Wednesday, April 9, 2008

HotPads.com

I found this via the Big Picture. I don't know anything about what behind hotpads.com or how long they've been around. But let me just say that I'm impressed.
I was playing around with their foreclosure tool. They have an interactive map in which you can look at specific foreclosures (or homes for sale, or homes for rent). But they have a really cool feature that appeals to the uber-geek in me. They have a heat map which will tell you how many foreclosures there are per capita.

I was looking at Seattle and the surrounding area. Let's just say things are interesting. Here's a map for King Co that I stole from hotpads.com:
Click on image for larger version
Red is bad, lots of foreclosures per capita. Green is average. And blue is good, fewer foreclosures per capita.

You can see lots of red in KingCo. Not surprisingly, the most distressed areas are in South King Co. And the it looks like the areas in Seattle north of Eliot Bay and in north Seattle are holding up better than areas in south Seattle. This isn't too surprising, given the high density of pink ponies in Ballard and surrounding areas.

I'm especially surprised that foreclosures are relatively high in eastern King Co. I didn't think those areas were particularly distressed. The other surprising thing is the highest rates of foreclosure are in the industrial district. I think this is probably explained by the relatively low population density and high business foreclosure rate.

Here's Pierce Co:
Even more red than King Co. This is to be expected given the high rates of shady lending in this area the last few years. I'm surprised the areas around Ft Lewis are holding up, though.

Here's Snohomish Co:
Not as much red as Pierce Co, but plenty of orange. Areas near Everett not holding up very well.

So how do these images compare to other cities? I decided to look at nearby Portland, which from what I understand has been seeing significant housing price depreciation lately. I figured that I would be pretty similar to Seattle. Boy was I in for a surprise:


Blue, blue blue all around. I thought Seattle was special? Could it be that Portland is even more special-er?

Anyway, hotpads.com is my new goto site for housing info. It's amazing.

3 comments:

douglas pope said...

Thanks for the great review of HotPads! I am happy we made it onto your goto list! It is a crazy housing market nowadays... i am glad you found HotPads to be useful.

Good Luck!

douglas pope
co-founder
hotpads.com

Afferent Input said...

Douglas

Your site is amazing. A great place for all sorts of useful info. Keep up the good work.

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