Anyone ever read the ‘Seattle Bubble’ blog?  This guy has been spot on about a lot of what has happened to the Seattle real estate market in the past years, from bubble to bust. I wish I had known about his blog five years ago, he may have had a believer in me when most of the world thought the economy, and housing market, would stay glorious indefinitely.

I read his blog now, some things I agree with, others not so much, but it is nice to get the perspective of someone not in the industry. I do get a chuckle when he takes apart the NWMLS press releases and other real estate reporting. Is there really a buyer ‘Frenzy’ going on?

It IS true that the market has heated up and prices have increased. It is true that there is a lot of competition for properties from buyers, especially in the $500K and below category. The issue still being low inventory, simple supply / demand working here, and multiple offers sometimes cause buyers to pay more than they had originally thought the property was worth.

True also, is that there are less bank owned properties on the market currently than last year. Bank owned homes usually bring area prices down because they tend to be in disrepair and the banks just want to unload them off their books. What I am seeing more and more though is that banks are spending money to fix up their inventory of homes so that they will attract more buyers and sell for more money. Smart! Because bad banking practices created some of this mess in the first place, they should all be required to do these repairs and sprucing up (my opinion) to ensure the homes are similarly priced with area homes, and not dragging the market down.  I wonder, where is the ‘shadow inventory’ of bank owned homes that are supposed to be flooding the market and destroying all hopes of steady (but slow) price appreciation?

The NWMLS July press release is available if you want the details but simply: Inventory down, pending sales and closings up, prices up.