As the leaves begin to turn orange, kids return to school, and fall decorations make their way down from the attic, plenty of home sales are completed and families unpack in their new homes. For many real estate agents and mortgage originators, the spring and summer months are significantly more profitable. More homes are on the market, which gives potential buyers plenty of choices. However, what can you do if you weren’t ready to go house hunting during the summer? Does it make sense to bide your time and wait for the thaw of spring before you think seriously about home shopping? While many families will decide to do just this, what does the market look like in the fall/winter, and is there any way to take advantage?
NerdWallet takes a look at the conundrum and found several reasons why it makes good financial sense to purchase late in the year, instead of waiting for spring/summer. First, despite potentially having more homes to choose from during the traditional market peak, you’ll pay a premium for that. NerdWallet reports that home prices generally bottom out during the winter months, giving you a great window of opportunity to potentially save thousands. The catch is, many families don’t necessarily have the option to move during the school year. But if you can, the slower activity gives you a great chance to score a deal.
The study also shows that, in the 50 metro areas surveyed, sale prices fell by an average of 2.96% from September-November, compared to June-August. That amounts to an average discount of $8,300, which may not sound like much. Especially if you are getting a 30-year mortgage for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But remember, a lower sales price means a lower down payment amount. If you can wait even longer, the dead of winter (January and February) will give you an even larger discount – an average of 8.45% off the summer price.
Where should you look to find the very best deal? Where does the largest drop in price occur? The study found that Hartford, CT prices fell 8.2% between summer and fall (compared to the national average of 2.96%). Cleveland, OH and Birmingham, AL also registered significant seasonal declines. Make sure to check out the article to find out more about how and why prices fluctuate during the year, and how you can be poised to take advantage.