Real Estate

The top 6 cities in the US where you can expect a bidding war to erupt on a house for sale: Redfin

Parth Vohra, special to
Key Points
  • Four of the top six cities with the most competitive housing markets are in California, Redfin says.
  • Cities with affordable housing could also be highly competitive.
  • New Orleans, LA has the least competitive housing market nationwide.

Concerns are rising about the potential for a nationwide housing market crash, especially on the West Coast. At least for the moment, a new report suggests that market is as hot as ever.

The booming technology sector that attracts scores of well-paid workers has driven up home prices — resulting in stiff competition for people trying to put bids on houses in key areas, according to a recent report by Redfin, a Seattle-based real estate brokerage.

In fact, most homeowners are getting multiple offers, and those units move within a week or less of going on sale, Redfin spokeswoman Rachel Musiker told CNBC.

"For buyers, competition is challenging," Musiker said. "To win, they will likely have to raise their offer price and waive contingencies and it might take several months and several bidding wars before they find success."

Buyers are often compelled to yield to bidding wars — offering prices considerably higher than the asking rate — in order to outdo each other, Musiker said. This results in a overall surge in home prices.

Cities like Aurora, Colorado, and Sacramento, California, are not tech hubs, but are within air commuting distance from the Bay Area. For that reason, even places outside Silicon Valley's immediate vicinity are seeing a surge in competition from workers in search of affordable homes, Musiker said.

Below are Redfin's top six cities with a population of at least 200,000, ranked according to their competitiveness. A score of 90-100 indicates cities where houses on the market are "most competitive," and often receive multiple offers per unit.

Fremont, California

A home in Fremont, California.
Getty Images

Score: 100

Median Home Price: $1.17M

Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area. It has a sizable population of immigrants from Afghanistan, and a commercial area called "Little Kabul" — a cultural hub for Bay Area Afghans. Fremont is also known for having lots of Indian restaurants, and even a Bollywood film theater.

San Jose, California

Dowtown San Jose
Bernd Geh | Getty Images

Score: 100

Median Home Price: $1.1M

The largest city in Silicon Valley, San Jose, is home to some of the biggest tech giants in the world, including Adobe, Qualcomm. As a result, the city also has a booming population of engineers and computer scientists. Its proximity to colleges popular for those subjects, like University of California at Berkeley and Stanford, mean those tech companies have lots of talent to draw from.


Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, has spectacular views of the Cascade mountains to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west.
Bill Hinton | Getty Images

Score: 100

Median Home Price: $718,000

The birth place of Starbucks Coffee is said to have one shop within a quarter mile of every house. It is also the largest and one of the most densely populated cities in the state of Washington. Microsoft and Amazon have their headquarters in the Seattle area. The city is surrounded by nature and is only a bus ride away from Canadian city of Vancouver.

Oakland, California

View of downtown Oakland, California.
Justin Solomon | CNBC

Score: 97

Median Home Price: $820,000

Alameda County's largest city, Oakland, is also a stone's throw from hotbeds like San Francisco, Berkeley, Fremont and Richmond. It is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S., with about 125 spoken languages and dialects.

Aurora, Colorado

Outdoor living part of the luxury at Toll's new "Inspiration" 55-plus community in Aurora, CO.
Stephanie Dhue | CNBC

Score: 96

Median Home Price: $350,000

Aurora is Colorado's third largest city, often called the "Silicon Valley" of the Centennial State. Aurora has plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. It is close to the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is considered among the most beautiful spots in the U.S.

San Francisco

The median price for a home in San Francisco is about $1.3 million, according to real estate site Zillow.
Education Images | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Score: 96

Median Home Price: $1.4M

The city most closely associated with technology is perched atop multiple hills. The City by the Bay has the 2nd largest Chinatown outside of Asia and is home to numerous tech giants and landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid.