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The Winds Shifted, And We Need To Adjust Our Sails

A report from Go Skagit in Washington. “A slowdown in the Seattle housing market is expected to bring about a similar cooling off for the Skagit County market, according to the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors. The region’s housing market is beginning to level out after several years of catching up from the 2009-2011 housing crash, Windermere Skagit Valley Realtor Jamie Yantis said in a news release.”

“After two years as the hottest housing market in the country, Seattle was recently dethroned, according to the release. A 48 percent increase in the number of listings has caused the market to slow.”

“Whatever happens in the Seattle housing market is usually felt in Skagit County about six months later, Windermere Skagit Valley Realtor Megan O’Bryan said in the release. With change on the horizon, O’Bryan advises sellers to temper their expectations. ‘I feel the winds have shifted, and now we need to adjust our sails,’ she said.”

“Now, sellers will need to improve their home before putting it on the market and not expect to have inspections waived. Sellers will also have to lower their expectations on what they can get for their homes, O’Bryan said. A slowdown in the market does not indicate another housing bubble, according to the release.”

The Washington Post. “Prices are up, interest rates are rising, and it’s tough for a lot of people to qualify to buy a home. So what do some of them do? A growing number of them fake it.”

“According to mortgage-fraud researchers, income misrepresentations on home-loan applications were up 22.1 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2017. Ominously, most of it is not traceable to criminals trying to bilk lenders out of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars through traditional loan swindles. Rather it’s increasingly what researchers call ‘bona fide’ borrowers who don’t have the incomes to qualify but are determined to get a home mortgage, even if they have to mislead the lender.”

“George Souto, a loan officer with William Raveis Mortgage in Middletown, Connecticut, says that although he doesn’t see many applications containing outright fraud, he does encounter situations where applicants make overly generous estimates of their incomes.”

“Other lenders say too many borrowers don’t see scrupulous truth on mortgage applications as all that important. Joseph Metzler of Mortgages Unlimited in St. Paul, Minnesota, says they ‘feel it’s OK to pad information or leave it out, to improve their chances of getting approved.'”

From Crain’s Chicago Business in Illinois. “Rocker and songwriter Richard Marx and his ex-wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes, cut the asking price for a Lake Buff mansion to below half of what they initially wanted for it in 2014.”

“The listed price is now just below $9 million for the 29,000-square-foot mansion on a 5-acre lakefront parcel on Arbor Drive. When the couple first listed the estate for sale in November 2014, they were asking $18 million. There have been five subsequent price cuts.”

From Berkeleyside in California. “Burned-out, uninhabitable structures have sold for over $1 million in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, but Berkeley buyers seem to have different standards. For one million dollars, they expect interior walls, hopefully a kitchen, possibly a bathroom, and even upgrades such as functioning plumbing and electricity.”

“So when a dilapidated duplex at 1418 Northside Ave. (at Hopkins) showed up on the market with a gutted interior and plywood-covered windows — and an asking price of $1,099,000 — there was no collective rush to the bank. Buyers did not line up with suitcases full of cash, as they have in Fremont, San Jose and San Francisco. The house, in the coveted Westbrae neighborhood, continues to sit vacant after almost 150 days on the market. The price, mysteriously, has not been dropped.”

“‘Calling all investors and contractors,’ the listing reads. ‘Berkeley Duplex with plenty of potential. Bring your imagination and make it something truly amazing. Pull your permits and start construction. Easy SF commute! Convenient location, North Berkeley BART, Google shuttle, etc. A fabulous opportunity!'”

“Ning Sha, the property’s Green Valley Realty agent, based in Cupertino, did not return Berkeleyside’s calls or texts. According to Redfin, the property changed hands twice last year. It was first sold for $550,000 on Feb. 14, 2017, and then re-sold for $885,000 on Dec. 13, 2017. Hot as the Berkeley real estate market is, few if any Berkeley properties have doubled in price over the past 19 months. The median price for houses in the 94702 zip code is $896,500, according to Redfin. The vast majority of those houses are suitable for human habitation.”

“An attractive single-family house on the same block as the duplex — 1407 Northside Ave. — is asking $950,000. The house has four bedrooms, all electrified; two baths and comes in at 1,864 square feet.”

“‘We’ve been seeing some unrealistic expectations in the market, just because people think it’s such a sellers’ market,’ said agent Jodi Nishimura of Pacific Union International, who is marketing a duplex in South Berkeley. ‘Some sellers have an inflated idea of value, but the market is proving this Northside Avenue property is priced too high.'”

This Post Has 35 Comments
  1. ‘With change on the horizon, O’Bryan advises sellers to temper their expectations. ‘I feel the winds have shifted, and now we need to adjust our sails’

    Eeee-bola Skagit Valley!

  2. Condo resale prices slip in downtown Miami as new condo …
    South Florida Business Journal-19 hours ago
    The steady decline in condo resale prices and swelling inventory levels in downtown Miami have discouraged developers from launching new projects, …

  3. Looks like we’re the only ones here, my hot little flamin’ Cheeto. Does the gang understand that the old blog is being put on ice? They might be waiting for the new posts on the old blog.

    1. I’ve noticed that I don’t see new content unless I refresh the page on the new blog. The first few times I visited, I thought that Ben hadn’t posted anything new. I also won’t see new comments unless I refresh, even if I leave and then return to a post.

  4. “After two years as the hottest housing market in the country, Seattle was recently dethroned, according to the release. A 48 percent increase in the number of listings has caused the market to slow.”

    Why is their cause and effect always backwards? First, it was lack of supply that was slowing sales, now it’s too much supply?

    “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded”
    -Yogi Berra

    1. Anything lie flies with the Seattle tapdancers.

      I just checked in at SeattleClownHouse. Clown says prices are going up.

      Tapdancing 🤡

      1. please help me out. I live in Belltown (downtown Seattle). Who is SeattleClownHouse? Are you referring to Seattle Bubble Blog – or someone else.

  5. >>The house, in the coveted Westbrae neighborhood,

    You gotta be kidding me. I looked at the map, and that location for certain did not used to be coveted. Plus the ~4000 ft2 lot and and an absolute teardown on top of it. No thanks.

    1. “According to Redfin, the property changed hands twice last year. It was first sold for $550,000 on Feb. 14, 2017, and then re-sold for $885,000 on Dec. 13, 2017.”

      It looks like the idiot that brought in Dec 2017 is the greatest fool. I bet he was a foreign speculator from China that was told house in Amerika only goes up! Especially in California!

  6. Bug report: No favicon appears on browser tabs when visiting the new site. A possibly useful clue is that if you enter the URL http://housingbubble.blog/favicon.ico , the response is an error message:

    The image “http://housingbubble.blog/favicon.ico” cannot be displayed because it contains errors.

        1. And I replied to Flamin’ Cheeto’s post and it showed up as a new post. (so this might be a new post) Oh, and every time I refresh the page, I have to re-enter my name and email.

          1. The new site will not be truly broken in until he posts the over year old worker participation numbers. They are as old as the Cheetos he eats from bags opened months ago. If 7/11 does not carry it, he does not eat it.

  7. Readability of text on the new site: The new site uses a gray font for most text. That makes it less readable and more of an eye/focus strain. Black is reserved for headers, usernames and other ancillary stuff.

    It would IMO be much better if it was the other way around: Deep black for most text and gray text for the ancillaries.

    Also did the font family change? Maybe it is just the color fooling me.

    Will also mention again the excessive vertical space between lines, paragraphs, usernames, comments, posts, pretty much everything. The vertical compactness of classic site was a real strength. Horizontal compactness, too!

    Thanks for getting the yellow background back 🙂 Appreciate the blog, only trying to help.

    1. But on the plus side, my banner ad for UKRAINIANCHARM (“the best site that gets you a girl”) is *really* small and on the left. 🙂

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