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Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, in the KIRO Radio studios. (Erynn Rose photo.)

This week on the GeekWire radio show, we’re diving into one of our favorite topics — real estate, home prices and the intersection of big data and technology. Our guest in the studio is Stan Humphries, the chief economist at online real estate company Zillow and the original creator of the Zestimate, the company’s algorithm for estimating home prices around the nation.

In fact, our first topic is the Zestimate, as John and I quiz Humphries on the components of the algorithm and the accuracy of the resulting Zestimate, using the fluctuations in the value of our own homes as examples for what has been happening in the real estate market. We also talk about what people can do if they feel the Zestimate is out of whack for their home.

Later on in the show, we explore the state of the housing market in the Seattle region and nationally, including the effect of a relative lack of housing inventory on the market, and the influx of technology workers in Seattle and the San Francisco area.

We also discuss the places where Humphries would buy a home as an investor, the new Zillow Housing Confidence Index, and many other topics.

In this extended podcast version of the show, we keep Humphries around for an extra segment to dive even deeper into these topics. Listen in this audio player or via this MP3 file.

The discussion with Humphries begins at the 7:45 mark, after our weekly news roundup.

Topics this week include Amazon’s decision to raise the price of Amazon Prime to $99, and my conspiracy theory about Amazon’s newly announced distribution center in Kent, Wash., south of Seattle. We also talk briefly about a plan by Starbucks to let people order coffee from their phones, skipping the lines inside Starbucks stores.

App of the Week: Square Cash for iPhone and Android.

Name that Tech Tune: Here is this week’s tune. Listen to the full show for more clues.

If you think you know the answer, send it to for a chance to win. We’ll pick one person at random to win a pair of tickets to the GeekWire Bash, next Thursday March 20.

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