Falling home prices are starting to ignite bidding wars in a few parts of the U.S. as first-time buyers compete with investors for the same foreclosed properties.

In most of the nation, the supply of unsold homes continues to swamp demand. Home prices in many markets continue to fall, and foreclosures, which slowed in late 2008 as mortgage companies delayed taking action against delinquent borrowers, are picking up again.

But real-estate brokers say multiple offers on certain homes have recently become more common in parts of California and Arizona and the Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan areas.

Tamby Leonard of Santa Ana, Calif., southeast of Los Angeles, says she has been outbid four times since January when trying to buy a home for her family of five. The more appealing bank-owned homes in her price range, around $300,000, tend to be sold quickly to investors who can pay cash. The market for homes in the Santa Ana area in that price range is “blazing hot,” says Ed Mixon of Altera Real Estate, Ms. Leonard’s agent.

Read the full article by James R. HagertyBidding wars Are Emerging on Foreclosuresin the Wall Street Journal.

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