Competition Heats Up for Home Buyers

March 27, 2013

Bidding wars are brewing again in more housing markets, and buyers are finding themselves up against increased competition in snagging a home. 

California buyers reportedly are feeling some of the biggest competition in the housing market, as inventories of homes for sale have fallen at the same time that buyer demand has picked up, sparking a supply-demand conundrum. 

For example, in Sacramento, Calif., inventory of for-sale homes is less than a month; generally a balanced real estate market has about a six-month supply of houses for sale. The lack of inventory has made multiple offers on homes and fast sales more common. 

A Sacramento area couple says they received five offers in a week on their home. They say they even fielded personal letters from buyers who expressed how much they wanted to buy the couple’s house, hoping the letters would help give their offer the edge. 

“This is our fourth house,” home seller Angie Deuel says. “I’ve never experienced the market the way it is right now for a seller.” 

Another Sacramento-area seller said she’s seeing increased competition among home buyers too — with three offers on her home in three days. 

Some real estate agents are trying to lure more sellers to the market by showing them how competitive home buyers have gotten and how bidding wars are leading to houses selling above the asking price in many cases. 

Some home owners say they are deciding to sell now to take advantage of the buyer competitiveness. These sellers say they were concerned that the inventory of homes would increase, interest rates would rise, and buyers would be less competitive down the road. 

Source: “Bidding Wars Erupt in California Housing Market,” (March 26, 2013)

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