For those of us who felt like we couldn't get the "real estate flu" to the extent that other states were experiencing, now we know that the press can manipulate markets everywhere, even Seattle, which was just re-ranked the third most desireable city in the United States to live. It didn't help that Microsoft recently announced layoffs, of which 700 will be from our market, or that WAMU imploded, and Boeing is cutting back, etc. Yes, there were excesses created by too many builder/investors taking unnecessarily high risks as property values got bid up, and the same wreckless lending practices, so it was headed for a correction for sure. Now we have corrected perhaps 18%, maybe more in certain areas. Buyers are just plain scared, mostly by the press manipulating information and statistics. Most would-be buyers are incapable of taking action. They still are looking, but relatively few committing. Everyone has noticed traffic is up at open houses, sales volume for January is double what it was in November and December. When will we see a flattening out of values, and the return to normalcy? Anyone want to hazard a guess, make a prediction? What's it going to take, 4% interest rates and the return of reasonably priced jumbo money?
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