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Real Estate Bidding Wars Running Hot and Cold

One of the most stressful parts of purchasing a new house is competing with other prospective buyers. Many home buyers deliberately avoid the buying season that begins in March, waiting for the cooler fall weather of September to embark on a search. Lower temperatures can mean less competition among buyers, a trend that has been consistent from 2013 to 2018.

That five-year tradition may be coming to an end. Current cooling is not reflecting a residential real estate market that instead may be speeding up during what is traditionally a slow spell.

According to Redfin, buyers waging bidding wars in September were at 11 percent nationally, a 30 percentage-point drop from the same time last year, the fourth that saw a decrease. However, the stat was higher than the previous month. The trend is unusual as August-to-September buyer bidding usually decreases in the second month.

Nationally, San Francisco tops the list as the most competitive market with more than a quarter of buyers waging battles for homeownership supremacy. Las Vegas and Phoenix tied for second place, with 21 percent.

At the bottom was Miami, with two percent of transactions turning into bidding wards. Two prominent Texas cities - Dallas and Austin - were at three percent.

Many real estate experts chalk up this year's anomaly - the lowest point in eight years - to slower than average springtime buying. Average home prices have also leveled off from their higher levels, while mortgage interest rates remained low. That combination created demand fueled by homeowners taking advantage of lower financing rates. Yet, their timely pursuit presented the challenges that come with limited supply.

The only thing predictable about the real estate market is its unpredictability. Experienced and knowledgable legal counsel that knows the industry can help facilitate a not only challenging but also a highly competitive bidding war.

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