Home Prices Reach ‘Insane’ Levels On West Coast

March 30, 2016

The ever-present comedian Louis C.K. has a bit where he talks about how we exaggerate with our word choices. As we consistently call ordinary things, such as a basket of chicken wings ‘amazing,’ he wonders, “What if something really happens to you? What are you going to call that? You used 'amazing’ on a basket of chicken wings.”

Insane is another of these words we tend to use in a consistently hyperbolic manner that goes beyond just being a colloquialism; “Whoa! Did you see the wind turn that umbrella inside out? That was insane!”

An instance where this word actually fits, however, and is anything but exaggerated, would be in describing the increases in home values, especially on the West Coast. Residents of Portland, for example, have experienced a jump in home prices of 11.8 percent over January 2015, realtor.com reports, which sparked one Portland area real estate agent to say, “The prices are actually insane.” This real estate agent, Deb Counts-Tabor, has had clients offer $50,000 to $60,000 above the asking price for a home and had buyers offering all cash for $600,000 to $700,000 homes. Insane.

While sellers may be enjoying these bidding wars, buyers most certainly are not, especially buyers looking for starter homes. For anyone still carrying around hefty student loan debt or credit card debts, they can find themselves on the outside looking in at a bidding war basically before it even gets started. There is still some relief from the super-high prices on the outskirts of the city, but even there it is getting tougher and tougher to find a deal.

Seattle and San Francisco also saw massive increases in year-over-year home prices with gains of 10.7 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.

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