Why is it so expensive to buy a house in Seattle right now? Everyone seems to have someone to blame: Amazon, priced-out Californians, foreign buyers, developers tearing down old homes to build huge new ones. But people in the real-estate industry point to a much broader problem: No one is selling their house. Just 0.4 percent of all homes in the Seattle region were on the market at any given time last year — a lower rate than in any U.S. metro area except the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a new report from realtor.com. In other words, just one of every 263 houses and condos in the Seattle area was for sale. That’s more than three times worse than the national average, creating a market heavily tilted against buyers. Seattle homebuyers have known for a while how competitive the market is; 41 people recently made offers on a toxic West Seattle house that was too dangerous to enter and ultimately sold, as a likely teardown, for $427,000.
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