There are a variety of factors that can influence whether you’re getting top dollar for your home or getting a smoking deal on your purchase. One of these factors is timing.
Typically the first couple months of the year, January and February, are fairly slow. The weather hasn’t broken yet, curb appeal isn’t at its peak, and although many people are thinking of making a move, there’s hesitation. Many of the listings are stale, they’ve been on the market for months, with little or no activity, and the Buyers are waiting for the days to get longer and the rain to stop. This is a great opportunity for Buyers as they’re more likely to find motivated Sellers. This is typically a Buyer’s market with a monthly Sales-Active Listings level under 14%.
The spring season is the busiest time of the year. This typically runs from around spring break through the end of July-early August, slowing progressively through the summer. There’s lots of fresh inventory, lots of turn over, and lots of sales. Flowers are out, the sunshine is shining, and people want to be in their new homes by summer. We usually see a shift towards a balanced market. This year April and May had a Sales-Active Listings ratio over 14%, the threshold between a Buyer’s and balanced market.
The end of August and all of September are typically slower, with people taking their summer vacations and families getting their kids ready for school. This is also a good opportunity for the savvy Buyer to get a good deal from a motivated Seller who hasn’t seen much traffic recently.
October and November are strong with Buyers wanting to be in their new homes before Christmas, a shift back towards a balanced market.
And finally December. If someone has their house listed over the holidays there’s a good chance they’re motivated. This is another good opportunity for Buyers to find a good deal.
In short if you’re looking for a dream home the best time to buy is when you find it. There’s a good chance your ideal home will be someone else’s top pick too. If you’re buying an investment, or looking for an opportunity, December-February, and August-September are great times to be checking out homes.
Wondering how the Sales-Active Listings is calculated and what it means to you? Check out my blog post Buyer’s, Seller’s and Balanced Market.