Seattle treading water?

I’ve seen Seattle held up as an example of how the west coast is immune to the housing downturn in the US, which means that our own west-coast city is immune to any housing downturn as well.. unfortunately for that example, house prices in Seattle have been dropping just recently falling lower that the previous year for the first time since 2002:

Geoff Pfander put his Wedgwood house on the market in mid-September.

“I’m trying to have faith in Seattle,” he said at an open house last weekend. “I think (buyers) just have more choices now so they get to look around more.”

To stand out in a market with more and more homes for fewer and fewer buyers, home sellers are reducing list prices, offering special financing and entering potential buyers into drawings for a bottle of champagne if they’ll say what they think of a house.

Teri Daligney held open houses last Friday, Saturday and Sunday at a West Seattle home she and a partner remodeled and put on the market at the end of July.

“I live three hours away, and I want to stop driving,” she said, noting that they had only just finished renovations.

“We get tons of people coming in and looking, but nobody who’s serious,” Daligney said. “I just think they’re scared.”

Real estate professionals said some potential buyers are jittery, while some sellers have unrealistic expectations for prices.

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freako
freako
12 years ago

On a related note, Seattle inventory just hit 23,000. As compared to 14,395 at the same time last year. That is a whopping increase.

freako
freako
12 years ago

8.9% median drop is huge!!! Its almost unreal that finally Seattle dropped in price,Seattle is dropping allright, but that 8.9% is a statistical illusion brought about by the change in sales mix resulting from liquidity crises. Usually the median overstates, this time it understated.

Michael
Michael
12 years ago

8.9% median drop is huge!!! Its almost unreal that finally Seattle dropped in price, I always thought prices in Vancouver wouldn't drop until prices in Seattle did. Next month should be interesting.

Drachen
Drachen
12 years ago

Well we weren't exactly last asalvari, Calgmonton started to bubble and it's spread east from there (even Winnepeg if you can believe it, are THEY running out of land?). But the Calgmonton markets are looking pretty limp lately.I think the real reason why Vancouver RE has stayed up so long is BECAUSE it's so over the top crazy-go-nuts. People have put a lot of money into RE and the best time to deny reality is when reality sucks for you. There's going to be a lot of bankruptcies in this city before all is done and it will hurt every aspect of our economy.

asalvari
asalvari
12 years ago

"So could someone explain again why prices in Vancouver can't go down?"I will give it a try…Vancouver is at the end of the world, so the things and events come here last. we started last with RE price runup, and we are going to get into the cool-off period last. I wonder when the US investors will chicken-out from vancouver market.. that would help to drive it down sooner, and potentially it would be controllable cool-off. Postponing market correction would give us a lot of pain later.. with big drops in the pricing.

Gianni33
Gianni33
12 years ago

"So could someone explain again why prices in Vancouver can't go down?"Silly question… we have the Olympics of course!!An 8.9% drop in price erases 9.8% appreciation. That is just one month. This trend could easily continue through the slow fall/winter months.

Paul
Paul
12 years ago

8.9% drop is huge. I cannot believe it. Lets see what happens next month. Were next

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Note that without a significant decline (yet), Seattle is still only 2/3 as expensive as Vancouver, and local incomes are much higher (Microsoft, Boeing, etc). Seattle has similar geography to Vancouver and also gets the "we're running out of land" line.So could someone explain again why prices in Vancouver can't go down?

the pope
the pope
12 years ago

A hat-tip to Jeff for the link and apologies for the long gap between postings, I've found a reliable net connection tricky to get lately. Thank you all for carrying on the conversation in my absence.