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Monday, April 2, 2007

The Morning News

posted by on April 2 at 7:00 AM

Tsunami: This time in the South Pacific.

Seattle Living: Unaffordable for the average Seattle worker.

The Democrats’ First Quarter Fundraising: By the numbers.

Who calls 911 from a hospital? These guys.

Day 10: The British hostages.

Iran strike date: April 6?

Tommy Thompson: In the running.

No New Parks, and Nickels Cites… lack of enthusiasm?

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What?! No news about the Seattle Mariners season opener at Safeco vs Oakland late this afternoon?....Not that we should be worrying much about it. The Mariner season will be over by this next Friday, and we can all then start thinking about the upcoming football season in September.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | April 2, 2007 7:33 AM

What? You mean that Nickels support of developers building high priced condos means that the average wage earner in Seattle can not afford to live here? Really, who could have seen that coming! And to think, they have been pushing everyone to take on massive debt (that many chose not to be irresponsible enough to do) to purchase a condo (ie an apartment) for over $300K.

Posted by Andrew | April 2, 2007 7:36 AM

The April 6 rumours have been around for a couple weeks, and every report I've seen has credited "Russian intelligence." I'm very skeptical.

Posted by Gabriel | April 2, 2007 7:40 AM

@ Gabriel.

Yeah I agree. That and it has been covered in a couple of Iranian papers as well. I give it a 15 to 20% chance of actually happening. And I only give it that much credit just because of the warmonger that is in the Oval Office right now.

Posted by Andrew | April 2, 2007 8:05 AM

And considering that Russia has been an ally of Iran, it would be pretty odd for US intelligence to have tipped off Russian intelligence about such preparations.

Posted by Gabriel | April 2, 2007 8:15 AM

Developers don't set the price of new condos. The market does.

Posted by Fnarf | April 2, 2007 8:29 AM

demand: "capitol hill bars are standing between me and affordable living."

supply: "sounds like you need to tear that schit down!"

Posted by supply, meet demand | April 2, 2007 8:46 AM

demand: "capitol hill bars are standing between me and affordable living."

supply: "sounds like you need to tear that schit down!"

Posted by supply, meet demand | April 2, 2007 8:46 AM

In other news, the PNW get's a new online newspaper founded by David Brewster which seeks to "reinvigorate local journalism".

P.S. Andrew #2
Since the market (and not the nefarious Greg Nickels and his cabal of developers) sets condo prices, adding more supply should if anything dampen prices. Indeed, many are wishfully predicting that the market is oversupplied and will soon crash.

Posted by Sean | April 2, 2007 8:54 AM

But a housing market doesn't typically crash like that. It might slow down, and it might even retreat a little, but nothing is going to bring back 1995 house prices again (except total economic collapse, which would make some of you happy, I'm sure).

If houses are unaffordable, how come home ownership is up by so much?

Here's a hint: when those houses were cheap, they were pretty much just as unaffordable as they are now. It's always been hard to by a house. If anything it's easier now than it ever has been. Twenty years ago there hardly WERE any condos -- and teachers made $20,000, and couldn't afford to buy anything then either.

What you're seeing here is a large and dramatic influx of people wanting to move here, and that's what is driving house prices up. There's also a large move of investment into housing, as buying a house is a better investment long-term than most other things you can do with the money. What most non-home-owners do with the money is blow it on iPods and coffee drinks. Hey, your choice.

If you want a cheap house, buy one someplace unpopular and commute, like everyone else does, and always has done. Or look at ways to allow builders to come in under $200,000.

Right now, it's impossible; if there was really a huge untapped market of teachers and so on wanting to buy houses but unable to afford $200k, and a way to provide them in the center of town at that price, there would be a zillion of them. Every builder in the state would want that action. Sadly, there isn't. And if there was, they would -- get this -- immediately be bid up to $200,000 again.

Posted by Fnarf | April 2, 2007 10:02 AM

Real estate isn't a better investment than the stock market, particularly not when you treat it like most Americans have been lately, constantly refinancing and taking equity out of the house to buy...iPods and coffee drinks.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 2, 2007 10:24 AM

Fnarf #10:

I don't think a bubble burst in Seattle is likely either. A crash would require a huge economic downturn in the area. With Microsoft struggling, this could happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by Sean | April 2, 2007 10:33 AM

"Real estate isn't a better investment than the stock market"

In my case, Seattle real estate has vastly outperformed my stock investments. Of course, I couldn't bring myself to buy any oil stocks, but even if I had, my house is the better investment.

Posted by Sean | April 2, 2007 10:52 AM

It's mostly sIngle people and families that cannot afford to buy in Seattle. We are Dinktown.

Posted by DOUG. | April 2, 2007 11:13 AM

The point is, that old "one third of your income" or whatever (some say a fourth, some say 30%, yadda yadda) is less and less accurate the more you make. There is NO REASON why your entertainment budget or food budget, for instance, has to increase in lockstep with all of your other expenditures. If you eat as cheaply as you did when you were making $25,000 when you're making $50,000, and don't spend on entertainment, and get rid of your $100 a month cell phone, and drive a crappy car instead of a 2007 Audi, you can save for a house.

Posted by Fnarf | April 2, 2007 12:58 PM

Until @15, I thought Fnarf was digging a bigger hole for himself with every post on this thread.

You can also walk to work, and bring your lunch to work.

Just live like when you were a grad student, but take more expensive vacations.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 2, 2007 2:26 PM

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