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Low inventory is driving bidding wars in Seattle and the Eastside

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A report shows that the majority of homes are going above asking

Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr

The real estate story of the 2017 so far has been one of extremely low inventory. Last week, Zillow noticed a 10.5 percent drop in inventory in the Seattle metro area, and a Redfin survey of 800 real estate agents nationwide said that low inventory is the “greatest challenge” for sellers right now.

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), which lists homes in Western Washington, saw less than 10,000 homes in their entire inventory in March—and saw the median sale go up 10.9 percent from this time last year.

The most affordable condos in Seattle, also in extremely short supply, are being driven far above asking.

With few houses to buy, it’s no surprise that bidding wars have ensued across not only the city, but the surrounding area. Data compiled by Estately shows that 61 percent of houses in Seattle are going for above asking, up from 57 percent this time last year.

But compared to other cities in the metro, Seattle’s competition is tame.

Redmond’s real estate market is especially intense, with 85 percent of homes going above asking price—up from just 58 percent last March.

Next is Shoreline, with 77 percent going above asking. Also above Seattle are Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Bothell. Bothell, apparently, was also a pretty hot market last year: 65 percent of homes are going above asking, but that’s exactly the same as last year.

NWMLS saw a 50 percent spike in inventory last month, but that doesn’t mean the end’s in sight. The intense market gobbled the listings up quickly, keeping the inventory low and demand high for now.

“This lack of supply continues to put an upward pressure on home prices. We’re in for yet another frenzied spring,” said Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain, in NWMLS’s release.