Three Housing Reports Present a Mixed Bag: Fewer Bidding Wars, More Inventory
Both reports show conditions are more favorable to buyers. Realestate.com issued a report specifying that condition are particularly good for first-time buyers seeking starter homes.
While Seattle-based Redfin issued a recent report noting that bidding wars are on the decline, Pittsburgh-based West Penn Multi-List Inc. issued a report that found sales volume and home listings have risen compared to last year. Meanwhile, RealEstate.com posted its findings indicating that entry-level home values rose at the slowest pace since 2016, a boon for first-time homebuyers.
According to Redfin, just 16 percent of offers written by its agents on behalf of homebuyers in the first three weeks of March faced a bidding war, which is down from 61 percent for the first three weeks of March 2018 but a slow uptick from the record low of 12 percent 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 homebuying process," Redfin concludes in a release announcing its findings.
Redfin also found that the typical home that sold in February spent a median of 59 days on market, up 2 days from a year ago. "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," Redfin said.
The most competitive markets in March were San Francisco, Boston, San Diego and Portland, Ore., where about one in five offers faced competition. Each of these markets saw over 65 percent 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."
One market not listed in Redfin's report is Pittsburgh, where West Penn Multi-List Inc. is headquartered. It issued a report comparing January-February 2019 with the same time period in 2018:
Closed sales are up 4.57 percent (3,275 units in 2019 versus 3,132 in 2018);
Closed sales volume is up 3.70 percent ($583,539,500 in 2019 versus $562,691,988 in 2018);
Average sale price is down 0.82 percent ($178,180 in 2019 versus $179,659 in 2018).
“The number of new listings entering the marketplace is up from last year, and the average sale price of homes has not increased,” said George Hackett, current president of West Penn Multi-List. “This makes for a favorable environment for potential homebuyers.”
The table below indicates the bidding war rates for the largest metros Redfin agents serve.
Share of Redfin Offers that Faced Competition (Mar. 1-21 2019)
Share of Redfin Offers that Faced Competition (Mar. 1-21 2018)
Share of Redfin Offers that Faced Competition (Feb. 2018)