The End of Bidding Wars?

Bidding wars in real estate markets across the nation are becoming increasingly rare, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The company reported that only 11 percent of the properties for which its agents submitted offers in July saw multiple bids, down from 46 percent a year earlier. That’s the lowest share Redfin has seen since 2011.

Higher interest rates last fall helped slow the market, and recession fears may also be keeping people out. Redfin’s study showed that even in competitive markets, bidding wars have decreased dramatically since July 2018 — from 72 to 35 percent in San Francisco, and 62 to 21 percent in San Diego.

While the total number of homes on the market was also down by 3.4 percent from July 2018, the laws of supply and demand have not jump-started competition.

Recently lowered interest rates may prompt buyers to be more assertive and increase competitive bidding, suggested Redfin’s chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Bidding wars are a bit of a psychological phenomenon,” she said. “If you’re outbid once, you’re more likely to bid on the next one.”

This week’s chart shows a sampling of major metropolitan real estate markets and how the rate of competitive bidding on properties for which Redfin agents submitted offers has declined since last July.