SEATTLE — The coronavirus pandemic has slowed, or canceled, a lot of things, but surprisingly not the real estate market in Puget Sound.
Tyrone Curry and Michelle Cabrera just closed on their first home near Auburn.
"We looked at, I would say, like 50 to 60 houses since May," Curry said.
"We didn't really think that we were gonna run into so many roadblocks because of the pandemic, but it really did," Cabrera added.
Buying a home during a pandemic meant virtual tours and waiting for email replies. Those are challenges that could be expected during the uncertain times, and Curry and Cabrera did anticipate that, but there was one difference.
"Thousands of people looking at the same house," Curry said.
Ali Samael is a real estate agent with the Catalyst Group at Compass Bellevue. He helped Tyrone and Michelle find their new home.
"I have to make this one work. I have to put these guys in a home. And we did it," he said.
He noted through the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the average home price is up double-digit percentages from 2019 in cities such as Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, and Tacoma. Homes also aren’t staying on the market long, averaging under 10 days, Samael said.
"The way that homes are moving right now, you got to move quick," Samael said.
He said lower interest rates have created a larger buyers pool – a challenge he helped Michelle and Tyrone overcome. He said he believes that demand should outweigh fears of another housing crash and continue into 2021.
"The one thing that fights against that is it's just the demand of homes, the number of buyers out there, and the amount of people applying for homes, it’s just, there's just too many of them and there's just not enough homes," he said.
He encouraged those looking to buy a home to not spend too much time waiting and to not be afraid to come in above asking price while this wave of a sellers market continues.