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Buoyant Tech Sector Providing a Boost
30 Mar 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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For first-time home buyers Vince Matthews and his wife, the time to purchase their dream home in Seattle’s inner city was ripe, but as they soon realized, the process was no mean feat.

Their first offer was turned down, as other buyers outbid them. They then made an offer on another house, but backed out later after discovering the foundation needed work. The couple finally got their hands on another property and quickly sealed the deal by offering a 5 percent premium over the list price.

Such activity by first-time home buyers is becoming commonplace in the home of Amazon, Boeing and Microsoft.

Thanks to rock-bottom prices, historically low interest rates, brighter job prospects and pent-up demand, the Northwest real estate market has seen a promising pickup in 2012.

Pending home sales in the Seattle area were up 21.9 percent in February 2012from a year ago, while closed sales were up 10.2 percent, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service .

There are more people buying houses this year compared to last year, says broker Steve Kennedy of RE/MAX Metro Realty, referring to Seattle’s inner city, especially for houses priced around $500,000 and below.

“That price range, and under, is on fire. Everything’s selling,” he adds.

Bidding Wars Keep Seattle Prices Afloat

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