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Real estate market data visualization
August 15, 2007 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Seattle is red hot and almost no other market is. So says this great data visualization that Zillow just put out. (bonus: while previewing the link I also noticed a useful page of quarterly reports for major real estate markets)
posted by jragon (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
My place In Seattle has been on the market for 2 months now. It's a nice place in a desirable neighborhood (Queen Anne) and it's dead in the water due to the mortgage mess and a glut of condos on the market. The end is coming.
posted by astruc at 1:01 PM on August 15, 2007


Houston?
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2007


No other market in the US. Calgary has made every US city its bitch- real estate, labour market, inflation, population growth, immigration. Other Canadian markets are almost as impressive. No bubble, no burst.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:04 PM on August 15, 2007


Portland is jumping too. Which is great, unless you live in Portland, want a house, and aren't made of money. Dammit.
posted by cortex at 1:13 PM on August 15, 2007


I was annoyed that the New York row didn't include Manhattan, until I realized that the scale only goes up to $900,000.
posted by saladin at 1:15 PM on August 15, 2007


The Seattle market looked on the decline when my wife and I sold our Greenwood house and moved to Austin in Dec of '06. Nice to see its rebounding a bit - sort of - shoulda done that when we were on the market.
posted by xmutex at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2007


No city in Texas appears in the top 66? I believe this data is incomplete.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:22 PM on August 15, 2007


San Francisco - the city proper - is also showing good increases, though the areas around it are in decline.
posted by aberrant at 1:28 PM on August 15, 2007


ethnomethodologist said: Other Canadian markets are almost as impressive. No bubble, no burst.


You honestly don't think Vancouver is the perfect example of a bubble? Everyone there thinks the Olympics automatically mean real estate values should double, and no one seems to have a problem with that.
posted by reformedjerk at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2007


I don't think that's "great data visualization" in the first link, at all. I read the explanation several times, and I still don't quite understand what I'm looking at.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:30 PM on August 15, 2007


Wow. I knew some people don't like Bush, but don't leave off the Texas MSAs as punishment.
posted by birdherder at 1:42 PM on August 15, 2007


I was annoyed that the New York row didn't include Manhattan, until I realized that the scale only goes up to $900,000.

Unlike the others, the "New York" line seems to be the state rather than the city, with bits of Connecticut and New Jersey thrown in for good measure. I don't think I've ever seen remotely sensible numbers for New York City in Zillow. I'm not sure why their model appears to be useless here (assuming it's useful somewhere else).
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:54 PM on August 15, 2007


No Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill?
posted by malaprohibita at 2:00 PM on August 15, 2007


This data does seem fairly incomplete. I'm not sure how Dallas or Houston don't qualify. And I'm not sure how you can include San Fran, but NYC gets lumped into NY State. Perhaps I'm just missing something obvious?

reformedjerk said: You honestly don't think Vancouver is the perfect example of a bubble? Everyone there thinks the Olympics automatically mean real estate values should double, and no one seems to have a problem with that.


Total agreement here. We were considering buying a bit of agricultural property outside of Vancouver by about 20 miles (buying an existing herb and berry farm), and in the two years since we've been working out the logistic and legal issues, the price has gone from a modest price that we could afford, to the last offer we got which was well over a million dollars more than that our starting point. (At which point we told the current owners that if they wanted developer levels of cash, they were going to have to find a developer, not someone who wanted to buy and restore a heritage farm.)

It's crazy what the Olympics can do to a real estate market. Has anyone done the research on what happens after the Olympics go away? Do the markets ever return to the pre-hoopla pricing, or is the market inflated for a long time afters?
posted by dejah420 at 2:13 PM on August 15, 2007


cortex writes "Portland is jumping too. Which is great, unless you live in Portland, want a house, and aren't made of money. Dammit."

Just wait. You'll crash soon enough. And better sooner than later.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:17 PM on August 15, 2007


Unlike the others, the "New York" line seems to be the state rather than the city

Actually the Seattle line is surprisingly suburb-centric, too. Mousing over, I see Snohomish, Everett, Renton... cities that are a pretty lousy commute away from Seattle proper.
posted by gurple at 2:24 PM on August 15, 2007


Each row is a metropolitan area. So "New York" includes all sorts of cities and towns around NYC. "Boston" has a bar for Boston and bars for towns all the way out to Worcester (and yes, people do commute that far).

It's interesting to see where the bar for the city itself falls in the range for each metropolitan area. Sometimes the city itself is towards the high end of the range, like in SF or Honolulu. Other times, it's reversed, like in Cleveland where apparently the suburbs all have higher prices.
posted by whatnotever at 2:28 PM on August 15, 2007


You honestly don't think Vancouver is the perfect example of a bubble?

Well, if so, then it's not the first. Vancouver real estate has been crazy for as long as I can remember. The was the influx of Hong Kong money around the time of the handover and ever since then it's been still growing steadily. The Olympics may be the lastest factor, but it's hardly the only one. Vancouver has a limited amount of land and a lot of demand.
posted by GuyZero at 2:31 PM on August 15, 2007


Crash. Bubble. Made of money. Jumping. Burst. The end is coming.

Catastrophe language. It's just not reality.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:23 PM on August 15, 2007


GuyZero, it's true that there has been a lot of hype about Vancouver since Expo 86. But I think your memory is playing tricks on you. After 97, housing prices underwent a fairly significant correction and didn't pick up again untill the latest round of buying frenzy around 2001-2002.

I think it's more accurate to say that Vancouver has a limited amount of land and a lot of speculation. During the present RE boom (2001 onwards) the median family income (1) and population growth (2) in Vancouver has not been much higher than national values, but the average house price is more than double the national average (3). I think it's reasonable to at least suspect the presence of a RE bubble in Vancouver at the moment.
posted by reformedjerk at 3:33 PM on August 15, 2007


Where the hell is Philly? It's the 6th largest city in the country, outlying suburbs and Camden aside.
posted by datacenter refugee at 3:34 PM on August 15, 2007


Each row is a metropolitan area. So "New York" includes all sorts of cities and towns around NYC.

Including Newark, NJ and Bridgeport, CT in the New York metro area makes no sense. As Saladin pointed out, the scale doesn't even work for NYC. I'm not sure what the point is.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:48 PM on August 15, 2007


That houses are down 1.2% to $475,000 (or 5% or to whatever) is still meaningless when they doubled and tripled. The average house should not be out of reach to the average earner. At least the trend is in the right direction.
posted by AppleSeed at 4:01 PM on August 15, 2007


That houses are down 1.2% to $475,000 (or 5% or to whatever) is still meaningless when they doubled and tripled. The average house should not be out of reach to the average earner. At least the trend is in the right direction.

Try living in Honolulu, Hawaii. A junky 2 bedroom apartment costs $450,000.
posted by dawiz at 4:06 PM on August 15, 2007


Unlike the others, the "New York" line seems to be the state rather than the city

Actually the Seattle line is surprisingly suburb-centric, too.


This is true of San Francisco as well. Some of the cties listed aren't even in the Bay Area- Watsonville?

I'm pretty sure NYC isn't on their because there's no place on the graph for NYC's prices. Which makes it not really a great data visualization.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:11 PM on August 15, 2007


Thanks for the great data visualization, jragon. I finally found some markets that are entirely under $200K -- forget those that are entirely over $200K, who needs them?
posted by kindalike at 4:14 PM on August 15, 2007


reformedjerk, I'm nowhere near as sure about prices coming down in Vancouver anytime soon. Prices might fall in places that aren't actually nice to live in, like the endless tract housing in the Fraser Valley, Burquitlam, etc. What I don't see happening is prices falling in Vancouver proper, the North Shore and Squamish (which is well on it's way to suburbia). There might be a slump where nominal prices stay flat for a while, but I'm not holding my breath.

I think GuyZero has a point. People will keep buying in Vancouver because there is a lot of demand that isn't driven by speculation. People want to live here; it isn't just prices that are high, so is rent.

Whistler, on the other hand, has nowhere to go but down after the Olympics. My neighbor just put his house on the market; he's asking 3.9 million. He probably won't get it, but he'll probably get more than 3.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:22 PM on August 15, 2007


Re: Vancouver, Calgary, etc., it's probably a bit speculation-driven, but Canada doesn't have subprime or alt-A mortgages, so the people buying those houses actually have the money to pay for those houses.

Weirdly enough.
posted by blacklite at 4:23 PM on August 15, 2007


Including Newark, NJ and Bridgeport, CT in the New York metro area makes no sense.

Why, they are both considered suburbs of NYC with a good percentage of their residents piling on trains/buses every morning to get to jobs in the city.
posted by any major dude at 5:24 PM on August 15, 2007


It's too bad they only have data for about a third of the actual top 66 MSAs rather than the 66 they happen to have data for. It makes it pretty difficult to do comparisons when peer cities aren't listed.
posted by prosthezis at 5:26 PM on August 15, 2007


GuyZero writes "Vancouver real estate has been crazy for as long as I can remember. The was the influx of Hong Kong money around the time of the handover and ever since then it's been still growing steadily. The Olympics may be the lastest factor, but it's hardly the only one. Vancouver has a limited amount of land and a lot of demand."

And this different than the last 4 down turns in what way?

Here are the figures as of 2006Q4, care of VHB's archives:

4 cycles since the 70’s.

Cycle 1
Date of Trough: --
Date of Peak: 1976Q2
Quarters until peak: --
Trough to peak gain: --
Quarters until trough: --
Peak to trough loss: 17.2%

Cycle 2
Date of Trough: 1978Q4
Date of Peak: 1981Q1
Quarters until peak: 9
Trough to peak gain: 101.1%
Quarters until trough: 7
Peak to trough loss: 45.2%

Cycle 3
Date of Trough: 1982Q4
Date of Peak: 1989Q2
Quarters until peak: 26
Trough to peak gain: 113.5%
Quarters until trough: 8
Peak to trough loss: 30.0%

Cycle 4
Date of Trough: 1991Q2
Date of Peak: 1995Q3
Quarters until peak: 17
Trough to peak gain: 39.9%
Quarters until trough: 22
Peak to trough loss: 20.6%

Cycle 5
Date of Trough: 2001Q1
Peak yet to be determined (June 2007?)
Trough to peak gain: >100% ?
Quarters until trough: ?
Peak to trough loss: ??
--
Cycle 1-4 AVERAGE
Quarters until peak: 17.3
Trough to peak gain: 84.8%
Quarters until trough: 11.8
Peak to trough loss: 28.3%
On average, it took 33 Quarters for prices to recover to prior peak.

------
VHB also published a second table, using a composite for greater Vancouver. The data were from UBC, but only went up to Q2 2006.

UBC CUER Vancouver Aggregate
cycle 1-4 average figures:
Quarters trough to peak: 10.5
Gain trough to peak: 56.8%
Quarters peak to trough: 15.8
Peak to trough loss: 24.4%
Quarters to recovery: 53.8


blacklite writes "Canada doesn't have subprime or alt-A mortgages, so the people buying those houses actually have the money to pay for those houses."

Canada has similiar instruments. Though I don't think we have the stated income stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 5:27 PM on August 15, 2007


expletive, rent prices in Vancouver may be high, but high compared to what? You can rent an apartment in downtown Toronto and downtown Vancouver for about the same price, but if you want to own the one in Vancouver you're somehow expected to pay nearly double?

There's no doubt that Vancouver is a nice place (I grew up there, and I love it every time I go back), but wanting to move somewhere and actually living there is a huge difference. Only the latter pushes demand. The reason my friends and I left Vancouver to come out east isn't because we don't want to live in Vancouver, rather it's because of the scarcity of jobs there.

A city where the average household income sits just shy of $60, 000 but the average house-owning family carries a mortage for a $550, 000 house can only sustain outrageous RE growth for so long. Yes, lots of people are owning houses now, and yes they can make the payments. But it's really tight, and most people have only started carrying these huge payments over the last 2-3 years (when the world-wide economy has been great thanks to cheap credit). In the grand scheme of 25 year mortages, 2 years is merely a blip--only time will tell how a family that spends > 50% take home pay on housing will fare in the long run.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:32 PM on August 15, 2007


They say the areas being described are MSAs, referring to the Office of Management and Budget's Metropolitan Statistical Area designation, but they list Worcester sales under Boston. That seemed wrong to me, so I looked and found the list here, and found that I was right; Worcester isn't part of the Boston MSA.

Boo, hiss.
posted by atbash at 5:39 PM on August 15, 2007


One factor that helps when you are spending a ton on housing is not having the expense of a car. The vast majority of my friends in the city don't incur that expense, nor do I, and that makes expensive housing a little more affordable.

I don't think Vancouver RE prices are going to continue climbing as they have, as I said, I can see real prices falling slowly, but I'm not sure nominal prices will fall. The downtown condo market, especially Yaletown and Coal Harbor, could use a correction, but I'm not holding out much hope for a drop in real prices that is significant or lasting in Vancouver as a whole. If I want to own one day, I'm pretty sure I'll just be priced out of my hometown.

I hope you're right though.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:29 PM on August 15, 2007


I think GuyZero has a point. People will keep buying in Vancouver because there is a lot of demand that isn't driven by speculation. People want to live here; it isn't just prices that are high, so is rent.

There is a lot of speculation. People are buying into 2nd properties here because it's cheaper than their own metros of London, New York, etc. Three years ago I met a man who came here from London to shop for real estate. Said it was a steal compared to the UK so he planned to buy here and rent it out. Once the equity they used to finance the 2nd purchase dries up, there's a good chance they'll have to dump their Vancouver home to try and save their primary residence.

However, Vancouver won't crash like SoCal and other places, I expect it'll be like the post-97 handover run-up, a correction but not enough to sink anyone.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:04 PM on August 15, 2007


About the absence of Houston, Dallas, or other top metro areas in Texas, state law here prevents public disclosure of real estate sales prices. (There's a more elegant and correct way to say that, I can't remember what it is...) Thus, Zillow does not have access to meaningful and useful data for Texas. I wonder if the same is true for Pennsylvania...?

You think they'd at least have a footnote or something to explain why certain large metro areas were omitted.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:38 PM on August 15, 2007


One more thing: It's isn't Zillow that included outer suburbs in the metro areas, it's the US government: Wikipedia Combined Statistical Area.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:43 PM on August 15, 2007


However, Vancouver won't crash like SoCal and other places, I expect it'll be like the post-97 handover run-up, a correction but not enough to sink anyone.

My thoughts exactly Salmonberry. I would like it if the market went further south than it did in the late 90's, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:51 PM on August 15, 2007


Robert Angelo, I thought about that and don't dispute its truth regarding Texas. It would go a long way towards explaining their omissions, but I couldn't find a way to explain the inclusion of Cleveland and Dayton but not Columbus and Cincinnati.

What's worse is they refer to the Chicago CMSA as "Chicago-Gary-Kenosha" but don't include data from Gary (or Hammond, Munster, or anywhere else in Lake or Porter Counties in Indiana, which are all part of the Chicago CMSA) and somehow expect this to paint an accurate picture of the Chicago area market. It seems reasonable to assume that this is due to Indiana state law (Indianapolis is not included either), but boy are they severely misrepresenting their data.
posted by prosthezis at 9:21 PM on August 15, 2007


Correction: Seattle *was* red hot.

Anyone choosing to move here now is probably inspired by what is, in reality, a wind-down -- brought about by a tepid, visionless city government, doing everything it can to choke off whatever innovation tried to raise its head.

Many people who work downtown can't afford to live there. Been going on for years -- condos replacing houses left and right. Thanks to the city, the energy that made Seattle "cool" is pretty much gone.
posted by Twang at 11:47 PM on August 15, 2007


Where the hell is Philly? It's the 6th largest city in the country, outlying suburbs and Camden aside.

I was about to say the same thing. Selling prices in huge swaths of the city have more than tripled in the last several years.
posted by desuetude at 10:00 AM on August 16, 2007


See also: Wired paean to San Francisco being lost to the "world-class" ethos ... which cannot see that class is not about size.
posted by Twang at 3:52 PM on August 16, 2007


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