Report: Half of Homes Sell Above List Price

Model home on mound of cash

© Steven Puetzer - The Image Bank/Getty Images

Home buyers are facing relentless competition in the housing market, driven by low mortgage rates and inventory. According to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index, based on real estate transactions nationwide in March, practitioners report an average of five offers on their most recent listing.

In a separate report by Redfin published in April, 72% of the brokerage’s agents faced competition when submitting an offer for their clients—up from 66.7% in March. “Bidding wars are intensifying,” says Kristin Lopez, a Redfin real estate pro in Boise, Idaho. “In March, we were seeing three or four offers on a home. Now, we’re sometimes seeing more than 20.”

Earlier this spring, a home in Dallas drew 97 offers. “The list price is the starting point,” Mark Wolfe, broker-owner of RE/MAX DFW Associates, told the Dallas Business Journal about the competition. Bidding wars have grown so common that nearly half of homes on the market are being sold for more than their list price, according to Redfin.

What’s more, bidding wars are the most common reason house hunters who have been searching for at least three months haven’t been able to buy a home. Forty-five percent of longtime house hunters say they continue to lose out in bidding wars, which is higher than those who say they can’t find an affordable home (32%), according to a recent analysis from the National Association of Home Builders.

Buyers are facing some of the steepest competition for housing in Salt Lake City, where 83.5% of offers written by Redfin real estate professionals reportedly faced competition. San Diego and Spokane, Wash., closely followed at 83.3% each, as well as Boise at 81.8% and Phoenix at 80.5%.