Adobe Stock/Gino Rigucci

With for-sale homes in short supply and demand boosted by low mortgage rates, pandemic trends, and an influx of millennials, Aimee Picchi with CBS News reports that house hunters are going to “extremes” to win homes. Offering above asking price is only the first step, with many buyers also waiving contingencies, skipping inspections, or providing free lease-backs to sellers—offers to remain in the home for a period of time after closing, rent-free.

That's raising concerns among some market observers that real estate prices may be getting overheated, with memories of the 2006 housing bubble that ended in an ugly burst. At the end of 2020, home prices were about 15% higher than a year earlier, before the pandemic shuttered the U.S. economy, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The pandemic real estate market is "beyond crazy and frustrating" for buyers, said George Ratiu, senior economist for Realtor.com. "I wouldn't call this a normal market."

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