Bidding Wars Still Burden Unsuccessful Buyers

A picture of two closed notebooks with index cards on top, one saying "For Sale" and the other saying "Bidding War"

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A majority of house hunters say it’s not prices that are keeping them out of the housing market—it’s other buyers. Forty-five percent of prospective buyers recently surveyed say they keep getting outbid by other offers, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB says this is only the third time in the survey’s history that the top reason prospective buyers have been unsuccessful has not been due to finding a home at an affordable price.

In the third quarter, 66% of active home buyers say they’ve spent three months or more searching for a home without success.

A line graph showing the reasons active home shoppers have been unsuccessful in buying a home for more than three months.

But even as competition remains fierce, prospective buyers are not giving up. Nearly half of active buyers who have been searching for three months or more say they will continue to look for the “right” home in the same location.

Twenty-nine percent of house hunters say they will accept a smaller or older home so they can expand their home search.

Twenty-two percent of buyers say they will give up on their home search until next year or later. That is down slightly from the second quarter, when 20% said they’d give up, and significantly lower than a record high of 28% reached in the final quarter of 2020, the NAHB survey shows.