The Real Estate Encyclopedia
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home?
Category - Home Buying Questions - Search & Offer FAQ's

Overall, the spring is the time of year when most homes go on the market.  This fact is driven by different factors such as buyers using their tax refund as a down payment, families planning their move around their children’s school terms, warmer weather, local employment opportunities, local market conditions, etc.


Home-buying "seasonality" will change from market to market and may be slowly shifting. A buyer's market in a city will mean more homes are available year round, while a seller's market, generally driven by local employment opportunities, can influence peak seasons significantly


However, most agents agree on the seasonal wisdom that homes generally sell for a few percent more than the annual average during the months of May and June, at or around the average annual price in very early spring and in fall, and then drop a few percent below the average annual price in December and January. As a rule the buying frenzy stays steady through most of the summer and then falls in early fall.


Be informed about the particular market cycle: There are areas in Florida, Colorado and California and other regions with large resort areas or large numbers of retirees and semi-retirees, which don't follow the traditional sale season. Winter resort areas peak in sales between January and April, according to agents. In northern climates, winter conditions will focus the annual peak season to their warmest-weather months.


Is there a tax advantage to buy late in the year? Have a tax preparer inform you whether the deductions will better fit in the current or future year. If need be, try to close Dec. 31 rather than Jan. 2, or vice versa. (Be sure you know which items of your closing will be tax-deductible and which will be added to the value of the property.)


Consider special circumstances: When there are layoff announcements or a planned move of corporate headquarters in a particular market, the result may be more homes on the market for the short term with a variety of price points and some motivated sellers. Although these are typically difficult times for sellers, the buyer also provides an opportunity for the affected homeowner to sell.

Home Buying Questions - Search & Offer FAQ's
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