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Bidding war rate hits lowest level in nearly a year

Only 59.5% of offers faced competition in November

After months of facing the frustration of endless bidding wars, homebuyers have a reason to celebrate this holiday season. Homebuyer competition dropped to its lowest level in 11 months in November, according to a report by Redfin released Friday.

In November, 59.5% of offers written by Redfin agents faced bidding wars. This is the first time the competition rate was below 60% since December of 2020.

The report examined 44 U.S. metropolitan areas that saw at least 20 offers submitted by Redfin agents in both November and October of 2021.

November’s reading is down from a 61.8% bidding war rate a month prior and a pandemic high of 74.6% in April 2021, but it remains higher than the 57.3% bidding war rate seen a year ago.

“It’s typical for competition to ease in the winter months as more families take time off for the holidays,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “While competition waned in November, it was still higher than a year earlier, which is a sign that demand will be strong in the new year.”

Fairweather attributes the still hot housing market to record-low mortgage rates and a shortage of housing inventory. With housing supply struggling to keep up with demand, the median home sale price rose to $359,750 during the four week period that ended December 12, just shy of its all-time high set in July 2021, according to Redfin.

Richmond, VA posted the highest bidding war rate in November of all the metros analyzed with an 80% competition rate, followed by Salt Lake City (73.8%), San Diego (72%), Honolulu (71.1%), and Dallas (70.6%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Jacksonville, FL had the lowest bidding war rate at 33.3%, followed by Indianapolis (36.8%), Albuquerque (39.1%), St. Louis, MO (43.3%) and Chicago (45.4%).

“Bidding wars are still happening, but buyers are starting to get more breathing room,” Jill Thompson, a Redfin agent in Indianapolis said. “A few months ago, the typical home was going for $15,000 to $20,000—sometimes even $50,000—over the asking price. Buyers were paying cash, waiving inspection contingencies, and overlooking necessary repairs in order to win. Today, buyers are more cautious about overpaying, aren’t waiving inspections as freely as they were in the spring, and feel less of a rush to commit to a house after the first tour.”