Report: Buyers Far Less Likely to Face Bidding Wars

February 12, 2019

Home shoppers will likely face less competition in their offers, and that may allow them more time during their house hunt.

A new report from Redfin shows that only 13 percent of offers written by agents on behalf of their customers faced a bidding war last month—down significantly from 53 percent a year ago.

“Buyers have heard the market has slowed, so now they’re trying to get all of their ‘wants,’ not just their ‘needs,’ ” says Kalena Masching, a Redfin real estate pro in Palo Alto, Calif. “They’re waiting until they find a home they can check more boxes—for instance, three bedrooms instead of two or a higher rated school. In general, they are being more judicious as they think through their purchase. Meanwhile, many sellers have not yet recognized that the market has shifted.”

The number of homes for sale has been slightly increasing in several markets, which has left fewer home buyers competing for each home. In December, the number of homes for sale had grown by 5 percent over a year ago.

Several West Coast markets continue to be among the most competitive, but many are seeing fewer bidding wars compared to a year ago. Portland, Ore.; Denver; and San Diego each saw less than one out of five offers face a bidding war, down from more than half of offers a year earlier, Redfin reports. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle posted the biggest year-over-year percentage drops in bidding wars.

Meanwhile, the least competitive housing markets in January that overall saw the fewest bidding wars were Miami (3 percent), Dallas (6 percent), and Houston (6 percent).