Thanks for clearing this up! I, too, was astonished by the headline. It's unfortunate the TNT can't make some kind of meaningful retraction because that kind of fear-mongering isn't what this economy and country needs right now.
Fair point about larger down paymets (and stricter underwriting). The environment for loans puts these homes out of reach for people who might have been buyers in, say, 2006. Thanks for the comment. I'll post sales ratios for Gig Harbor and Seattle next week.
Interesting, and distressing numbers guys. I think Matt is right, although I would add that the reason Matt is right is beceause Tacoma traditionally is not an area that could support a lot of 400k+ homes. There are only so many doctors and dentists in Tacoma who can buy a house the old fasioned way - with a huge cash downpayment.
Would be interesting if you could do a similar analysis for other areas (Gig Harbor, high income areas in Seattle, etc.)
Between '05 and '07 when I was selling a lot of condos downtown I always thought a grocery store would be the final piece that made sense of the condo boom. If you are going to live downtown, do you really want to drive to Stadium Thriftway for a quart of milk? I love much of the new retail around Puget Sound Pizza, Downtown Dirt. I also really enjoyed hot yoga at Expand recently on Pac Ave. Great atmosphere, and it was $5 bucks! I think a lot of people find themselves downtown more than ever before. Thanks for your comment.
I am inspired by the fact that Tacoma continues to pop up in these studies pinpointing the top residential real estate markets in the country in the near future.
My worries are not on real estate, specifically, but rather local business. Downtown has so much potential and it is crucial to all surrounding neighborhoods. There are real estate folks who disagree but I say the IGA grocery store downtown could be the first domino to fall in a potentially new retail movement on Pacific Ave.
I'm currently buying in the hilltop area, We're young and looking for an old beautiful house, luckily we found several up there. I'm happy to hear about so much going on in the neighborhood. If you had any suggestions for new homeowners in the area to help out we'd like to hear it! thanks
Thanks, Steve. It's a bad time to buy. Call me next year.
Just kidding. My remark wasn't actually that it was a good time to buy. I was far more equivocal. I said it might be, and that we won't know until we know, which, sadly, is always the case. All we can do is guess, same as the agent who tells you to wait a year. But people who buy when everyone else around them is losing their head tend to do very well. We won't know the "bottom" until the market is on its way up again. Incidentally, the sales ratio in north Tacoma today is 18%, up 2% from last week. I believe that five years from today, if you could look back at a purchase you made today you would be very happy that you paid such a low price and saw good appreciation, whether it was the exact bottom or not. (MAYBE)
Tom, You sound well-studied and have a good grasp of the stats. I am afraid you fell victim to the classic realtor's tendency. It is ALWAYS a "good time to buy." If your blog were older, perhaps we could go back and see in late 2005, 2006, 2007 that you were saying it was a good time to buy, "in order not to get priced out of the ever-rising market"?? Was it really a good time to buy then? At the top of the curve? No. Sure, prices are down (from their falsely inflated prices), but are they really down enough? What if this "good time to buy" is followed by a further falling of 5-10-20%. That would make this actually a bad time to buy, right? I will wait for the day when I see an agent say it is a bad time to buy ("wait for one year, dear client"). I will take his number and have him call me when it is really a good time. I am afraid I will wait a long time to hear an agent say that.
I love stats! Thanks for giving us a really useful, informative one. I'm not in real estate but I like to follow it and my gut says that anything under $300K is still selling in the areas you mention above. I think the first-time home buyers are still out there looking for a bargain. I'll be curious to see the next set of stats you post about reality vs. my gut! :-)