Home-buying Competition Picks Up in January, Still a Far Cry From Last Year’s Frenzy

by Rachel Musiker | 

58.1% of Redfin Offers Faced Competition in January, Down From 70.4% Last Year

Bidding wars across Redfin’s 22 markets increased in January for the first time since the peak of the 2013 home-buying frenzy in March 2013. Redfin agents faced competition in 58.1 percent of offers they wrote in January, up from 52.8 percent in December but a far cry from the 70.4 percent recorded last year. January often brings a resurgence of bidding wars, after the holiday lull and as new homebuyers enter the market in the new year.

This lower level of competition is just another sign that limited supply and higher prices are hindering demand. Just after the number of homes for sale hit a four-year low in January, we reported a soft start to 2014 in terms of yearly growth in Redfin clients making offers. With home prices now 30.9 percent higher than they were two years ago, the allure of “getting a deal” has faded. And for those who are simply frustrated with a lack of inventory, patience may be a virtue. Redfin listing consultations and requests for real estate photography services indicate that things may begin to pick up. “In January, we saw a significant year-over-year decline in home photography and videography appointments,” said Matt Murphy, president of Boston Virtual Imaging, LLC. “But we’ve already had a distinct uptick in appointment requests for the second half of February, leading me to believe that sellers are just waiting a little longer this year to put their homes on the market.”

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