The San Francisco housing market, seen as slowing in recent months after several years of strong price gains, appears to be slowing no more.

Redfin reports that 35% of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their home-buying customers in San Francisco faced a bidding war in May, up from 5% in January but down from 77% in May 2018, according to a new report from Redfin.

Nationally, just 16% of Redfin offers faced a bidding war in May.

"Earlier this year, the San Francisco housing market appeared to be running out of gas, but the recent tech IPOs have reignited competition," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Buyers want to get in now before prices shoot up, while many would-be sellers are holding out for higher prices. With more people looking to buy homes than there are homes for sale, what you have is a recipe for bidding wars."

San Francisco was the most competitive market in the nation in May, beating San Diego (24%), the second-most competitive market, by more than 10 points. No other metro saw more than one in five offers face competition in May.

"Bidding wars are back with a fury in San Francisco," said local Redfin agent Miriam Westberg. "We've seen as many as 33 offers on one property recently, and most offers have no contingencies or are all-cash offers substantially higher than the list price. A few recent buyers have been surprised by how much competition they faced when they submitted their first offer since they heard about the slowdown at the end of last year. But it just takes that one failed offer for most to realize what they are in for. It feels like early spring/summer 2018 again."

The least competitive market in January was Miami, where just 1% of Redfin offers faced competition. Raleigh(5%) and Dallas (6%) were the second- and third-least competitive.

Table: Share of Redfin Offers that Faced Bidding Wars
Metro Area May 2019 May 2018 April 2019
San Francisco, CA 35% 77% 32%
San Diego, CA 24% 73% 19%
Boston, MA 19% 74% 18%
Austin, TX 16% 47% 14%
San Jose, CA 16% 83% 18%
Seattle, WA 14% 62% 16%
Philadelphia, PA 14% 51% 14%
Los Angeles, CA 13% 71% 18%
Washington, D.C. 13% 53% 13%
Portland, OR 13% 43% 15%
Denver, CO 12% 57% 20%
Atlanta, GA 12% 34% 6%
Houston, TX 11% 46% 7%
Phoenix, AZ 10% 36% 19%
Chicago, IL 8% 36% 14%
Sacramento, CA 8% 62% 13%
Dallas, TX 6% 59% 6%
Raleigh, NC 5% 43% 4%
Miami, FL 1% 33% 5%

According to another report released Tuesday by Redfin, buyers are able to be more judicious with their competitive offer strategies this year, too. A growing share of buyers have had offers accepted that included inspection and/or financing contingencies. These are standard home purchase contract components meant to protect buyers that, when waived, serve as strategies to make an offer stronger and more competitive. In May, 14.6% of accepted offers waived the inspection contingency, down from 19.8% a year earlier. And 11.7% of accepted offers in May waived the financing contingency, down from 13.2% a year prior. The use of home-sale contingencies, which make an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer's home, in accepted Redfin offers nearly doubled, to 8.4% in May 2019 from 4.4% a year earlier.