Before we start, and sticking with our quote of the week, here’s a little extra for you faithful readers in honor of the Pearl Jam Home Shows. I heard they played for over three hours last night. Great track. Great album. Enjoy.

Anyway, back to business. Here’s the latest NWMLS press release. You should read it, but ignore the quotes.

From the PR:  King County’s number of active listings surged nearly 48 percent from a year ago, rising from 3,465 active listings to 5,116. Snohomish County also had double-digit increases, up nearly 15.8 percent, but 15 counties reported less inventory than twelve months ago.

From me: I do think the surge in new listings represent a large swathe of homeowners who have been hearing the words “escalation,” “multiple” and “inventory” in conjunction with  “clause,” “offers” and “low” for so long they’ve decided to jump into the game.

The true fact remains. Inventory is still way below anything considered “normal” and I think it is going to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

For new construction, prices need to stabilize a bit for sure. However (here’s the broken record), land is expensive, sticks and bricks cost more as does the labor.

It’s clear pricing needs to be very sharp right now.  The arbitrary, incremental price increases should take a backseat to strategic pricing and case-by-case evaluations.  And, as always, salesmanship, sound processes, customer follow-up, broker outreach and expertise are still required every day onsite; perhaps even more so right now.


Zillow and HERE Technologies have released a very interesting analysis aimed to track down the best home and rent values when compared against the commute to downtown Seattle. It’s a slick tool to help answer one of the biggest issues facing today’s homebuyers: “what is it worth to spend more time in traffic?” With the population growing, more businesses opening downtown and traffic conditions almost certainly to get worse, not better, it’s arguably the #1 question for most people.

Here are the big takeaways:

  • 15 minutes from downtown represents a 11.3% savings.
  • Highline is the best value to buy with a median price of $387,700 and a 38-minute commute.
  • South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods are best for renters. $2,356/mo and 27 minutes.
  • Of the MSAs studied, Seattle ranks second for highest dollar savings and forth for percentage when moving 15 minutes out of downtown.
  • “Over a 30-year career, reducing your one-way commute by just 15 minutes frees up five months of one’s life for more rewarding pursuits.” (Geekwire)
  • Seattle’s situation isn’t the same everywhere. “In areas like San Antonio, Las Vegas and Sacramento, home values actually increase when they are located farther from the city’s urban core.”

Of course we all know “15 minutes” is a relative term in this area, but the graphic helps.