My favorite season is Fall. The leaves are turning, pumpkin spice flavors everything, the air is crisp. Not only is Fall the most beautiful time of the year in my book; Fall is also the best time to buy a house.
In 70 of 100 largest metro markets, more homes are sold in October than any other month of the year. November and December come right behind October in second and third place.
According to the real estate website Trulia, home sales increase 7% during the Fall when compared to sales during the Spring. Listing prices are -4.8% lower in the Fall than the Summer and -3.1% lower than the Spring. Additionally, all the homes that didn’t sell during the Summer move into housing inventories that peak during the Fall.
More inventory means less competition. And less competition means more time to do necessary inspections before rather than after making an offer on a home. Oftentimes, shoot-from-the-hip, time pressured, essentially blind offers made without inspections can lead to expensive headaches for years to come.
RealtyTrac, a public housing data company, tells us housing transactions that closed on October 8 in 2015 registered the biggest average discount of the year…-10% below the home’s estimated market value. Other good days for buyers to close in 2015, again according to RealtyTrac, were, in this order, November 26, December 31, October 22 and October 15.
Prices that benefit first time and median-income earning buyers the most during the Fall tend to be homes in the lower 1/3 of market valuation.
Usually, the West sees the largest swings in home prices during the Fall. RealtyTrac recorded Wichita with a price swing of minus -18.618.6% in 2016. Seattle, San Jose, Oakland and Denver all experienced Fall price drops between -9 and -12%.
The highest number of starter homes available to buy last Fall, 2016 included San Jose with +42%. Colorado Springs, Portland, and San Francisco all experienced an annual peak in starter’s inventory during the last three months of the year.