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The Best Time to Buy a Home: Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Opportunity

Image source: Realtor.com Are you in the market for a new home? If so, you're probably aware of the challenges that the housing market has presented in recent times. But fear not, because we have...

Best Time to Buy - Realtor.com Image source: Realtor.com

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, you're probably aware of the challenges that the housing market has presented in recent times. But fear not, because we have some good news for you! There is a specific time of year when market conditions favor buyers the most, and that time is quickly approaching. According to our analysis of realtor.com listing data since 2018, the best time to buy a home this year will be the week of October 3-9.

Why the First Week of October?

Nationally, the first week of October has consistently shown a balanced mix of market conditions that are highly advantageous for buyers. Inventory tends to be high, prices are below peak levels, demand is waning, and the pace of the market slows to a more manageable speed. This sweet spot is partly driven by the school schedule, as families tend to bow out of the market during this time, leading to decreased demand and more affordable prices.

During this week, buyers can expect to see a surge in listings compared to the rest of the year. Historically, the fall is when inventory peaks, which is great news for eager buyers who have been struggling with limited options. If the trend holds true for 2021, we may see approximately 705,000 listings on the market in October, which is a significant increase compared to the peak summer season. This means more choices and opportunities for buyers to find their dream home.

Furthermore, the best week offers a respite from intense competition. July is typically the peak for homebuyer demand, with the highest concentration of buyers looking at each home for sale. During the best week in October, demand is significantly lower, translating to less competition for buyers. This gives you a better chance of securing the home you want without the pressure of a bidding war.

Another key advantage of buying during the best week is the more manageable pace of the market. In recent times, homes have been selling at lightning-fast speeds, leaving buyers with little time to make decisions. But during the best week, the pace slows down, allowing you more time to consider your options and make a well-informed decision.

Of course, we know that price and affordability are major concerns for buyers. That's why it's worth noting that prices during the best week are typically lower than the peak season highs. Nationally, prices could dip by 2.6% compared to the typical season high. In some of the largest housing markets, home prices during the best week can be over 10% lower than their peak price earlier in the year. This means potential savings of tens of thousands of dollars for buyers.

In addition to these advantages, the best week also sees a higher number of fresh listings entering the market. This gives you even more options to choose from and increases your chances of finding the perfect home.

Local Market Sweet Spots

While the best time to buy nationally is the first week of October, certain local markets have their own specific sweet spots. In Boston, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland metropolitan areas, the best week is expected to be September 12-18.

Best Time to Buy - September Markets - Realtor.com Image source: Realtor.com

These markets offer unique advantages for buyers during this time. For example, Detroit typically sees a 69% increase in active listings compared to the average week of the year. This increased inventory, along with decreased demand, means less competition for buyers.

In New York and Boston, the best week provides more time for buyers to make decisions. Homes on the market during this time take 40% longer to sell on average compared to their seasonal peaks. This can be a welcome relief for buyers who feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced nature of the market earlier in the year.

Each local market has its own balance of market factors during their respective best weeks, presenting different opportunities for buyers.

Methodology and Conclusion

To determine the best time to buy, we analyzed six supply and demand metrics at a national and metropolitan level using data from 2018 to 2019. The metrics included listing prices, inventory levels, new listings, time on market, homebuyer demand, and price reductions. Each week of the year was scored based on these metrics, and the week with the highest composite score was designated the best time to buy.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or are looking to upgrade or downsize, timing is everything. By taking advantage of the best time to buy, you can maximize your options, save money, and enjoy a more relaxed homebuying experience.

Remember, these are general trends, and local market conditions may vary. It's always a good idea to consult with a real estate professional who has knowledge of your specific area. Happy house hunting!

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