Home Bidding Wars Are Most Intense in These U.S. Metro Areas

Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh and Boise, Idaho, are the most competitive housing markets in the U.S., where buyers rarely escape without facing a bidding war.

In March, more than 87% of offers written by Redfin agents in the Utah capital faced competition. The other two cities followed, each with about 82%, according to the brokerage’s analysis of 42 large metropolitan areas.

The national average was 64%, up from 62% in February and the 11th straight month in which more than half of offers were caught up in bidding wars.

Home Bidding Wars Are Most Intense in These U.S. Metro Areas

The U.S. housing market is facing the most severe scarcity of listings on record during its peak buying season. Armed with low mortgage rates, buyers during the pandemic have been rushing to suburbs and lower-cost cities. Real estate agents are amping up the urgency by limiting bidding windows to less than a week, then playing one buyer off another.

The median list price was up almost 19% in the week ending April 10, according to Realtor.com. The number of homes for sale was 53% below the same time last year.

For frustrated buyers, there’s at least a glimmer of hope. New listings rose 36% last week, slowing the year-over-year decline in the number of available homes for the first time since November, according to Realtor.com. While it’s welcome news, a big jump from last April isn’t all that surprising. That was near the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns, when sellers were pulling back.

“The housing market remains competitive,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. “While the new listings trend is an optimistic sign for hopeful buyers, they still face a challenging market.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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