John & Shari: ‘No good news’ for hopeful home buyers in Seattle

Jan 26, 2022, 12:02 PM | Updated: Jan 27, 2022, 8:17 am
home buyers...
A Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house for sale in Seattle, Washington. (File photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Redfin)
(File photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Redfin)

The Seattle area housing market has prospective home buyers facing average prices that are up about 17-18%, with most homes now going for hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking.

Puget Sound housing market hits record numbers as prices continue to soar

KIRO 7 TV reports that one Kirkland home sold for $500,000 over asking price — and apparently that’s fairly common, particularly on the Eastside.

“Can you imagine that?” KIRO Newsradio host John Curley said.

“Why would anybody do that?” host Shari Elliker asked. “It’s going to go down. If you overvalue the house, that is crazy.”

“A half a million over asking?!” John asked.

A Bellevue house listed at $1.5 million sold for $900,000 over asking price, going for $2.4 million, as KIRO 7 TV reports. A recent open house in Redmond had a line of interested home buyers out the door.

This is all making for a challenging market for home buyers, to say the least, in what one real estate broker who spoke to KIRO 7 TV called “a crisis of housing inventory.

“I looked to see in 2022 what the predications are. Will it crash? No, the answer is no. It’s just the simple situation of supply and demand,” John said. “There’s not enough inventory. There are more shoppers, more buyers than there are sellers. So all of these things will go for more.”

“Plus people are able to move, and they’re moving west, and they’re moving further away from where they had to work. They don’t work in a big city — you can work from anywhere now. So therefore, houses are sort of springing up in other areas,” he continued. “But the building of new homes will never catch up until the next 15 years or something. So they say don’t expect there to be a major adjustment where prices come back down again. Mortgage rates are going up just a little bit, but still they are historically low.”

“You’re getting a lot of buyers that are coming in as cash buyers in this, so it won’t be as high as it was in 2021, 2020 — 17, 18% increases — but still, prices will be going up,” John explained. “There will be no major adjustment until there’s more houses on the market.”

Only when demand is met will the price start to level off.

Shari says this is happening across the country, including where she lives in Washington, D.C. People are making cash offers, and she says prices in her neighborhood have “gone through the roof.”

“Well, there really is no good news, other than the fact that if you’re out there buying a house, do get in there and buy one,” John said.

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That said, John noted that there are studies that have looked at whether you’re better off renting for the rest of your life or buying, and in some cases, it’s pretty equal. If that’s the case, you may be better off renting, “especially if you want more flexibility,” John said.

“The hardest part is trying to get that down payment,” he said about buying a house.

“Too bad for everybody out there that’s trying to shop, trying to buy one,” he added.

“It’s certainly good for people that are selling their homes though,” Shari noted.

Listen to John Curley and Shari Elliker weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

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John & Shari: ‘No good news’ for hopeful home buyers in Seattle