Agents Report Sharp Declines in Bidding Wars

March 28, 2019

There will likely be less competition for home buyers this spring—a widely reported index from Redfin shows a significant decrease among real estate professionals reporting bidding wars this month, compared to a year ago. Only 16 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their customers in the first three weeks of March faced a bidding war, down from 61 percent a year ago, according to the brokerage’s index.

San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and Portland, Ore., are the most competitive housing markets this month, according to the report. However, even in these markets, only one in five buyers faced bidding wars; a year ago, real estate agents in these markets reported that 65 percent of their buyers’ offers faced multiple bids.

“This year even when there is competition among buyers for the same house, prices aren’t bid as high as they were last summer,” says Katie Gilbert, a real estate professional with Redfin in San Diego. “Overall it’s not as chaotic as last year, but buyers still need to move quickly to win homes in the popular areas.”

The following markets are seeing the highest number of bidding wars this month:

1. San Francisco

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 22%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 86%

2. Boston

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 22%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 82%

3. San Diego

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 20%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 69%

4. Portland, Ore.

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 20%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 66%

5. Denver

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 19%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 70%

6. Philadelphia

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 17%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 47%

7. Los Angeles

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 17%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 70%

8. Seattle

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 17%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 72%

9. Austin, Texas

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 16%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 53%

10. Washington, D.C.

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 14%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 57%

11. Atlanta

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 14%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 28%

12. Phoenix

  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2019): 14%
  • Share of offers that faced competition (March 1-21, 2018): 41%

On the opposite end, the least competitive housing markets so far in March, according to Redfin’s index, are Miami (5 percent of offers faced competition), Dallas (8 percent), and Houston (9 percent). A year earlier, all three of these markets were seeing 26 percent or more offers in a bidding war, according to the index.