WASHINGTON – March 26, 2015 – The number of home sales that included a bidding war is trending upward. Thirty-three percent of all sales were at or above the asking price, which often indicates more than one bidder was involved in the transaction, according to data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

That's the highest rate since 2006.

A lack of houses for sale largely led to the current upswing in bidding wars. The for-sale housing inventory has been at about 1.8 million properties for the past three years. Prior to that, inventories were roughly double, reaching a peak of about 3.5 million properties in 2007.

Housing inventories are down by some of the largest amounts year-over-year in Las Vegas; Key West, Fla.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Palm Bay, Fla.; and Columbus, Ohio, according to realtor.com's January National Housing Trend Report.

Why such a low inventory? Some homeowners delay putting their homes on the market and opt instead to stay put until they recover more equity, which has been showing signs of improvement lately.

And while inventories remain tight, buyer demand is on the rise. An improving economy causes more potential homebuyers to enter the market.

"The result is higher prices and buyers jousting with one another to make the winning offer," Bloomberg reports.

Source: "The Bidding Wars Are Back," Bloomberg (March 18, 2015)

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