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Economics and recovery
Wed March 30, 2011
Housing prices falling around the nation, including the Seattle area
A "...boatload of loans, sitting in foreclosure," or on the verge of being taken back by the banks. Those are the words of one economist, talking about what's happening in the real estate markets of major cities, nation-wide. The greater Seattle area is no exception.
The numbers come from the Case-Schiller index and they're not pretty.
In the metropolitan area that includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, home prices have fallen back to the same level they were at 7 years ago (in 2004). They've lost more than 6.5% of their value compared to one year ago.
Borrowers who got in over their head, and now banks and lenders who can't keep up with the paperwork needed to get the market moving again.
(I wrote about this last year in a national story for NPR) .
One local headline, on seattlepi.com, points to a double dip recession in the housing market.
Economists agree real estate is at the center of recovery for the nation as a whole.
On the bright side, affordability is up for people who have the means to buy real estate now. Good quality of life continues to bring newcomers to the region where many northwest companies, including Amazon.com and Boeing, have been on a recent hiring spree.
The Seattle Times has a cool new interactive section on its site, with economic indicators for the region.