By Prashant Gopal and John Gittelsohn
(Bloomberg) — Matthew and Carina Hensley offered $10,000 more than the asking price for a three-bedroom house in suburban Seattle, then lost out to one of seven other bidders.
Their $270,000 proposal last month came with a family portrait and a letter introducing the couple, their 8-month-old daughter and their desire to build a family in the Renton, Wash., house with a yard backing onto a woody hillside.
Bidding wars, absent from most parts of the U.S. residential market since its peak in 2006, are erupting from Seattle and Silicon Valley to Miami and Washington, D.C. The inventory of homes hovers close to a six-year low, while an increase in jobs and record affordability are tempting more buyers. The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes jumped 14 percent in February from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported this week.
Commentary from Bob Karp of Karp Properties LLC – While we have not seen bidding wars in the Sierra Vista & Hereford areas of Arizona, tightening inventory in adjacent states is generally a good thing. As more people feel they can sell their homes, many will consider relocating to our area. This will help increase demand and decrease local inventory. Already some segments of the local market have limited inventory. As mentioned in the article above, that has not yet translated to any significant increase in prices. But for those ready to sell and realistic about pricing, this may be a great time to list your home.