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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

May 25, 2016

The conventional wisdom of the real estate industry has long professed the fall and winter months were the best for home buyers. We can all see the trends. Spring is the busiest time in real estate, and the holiday season is the slowest, but there is a little more to know when it comes to the right time to buy.

Popular opinions often fail tough scrutiny. However, the latest research from RealtyTrac, a provider of housing data and analytics for the real estate industry, proves this conventional wisdom mostly true.

Overall, home buyers should not attempt to time the market. Real estate markets are very local. National trends will convey very little information about your city or even your neighborhood. In a booming location, the best time to buy may be today, not allowing prices to go up further.

Nonetheless, RealtyTrac examined single family home sales from 2000 to 2015, more than 32 million in total. Their data showed October is the best month. Buyers paid on average 2.6 percent below full market value.

The next best months for home buyers include February, July, December, and January. Except July, the research supports the conventional wisdom showing the best months to buy a home are in the fall and winter. The worst month is April.

The cause of the savings is there are fewer buyers competing for homes. Fall and winter make it hard for buyers. If a homeowner is motivated to sell, they are more willing to negotiate when the market is slow.

There are several factors limiting the number of competing home buyers:

  • The beginning of the school year

  • A decrease in temperature

  • Shrinking daylight hours

  • Increase of inclement weather

  • Professional sports schedules

July is an anomaly. However, it is easily explainable. The end of the school year and summer vacations give July a push. Home sellers become more motivated, wanting to enjoy their summer.

There are many factors that affect home sales including interest rates, demand, affordability, and other real estate trends. Each area and location are different. If you would like more information or to discuss the best time to buy a home, please contact a Door agent today!