Along with temperatures rising, home sales tend to follow. According to Realtor.com, 50% of homes are sold in the summertime. Invest in a home during the fall and winter, to increase your odds of getting a better deal and to avoid a bidding war, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
Closings in January show a slope in prices, signifying that offers made in November and December received the best deals, he says. For example: summer of 2014, median home prices past $220,000 and dropped to $200,000 in January 2015. The summer after, median home prices hit near $240,000 which dropped again later that fall.
“Some of this is driven by the types of houses that sell in the winter months,” says Yun. Families with children in school account for bigger, more expensive homes and prefer to purchase during the summer when their kids are on summer vacation.
With that said, Invest in a home during the fall and winter. From here, to start fresh, home sellers like to list their homes in the spring instead of later in the year. Those who stick to this plan, are most motivated. (Note: A RealtyTrac analysis of home sales over the past 15 years pegged October as the best month to buy at a discount, 2.6% less than the fair market value at that time.)
Also, buyers who shop towards the end of the year, may have better chances of negotiating the price. However, there may be less selection and possible tradeoff.
That’s because inventory of homes for sale typically starts to decline in September, Yun says, with the biggest dip around the holidays. Historically, prices drop 10% in December and not much improvement in January. “Inventory begins to measurably increase in the spring,” he says. “Over the last four years it looks like a 10% jump in inventory from March to April.”
There are markets that challenge these particular trends. For example, during the winter, destinations see a rush of activity later in the fall and winter, as tourists and snow bunnies check out open houses. With similar demand, smaller homes and condos tend to be steady throughout the year, says Yun, because buyers and sellers typically aren’t bound to school calendars.
It’s important to know your market trends. However, we see the best time to buy a house depends on what your situation is and what makes sense for your budget. No seasonal discount is worth making a final decision, having a higher interest rate or purchasing a home that isn’t a good fit. Be sure to consult with me to understand your local Real Estate market and figure out if purchasing makes sense for you and your current situation.
I look forward to assisting with your Real Estate needs!
John Castelli, Realtor