15 Most Competitive Housing Markets in the U.S.

The housing market has been showing some signs of slowing, but conditions are still competitive in many areas of the country.
Updated April 3, 2023
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The housing market has been showing some signs of slowing, but conditions are still competitive in many areas of the country.

It can be difficult in some cities to place the winning bid on a house you want to buy. You may be competing against a large pool of buyers in a market with little inventory. That can mean having to spend more than you had wished, which is not a good way to avoid going into debt.

Using data from national real estate brokerage firm Redfin, we've compiled a list of the most competitive housing markets in the country. Scores are on a scale of 1 to 100 and take into account the following:

  • Number of competing offers
  • Waived contingencies
  • Sale-to-list ratio
  • Number of days on market

Aurora, Colorado

Jacob/Adobe Denver Suburb of Aurora Colorado

Compete score: 90 (out of 100)

The suburb of Denver is on the east side of the city and is likely benefitting from the Denver area’s growth.

Sales may have increased due to the pandemic, as residents moved out to the suburbs in search of more space. Earlier this year, less than 20% of homes saw price drops. That number has now increased to just over 59%, which may be a sign the market is cooling down.

Fremont, California

Sundry Photography/Adobe Fremont and Union City from Garin Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park

Compete score: 90

How competitive is Fremont? About 80% of homes are selling above list price, with purchase prices coming in at an average of 8% over list.

Housing prices may be squeezing some buyers in this market, as the median home sales price has risen to just over $1.4 million.

Spokane, Washington

Jeremy/Adobe Spokane Falls and City Skyline Summer Evening

Compete score: 90

Located in eastern Washington state, Spokane has seen growth in its population during recent decades. That has led to a tightening housing market, which has created challenges for potential homeowners.

The average home is only on the market for six days and receives multiple offers that waive contingencies. The median home price was less than $250,000 in February 2020. It currently stands at $415,000.

San Jose, California

Shane/Adobe  San Jose view from San Pedro Square Public Parking

Compete score: 88

The median price for a home in San Jose was almost $1.4 million in June and nearly 74% of homes sold above the listing price.

However, that was down from more than 80% in May, and homes are now taking two days longer to sell than they did at this time in 2021.

Tacoma, Washington

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Tacoma Washington USA with Mt. Rainier

Compete score: 88

As with other cities in Washington, the competition for homes has been fierce in Tacoma. The median home price in June was $505,000.

Homes are usually on sale for only around six days, and multiple offers with waived contingencies show how tough it is to make a purchase here.

Modesto, California

Matt Gush/Adobe 99 Freeway and urban downtown core of Modesto California

Compete score: 87

The median home price in Modesto during June was $450,000, up almost 10% compared to a year earlier.

Those homes are only staying on the market for an average of 11 days, making it tough to compete with other potential homebuyers.

Richmond, Virginia

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Richmond Virginia USA Neighborhoods

Compete score: 86

The capital of Virginia has seen an increase in residents after a significant dip beginning in the 1970s. That may be one factor for its high compete score.

Richmond also has homes on the market for an average of only around eight days, and more than 70% of homes are being sold over the asking price. However, that percentage is down from where it was earlier this year.

Chula Vista, California

Unwind/Adobe sunny day in Chula Vista, California, USA

Compete score: 85

Just south of San Diego is Chula Vista, where homes are on the market for an average of 11 days.

The median home price in June was an expensive $810,000, which makes it even tougher for younger homebuyers to afford a home in an already competitive market.

Denver, Colorado

Matt/Adobe Union Station Denver Colorado

Compete score: 85

Denver has been growing in population for several decades, which may be putting a strain on the housing market in this city. The median number of days on the market in June was just five.

With the average home selling for at least 4% over market price, potential homebuyers may be competing for a house and losing out to the highest bidder.

Omaha, Nebraska

Jacob/Adobe Downtown Omaha, Nebraska in Autumn

Compete score: 85

Omaha homebuyers may enjoy the fact that the median home price was $265,000, which is lower than other cities on this list. But that’s still up sharply over the past five years.

The average home stays on the market for six days, which is a bit longer than earlier in the year.

Seattle, Washington

espiegle/Adobe Seattle skyline and Mt Rainier on a clear day

Compete score: 85

Seattle is struggling to keep up with the demand for housing, with the typical house staying on the market for a median six days in June. That is actually one day less compared to the same month a year ago.

Many homes are getting multiple offers even with an $875,000 median home price.

Sacramento, California

belyay/Adobe Sacramento Walks, California shots

Compete score: 84

Those shopping for a home in Sacramento may have caught a bit of a break: Homes were on the market for a median of nine days in June, which is up two days compared to the same time last year.

But more than 66% of homes are selling above market price, with the typical home in Sacramento now selling at $510,000.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sean/Adobe sunrise at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Compete score: 83

Home prices in Colorado Springs are more than 8% higher compared to a year ago. The typical home sells for a median price of $465,000 and is on the market for 12 days.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Christopher Boswell/Adobe fall color orange tree leaves Nebraska State Capital Lincoln

Compete score: 83

The typical home in Lincoln is on the market for a median of six days, which actually is up one day from last year.

Even with a median price of $270,000, more than 66% of homes sold over the asking price in June. That is down just a touch from May when more than 70% of homes sold over the listing.

San Diego, California

f11photo/Adobe downtown San Diego skyline in California USA

Compete score: 83

San Diego is not cheap for homebuyers, with a median price of $910,000 in June.

Despite such high prices, just over 59% of homes in the city sold above the asking price in June, with the average home sitting on the market for 11 days.

Bottom line


It can be tough to get your bid for a home accepted in a tight housing market, especially in the most competitive housing markets in the U.S. That is bad news if you are hoping to avoid the financial stress of a bidding war.

Check your budget before you start your homebuying process and consider getting approved for a loan before you start looking. Doing so can give you an edge over other buyers.

It might also help to look for ways to make a little extra money so you will have more cash available if you need it to land your dream home.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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