When is the Best Season of the Year to Buy to get the Best Deal

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Since the market meltdown in 2008, the US housing market has rebounded dramatically.

In fact, even if you purchased a property at the lowest point of the market crash and held onto it until today, your home would have appreciated by roughly 25 percent.

What’s even better news is that It’s expected that the housing market will continue to climb in the future due to the changes that were made in the lending market coming out of the mortgage debacle.

Plus, the economy is showing no signs of slowing down and the job market is good.

All of this said, there’s always that lingering question: “Should I buy a home now or wait a few months to purchase a home?”

The answer is that different times of the year offer different opportunities, but there’s really never a “bad” time of the year to buy a home.

Based on a variety of data compiled from multiple sites online like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors, etc., here’s a look at the different months of the year and what the real estate market it looks like in each season.

How the months of the year stack up for buying a home

Experts agree that price is the main determinant for buying a home. To that end, this chart uses price as the barometer as which month of the year is the best in which to buy a home.

Here’s what home buying looks like for each month of the year. As you read closely, you’ll see that the some of the hard data is contrary to conventional wisdom.

Month

% of Homes Selling Above List Price

Median Sales

Price at Closing

Median Days on

Market Before Closing

1. Jan

23%

$254,914

104

2. Feb

24%

$260,086

101

3. Oct

17%

$262,943

84

4. Nov

15%

$270,571

87

5. July

22%

$259,000

70

6. Dec

16%

$275,329

95

7. Mar

26%

$261,386

86

8. Sept

19%

$266,029

81

9. Aug

20%

$264,143

75

10. May

25%

$260,629

68

11. Apr

26%

$262,457

73

12. June

24%

$307,571

67

 

Shockingly, January is one of the best months in which to buy a home.

The median sales price of homes during this time of the year is at the lowest point. As well, houses that close during January have often been on the market for over three months on average. To that end, the longer a home stays on the market, the lower the price the home will likely sell for.

It stands to reason then that home buyers who buy in January will be able to negotiate price  more effectively since the home has been on the market for a longer time frame, giving them a chance to get better a deal.

What’s also crazy, but makes complete sense, is that June is the worst month to buy a home.

The transition between spring and summer is the worst time to buy a home. This is the case for the opposite reason to what’s happening in January.

Shorter time on market and higher median sales price at this time of the year means that buyers can and will have a tougher time negotiating a solid price for themselves when buying a home. It doesn’t mean you won’t get a good deal, it just means that there’s often less room to negotiate a better price for yourself when the market is on the upswing.

Consider these factors as well

Getting a good price is always a top consideration for home buyers, even for those who are willing to lay out a bit more of their hard-earned cash for their dream home.

But for most buyers, selection is also key. Available inventory gives buyer the opportunity they want and need to find the best absolute home for their budget, even if they’re willing to go a little over their budget in the end.

Spring months, historically, provide buyers with the largest inventory from which to choose. Home buyers with a large selection from which to choose have a better chance of finding their dream home in May when new listings are at their peak, and the total number of 2.16 million homes hits the market, a close second only to July and September.

Ideally, there’s a literally no shortage of options in the month of May.

Conversely, the selection dwindles dramatically as the end of the year approaches. December is the month when most homes have already been sold.

Total inventory drops to its lowest at 1.78 million homes and the number of new listings hitting the market is also at the lowest point of the year.

Finding a home during December is completely possible, but it might take a little more searching on your part.

Month

New Listings

Total Inventory of Homes

1. May

577,043

2.16 M

2. July

542,378

2.18 M

3. Aug

492,502

2.21 M

4. Apr

569,386

2.13 M

5. June

558,375

2.15 M

6. Sept

466,865

2.17 M

7. Mar

524,175

1.93 M

8. Oct

462,216

2.12 M

9. Feb

447,898

1.86 M

10. Nov

390,568

2.01 M

11. Jan

415,461

1.80 M

12. Dec

304,555

1.78 M

 

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