News & Media

Bidding Wars Were Disappearing? They Bounced Back

In August, every U.S. home sold had an average of three offers, according to NAR’s latest survey – a figure that has stayed fairly consistent since October 2015.

CHICAGO – Homebuyers shouldn’t assume bidding wars are a thing of the past. In August, every home sold had an average of three offers, according to the 2019 Realtors® Confidence Index Survey. That figure has stayed mostly consistent since October 2015, when the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking such data.

Buyer competition tends to be highest during April and May, NAR says, but low mortgage rates are propelling a strong fall homebuying season, even as fears of a slowing economy mount.

Realtors nationwide report an increase in buyer traffic lately – excluding those in North Dakota and Illinois – the survey shows. Realtors in Idaho, Wyoming and Wisconsin report the strongest buyer activity.

U.S. properties were typically on the market for 31 days in August, with 49% of homes sold in August on the market for less than a month, according to NAR’s existing-home sales report. Realtors also report low inventory and interest rates as the main issues facing transactions in August.

“As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current (interest) rates,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says about recent strength in existing-home sales. “The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.”

Overall, 73% of contracts settled on time from June to August – but 74% of contracts contained contingencies, with the most common ones pertaining to home inspections, getting an acceptable appraisal and obtaining financing.

Source: “Nearly Three Offers for Every Home Sold,” National Association of REALTORS®’ Economists’ Outlook blog (Oct. 1, 2019)

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