Housing Shortage Sparks Bidding Wars During the Pandemic

May 21, 2020
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By Anthony

Bidding wars in this day and age? Despite the coronavirus pandemic, they’re not just happening—they’re happening a lot. Due to low inventory, 41.1 percent of Redfin offers nationwide had multiple offers in the month ending May 10, according to the real estate listing company. The housing shortage was already dire before the pandemic, but worried sellers pulling their properties off the market or waiting to sell have deepened the divide between supply and demand. Single-family homes in popular metro areas were most likely to face a bidding war. Find out how competition stacks up in your city.

Nationwide, 41.1% of Redfin offers faced competition in the four weeks ending on May 10. In a handful of metros, the bidding war rate was above 60%. 

The coronavirus pandemic is contributing to a shortage in the number of homes for sale across the U.S. as would-be sellers hold off on listing their homes amid ongoing uncertainty. The lack of inventory has led to a significant amount of bidding wars, particularly for single-family homes priced under $1 million in desirable areas. 

Even before the novel coronavirus took hold in the U.S., home supply was at its lowest point in seven years. The recent lack of new listings—they hit a low point with a 50% year-over-year decline during the second week of April and were still down 30% year over year in the first week of May—has made the shortage even more severe. 

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