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Available Homes: Not Worth a Bidding War?

Competition among homebuyers is trending lower, as Redfin found just 10% of offers written by agents faced a bidding war in November—a 29% annual decline and near a 10-year low for the 5th consecutive month. 

Redfin says the competition rate is expected to remain low through the end of 2019 and begin rising in early 2020.

The competition rate nationally was 28.7% in November 2018 but has plummeted to 10.1%. San Jose, California,  which saw more than 90% of offers face competition in 2017, is seeing just 10.8% of offers face competition. 

San Francisco remained the most competitive market with 30.3% of offers facing competition, which is down from October’s 34% and November 2018’s 53%. The month-over-month decline of 3.7 points was below the 2010-2018 average October-to-November decline of 4.6 points. 

“Almost every home for sale that is in a great location and priced competitively is still receiving multiple offers,” said San Francisco Redfin agent Miriam Westberg. “One home we made an offer on last week had 25 other offers. However, homebuyers definitely feel like they can be more selective this year, so homes that don’t check every single box may only get a single offer, and tend to take a longer time to sell.”

No market had a bidding war rate higher than 17% and the competition rate saw its lowest numbers in five years in November in Chicago (5.2%); Houston, Texas (1.4%); Portland, Oregon (6.6%); and Los Angeles (11.3%). 

Houston was the nation’s least competitive market and saw its bidding war rate fall from 8.4% in October and 21.7% in November 2018. 

“Even though the number of homes for sale has been falling faster than we normally see this time of year, buyers just aren’t feeling any sense of urgency right now,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “The supply and demand data still says that it’s a seller’s market, but homebuyers working with Redfin agents in places like Portland and Denver are feeling and acting like they’re in control. 

“Most of the homes that they are seeing are simply not worth getting into a bidding war over, so they’re more than willing to wait until the new year in the hopes that more homes will hit the market.”

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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