Bryon Ziegler, part of Redfin’s crack Capitol Hill team, just wandered into my office to talk about bidding wars. The last ten straight offers he has handled all turned into bidding wars. This isn’t just the usual $300,000 bank-owned property being auction-priced for a quick sale.
Except for maybe Belltown condos — which are like a vast, derelict Atlantis, all underwater — every decent listing seems to be getting multiple offers. Bryon just put in a multi-million dollar all-cash offer on a home that had been on the market for 300+ days, only to have two other offers turn up at the same time.
“Everything changed just in the past six weeks,” Bryon said. “In February, you were the savior if you came in with an offer. Now, the reaction is: take a number. And if you don’t come with all guns blazing, you’re usually a day late and a dollar short.”
And yes, we know that we just posted a long analysis on how Case Shiller numbers for the whole Seattle area took another hit. But that’s a three-month moving average for December, January and February. We’re talking about deals that aren’t going to hit the public records for another eight weeks; Case Shiller won’t account for these sales until September 27.
And Case Shiller numbers cover the whole Seattle-Tacoma-Everett area, from Pierce County up to Snohomish County. In Capitol Hill and other hot neighborhoods around Seattle, there’s a real inventory crunch.
Redfin’s Bellevue team lead, Loren Ellingson, sees the same trend on the Eastside. “I’ve been coming up against a lot of multiple offers, especially on bank-owned properties over the past three months,” Loren said. “A lot of buyers decide an offer isn’t even worth the trouble when the listing agent comes back with 5+ offers already in the bag, all over the asking price. My last three listings have all had multiple offers, too.”
It’s a weird world where prices are falling, and homes are getting bid up, where traffic on our website is high, but sales volume is limited by inventory. But that’s what Redfin is seeing.