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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

Home lotteries return as buyers camp out

Where buyer demand is high, some builders are holding lotteries to determine who gets to purchase homes in their developments.

For example, O'Brien Homes has been holding monthly housing lotteries in Sunnyvale, California for its 228-unit development. The builder decided to start having lotteries after potential buyers had camped out for the openings of other new condos in the area.

Other builders are reportedly trying the lottery system too, such as Shea Homes in Livermore, California, GL Homes in Florida, and Camberley Homes in northern Virginia.

Each month, O'Brien Homes has attracted approximately 50 eager, pre-qualified buyers-who already have their down payments secured-to enter the lottery. About 10 units are available to lottery participants each month. Participating buyers are given a bingo ball and then must wait for the builder to pick a ball from the tumbler to see if they have a chance at purchasing a home.

O'Brien has begun to give returning buyers an extra bingo ball to better their chances of winning.

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