The Seattle and East Side prices are jumping so fast, I regularly get asked “are we in a bubble?” The answer I give is always the same. While the rise in prices is just like we experienced during the last bubble, the situations are greatly different in two major ways.
The first large difference is the lending rules. In 2005, 2006, 2007 the lender had to verbally verify your income. The results were ugly. If you had a pulse and said a large salary you could get a huge mortgage. Currently, the lenders need to verify your salary with your company and tax returns. In addition, if you make your money on commission or largely in cash, there are several more hoops to jump through. In fact, the average credit score of an individual denied a loan last month was around 720!!!
The second major difference is the supply and demand. While the supply was low last time also, the demand is not the same. Currently we are averaging an additional 52,000 individuals moving into the King County area each year. That is a net number – meaning we have removed all the people who have left the area and have passed away. Unless companies in the area stop hiring in a really big way, this demand is not going away.
While there are other large difference these are the two major ones. So while it often feels like a bubble, I don’t think it is. However the market will not forever be increasing at the current rate. Remember that real estate tends to move in 10 year cycles. We can expect it to slow over the next few years. But slowing is normal.
Have a great day,
While everyone in WA is mourning from the Seahawks loss, it got me thinking about what being a fan is like in different parts of the country. You see, I grew up in New England. Specifically in a Massachusetts town about 40 minutes outside of Boston. It was a given that I would be a Red Sox fan and a Patriots fan (Celtics and Bruins were optional).
Being a fan as a kid meant wearing team shirts and hats and watching the games. If you were really lucky, you would get to go to a game. Occasionally a super-fan would be seen with face paint or team logo “hammer pants” and maybe a bumper sticker on their car.
In all the places I have lived, it has seemed to me that Red Sox and Patriots fans were true diehard fans. Only to be rivaled by Yankee fans and maybe high school football fans in Texas (although that is merely by reputation not by personal experience). Then I moved to the Seattle suburbs. The Seahawks fans take being a fan to a whole new level. Seattle fans are considered the 12th man on the team. Seahawk’s logos and colors are found everywhere. In fact, a new term has been coined this year “Hawkitecture”. This is when a structure (house, skyscraper, Ferris wheel, etc.) is decorated as a tribute to the team.
As a Realtor, I look at tons of properties. Rarely does a week go by that I don’t walk into a house to find a bedroom, playroom, man cave or even living room decked out in Seahawks gear. From paint to pillows Seahawk blue and green and the logo are everywhere. Recently I’ve started even seeing houses on the market that have front doors freshly painted displaying the Seahawks pride or trim painted in Seahawks colors with the number 12 proudly painted on the side of the house or on the garage door. And these are not low-end homes. We are talking homes selling for big money.
Hawks fans have taken my view of being a fan to a whole new level. From my perspective, they have breathed new life into what it means to be a life-long fan who bleeds team colors. While I’m not going to paint my home or car based on my allegiance to a team. I’ve quickly been swept up in the excitement of being a fan here and find myself rooting for the Seahawks (or mourning for them).