Perhaps you, like me, thought we'd never again see the kind of madcap competition to buy homes that was common in the housing boom. I'm thinking of lotteries, not to win a home but just a chance to buy one. I'm remembering bidding wars and home shoppers so desperate to buy that they'd camp overnight outside new subdivisions to be first in the door the next day.
Never say never.
In some parts of the country, this kind of red-hot competition for homes, especially new homes, is back. Boom-era responses like camping in line overnight, homebuilder lotteries and buying homes sight unseen are making a reappearance.
That's how intensely demand is rising in some cities. If a picture speaks a thousand words, these nine spellbinding maps of U.S. home-price appreciation (a map for each year from 2005 through to today) tell the story of housing in the last crazy decade: from boom to bust to a second dizzying acceleration.
So far, this the new run-up in prices is confined to a handful of cities and regions, particularly coastal California markets, Phoenix and Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Portland, the Washington, D.C. metro and several Florida markets.
Authors of the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index say prices rose nationally 7.3% in 2012 and could jump an additional 3% this year.
In Silicon Valley, few jaws drop anymore when a nice-but-nothing-spe
Nearby, in the only slightly less-expensive town of Sunnyvale, 50 or so eager, prequalified home shoppers began camping out overnight for a chance to buy newly completed units in a 228-unit condo development.
To inject more fairness -- and less discomfort-- into the buying process, builder O'Brien Homes revived the boom-era practice of holding lotteries that gave winners the chance to buy. The two-, three- and four-bedroom condos initially sold for $420,000 to $620,000. But by the time the development sold out in April, demand had pushed prices up 32%, to $555,000 to $815,000, CNN Money reports.
Backup winners were also drawn, in case the first winners backed out.
In other Bay Area towns, Livermore and San Ramon, Calif., other builders are also resorting to lotteries to manage competition for their product. Such buyer demand is not confined to the Bay Area. Homebuyer lotteries also are cropping up in northern Virginia and in parts of Florida.
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