Experts: Hot housing market in Puget Sound area driven by 22-year low inventory

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BELLEVUE — The housing market in Puget Sound is rough.

Some buyers are paying nearly $100,000 more than the list price for many luxury homes in this market.

But that trend is all across the board, not just high-priced homes.

Experts say when it comes to the housing market, the inventory is at a record 22-year low.

“It’s very frustrating, I’ve been looking for two to three months now,” Luke Fiordalis said.

Desirable homes sell in just days, with dozens of competing bids.

“Many of the investors are winning the bidding war because they have cash,” Fiordalis said.

But the problem is more about inventory than investors.

The inventory has dropped nearly 11 percent. That's an 11 percent drop not just in King County but also in Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

Broker George Moorhead of Bentley Properties says a lot of sellers are hesitant to put their homes on the market.

“There is no place to move to, there is no home,” Moorhead said.

In other words, there is high demand and low supply.

"The buyers don’t win, OK, because they are having to overpay for something...," Moorhead said.

Moorhead added that buyers have to be aggressive and be pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping around.

If you settle on a home to buy, appealing to the sellers could give you the edge.

“We are seeing pictures with families with dogs, very colorful letters, the plight of 'I have been looking for over a year,'” Moorhead said.

For Fiordalis, that day of signing a contract has yet to come. Until then, he said, he will be paying a lot in rent.

“I’m paying as much (in rent) as I could be paying for a mortgage,” Firodalis said.

So he isn't giving up on buying a home -- he's just beginning to realize he won’t get many of the things he dreamed of.

“I can live without this, or I can live with a longer commute, the compromising never ends,” Firodalis said.

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