Hungry buyers find lean inventory in real estate

Buyers circle new listings like hungry wolves, plucking choice morsels from a skeletal inventory.

“For every house that comes on the market you have four or five buyers waiting for it,” said Frank Wilson, with John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “As fast as they come on, they’re sucked right back off.”

Rabid demand and too-few listings were the trends driving Kitsap’s real estate market in 2015. Home prices, which wallowed through the economic recession, were on the rise across much of the county. Sales were fast-paced, pushing unprepared buyers to the sidelines.

“Increasing demand and decreasing supply made it a very competitive marketplace,” Kitsap Association of Realtors CEO Mike Eliason said.

First-time homebuyer Lindsay Baker waded into the fray in the summer, as she and her husband began searching for a house in East Bremerton. Realizing homes were flying off the market, Baker started checking for listings twice a day. The couple walked through two houses, but other buyers gobbled them up before the Bakers could make a decision.

“By the third one, we made an offer the same day,” Baker said…

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