To help, fill out this homebuying worksheet with your housing search partner to help you decide whether the time is right for you to purchase the house you can reasonably afford, in the neighborhood you desire. A local realtor may be an excellent resource to call upon when you are determining the best time to buy a house in a particular market. Working with a real estate agent that knows the details of your market is essential for getting the timing just right.
While buying a house will come down to numerous factors and moving parts, having a solid grasp on what every season brings gives buyers and sellers an opportunity to use their timing with expected results. If you are considering buying a home, knowing about these seasonal trends may help you reach your goals more efficiently. The best time of year to purchase a home depends on what factors are most important for you in making the purchase.
Many home buyers think that the fall is the best time to purchase a house due to lower prices. Late summer is the best season to buy a home if you want the buying experience of having sufficient inventory to find the house you like, but also taking advantage of sellers discounting prices until fall. Nationwide, May through August have the highest volume of home sales, and sales numbers and inventory drop in the winter when sellers put homes on the sidelines during the holidays.
New home listings peak from April to June, according to Zillow, and there is the highest volume of properties listed from May to August. Zillow data shows home purchases early in May are asking $2,000 more in some areas compared with the rest of the year. Last year, prices rose $11,000 from April through May, reaching the highest of the year in June, when they reached $285,000.
The trouble is, it is not easy to know when the price of a house is going to drop, and the amount of homes on the market (or inventory) is going to increase. The best time to buy a house is not always when the inventory is high, nor is it always when prices are the lowest. As a result, depending on the inventory, buyers competing for the remaining homes on the market can be fierce, making the homebuying process a costly one for all parties in winter months.
With fewer buyers and a tighter inventory, sellers who actually do have homes left on the market are motivated to sell. Potential buyers looking for a better deal should keep their eyes peeled for an increase in homes for sale, since that gives buyers a wider selection of homes to choose from, as well as gives them an opportunity to negotiate a sales price. If the new home you are buying is contingent upon an existing one selling, carefully evaluate your local market.
If you are looking to purchase a new home and sell your existing one, now may be an excellent time to pursue both deals. If you are looking for a better deal and are not in a hurry, you might want to watch the weather and wait until fall and winter, when home buying is less active. If you are flexible with your timing, waiting for off-peak buyer seasons could save you a lot of money – although there are some other tradeoffs to consider.
If you are shopping in the fall or winter, you are going to be facing less competition — and that means you will likely get better deals. Generally speaking, you will get better prices if you buy during the winter. On the other hand, if you want a wider selection of homes and you are okay with paying a premium, the spring and early summer are great times to buy homes, since there are more new listings available in April.
Seasonality has a significant impact on the housing market, and the conventional wisdom is that spring or summer is the best–or easiest–time to buy a new house. Regardless of when you choose to go home hunting, thinking about the major milestones in your life may help you determine when it is best to buy a new home. While each persons financial situation will vary, the decision on when to buy a house is mostly a matter of what is best for you, rather than what is perfect in the market.
You cannot control the direction that mortgage rates are heading, nor can you control the real estate market, but you can take steps to prepare for a successful homebuying experience. If you dedicate the time necessary to saving up for your down payment and closing costs, and you work on improving your credit score, you will find that the process of home-buying is a lot easier.
Because the state of the market is constantly changing, having a basic idea of which times of year are the most optimal for homebuying is a good starting point for making these initial moves. Let us take a look at how the seasons influence buying homes, as well as some other factors to consider besides seasonality.
These market conditions play an outsized role in the housing industry because of the way that they impact listings and affordability for people who are buying and selling homes. For instance, during recessions, no matter what the season, the housing markets will generally shift into buyers markets, with the advantage going to the buyer.
Winter is probably the best time to buy a house if price is the main consideration, but buyers looking for options will find a wider variety of properties in the spring. While some conventional wisdom says that there is one best time of year to buy a house – the spring buying season (April through June) – there are pros and cons to which month you should pick for home shopping. If we are going to follow the books, then typically, August or September is considered to be the best time to buy a house: home prices are getting lower, but inventory is still high.
Because there are more buyers shopping during spring, the house you purchase in March through May be worth more than the comparable house purchased in November or December. The Most Expensive Time to Buy a Home According to data from Zillow, homes are generally more expensive from March through May. Never let which month is when make or break a homebuying decision: Only your own financial situation truly determines what is a good time for you.
That said, that extra buying strength also comes with an increased level of competition from buyers, as the inventory of homes is low as well, particularly during a difficult COVID period.