There's far less competitive bidding in the housing market than there was a year ago, at least in markets where Redfin, the tech-driven real estate brokerage.
Just 16% of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their homebuying customers in the first three weeks of March faced a bidding war, according to a new report from Redfin. That's down from 61% for the first three weeks of March 2018 and a slow uptick from the record low of 12% in December.
If the rate of bidding wars begins to increase in a meaningful way this spring, it will be one of the earliest signs that the market is heating back up, since buyers making offers is the earliest stage of the home buying process, Redfin said.
The typical home that sold in February spent a median of 59 days on market, up 2 days from a year ago. Redfin said this is the largest year-over-year increase in time on market since January 2015, and it's the first February to post an annual increase in days on market climb since at least 2011.
San Francisco, Boston, San Diego and Portland, Oregon are the most competitive housing markets in March, all with about one in five offers facing competition. Each of these markets saw over 65% of offers face competition during the same period a year earlier.
"This year even when there is competition among buyers for the same house, prices aren't bid up as high as they were last summer," said San Diego Redfin agent Katie Gilbert. "Overall it's not as chaotic as last year, but buyers still need to move quickly to win homes in the popular areas."
Even Seattle— a bidding-war hotbed in 2018—still hasn't seen competition heat up just yet in 2019. Seattle's rate was 17% so far this month, down from 72% a year ago.
The rate of bidding wars is still down considerably in every market that Redfin agents serve. The largest percentage-point declines in the first three weeks of March compared to a year earlier were posted in the San Francisco Bay Area(-64 points), Boston (-60 points) and Seattle (-56 points). The smallest declines were in Atlanta ( -14 points), Houston (-18 points) and Phoenix (-27 points).
The table below indicates the bidding war rates for each of the largest metro areas Redfin agents serve.
|Rank||Metro Area||Share of|
|1||San Francisco, CA||22%||86%||21%|
|3||San Diego, CA||20%||69%||21%|
|7||Los Angeles, CA||17%||70%||15%|