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Bidding Wars Begin to Cool Down

A new analysis by Redfin has found that in June 2021, 65% of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition, down from a revised rate of 72.1% in May, and a pandemic peak of 74.1% in April. Year-over-year, the rate of bidding wars was up over June 2020’s rate of 56.8%.

"The first half of this year was red hot—it was almost impossible to get an offer accepted. But recently, we've started to see buyers get cold feet," said Laura Sechrist Molenda, a Redfin Real Estate Agent in Southern California. "Two of my buyers just had their offers accepted because the sellers' first buyers backed out. The market is still competitive, but buyers are more trepidatious than they were at the start of 2021, and less willing to pull out every stop in order to win."

Redfin recently issued a report covering July data that showed that despite a long-awaited increase in houses for sale, demand has slipped again, cooling the sizzling sellers' market "by a few degrees.” The report shows new for-sale houses up 4% from a year earlier, and up 3% from the same period in 2019, meaning there are more properties hitting the market for buyers to bid on. This was the first time new listings have surpassed 2019 levels since the beginning of the year, Redfin reports.

Buyer fatigue has been seen as a factor pushing down the competition rate, with some house hunters moving to the sidelines after repeatedly losing bidding war after bidding war, or are simply getting priced out of the market entirely.

Nationwide, the Sarasota, Florida market had the highest bidding-war rate of the 52 U.S. metropolitan areas in this analysis, with 87% of offers written by Redfin agents facing competition in June. The top 10 markets in June where Redfin agents faced the fiercest bidding wars included:

  • Sarasota, Florida: 87.0%
  • Charleston, South Carolina: 82.9%
  • Reno, Nevada: 80.0%
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: 78.9%
  • Kansas City, Missouri: 78.6%
  • Spokane, Washington: 78.0%
  • Sacramento, California: 77.4%
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan: 76.9%
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: 75.7%
  • Greenville, South Carolina: 73.9%

"It's still really competitive when there's a lower-priced home in a very-sought after area," said Redfin Agent Kristi Miller of Seattle. "But bidding wars are starting to slow for mid- and higher-priced homes."

Click here to view more of Redfin’s new analysis on bidding wars.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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