‘Hard’, ‘crazy’ housing market has Seattle-area homes selling for half a million above asking price – KIRO 7 News Seattle
SEATTLE — A wild real estate market is forcing many Seattle-area home buyers to pay $300,000 to $500,000 more than the asking price — in some cases, even nearly $1 million more than the asking price request.
Homes are seized hours after they are put up for sale. Open days attract so many people that there are queues in the street.
“If you’re a buyer, it’s difficult. It’s pretty brutal there. It’s been tough for buyers over the past four years, but over the past 3-4 months, it’s definitely felt like the toughest market we’ve ever navigated,” said Kendra Todd, real estate broker at Kendra Todd group at Keller. Williams. “It’s pretty common – especially in the Eastside – for people to mark up $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 off the list price.”
A quick search on Redfin shows many examples. This Kirkland home sold for $500,000 more than asking. This Bellevue home, listed at $1.5 million, sold for $2.4 million, about $900,000 more than the asking price.
Todd, who worked in real estate in Seattle for 14 years, says she’s never seen anything like what’s happening now.
“It’s just not normal. It’s not a balanced market,” Todd said. “It’s really a housing stock crisis in our area,” she said.
This creates long and difficult experiences for home buyers.
“It’s frustrating. It’s really frustrating,” said West Seattle resident Zening Chen. He and his fiancée are pregnant, and they’re looking to move out of their current home in hopes of finding a home. with fewer stairs which will be more suitable for a baby.” The last house we put an offer on had 20 offers in total, with several people paying cash. It’s crazy,” he said.
Steph Giola and her husband are also house hunting. She said they were trying to play along, making offers that exceeded the asking price by hundreds of thousands, but they kept making offers.
“It’s not even close. It’s 20 people making offers and they’re going to over half a million requests,” Giola said. “It’s exhausting knowing there’s not much you can do,” she said.
“It’s competitive like I didn’t expect,” Giola said. “It’s really quite fierce and quite an experience,” she said.
Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker says there are several reasons why this is happening. He says one reason is that the omicron COVID-19 surge likely prevented sellers from putting their homes on the market.
“If you go to Zillow, there are hardly any homes of any type for sale,” Tucker said. He said data from Zillow showed that major cities with the most conservative responses to COVID-19 showed the biggest contractions in housing supply.
Tucker also points to interest rates. They have already skyrocketed this year and the Federal Reserve has indicated that rates will continue to rise.
“This month in January, mortgage rates have gone up about half a point. These days it’s huge. So I think for some people they’re saying I gotta get off the sideline and get in there before they go even higher,” Tucker said.
Contributing to the increase in demand, people are simply looking for more space.
“Being locked out for – how many years has it been? It really reminded us that having a home office is perhaps more important than it was five years ago,” Giola said.
Tucker says we’re not in a housing bubble – it’s just supply and demand. But he adds that the sharp rise in house prices will level off as interest rates rise and more people decide to sell in the warmer months.
Todd’s advice to homebuyers right now is to keep trying. She says tough conditions don’t necessarily mean now is not the time to buy, as house prices will continue to rise and higher interest rates will reduce the purchasing power of future homeowners.
“Buy a home when the time is right for you personally. If you plan to live in a house for five to seven years, you’re going to ride out real estate cycles,” Todd said. “Don’t buy a house to buy a house – we still want you to like it. Be patient. You have to stick with it, stick with it,” she said.
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