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The Housing Market’s Spirit Animal

Posted by Johnine Larsen on April 15, 2014
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If Seattle’s housing market had a spirit animal, it would be a cheetah. Because this housing market is fast. According to Redfin, “homes are selling like hotcakes.”

Redfin analyzed the eight fastest housing markets in the U.S.:

Screenshot 2014-04-14 20.47.17

Even among the top eight, Seattle is a frontrunner. An average home sold after only thirty-six days, and 40.9% sold in just two weeks.

Here’s why:

1)   Population Growth: King County had the 4th largest population increase of any U.S. county in the last year. 37,000 new residents—a 1.8% population increase. Much of that boom came from:

2)   Jobs: Facebook, Twitter, eBay, and Google all have offices in Seattle, and they’re all hiring. New employees need places to live, and when they work for big tech companies, they can afford to buy nice homes. This supply of jobs will keep growing, especially with Amazon’s new hiring craze in South Lake Union.

3)   Lifestyle: People move to Seattle because they like Seattle. The city has shown its stripes by legalizing pot and gay marriage. And when people move to a place for the place itself—not just for a temporary job—they tend to move for the long-term. That means house purchases, which means a fast market.

But what does this do for you? The individual person, not the statistics. The answer: High competition and high price pressure.

If you’re a seller, it’s perfect. This is every bit a “seller’s market.” List your home soon. You can expect to sell it quickly, and sell it high.

If you’re a buyer—well—things get harder. To beat the competition and price pressure without sacrificing your children’s inheritance, buyers will need to connect with sellers on a personal level. Redfin advises, “write a personal cover letter to the seller. It’s a great way to make an offer stand out among multiple bids.”

We think that’s good news, because that’s how the Real Estate Gals have always operated. We go for the personal connection, because it’s what we value most. If we had to choose between a bucket of money and the chance to help someone make one of the most important decisions in his or her life, we’d pick helping.

Redfin suggests other strategies to make your offer stand out, too. #4 worked very well for us when we helped Carol win her bidding war—even though her offer was one of the lowest.


So yes, buying a home is tough in Seattle, home of the cheetah housing market. But we’ll make it easier, and we’ll get you a house. And along the way, it’ll be fun.