Bidding wars eased in September dropping to a 2021 low

by Liz Hughes

There’s good news for prospective homebuyers — for the first time during this year’s most competitive real estate market in history, the bidding-war rate has fallen to a 2021 low.

According to a recent Redfin report, 58.9% of September home offers faced competition, the lowest level in nine months, coming on the heels of the market showing signs of a seasonal slowdown and as mortgage rates began to rise. September was the fifth consecutive month of declines. In August 60.8% faced a bidding war, down from April’s 74.3% peak.

The highest bidding war rates were in Boston and Raleigh, NC. Of offers written by Redfin agents, 73.9% of those in Raleigh faced a bidding war last month. In Boston, that rate was 71.7%, followed by Indianapolis at 71.4%, Sacramento at 70.5% and San Diego at 70.3%.

In Seattle, the share of Redfin offers facing bidding wars last month was 62.3% compared to 62.2% in August and 61.4% in September 2020.

In a year where local agents pulled out all the stops to help their clients win bidding wars, housing competition has started to ease, yet homes are still selling faster than usual for this time of year.    

“It’s typical to see a decline in competition as families head back to school and the weather cools down,” Taylor Marr, Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr said in a press release. “Buyers also aren’t having to offer as much above the asking price as they were in the spring when competition in the housing market was peaking. As mortgage rates continue to rise, we can expect bidding wars to keep slowing.”

Housing inventory continued to remain low last month, the report found, as new listings fell 9% from 2020 and homes sold in 18 days, more than a week faster than they did a year prior. 

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