Bid wars lower as actual property market cools: Redfin

The percentage of properties for sale that received multiple bids hit a low in September 2021, according to Redfin. It was the fifth straight month-on-month decline, reinforcing indicators of a cooling market.

During the month, 58.9% of offers written by Redfin agents had a competing offer, up from a revised 60.8% in August. The rate corresponds to the rate from September 2020 of 58.3%. The proportion of bidding battles reached its highest level in April with a revised 74.3%.

"It's typical for competition to wane as families go back to school and the weather cools," said Taylor Marr, Redfin deputy chief economist, in a press release. "Buyers no longer have to offer as much above the asking price as they did in the spring, when competition in the housing market reached its peak."

With mortgage rates rising in recent weeks, Marr expects the proportion of bidding wars to continue to decline.

However, home buyers are still grappling with the inventory shortage that is the main driver of the current market. As Redfin mentioned, the number of new real estate listings fell 9% from the twelve months before. And the typical home sold went from listing to contract in just 18 days, an 11 day decrease from September 2020.

Of the 45 markets Redfin studied, Raleigh, N.C., is the hottest, where 73.9% of properties for sale received more than one bid. This is a 79.2% decrease in August, but well above the 42.2% percentage for September 2020.

(Redfin focused on markets where at least 20 properties received at least two offers in August and September – at least one of which was from a Redfin agent.)

Boston had the second-largest share of multi-bid properties in September at 71.7%, down from 67.2% in August and 57.2% in September 2020. Indianapolis was next at 71.4%, down from 58.5% the previous month ; Redfin did not provide comparable data from the previous year.

The least competitive market was Milwaukee, where only 24.1% of properties received multiple bids in September, up from 47.6% in August. Next came Sarasota, Florida, at 39.1%, down from 41.7% a month earlier, and Hartford, Connecticut, also at 39.1%, down from 55%.

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