A new report from Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin found that 4,078 houses in the Seattle region sold this year for between $100,000 and $299,999 over asking price, compared to just 362 last year.
The data reflects the red-hot housing market, with record-low inventory creating intense bidding wars for homes. A typical home in Seattle has sold for $47,878 above asking price in 2021, compared to $3,025 in 2020. And this year 580 homes have sold for more than $300,000 above asking price, compared with 16 in the same time period last year.
The increase is fueled by employees at local tech companies, said Seattle-area Redfin agent Scott Petrich.
“A lot of them didn’t want to work remotely during the pandemic in small apartments, and that pushed them to seek out large homes with office spaces,” Petrich said in the report. “Most of those people have the money to compete with other buyers and drive up prices.”
Seattle’s neighboring city Bellevue is seeing similar metrics, with 88 homes selling for more than $300,000 above asking price this year compared to only two in the same period in 2020. Redfin says it is hearing from agents that if a buyer isn’t bringing “two tech salaries” to the table it’s nearly impossible to have a chance in more competitive neighborhoods.
In the report, Petrich advised buyers to seek homes below their budget to prepare for bidding wars.
“Because buyers almost always have to pay way above the asking price to win a home, they should start their search with homes below their budget and make sure they have money in the bank to cover a low appraisal to make their offer stand out,” Petrich said. “That may mean compromising by looking at smaller homes or considering a location with a longer commute.”
Half of homes nationally are selling for more than their list price, according to a separate Redfin report.
Redfin has seen growth in response to the housing market boom. The publicly-traded real estate company saw a 40% revenue increase in its first quarter.