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Posted: 10/26/2006 2:23:56 PM EST
The vultures are circling.

I work in a related field and yes times are changing...

No more equity ATM's

Some nice are going to be out there...
---------------------------------------------------------------


Updated: 03:30 PM EDT
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Existing Home Sales Fall for Sixth Straight Month
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP

WASHINGTON (Oct. 25) - In further evidence of a sharp slowdown in the once-booming housing market, sales of existing homes fell for a sixth straight month in September and the median sales price dropped by a record amount.



By Tim Boyle, Getty Images
Housing, which had set sales records for both existing and new homes for five consecutive years, has been rapidly cooling this year.

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that home sales fell by 1.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million units, the slowest pace since January 2004.

The median price of a single-family home fell to $219,800 last month, a drop of 2.5 percent from the price in September 2005. That was the biggest year-over-year price decline in records going back nearly four decades. Home prices had also fallen in August and it marked the first back-to-back declines in 16 years.

The median price is the middle point, where half sell for more and half sell for less.

Housing, which had set sales records for both new and existing homes for five consecutive years, has been rapidly cooling this year, but economists with the Realtors suggested that the decline could be hitting bottom.

"The worst is behind us as far as a market correction - this is likely the trough for sales," said David Lereah, the Realtors' chief economist. "When consumers recognize that home sales are stabilizing, we'll see the buyers who've been on the sidelines get back into the market."

Other economists suggested the weakness in housing could last for a number of more months and perhaps as long as another year because of a huge backlog of unsold homes.

"The housing slowdown is just over a year old. It probably has another year to run," said Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at Global Insight. "The market will probably not turn around until at least the second half of 2007."

Newport predicted that existing home sales will fall by 9 percent this year and will drop by an even bigger 14 percent in 2007.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced that it was holding a key interest rate steady for a third straight month after two years of steady increases that ended in August.

Analysts said they believe the Fed will not raise rates further, partly out of concern about the impact of further increases on the fragile housing market. Economists, however, said they are not looking for rate cuts either given the Fed's continued worries about inflation.

For September, sales of existing homes were down in all sections of the country except the South, which posted a small 0.4 percent increase.

Sales fell the most in the Northeast, a drop of 3.7 percent, followed by the West, where sales were down 3.1 percent, and the Midwest, where sales fell by 2.8 percent.

The inventory of unsold homes, after climbing to all-time highs, fell for a second straight month, decreasing 2.4 percent, to 3.75 million unsold homes at the end of September, which represents a 7.3 months supply at the September sales pace.

Sales of single-family homes dropped by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 5.42 million units while sales of condominiums fell by 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 763,000 units.

The 2.5 percent drop in the price of single-family homes pushed them down to $219,800 while condominium prices fell by 3.2 percent to a median price which was also $219,800.


10/25/06 16:22 EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:24:35 PM EST

IABF.

Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:27:45 PM EST
It's not a crash, there was no bubble, it's only a minor hiccup, the market will be ripping away at 20%/yr forever, you just wait and see.



<---quietly stockpiling a real (20%) cash downpayment and waiting for the bottom of the market, in a couple of years
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:31:55 PM EST
Fucking SNOOZE. Prices have gone down between 2% and 9% but the number of PURCHASES of new homes is holding and/or going up. The market is NOT crashing, it is readjusting its prices to reflect what the goddamn house is WORTH not what some yuppie idiot with too much credit THINKS it is worth.

I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision. The price of my house was ~ $100 per square foot.

Would YOU be willing to spend $500 per square foot for a 20 year old house???????

NO!! Because no matter what the "MARKET" says.. IT IS NOT WORTH THAT, thus it is overinflated. Eventually CREDIT will run out and the skyrocketing prices will fall back to Earth and that will allow MORE people to own homes, THUS INCREASING THE ACTUAL "WEALTH" of the population at large. Renters do NOT make for a healthy economy.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:41:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:
I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision.


....

A 20 year old house in most of Georgia, isn't going to command the price a 20 year old house near the Pentagon will command.

Even if you took the EXACT house from Georgia, and picked it up and planted it 5 miles from the Pentagon you'd automatically command a premium.

That isn't about yuppies, or anything else, but LOCATION.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:43:18 PM EST
The corrections are extremely localized to < 100 cities/towns. Most seem to be smaller towns more sensitive to changes in local economies.



Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:43:58 PM EST
Deja Vu !


I've been through this market correction at least two other times. Guys, buy a house when you want to buy a house, preferably when the prices are low, but not necessarily. Buy it when you need it.

Anything is possible but despite the earlier corrections, my house is valued at 3X what I paid for it - even after the biggest crrection of all. It lasted, what, five years?

I am still ahead of the game. Imagine if I had paid rent all that time instead of paying a mortgage. That would be 5, 10, 15 years of rent (money lost) instead of equity gain.

Buy a house. It's a key part of life in America.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:44:37 PM EST
For the most part, as soon as the excess supply of new houses is bought up, the market will probably start heading back up. Not as fast perhaps, but back up nonetheless.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:47:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:

Originally Posted By phatmax:
I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision.


....

A 20 year old house in most of Georgia, isn't going to command the price a 20 year old house near the Pentagon will command.

Even if you took the EXACT house from Georgia, and picked it up and planted it 5 miles from the Pentagon you'd automatically command a premium.

That isn't about yuppies, or anything else, but LOCATION.


Location is part of it, but if I did the SAME job in DC or close by in VA, I would be making within 15% of my same salary (I have looked it up) with a house that would be 50%-100% MORE? That is OVERINFLATION.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:47:30 PM EST
Now is a good time to get in to DOW index and NAsdaq cause i noticed that when the market goes up the housing goes down. and vice versa. When the tech bubble burst all that cash needed to go somewhere that would actually make money and not just stupid bonds or some crap, so it went in to realestate which is what caused the market to get red hot. now the reverse is happening, the housing market is slowly dropping and the Stock market is going up by and almost equal percentage. get a spider or a diamond and make some dinero!
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:53:11 PM EST
Average time on market for a home in my market is up 5 days year to date from an average of 70 days in Oct 2005 to 75 days in Oct 2006. However average selling price in my market over the same period went from $319,975 to $370,000. Yep, the market is changing and competition is more fierce, but home prices went up 15.6%.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:53:40 PM EST
Read up on what happened in Japan, this thing has the potential to snowball as the liquidity provided by all that asset inflation dries up. Deflation tends to feed on itself.

What was it? 11 years? 12? that property values continued to fall? And they're still way below the peak now.

The only thing that makes me wonder if it will happen that way here is all the immigration keeping demand going, I think if it weren't for Katrina reducing the supply of houses last year things would be MUCH worse right now.

Of course, the other way it could go is a dollar crash...
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:56:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By gigmike:
Average time on market for a home in my market is up 5 days year to date from an average of 70 days in Oct 2005 to 75 days in Oct 2006. However average selling price in my market over the same period went from $319,975 to $370,000. Yep, the market is changing and competition is more fierce, but home prices went up 15.6%.


Hey Mike,

You in the Harbor? If so we're neighbors.

Pierce county has a lot going for it and so far we're doing OK, my tax assesment keeps climbing, but King county is falling.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:57:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:
Location is part of it, but if I did the SAME job in DC or close by in VA, I would be making within 15% of my same salary (I have looked it up) with a house that would be 50%-100% MORE? That is OVERINFLATION.


Is it? Seems like you have a rather myopic view of both the job market and housing market.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:00:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:
Fucking SNOOZE. Prices have gone down between 2% and 9% but the number of PURCHASES of new homes is holding and/or going up. The market is NOT crashing, it is readjusting its prices to reflect what the goddamn house is WORTH not what some yuppie idiot with too much credit THINKS it is worth.

I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision. The price of my house was ~ $100 per square foot.

Would YOU be willing to spend $500 per square foot for a 20 year old house???????

NO!! Because no matter what the "MARKET" says.. IT IS NOT WORTH THAT, thus it is overinflated. Eventually CREDIT will run out and the skyrocketing prices will fall back to Earth and that will allow MORE people to own homes, THUS INCREASING THE ACTUAL "WEALTH" of the population at large. Renters do NOT make for a healthy economy.


Very well said! I have wondered for a couple years now who in the hell could possibly afford these ridiculous house prices.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:02:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:

Originally Posted By phatmax:
Location is part of it, but if I did the SAME job in DC or close by in VA, I would be making within 15% of my same salary (I have looked it up) with a house that would be 50%-100% MORE? That is OVERINFLATION.


Is it? Seems like you have a rather myopic view of both the job market and housing market.


But he is right that average wage growth hasn't even come close to keeping pace with housing cost growth in the "boom" areas. That's just one sign of the ridiculously overpriced and unsustainable market. This crap is going down hard, the little resurgence in numbers of houses sold right now is from the bandwagon idiots who don't know its bad time to buy yet.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:08:17 PM EST
As a homebuilder, this kind of news never fails to make me stop. But it is only a hiccup as far as we can tell, my company is still doing record sales.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:14:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:

Originally Posted By phatmax:
I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision.


....

A 20 year old house in most of Georgia, isn't going to command the price a 20 year old house near the Pentagon will command.

Even if you took the EXACT house from Georgia, and picked it up and planted it 5 miles from the Pentagon you'd automatically command a premium.

That isn't about yuppies, or anything else, but LOCATION.


Location is part of it, but if I did the SAME job in DC or close by in VA, I would be making within 15% of my same salary (I have looked it up) with a house that would be 50%-100% MORE? That is OVERINFLATION.


Your job has no relation to the price of real estate here.

There's plenty of buildable land in close proximity to Atlanta....that is not the case here.

Scarcity is what drives prices, and they're not making any more land.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:23:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 3:23:49 PM EST by capnrob97]
While I do feel sorry for some who are trying to get ahead and not just flush money down the toilet renting all the time, I am glad to see the landlords throwing in the towel here and trying to sell instead of 'getting rich' renting out their townhomes.

Beginning of 2005 about 20% of townhomes here were 'investments' being rented out. That percentage is dropping steadily, I hope some of the 'investors' get burned badly, considering the low-lifes some of them rented out to (got to see US Marshals chase one fugitive down the street owner neglected to do a background check on before renting, we had a registered sex offender too for a while) Lowlifes seek out these situations, no apartment complex would rent to them after doing a credit / background check.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:27:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 3:29:03 PM EST by LWilde]
Message to the Chicken Littles from one who has been through many of these cyclical events:
DON'T PANIC!


Unless you MUST sell right now...you're going to be just fine. Remember, for the last few years, we've been riding the Housing Bull and the market was late for an adjustment anyway.

Calm down and drop a 'lude. You'll be fine in the morning.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:33:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 3:33:40 PM EST by capnrob97]

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Message to the Chicken Littles from one who has been through many of these cyclical events:
DON'T PANIC!


Unless you MUST sell right now...you're going to be just fine. Remember, for the last few years, we've been riding the Housing Bull and the market was late for an adjustment anyway.

Calm down and drop a 'lude. You'll be fine in the morning.


The ones panicing are the one ones with the interest-only, no down payment loans. They will get killed when interest rates go up and they would have to go to closing with many thousands of dollars to sell a house they overpaid for in the 2004-2005 timeframe. They will not be able to afford the house once the principal and higher interest payments kick in on their loan. (Why do people think they can afford a $500k loan on $125k combined salary, it is nuts).
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:36:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By capnrob97:

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Message to the Chicken Littles from one who has been through many of these cyclical events:
DON'T PANIC!


Unless you MUST sell right now...you're going to be just fine. Remember, for the last few years, we've been riding the Housing Bull and the market was late for an adjustment anyway.

Calm down and drop a 'lude. You'll be fine in the morning.


The ones panicing are the one ones with the interest-only, no down payment loans. They will get killed when interest rates go up and they would have to go to closing with many thousands of dollars to sell a house they overpaid for in the 2004-2005 timeframe. They will not be able to afford the house once the principal and higher interest payments kick in on their loan. (Why do people think they can afford a $500k loan on $125k combined salary, it is nuts).


Exactly, and where are all these "creative financing" options most used? Kali and FL, the two that will fall the farthest and fastest. I personally know people making <70K a year who are so proud of their 500K+ house. Too bad it won't be theirs for long...
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:47:10 PM EST
what, exactly, is it that make you so sure that interest rates will skyrocket?

(I really don't want to write another tome on the MBS market and its moderating influence)
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:48:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 3:51:39 PM EST by capnrob97]

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
what, exactly, is it that make you so sure that interest rates will skyrocket?

(I really don't want to write another tome on the MBS market and its moderating influence)


Not just the interest rate, but the interest only loans are interest only for so long, the principal part of the payment kicks in after a few years... (Also supported the MBS trading desk at the biggest mortgage trading firm (SB) early-mid '90s, no tome needed).
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:51:35 PM EST
Hey as long as I have a place to sleep I could care less about falling prices.

Now for investors thats another story.....
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:56:51 PM EST
$180,000 house they paid $500,000 for

My house jumped $50,000 in value according to my taxes I haven't done squat to improve it! Go figure
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:06:47 PM EST
I wish someone would break the news to western Washington. Prices are continuing to climb here.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:11:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I wish someone would break the news to western Washington. Prices are continuing to climb here.


Yep.

The smart money from CA is moving in, WA seems cheap to them.

That and we've got a lot of military families creating demand for the lower end of the market.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:14:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Message to the Chicken Littles from one who has been through many of these cyclical events:
DON'T PANIC!


Unless you MUST sell right now...you're going to be just fine. Remember, for the last few years, we've been riding the Housing Bull and the market was late for an adjustment anyway.

Calm down and drop a 'lude. You'll be fine in the morning.

Qualify that statement. Don't panic for another year. Then PANIC.


I'll be in the market in about a year.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:15:36 PM EST

Housing market CRASHING!



Someone PLEASE tell the contractors here that! They must have missed the fucking memo!
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:18:42 PM EST
Land, buy as much as you possible can, and hold onto it. They don't make it anymore.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:20:48 PM EST
Don't worry. No housing crash on the horizon. I'm sure that the end of the ATM housing scheme/scam that has fueled the engine of consumer growth and the primary engine of our economy the last 3 years will have virtually no ripple effect on the economy. The 40-60% of home buyers who used creative financing will not be forclosed upon in large numbers, and the investors and speculators who drove up prices will not be caught with excess properties.


Everything will be ok.

flippersintrouble.blogspot.com/

thisoldhouseflip.blogspot.com/

baltimorehousing.blogspot.com/

sacramentolanding.blogspot.com/

and my personal favorite:

ocfliptrack.blogspot.com/
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:47:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By giacutter:
Don't worry. No housing crash on the horizon. I'm sure that the end of the ATM housing scheme/scam that has fueled the engine of consumer growth and the primary engine of our economy the last 3 years will have virtually no ripple effect on the economy. The 40-60% of home buyers who used creative financing will not be forclosed upon in large numbers, and the investors and speculators who drove up prices will not be caught with excess properties.


Everything will be ok.

flippersintrouble.blogspot.com/

thisoldhouseflip.blogspot.com/

baltimorehousing.blogspot.com/

sacramentolanding.blogspot.com/

and my personal favorite:

ocfliptrack.blogspot.com/


I hear society is going to crash in the year 2000, too.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 4:54:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 4:55:14 PM EST by Hiwathl]
seen it slow down a lot here,,,,,I'm Glad,,,, I'm saddened by the over growth here and City Councils sells out the real folks
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:08:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:
Fucking SNOOZE. Prices have gone down between 2% and 9% but the number of PURCHASES of new homes is holding and/or going up. The market is NOT crashing, it is readjusting its prices to reflect what the goddamn house is WORTH not what some yuppie idiot with too much credit THINKS it is worth.

I own a house in GA that is ~160k. In NJ the same house would be $350K-$400K. In the "right" neighborhood in CA it would be worth $800 to 1 MIL. (plus I have over a third of an acre in a nice subdivision. The price of my house was ~ $100 per square foot.

Would YOU be willing to spend $500 per square foot for a 20 year old house???????

NO!! Because no matter what the "MARKET" says.. IT IS NOT WORTH THAT, thus it is overinflated. Eventually CREDIT will run out and the skyrocketing prices will fall back to Earth and that will allow MORE people to own homes, THUS INCREASING THE ACTUAL "WEALTH" of the population at large. Renters do NOT make for a healthy economy.


Price is the agreement between supply and demand.

If you had a lot of people making shitloads of money who wanted to live where you live, you'd have to pay shitloads of money for your land.

End of story.

The price isn't what you happen to be willing to pay, it's what the market will bear.

Nobody wants to pay top dollar for a house.

Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:09:52 PM EST
This is probably related to global warming. Someone should call Algore and have him check it out.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:20:24 PM EST
In my county prices are still rising slightly. Rest of DC area they are down slightly. Right now on paper I have made 300 percent on a house bought 10 years ago.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:25:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
.

Scarcity is what drives prices, and they're not making any more land.


I remember that was the exact mantra everyone in Hawaii was chanting when I was stationed there in 1990.

Then the Japanese economy tanked, and suddenly, there seemed to be enough island.

Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:30:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By giacutter:
Don't worry. No housing crash on the horizon. I'm sure that the end of the ATM housing scheme/scam that has fueled the engine of consumer growth and the primary engine of our economy the last 3 years will have virtually no ripple effect on the economy. The 40-60% of home buyers who used creative financing will not be forclosed upon in large numbers, and the investors and speculators who drove up prices will not be caught with excess properties.


Everything will be ok.

flippersintrouble.blogspot.com/

thisoldhouseflip.blogspot.com/

baltimorehousing.blogspot.com/

sacramentolanding.blogspot.com/

and my personal favorite:

ocfliptrack.blogspot.com/


I hear society is going to crash in the year 2000, too.


Time will tell, I said smugly.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 5:40:25 PM EST
My house went up 40k in value over the past 4 years and it is not going down in my area.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 6:47:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:
My house went up 40k in value over the past 4 years and it is not going down in my area.


Yet.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 7:28:00 PM EST
Camano assessments surge


Published: Thursday, October 26, 2006

Camano assessments surge
Island residents are stunned at the average 27 percent increase in property values.

By Kaitlin Manry
Herald Writer


CAMANO ISLAND - Bill James opened his property assessment and his jaw dropped.

His property value had jumped by nearly 56 percent in a year.

James, 80, had planned to spend the rest of his life in his Camano Island home.

Now, with its value soaring to $555,920 from $357,000, he worries how he'll be able to afford the property taxes.

"You gotta cut out something," he said. "You've got to cut down on driving, cut down on transportation or cut down on food - that's it."

Throughout Island County, property owners are grappling with increased property values. Estimated property values mailed out to all Island County homeowners on Oct. 2 jumped an average of 27 percent from 2005, Assessor Tom Baenen said.

The total assessed value of Island County property has nearly doubled in the past five years, to more than $12 billion, from $6.9 billion in 2002.

The rising rates are part of a nationwide upswing in home prices that has affected nearly all Washington communities, Baenen said. Property values in Snohomish County, for example, increased about 21 percent this year.

In Island County, values are up across the board, but they're especially high along the water.

"One thing that islands experience that many other places don't is a finite supply," Baenen said.

"There's 2,011 square miles consisting of two islands. The population in Island County 20 years ago was at or slightly under 60,000," he said. "The population now is over 80,000. Yet it's still the same size. So when you have a limited supply and an increased demand, prices go up."

Though the assessments may seem ominous, Baenen cautioned homeowners not to read too much into the numbers. Rising property values don't necessarily translate to bigger tax bills.

Under state law, property tax can increase by only 1 percent each year.

The countywide composite property tax rate is expected to decrease to $8.89 per $1,000 of assessed value from $9.10 per thousand in 2005, according to the assessor.

That's partly because there are more properties to tax, he explained.

Homeowners also worry about special voter-approved bonds and levies that are not included in the assessor's estimated tax rate. Those bills aren't limited by the 1 percent rule.

"We're always concerned when we get these tax bills and they're not explained to us prior," Camano Island resident Ed Stillian said. "They're just kind of dumped on us - and it's not like a Christmas gift. I've never had my property taxes go down."

Led by Stillian, residents have organized a meeting for 7 tonight to discuss the increased values.

Property owners who have appealed their values to the Island County Board of Equalization in the past will talk about the process. Baenen said he'll be there to answer questions as well.

If enough people are interested, Stillian said they may form a political action committee to deal with the issue and pressure lawmakers to pass legislation to protect homeowners.

An independent real estate appraiser, Stillian said he also plans to push legislators to increase the $35,000 per household income cap for senior citizens to allow more people on fixed incomes to qualify for the property tax exemption.

"The majority of this community is fixed-income retired people," said Camano Island resident Dale Tyler, 73. "Those people are having to move off their property, off the island, because of taxes. There has to be some new thinking to protect our seniors."

James said he'll appeal his property value - just as he's done the past five years. He bands together with a dozen neighbors and appeals to the Board of Equalization.

They were successful for four years, but lost last year and have had to deal with higher property values.

Island County residents must file appeals by Nov. 30. That's also the deadline for residents to debate their property value with an appraiser.

Reporter Kaitlin Manry: 425-339-3292 or kmanry@heraldnet.com.

Forum tonight

Camano Island residents are welcome to attend a property value forum at 7 tonight at the Camano Senior and Community Center, 606 Arrowhead Road.

Island County Assessor Tom Baenen and a representative from the Board of Equalization are expected to speak at the meeting.

A $1 donation is suggested to help cover the cost of renting the room; a group of residents is holding the event, not the county.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:22:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boomer:
Camano assessments surge


Published: Thursday, October 26, 2006

Camano assessments surge
Island residents are stunned at the average 27 percent increase in property values.

By Kaitlin Manry
Herald Writer


CAMANO ISLAND - Bill James opened his property assessment and his jaw dropped.

His property value had jumped by nearly 56 percent in a year.

James, 80, had planned to spend the rest of his life in his Camano Island home.

Now, with its value soaring to $555,920 from $357,000, he worries how he'll be able to afford the property taxes.

"You gotta cut out something," he said. "You've got to cut down on driving, cut down on transportation or cut down on food - that's it."

Throughout Island County, property owners are grappling with increased property values. Estimated property values mailed out to all Island County homeowners on Oct. 2 jumped an average of 27 percent from 2005, Assessor Tom Baenen said.

The total assessed value of Island County property has nearly doubled in the past five years, to more than $12 billion, from $6.9 billion in 2002.

The rising rates are part of a nationwide upswing in home prices that has affected nearly all Washington communities, Baenen said. Property values in Snohomish County, for example, increased about 21 percent this year.

In Island County, values are up across the board, but they're especially high along the water.

"One thing that islands experience that many other places don't is a finite supply," Baenen said.

"There's 2,011 square miles consisting of two islands. The population in Island County 20 years ago was at or slightly under 60,000," he said. "The population now is over 80,000. Yet it's still the same size. So when you have a limited supply and an increased demand, prices go up."

Though the assessments may seem ominous, Baenen cautioned homeowners not to read too much into the numbers. Rising property values don't necessarily translate to bigger tax bills.

Under state law, property tax can increase by only 1 percent each year.

The countywide composite property tax rate is expected to decrease to $8.89 per $1,000 of assessed value from $9.10 per thousand in 2005, according to the assessor.

That's partly because there are more properties to tax, he explained.

Homeowners also worry about special voter-approved bonds and levies that are not included in the assessor's estimated tax rate. Those bills aren't limited by the 1 percent rule.

"We're always concerned when we get these tax bills and they're not explained to us prior," Camano Island resident Ed Stillian said. "They're just kind of dumped on us - and it's not like a Christmas gift. I've never had my property taxes go down."

Led by Stillian, residents have organized a meeting for 7 tonight to discuss the increased values.

Property owners who have appealed their values to the Island County Board of Equalization in the past will talk about the process. Baenen said he'll be there to answer questions as well.

If enough people are interested, Stillian said they may form a political action committee to deal with the issue and pressure lawmakers to pass legislation to protect homeowners.

An independent real estate appraiser, Stillian said he also plans to push legislators to increase the $35,000 per household income cap for senior citizens to allow more people on fixed incomes to qualify for the property tax exemption.

"The majority of this community is fixed-income retired people," said Camano Island resident Dale Tyler, 73. "Those people are having to move off their property, off the island, because of taxes. There has to be some new thinking to protect our seniors."

James said he'll appeal his property value - just as he's done the past five years. He bands together with a dozen neighbors and appeals to the Board of Equalization.

They were successful for four years, but lost last year and have had to deal with higher property values.

Island County residents must file appeals by Nov. 30. That's also the deadline for residents to debate their property value with an appraiser.

Reporter Kaitlin Manry: 425-339-3292 or kmanry@heraldnet.com.

Forum tonight

Camano Island residents are welcome to attend a property value forum at 7 tonight at the Camano Senior and Community Center, 606 Arrowhead Road.

Island County Assessor Tom Baenen and a representative from the Board of Equalization are expected to speak at the meeting.

A $1 donation is suggested to help cover the cost of renting the room; a group of residents is holding the event, not the county.


Yes, shockingly enough, local municipalities are seeking to cash in on the recent house price inflation to pull in more tax money.
Valuations set by the same appraisers who will value your home at the top of the market so that you can get that $500000 home equity loan on the 3 bed one bath rancher with 1600 sq ft.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:26:25 PM EST
Shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


There's a reason I picked a affordable/ cheap house and a 6 year laon instead of a 500,000 house and a 30 year loan.


Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:31:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
.

Scarcity is what drives prices, and they're not making any more land.


I remember that was the exact mantra everyone in Hawaii was chanting when I was stationed there in 1990.

Then the Japanese economy tanked, and suddenly, there seemed to be enough island.




totally different situation....japanese vacation properties.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:37:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
.

Scarcity is what drives prices, and they're not making any more land.


I remember that was the exact mantra everyone in Hawaii was chanting when I was stationed there in 1990.

Then the Japanese economy tanked, and suddenly, there seemed to be enough island.




totally different situation....japanese vacation properties.


Today I read about large-scale construction worker layoffs in Loudon County, and several condo developments going belly-up recently in Fairfax/Arlington. Comment?
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 5:02:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2006 5:03:40 AM EST by giacutter]
We have incontrovertible evidence of the housing crash, courtesy of Dusty_C

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=511850&page=1



Link Posted: 10/28/2006 5:13:45 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 5:16:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By giacutter:

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
.

Scarcity is what drives prices, and they're not making any more land.


I remember that was the exact mantra everyone in Hawaii was chanting when I was stationed there in 1990.

Then the Japanese economy tanked, and suddenly, there seemed to be enough island.




totally different situation....japanese vacation properties.


Today I read about large-scale construction worker layoffs in Loudon County, and several condo developments going belly-up recently in Fairfax/Arlington. Comment?


Oh, Loudoun is going to get hit....why? No scarcity of land. Happend to my parents in the Tampa area (Brandon/Valrico) in the mid 80's.

I can't comment on the specific condo developments, but when I was underwriting deals for Bank One in the late 90's, condos always has ramp up issues. Heck, the luxury condos by the town center in Reston had start/stop issues, but they sold them out....1 br starting in the low $400's. I wasn't involved with that deal, but if I had been I would have been pulling my hair out.

These:

This one now has one unit left, and it's $1.7 mil:



I think people in places like South Riding are going to have a hard time selling.

But I don't think the core DC area will have a significant downturn until the federal government starts shrinking. (wanna take bets on that?)
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 5:22:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2006 5:30:36 AM EST by DZwtfaw]
I travel regularly for business in the "south" (AKA N.C, S.C) and deal with national home builders and contractors. Although allot of business is generated with new construction on my end, sales volume is high but margins are VERY low to the point how I don't know how sub-contractors work with some of these builders and make any money. Just some observations on my end, take it for what it's worth.

From what I've seen, the only "hiccup" I've seen is the national builders going back to the subcontractors and asking for a "rebate" per house built (like 10%). Keep in mind, we're talking houses, town homes, condos litterally in the thousands. Every contractor is trying to "outbid" each other because they see they can do say 200 homes per contract, and the sales look REAL good, but god, for some of the numbers they are doing these homes at, well...

Funny thing thought that you have these subcontractors trying to get the best price out there for these houses, each contractor trying to have a better price than the other, then on top of that, now some of the builders are looking for a "rebate"? Give me a break. Swear, some of these builders what the contractors to work for $5 an hour.

Business overal from what I've seen has not slowed down though and houses are still selling like hot cakes.

You build a 30 home developement and not have the houses sold, man, you're playing with some serious money.

Seen contractors go out of business due to the way they are paid at times. Think about it, you use $3000 worth of material per house, plus labor, and some guys can knock out thier work in a day. 5 houses a week, 20 a month, and some of these guys are not paid until 60 days, some of these guys HAVE to get paid to stay afloat. Some of these builders litterally have some of the contractors by the balls.

Some of these homes now are put up from start to finish in less than 30 days, they just keep knocking them out.

Honestly, I think most of these new homes under 200k are just plain crap. The way I've seen some of them built, with the cheapest materials available (you do 100 homes per year, that material price can add up), and the the quickest built possible to get to the next house. Been in a 150 home delvelopment where the houses are litterally 15 yards apart, four styles of homes total, and you have people paying to move there. I still scratch my head over it.

Keep in mind, I'm talking about what we call in the business "cookie cutter homes".

Personally, if I was going to spend 200k on a home, I'd look around and try to find an older home that was built "right", or find a local builder that has a good reputation and have them build you a home per what you want. Keep in mind, I'm talking about a home that you plan on spending most of your life in and raise a family, not just a "holdover" for something else for a couple of years till you move again.

When you know what you're looking for in some of these homes per the "mechanical systems", you would be amazed at how cheap and fast they are put in these "cookie cutter" homes, added to the fact that there are better but more expensive ways to install these systems, but since everyone is looking at bottom line price on high volume developements, price is what counts, not quality.

Only my opinion and again, directed towards the cookie cutter segment of new contruction, not the smaller home builders who do good, quality work.


Link Posted: 10/28/2006 6:24:18 AM EST
The housing market here is rolling along well. I do not see a slow down here yet. All my contractors are digging footings, putting up homes, they are selling them usually before the roof goes on. The hot selling price range is $125,000-275,000. In my area a $200,000 home is pretty nice, we think land is high in a good area if it is 10,000/acre. Land out in the sticks still can be had for $900-2000/acre.
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