Welcome to the most competitive housing markets in the US

To buy a home in Silicon Valley neighborhood White Oaks, you’ll have to beat multiple bidders and shell out over $1.8M

Dec.December 27, 2019 12:26 PM
In White Oaks, California, 72% of homes sold for over asking price between January and November, according to Redfin. (Credit: iStock)

In White Oaks, California, 72% of homes sold for over asking price between January and November, according to Redfin. (Credit: iStock)

If you’re looking to buy a house in the the Bay Area, prepare for a fight.

Of the 20 most competitive housing markets in the country this year, half were in the Bay Area, according to an analysis of home sales and competitive bids by Redfin.

Redfin analyzed the number of waived contingencies, how quickly homes go under contract and how much above list price they sell for to determine the most competitive housing markets in the country. All the homes on the top 20 list received multiple offers, many with waived contingencies, the firm said.

At the top of the list is the White Oaks neighborhood in the town of San Carlos, California, where over 72 percent of homes sold over the listing price, according to Redfin data. In the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland, nearly 85 percent of homes sold above their list price. The trend is also prevalent in select neighborhoods in Alameda, Berkeley, San Mateo and San Francisco. Homes routinely trade for over $1 million in most of those locales, with buyers typically spending $3.17 million in North Los Altos. Five of the most competitive neighborhoods were in Oakland, as tech buyers look for more affordable deals than can be found in San Francisco.

“An influx of buyers from more expensive neighborhoods contributes to competition in these affordable neighborhoods, especially if they can make higher offers than local residents when they sell their previous homes,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa said she’s heard that the Bay Area housing market is cooling, but the opposite is happening in Oakland. “The Oakland market is so hot that sellers are still expecting and receiving offers that waive contingencies,” she said.

The list also features three neighborhoods near Boston (Cambridgeport, Brattle Station and East Arlington); two neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Creston and Alger Heights); two neighborhoods around Washington, D.C. (the Fairlington section of Arlington, Virginia and AU Park/Friendship Heights); one in the small city of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; as well as the Northwest Landing neighborhood of the Seattle suburb DuPont, Washington.

Though the list shows the most competitive neighborhoods, the market overall has become less competitive, with the frequency of bidding wars significantly lower than last year. Redfin points out that only 12 percent of Redfin offers faced bidding wars in 2019, significantly lower than the 48 percent who faced bidding wars in 2018 and 53 percent in 2017. [Redfin] — Jacqueline Flynn

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