Almost Three-Quarters of Home Offers Written By Redfin Agents Faced Bidding Wars In April

by Real estate financingMission+
12 minutes read

That’s up from 45% a year earlier and marks the 12th-straight month in which more than half of home offers encountered competition.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of home offers written by Redfin agents in April faced competition, up from a revised rate of 66.7% in March and 44.9% in April 2020. It’s important to note that the April 2020 bidding-war rate was impacted by pandemic stay-at-home orders that temporarily halted homebuying and selling.

An offer is considered part of a bidding war if a Redfin agent reported that it received at least one competing bid. This data is subject to revision.

Americans who have set out to buy homes during the coronavirus pandemic have grappled with relentless competition—the result of surging homebuyer demand due to low mortgage rates and remote work. This has exacerbated an existing shortage of homes for sale, which has driven up competition even further. Bidding wars are so fierce that nearly half of homes are fetching more than their list prices, a recent Redfin report found.

With spring homebuying season in full swing, there are no signs that the market will slow down anytime soon, according to Boise, ID Redfin real estate agent Kristin Lopez.

“Bidding wars are intensifying,” Lopez said. “In March, we were seeing three or four offers on a home. Now, we’re sometimes seeing more than 20.”

Lopez continued: “The homes for sale today are high-quality, desirable homes—a dynamic that’s fueling more competition. This is a contrast from the winter, when most properties coming on the market were bottom-of-the-barrel homes. The difference is that today’s sellers are folks who want to sell, whereas many sellers back in the winter had to sell and didn’t have time to do any upgrades.”

Spokane and Boise Are Two of the Most Competitive Markets

Salt Lake City had the highest April bidding-war rate of the 45 U.S. metropolitan areas in this analysis, with 83.5% of offers written by Redfin agents facing competition. Next came San Diego and Spokane, WA, both at 83.3%. Boise and Phoenix rounded out the top five, with bidding-war rates of 81.8% and 80.5%, respectively. 

Metros must have had at least 20 offers recorded by Redfin agents in both April 2021 and March 2021 to be included in this analysis.

“Cash offers are on the rise in Boise, which means buyers without deep pockets are frequently getting outbid,” Lopez said. “Cash is on the rise in part because there are more investors in the market, but also because there are a lot of families moving here from more expensive parts of the country. Most buyers I work with are from out of state, and many of them have the cash to compete because they just sold their home in California or Seattle.”

Lopez recently had a client who lost out on a three-bedroom home that received 20 offers. The winning bid was $86,000 over the $399,000 list price, but $15,000 lower than the offer Lopez’s client made. The reason it won? The buyer offered all cash.

“In today’s market, buyers just have to be comfortable with losing a few deals before they win one. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Lopez said. “One tactic that has been working well lately is offering free rent-back to the seller and agreeing to send over earnest money early.”

Bidding-War Rates By Metro Area

To be included in the table below, metros must have had at least 20 offers recorded by Redfin agents in both April 2021 and March 2021. The table is sorted by highest to lowest bidding-war rates in April 2021. Blank spaces in the April 2020 column represent metros for which there were fewer than 20 offers submitted by Redfin agents that month.

U.S. Metro Area Share of Redfin offers that faced bidding wars in April 2021 Share of Redfin offers that faced bidding wars in March 2021 Share of Redfin offers that faced bidding wars in April 2020
Salt Lake City, UT 83.5% 86.1% 57.5%
San Diego, CA 83.3% 78.7% 53.8%
Spokane, WA 83.3% 75.0%
Boise, ID 81.8% 85.2%
Phoenix, AZ 80.5% 74.6% 38.3%
Boston, MA 79.7% 74.8% 56.3%
Charlotte, NC 79.1% 76.5% 50.0%
Seattle, WA 79.0% 74.8% 50.8%
Indianapolis, IN 78.9% 66.7%
Raleigh, NC 78.7% 75.6% 25.7%
Denver, CO 78.5% 73.9% 37.3%
Washington, D.C. 77.4% 63.1% 47.9%
Virginia Beach, VA 76.7% 83.0% 45.0%
Dallas, TX 75.3% 56.1% 43.2%
Nashville, TN 74.5% 63.0%
Honolulu, HI 74.4% 66.2%
San Francisco / San Jose, CA 73.2% 77.8% 54.2%
Portland, OR 72.9% 64.2% 51.6%
Cleveland, OH 71.4% 48.7%
San Antonio, TX 71.3% 53.2% 46.2%
Columbus, OH 71.2% 73.2%
Austin, TX 71.1% 54.9% 44.9%
Las Vegas, NV 71.1% 81.0% 55.0%
Minneapolis, MN 69.9% 78.3% 42.4%
Detroit, MI 69.2% 78.4%
Tucson, AZ 69.2% 64.5%
Sacramento, CA 68.8% 61.7% 54.5%
Philadelphia, PA 68.6% 66.8% 40.5%
Tampa, FL 67.5% 70.0% 20.0%
Orlando, FL 67.2% 55.3% 45.2%
Colorado Springs, CO 66.2% 77.2%
Pittsburgh, PA 66.2% 82.0%
Chicago, IL 65.9% 52.3% 31.2%
Atlanta, GA 64.8% 44.1% 39.3%
Los Angeles, CA 64.4% 70.6% 53.6%
Houston, TX 62.4% 60.4% 36.2%
New York, NY 61.1% 63.7% 47.1%
Cincinnati, OH 60.0% 73.5%
Cape Coral, FL 59.1% 51.9%
New Orleans, LA 58.6% 46.4%
Bend, OR 57.1% 52.8%
Oklahoma City, OK 56.8% 71.4%
Miami, FL 54.2% 52.8% 30.6%
Bakersfield, CA 50.0% 75.0%
Jacksonville, FL 43.2% 60.7%

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