Home buyers shouldn’t assume bidding wars are a thing of the past. In August, there was an average of three offers for every home sold, according to the 2019 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. That figure has stayed mostly consistent since October 2015, when the National Association of REALTORS® started tracking such data.
Competition tends to be highest during April and May, NAR notes. But low mortgage rates are propelling a strong fall homebuying season, even as fears of a slowing economy mount. REALTORS® report an increase in buyer traffic nationwide, excluding North Dakota and Illinois, the survey shows. REALTORS® in Idaho, Wyoming, and Wisconsin report the strongest buyer activity.
Nationwide, properties were typically on the market for 31 days in August. Forty-nine percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR’s existing-home sales report. REALTORS® also report low inventory and interest rates as the main issues that were facing transactions in August. “As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current rates,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says about recent strength in existing-home sales. “The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.”
Overall, 73% of contracts settled on time from June to August. But 74% of contracts contained contingencies, with the most common ones pertaining to home inspections, getting an acceptable appraisal, and obtaining financing.