Cyclists take over 22nd Avenue

Cyclists from across north Seattle pedaled their way to downtown Ballard for the Bike to Work After Party and Summer Streets event on 22nd Avenue between Ballard Avenue NW and NW Market Street earlier this evening.

Hundreds of brightly dressed, helmet-wearing, Lycra clad riders took to the street, snagging free offerings from various vendor booths, including these Cliff Bar samples.

Many waited in line to ride the Dutch Bicycle Company’s humongous, seven-seat Conference Bike.

Some had their picture taken by Michael Stearns as part of his ByPedal Project.

In this clip, Michael explains his project and works with a rider to capture her image.

Madi, here in this picture, took off a few minutes later on the Kidical Mass bike ride, which according to their site is an “easy-going, and law-abiding family bike ride for kids of all ages.”

Alas, minutes after they left at 6 p.m., a drenching rain arrived, encouraging many of the riders to make a damp dash for home.

Here’s a clip of Kidical Mass heading out on their ride.

Possible ‘double dip’ in home values?

And now in more (not so) good news on the economic front, Zillow is suggesting that there may be a looming “double-dip” in home values.

At least from Seattle’s perspective, we’re not listed as one of most likely candidates for another drop in value, but data from Zillow’s Home Value Index indicates if you bought anytime in the last few years, your home is probably worth less than when you bought it.

Here’s a chart showing the change in values over the last five years.

Zillow Home Value Index
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According to Zillow, here are some toplevel findings:

  • Decreasing Home Values: Home values changed -5.8% to a Zillow Home Value Index of $300,400. Values also fell in the short-term, changing -0.5% from November to December. The Zillow Home Value Index measures the value of all homes, not just those that sold in a particular period.
  • Homes with Negative equity: 22 percent of all owners of single-family homes with mortgages were underwater at the end of Q4.
  • Foreclosure re-sales: 19.5 percent of all sales in December were foreclosure re-sales (REO sales). Nationally, foreclosure re-sales made up 20.3 percent of all sales.
  • Homes sold for a loss: 18.5% of all homes sold in December sold for a loss.

I’m not a real estate analyst, so I’ll point to the SeattlePI for more information.

Here’s a look at values over the past 10 years in the same neighborhoods:

Zillow Home Value Index
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Here’s the full press release:

Continued High Negative Equity and Home Value Declines

Put a Damper on an Encouraging 2009

Despite Some Areas Experiencing Flattening or Reversal of Home Value Declines Last Year,

One in Five Markets Now Showing Signs of a Possible Double Dip in Home Values,

According to Q4 2009 Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports

Key facts:

Negative equity remains high at 21 percent of all single family homes with mortgages, but was flat quarter-over-quarter.

U.S. home values fell 5 percent year-over-year, and declined 0.5 percent quarter-over-quarter, marking the 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.

In one in five, or 29 of the 143 markets tracked by Zillow, home values have flattened or have begun to decrease again after showing at least five consecutive monthly increases during 2009 – early signs of a what could become a “double dip.”

SEATTLE – Feb. 10, 2010 — Home values across the country declined again in the fourth quarter of 2009, as the Zillow Home Value Index[i] fell 5 percent year-over-year, and -0.5 percent quarter-over-quarter, to $186,200. That marked the 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, according to the fourth quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

Despite home value declines seen across most of the country throughout 2009, some markets experienced what appeared to be a bottom in home value declines, or even increases in home values during the year. However, the fourth quarter of the year brought signs that the fledgling recovery of home values in many of these markets is slowing again. If the declines are sustained, the result will be a “double dip[iii]” in home values, defined as two periods of sustained declines in home values separated by a brief period of stabilization or recovery.

One in five, or 29 of the 143 markets tracked by Zillow, showed at least five consecutive month-over-month increases in home values during 2009 before beginning to flatten or fall again in the second part of the year. These markets include the Boston metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the Atlanta MSA and the San Diego MSA.

Home values in an additional 29 markets, including the Los Angeles and New York MSAs, increased on a month-over-month basis each month throughout the fourth quarter. However, the rate of increase slowed from November to December in 21 of those markets, and several appear likely to experience several months of sustained decline in early 2010.

The percent of single family homes with mortgages in negative equity was essentially flat from the third to the fourth quarter, changing from 21 percent in Q3 to 21.4 percent in Q4. This comes after a decrease in negative equity from the second quarter’s 23 percent.

The number of homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure[iv] across the country reached a peak in December, with more than one in every thousand homes being foreclosed – a number not reached since Zillow began recording national foreclosure data in 2000.

“While we have seen strong stabilization in home values during 2009, there are clear signs that they will turn more negative in the near-term,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “What we saw in mid-2009 was a brief respite from a larger market correction that has not yet run its course. The good news is that, for those markets that will see a double dip in home values before reaching a definitive bottom, this second dip will not be a return to the magnitude of depreciation seen earlier, but rather will look more like a modest aftershock of the earlier downturn.

“The recent stabilization owed a lot to policy support in the form of tax credits, lower interest rates and increased Federal Housing Administration lending. The remaining correction in home values we’ll see in the first half of this year is a function of market fundamentals, such as the increasing flow of foreclosures, high levels of inventory in the market and a probable decrease in demand as the impact of the tax credit wanes and mortgage rates rise. While the next few months are likely to bring further home value declines in most markets, we do expect to see a national bottom in home prices by the middle of this year. Thereafter, home values are likely to bounce along the bottom with real appreciation remaining negligible for some time.”

Foreclosure re-sales[v] across the country remained high, making up more than one-fifth (20.3 percent) of all U.S. home sales in December. Foreclosure re-sales also made up the majority of sales in several MSAs, including

the Merced, Calif. MSA (68.3 percent), the Las Vegas MSA (64 percent) and the Modesto, Calif. MSA (62 percent). Additionally, 28.5 percent of home sales nationwide sold for less than what the seller originally paid.

Several markets across the country showed positive longer-term appreciation. Home values increased year-over-year in 27 of 143 markets and remained flat in 15.

The Boston MSA was the largest area with year-over-year appreciation, despite its more recent downturn in home values. The area’s Zillow Home Value Index rose 1.9 percent in 2009. Home values in the Boston area rose for eight months in 2009, which outweighed the recent declines.

Markets in Double Dip/Markets Showing Signs of Impending Double Dip

The full national report, in its interactive format, is available at www.zillow.com/local-info on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Additionally, in most areas data is available at the state, metro, county, city, ZIP and neighborhood level.

About Zillow.com®

Zillow.com is an online real estate marketplace where homeowners, buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents and mortgage professionals find and share vital information about homes and mortgages. Launched in early 2006 with Zestimate® home values and data on millions of U.S. homes, Zillow has since added homes for sale and homes for rent, a directory of real estate and lending professionals, Zillow Advice and Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. One of the most-visited U.S. real estate Web sites, with more than eight million unique visitors per month, Zillow’s goal is to help people become smarter about homes and real estate in every stage of their lives — home buying, selling, renting, remodeling and financing. The company is headquartered in Seattle and has raised $87 million in funding.

Zillow.com, Zillow and Zestimate are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.


[i] The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. The Home Value Index at the national level is calculated using a weighted average of the median home value for each county and includes data from 440 metropolitan statistical areas. It is expressed in dollars and is for a particular geographic region.

[ii] The data in Zillow’s Real Estate Market Reports is aggregated from public sources by a number of data providers for 143 Metropolitan Statistical Areas dating back to 1996. Mortgage and home loan data is typically recorded in each county and publicly available through a county recorder’s office.

[iii] A market is defined as having a double-dip in home values if the following four conditions are met: 1) The market experiences five or more consecutive months of monthly home value depreciation and the annualized depreciation rate over this period is greater than 1 percent; 2) prior to this period described in (1), the market experienced five or more consecutive months of monthly home value appreciation and the annualized appreciation rate over this period was greater than 1%; 3) prior to this period described in (2), the market experienced five or more consecutive months of monthly home value depreciation and the annualized depreciation rate over this period was greater than 1%; and 4) the time span from the peak between (1) and (2) and the trough between (2) and (3) is 12 months or less.

[iv] Foreclosures are defined as a Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale or equivalent transaction.

[v] Foreclosure re-sales capture mostly sales of bank-owned (REO) homes. It measures sales of homes that were foreclosed on in the previous 12 months.

Tigertail closure update

Update 5:45 p.m.: Just went by Tigertail again this afternoon and noticed a letter from the Department of Revenue in the window. The Sept. 17 letter states that Tigertail’s Certificate of Registration has been revoked because of three unpaid tax warrants in the amounts of $6,897.34, $10,397.76 and $12,970.20. The warrants were issued Aug. 28, 2008, Feb. 26, 2009, and June 25, 2009. The letter states that the sign must be posted conspicuously. We never noticed it the three previous times we stopped by in the last week, perhaps because the non-descript white paper is sandwiched in between the menu, reviews and various other signs. What’s interesting is that while the sign must be posted for the public to view, the Department of Revenue told us this morning it couldn’t comment on the case because it’s a privacy issue.

The state Liquor Control Board says this morning that the Washington State Department of Revenue is responsible for Tigertail’s closure.

The state DOR will only say that Tigertail, 704 NW 65th St., still has an active business license. They won’t comment on whether they are pursuing a matter against the company, saying it’s a privacy issue.

Still no word from Tigertail’s owners about what’s happening.

Maritime Pacific Brewery is moving

But it’s not moving far: a few blocks east to a former manufacturing building at 1111 NW Ballard Way, a block away from Trader Joe’s.

Owner George Hancock said the move to the 22,000-square-foot building will give them the space they need to meet growing demand, especially for bottled beer. At their current location (below), the staff can brew four batches of 16 barrels per day. At the new location, they’re putting in a brewhouse that can produce up to four batches of 40 barrels per day. 

“We can’t make enough of the Imperial Pale. We can’t make enough Seattle Lager. We have a hard time keeping up bottling Imperial IPA,” Hancock said. With the additional capacity and a dedicated bottling room, he says they’ll be able to distribute other beers that rarely see the inside of a bottle — favorites like Salmon Bay ESB, Bosun’s Black Porter and Seattle Lager.

A new taproom will be about 30 seats larger than the current location, which tops out at 46. It will have a dozen parking spaces and plenty of on-street parking in the evenings. There’s no dedicated customer parking at the current location, and finding a spot on Leary Way can sometimes be a challenge.

While the business is getting bigger, Maritime Pacific still strives to be a neighborhood brewery. “A lot of times when people get bigger, they forget where they came from and who they started with. We’re not really changing anything, we’re just becoming bigger,” Hancock said. “We’re still in Ballard. We’re not going to leave Ballard. Ballard is our home.”

(Thanks Karlie for the tip!)

Sign goes up at Take 5 Urban Market

The sign is up out front and they’re stocking the shelves and the deli case inside Take 5 Urban Market, located at the corner of 8th Ave. and 70th St.

We wrote a week ago about the new market, which replaces the Wicker Basket. One new detail: it’ll also have espresso made from Phinney Ridge’s Herkimer Coffee beans, which will arguably make it the best place to get a hot caffeinated beverage on 8th Avenue.

Donations collection for puppy mill dogs

Seattle Natural Veterinary Center at 65th and 8th Ave. here in Ballard is taking donations to help out the more than 600 dogs that have been rescued from suspected puppy mills in Skagit and Snohomish counties last month. All donations will be given to Saving Pets One at a Time (SPOT), a rescue organization in Skagit County, which is currently providing care for the majority of the rescued dogs. You can see a list of the most-needed items right here. You can also bring donations to Mud Bay Granary at 8211 Greenwood Ave. N.

Swedish gets approval for 5-story addition

Swedish Medical Center in Ballard has gotten approval from the Seattle Department of Planning and Development for a sizable addition on the north side of the building. Here’s the description on the permit request

Land Use Application to allow a 109,000 sq. ft. addition to an existing hospital (Swedish Medical Center, Ballard Campus). Project includes 35,060 sq. ft. of hospital and 74,263 sq. ft. of office. Parking for vehicles will be provided within the existing 510 stalls on campus. Project also includes a 62 ft. X 12 ft. skybridge.

The project can still be appealed to the hearing examiner through Feb. 26.

Icy snow blankets area, school start delayed

A thin layer of crunchy, compact snow and ice is covering the area, especially East Ballard, Sunset Hill and Crown Hill.

Seattle Public Schools are running two hours late, there’s no kindergarten, Head Start or door-to-door programs today as well.

6:32 a.m. update: If you’re a Microsoftie, or otherwise heading to work on the Eastside, 520 across Lake Washington is closed due to accidents in BOTH directions. Check your traffic before you head into work today (as of 6:50 a.m., one eastbound lane is open, but traffic is very backed up).

Some Metro bus routes are on snow routes, but none are reported in our area so far. Despite that, Metro warns service could be slowed.