Homebuyer Buzz: Bidding Wars Increased in May as Houses Go Fast

June 30, 2020

Homebuyer Buzz: Bidding Wars Increased in May while Houses Go Fast

Homebuyer Buzz is our monthly round-up of news stories related to the latest in homebuying trends — from the evolving wants of homebuyers to design news and more.  

In our latest look at homebuyer trends, we’re seeing home sellers and buyers getting more active again while we continue to watch for movement out of big cities. Discussions are also ongoing on how the home itself will change, with a renewed focus on open floor plans and home size.  

Bidding wars climbed in May. Redfin reported that half of their offers faced competition in May, which is up from 44 percent in April. Though more home sellers are getting into the market, the shortage of houses for sale is fueling the bidding wars. It also helped in May that more homebuyers felt like they had clarity on where the economy was heading with the lifting of stay-at-home orders. [Redfin] 

Longterm changes could be coming to housing demand. NAHB's chief economist Robert Dietz laid out where he believes housing demand is headed. On his list of predictions is increasing demand for low- to medium-density neighborhoods out of safety concerns, growing home sizes thanks to current at-home frustrations and an acceleration in converting retail spaces into residential property [Builder] 

Is the open floor plan over? The open floor plan is in question thanks to the increased likelihood that more people will be working from home in the futureBut not all experts are on the same page: Some see a return to traditional, while others think open plans are hard to get away from because of the great light and large feel they offer and still others think combination floor plans will gain in popularity. [Realtor.com] 

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The luxury housing market is bouncing back. According to a realtor.com report, the luxury housing market is poised to outpace the rest of the housing market, leading the way in the recovery. Realtor.com’s chief economist Danielle Hale suggests that the pandemic has reinforced the resilience of the market and put new value on extra space. High-end buyers could have a renewed interested in purchasing a second home. [HousingWire] 

Record number of homebuyers looking to leave dense areas. Another Redfin report shows that a record 27 percent of homebuyers were searching for homes outside their area in April and May. This could be due partly to the pandemic and the ability to move further from work thanks to work-from-home capabilities. Home searchers were generally looking to leave New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. [World Property Journal] 

Homes are being taken off the market at the fastest pace in two years. Zillow reports that homes sold in the second week of June stayed on the market for only about 22 days. It’s the fastest pace since June 2018. The hottest large markets were Columbus, Cincinnati and Kansas City, where homes were purchased in less than a week. The slowest moving markets included New York, Miami and Atlanta. [Zillow] 

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