Seasonality in Home Buying
Car buyers often consider seasonality when planning their vehicle purchases, waiting for bargain prices when new models arrive in the fall or winter. Home buyers should also consider time of year. The two high-volume seasons in real estate sales are spring and early fall. Many buyers want to move during warm weather and get settled before a new school year begins. Addressing this demand, many sellers put their homes on the market in these seasons. To reach the largest number of interested buyers, one of the best times for sellers to list a house is March or April.
Although those seasons will provide a larger selection of homes, a buyer is more likely to find a better deal in the winter. With fewer buyers looking for homes, sellers are more likely to reduce asking prices. Keep in mind that these factors vary by specific regions and properties, ultimately hinging on the owners’ reasons for selling.
Mortgage rates are driven more by the rates on 10-year Treasury notes than by seasonality in the real estate market. Specific mortgage companies, however, may have more available capacity in the winter and therefore may be somewhat flexible in their fees. On the other hand, they may choose to reduce their lenders’ working hours and cost overhead during slower times without offering any fee reductions. Different parts of the country face varying levels of competition among lenders, so it pays for a buyer to shop around for the best mortgage.