Seattle Housing Market Turns To Bidding As Competition Increases

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In the past year, Seattle’s housing prices have risen more rapidly than any other metro area in the country, according to data released by the Case-Shiller home price index.

The data showed that Seattle’s average housing prices have risen 12.3 percent in the past year, while Portland’s housing prices have risen 9.2 percent and Dallas’s have risen 8.6 percent. In the past month, Seattle prices rose 2.6 percent, three times greater than the national average.

The 2016-17 price increase is the greatest in the past three years, and reports indicate that the increased demand has affected the way homebuyers shop for homes.

More than 90% of home purchases since April have turned into bidding wars, according to data from Redfin, which tracks real estate pricing in 15 major metro areas of the United States.

In March, the median cost for a house was $700,000, while the median cost of all homes sold in Seattle in March was $630,800. This is 14 percent higher than housing prices were in March 2016.

seattle housing.
Seattle Real Estate. Photo: https://flic.kr/p/dtawm7

According to John Deely, chairman of Northwest MLS and principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain, bidding has increased in frequency, as have cash offers.

“We are seeing more multiple offers than ever on new listings, and all cash offers are dominating the winning bids. Last year they were advising a buyer to bid 10 percent above the list price, this year they’re advising 20 percent over in certain Seattle neighborhoods,” he said in a press release.

Meanwhile, housing availability in the city has gone down drastically. In 2016, 13.8 of the city’s homes were for sale. In 2017, that number dropped to just 0.4 percent, according to data from Realtor.com.

The city’s housing crisis has been attributed to a number of factors, including the lack of land zoned for apartment construction, and the increase in tech labor moving into the area. “There are so many more buyers in our area that they’re just gobbling [available housing] up,” said Seattle realtor Eric Shull.

While there is extensive ongoing development in the city, most is intended for business use. However, the city expects to see 10,000 new apartments become available in 2017.