When you’re about to make the biggest purchase of your life, place yourself in the best buying position possible. If you’re the kind of person who buys winter coats when they go on sale in the summer, you’re certainly going to wonder if there is a better time of year to purchase a home. The short answer is: it depends on you and your needs. Real estate predictions can only go so far despite all the time and research you put in. However, it can certainly help to look at the data from years past and use it to assist in your decision-making.
The Typical Answer
If going by the standard answer, the best time of year to buy a house is in August or September. Usually, during this time of year, the prices are lower and the inventory (number of homes for sale) is at its best. You can find times of the year when prices are lower, but inventory will be much scarcer, or vice-versa. August and September have the best balance of both factors. In September 2019 the median home price dropped around $8,000 from July, while inventory was still on the higher end for the year.
Moving in the summer months also allows families to prep their children for changes in school district. Entering a new class and group of peers mid-year can be difficult for a student, especially if the student is entering a long-established social setting.
If you’re looking at a market that isn’t balmy year-round, summer also provides excellent weather for the process of moving and house hunting. Maybe you don’t have kids, or the idea of a trek in snow with all your boxes doesn’t daunt you. You may be more inclined to look during a time when houses are cheapest.
Looking Only at Price Not Inventory
For the lowest prices of the year, winter is your best bet. January 2019 had the lowest median home prices of the entire year, and from December 2019 to January 2020, median prices saw a drop of $9,000. Inventory does suffer in these months, though. Most people don’t want to uproot during winter so it can be slim pickings in your targeted neighborhoods. If you have a very specific vision for the kind of home you want or the precise community you want to live in, January may not be your time to buy.
When Inventory is Best
When you are dead set on a particular neighborhood or feature for your home, think spring for shopping. Between March and April in 2019, inventory went up by 160,000, and by June, inventory was at its highest point in the whole year.
This is a great time of year to shop when you don’t want to be forced to compete with dozens of other offers on the same property. Increased inventory also gives a wider scope of options and amenities. You have a much better chance of ticking all the boxes on your dream house wish list if you buy in the springtime.
While data is helpful, the real answer is: you buy when you feel ready, and you have the best real estate professionals working with you. To begin the process, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get you on the right path no matter the time of year.