Bidding Wars Overheated the Dwelling-Purchaser Market, Now They’re Coming for Renters

Bidding Wars Overheated the Dwelling-Purchaser Market, Now They’re Coming for Renters

When Donna Jones and her husband seemed to lease a house in Northern Virginia in February, they typically acquired the identical response: Sorry, however another person supplied to pay extra lease.

“We didn’t even know you can try this,” Ms. Jones mentioned.

Bidding wars have lengthy been a staple of sizzling housing markets, the place patrons compete with affords above the vendor’s itemizing value. Now, these contests have gotten extra commonplace within the rental market. Actual-estate brokers from New York to Chicago and Atlanta say they see extra folks than ever making affords above asking to lease properties and residences that they are going to by no means personal.

An rising variety of white-collar professionals—a few of whom not too long ago offered properties—are reluctant to purchase due to record-high house costs, rising mortgage charges and restricted provide. They’re renting as an alternative, serving to to drive a frenzy for leased properties of all types, and serving to gasoline the development of providing above asking rents, real-estate brokers mentioned.

Regardless of forecasts for a cooling housing market in 2022, U.S. house costs are nonetheless hitting file highs, even with mortgage charges surging in current months. WSJ’s Dion Rabouin explains what’s driving demand, proof of a slowdown on the horizon, and what that might imply for the economic system. Photograph composite: Ryan Trefes

In some components of Atlanta, so many individuals compete for a similar properties that Re/Max agent Peter Beckford mentioned he’s renting out $3,500-a-month townhouses to {couples} making near $1 million a yr.

“All of those candidates are extraordinarily well-qualified,” Mr. Beckford mentioned.

A New York Metropolis panel final week authorised lease will increase of three.25% for subsequent yr at properties lined by the town’s lease stabilization guidelines, the most important rise in practically a decade. However for the town’s unregulated rental inventory, which accounts for about half of all residences there, it’s open season on lease hikes. In widespread high-end neighborhoods, extra renters are making over-ask affords, real-estate brokers say.

“We’re politely recommending it,” mentioned Adrian Savino, managing director of the Residing New York brokerage agency.

Giant rental landlords additionally report having extra enterprise than they’ll deal with. “In any given week, we recover from 13,000 leads for less than 200 properties out there,” mentioned

Gary Berman,

chief govt of

Tricon Residential,

throughout a Might earnings name.

The median U.S. asking lease handed $2,000 for the primary time in Might, in keeping with real-estate firm Redfin, and it has risen 15% over the previous 12 months. If extra high-income folks enter sizzling rental markets, and the availability of latest properties for them to lease or purchase doesn’t considerably enhance, rents are poised to maintain rising, housing analysts say.

Rising rates of interest additionally imply that builders are prone to construct much less as a result of fewer folks can afford a brand new house when borrowing charges are greater, mentioned Taylor Marr, deputy chief economist at Redfin. “I believe we’re in a very powerful spot now with the outlook for brand new building.”


For those who or somebody you already know encountered a bidding battle within the rental market, what was the result? Be a part of the dialog beneath.

Many renters don’t cease at providing a better rental value. Some are following different components of the home-buyer playbook, resembling drafting “decide me” love letters that introduce themselves to a landlord and make an emotional attraction. Others are asking earlier landlords to write down them suggestions, as if making use of for a job.

In Chicago, the web site facilitates an inflow of individuals bidding on lease. Landlords begin the bidding with a urged value. Renters then have the selection to lowball them or bid even greater. Some residences now go 10% to fifteen% over ask on Brixbid, mentioned firm co-founder James Peterson.

Chicago real-estate agent Jodi Dougherty of Downtown Condo Co. has instructed her shoppers to write down of their greatest affords on any rental software they submit. Many candidates are dropping out once they assume the asking lease is sufficient, she mentioned.

Earlier this month, a consumer succeeded by pre-emptively providing $1,000 over the asking value for a three-bedroom house close to downtown Chicago that was listed for $4,000. “We didn’t win it by a landslide, by any means,” Ms. Dougherty mentioned.

Donna Jones and her husband T.J. supplied extra money on their townhouse in Ashburn, Va.



It isn’t simply high-end models in prosperous neighborhoods the place tenants really feel stress to pay above ask. For a number of months, Atlanta housekeeper Tabutha Robinson and her household had been seeking to transfer when in April Ms. Robinson discovered a three-bedroom home listed for $1,325. The itemizing agent, Torrence Ford, warned her there have been already different functions on the house.

“I felt like, if I’m going up only a tad on the supply, then possibly I’ll get it,” Ms. Robinson recalled. She supplied $1,500, a stretch for her finances, she mentioned, however what it took to lastly lease a house. “I ran it by the proprietor, they usually have been so elated they went with them immediately,” Mr. Ford mentioned.

Ms. Jones additionally entered the bidding-war fray. “Prepared to pay $50 extra,” she started writing on her functions for rental homes throughout the larger Washington, D.C., space.

But regardless that she and her husband T.J. have careers in authorities contracting and the navy and say they’ve good credit score, they have been nonetheless getting outbid. At one level, they thought of dressing in navy garb for house showings within the hopes which may impress some property house owners.

Then in March, when a four-bedroom townhouse in Ashburn, Va., hit the marketplace for $3,000, the couple pounced. They supplied an additional $200 and have been accepted.

“It was scary, as a result of on the finish there we have been simply placing in functions sight unseen,” Ms. Jones mentioned. “This isn’t regular.”

Write to Will Parker at [email protected]

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