Goodbye to bidding wars: Some of the hottest housing markets are falling the hardest

Potential homebuyers attend an open house in Seattle.

Mike Kane | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Potential homebuyers attend an open house in Seattle.

It was just last spring that home buyers in most of the nation were digging ever deeper into their pockets, bracing for a bidding war on whatever property they chose. And now, suddenly, they’re not. Home sales have slowed to a crawl nationally, and it’s not just the winter temperatures. The market’s pulse has become weaker, especially in areas that were hottest just last spring.

Just 32 percent of offers written by Redfin, a real estate brokerage, saw competing bids. That is down from 45 percent in November of last year.

In Seattle, where demand has outstripped supply for years, the drop is more abrupt. More than half of homes a year ago saw bidding wars, while less than a quarter are seeing them now.

Home values in Seattle were the hottest in the nation last spring, up 13 percent annually in April, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. That gain was down to 8 percent in September, the most recent reading. And supply in Seattle is up 60 percent compared to a year ago, according to

In Los Angeles, 68 percent of properties for sale saw multiple offers a year ago. That is now down to 38 percent. In Southern California overall, home sales in October were at the slowest pace for that month in seven years, according to CoreLogic.