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Redfin Report: National Bidding War Rate on Homes Hit a 10-Year Low in October

Nationally, just 10 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their homebuying customers faced a bidding war in October, down from 39 percent a year earlier and now at a 10-year-low, according to a new report from ( However, low mortgage rates and a lack of homes for sale point to a likely return of bidding wars next year.

Of the top five markets where bidding wars were most common in October, four were in California—San Francisco (34.8%), San Jose (20.5%), San Diego (15.6%) and Los Angeles (13.7%). On the East Coast, in Philadelphia, 13.8 percent of offers faced bidding wars.

The rate of bidding wars in San Francisco and San Jose hit new highs for the year in October, a month when competition typically cools. That said, both markets’ bidding war rates were still well below last year’s levels of 58.1 percent and 64.9 percent, respectively.

If 2019’s big tech stock IPOs like Uber, Lyft, and Slack had been as hot as many expected earlier in the year, it’s likely the market in the Bay Area would be a lot more competitive right now.

“There was a lot of hype earlier this year in the Bay Area around some big IPOs,” said Palo Alto Redfin agent Kalena Mashing. “But we haven’t seen that hype translate into a hot market, regardless of how well the IPOs did. Really, it’s not the IPO money making the market hot, it’s the perception that the IPO money could make the market hot that has really driven the local housing market this year.”

This unseasonal uptick in competition in the Bay Area may be a sign of things to come elsewhere, according to Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Right now, there are fewer homes for sale than we usually see this time of year, and sales are picking up thanks in part to low mortgage interest rates. All of the pieces are in place for bidding wars to become more common and for the housing market to shift back toward the seller’s favor next year,” said Fairweather. “Now may be the last chance in the foreseeable future for buyers to win a home without facing a bidding war.”

Seattle had a bidding war rate of just 8.8 percent, below the national level and barely above the 10-year low set in July. This is despite the fact that a year ago it used to be among the most competitive markets, along with San Francisco and San Jose.

“Homebuyers in Seattle know that in the current market, they don’t necessarily have to go through the emotional heartburn that comes with bidding wars,” said Seattle Redfin agent Jessie Boucher. “Even though there aren’t a ton of homes for sale right now, buyers are able to preserve their contingencies and maybe even get a great deal.”

Redfin ( is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 85 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has closed more than $85 billion in home sales.

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