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Bay Area is Only Bigger Bidding War Zone Then Seattle

Seattle trails only Oakland and San Francisco when it comes to home sales that included a bidding war this past April

Over the weekend, Mike Rosenberg wrote about the Seattle housing market for the Seattle Times and you probably know the topic before we even tell you: It's nuts.

The gist of the piece comes down to the realization that this is the first time since the economic recovery that the majority of Seattle-area homes are selling for over asking price.

The Seattle metro area now sees a higher rate of bidding wars than any other high-priced market outside of the Bay Area, and the trend is growing.Across the region, about 75 percent of homes have received multiple offers so far this year, up from 55 percent four years ago, according to Redfin.

The crowd of bidders helps push prices higher: Now, 56 percent of homes sell for more than the asking price — more than double the national average and up from 26 percent in Seattle four years prior.

Per the Redfin stats, Seattle trails only San Francisco and Oakland in terms of April sales that included a bidding war (78 percent) and trails only Oakland in terms of sales that closed above asking price (56.3 percent).

Rosenberg also follows the plight of one Seattle homebuyer to showcase specific examples of just how hard things are for buyers right now, even if they've got the money to back up their offers.

After putting in a bid escalating to just over $1 million for a home listed for $750,000 in Queen Anne, he received a shock — he still lost by several hundred thousand dollars.

...Later, he set his sights on a Green Lake house listed for $850,000, and wound up competing with six other buyers. He got the house for $1.031 million — but only after begrudgingly agreeing to the seller’s demands to close within a week with a $300,000 nonrefundable deposit.

The article points out that bidding wars are going on everywhere in Seattle but Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Wedgwood, West Seattle and the University District are seeing particularly high numbers. More than 90 percent of all home sales this year have included bidding wars of some kind in each neighborhood.

If you want to avoid the hassle, the places least likely to see a war break out are Arlington, Monroe and Stanwood out in Snohomish County.
· Bidding wars: Homebuyers fight to pay more for Seattle homes [ST]
· According to Wall Street Journal, "Seattle is the New San Francisco" [ST]