depending on why you’re looking at rental prices.

A very long saga involving redevelopment of Key Arena took a significant step forward today with the Oak View Group getting selected for the project.  They’ve already had additional partners sign up in the relatively short time since the official announcement.  Queen Anne and the city at large are going to be watching the progress of this project pretty closely, especially since it’s being touted as one with low risk to public funds.

Wednesday Links: March 29

Bertha is on track to finish tunneling this week.  I’m not going to lie, Bertha completing her project is going to feel like the end of an era to me.  I might have to do an honorary reading the The Little Engine that Could in her honor when she makes it through.

Everybody knows Seattle is growing.  We’ve got a number for how much.  Adding around 1000 people per week is a little daunting to think about, especially when I start wondering where to put them.  No wonder inventory is so low.

All of that probably explains why Seattle prices are setting records for all time highs.  Now is a good time to sell, not just because you’ll get a good price, but because please, pretty please, we need the inventory 🙂

Next week, we’ll see whether Bertha made it!

Wednesday Links: March 8

As promised, we’ve got stats.  For the most part, they just confirm that we’re seeing more of the same.  Inventory is down and prices are up.  Mix in the first increase in interest rates in a decade that looks like it might be more than an temporary blip, and the situation is getting rough for buyers.  My hope is that if interest rates do stay up, it’ll be balanced by a slow down in price increases.

What I’m finding interesting are the details behind the headline on the trends for rent prices.  One bedroom rents are up, but studios and two bedrooms are showing signs of softening.  Anything that helps buyers save for a down payment or gives them a good alternative in the face of low inventory is good news to me.  I’ll be keeping an eye on it that.

If you’re looking for a breakthrough, you could hang out with Bertha.  After a break for a quick course correction the drilling is moving into its final stretch.  The tunnel is starting to look like it might actually be finished some day.