Ho-Ho-Home Buying: December is the Best Month to Purchase a Home
The holidays are here. While most people are focused on their holiday shopping, the winter season offers savvy home buyers an opportunity to find the perfect home for the perfect price. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, this may be the best time of year to begin your hunt thanks to these key factors:
LESS COMPETITION IN DECEMBER
Spring is traditionally the busiest time of year for home sales and a great time to list your house if you are a seller. But if you are a buyer, December offers a great selection of homes without competition from other buyers.
For obvious reasons, many people avoid shopping for homes during the months of November through the end of December, especially home buyers with children. Although many families have more down time, they are focused on holiday shopping, parties, and family events. And for people in colder regions, winter weather can put a damper on home shopping. Furthermore, people with children are less likely to look for homes during winter because it’s the middle of their kids’ school year. They’d rather wait until spring or summer.
The lack of interest in home buying is great for buyers who are willing to hit the streets around the holidays. Less competition means your offer is more likely to get accepted without rigorous negotiations. And you won’t find yourself in a bidding war for your dream home. If you think shopping for a home in December is crazy, listen to this: according to Realtor.com, the Sunday after Christmas
is historically one of the busiest days for real estate agents. Christmas Eve, on the other hand, is one of the slowest.
HOME BUYING IN DECEMBER SAVES MONEY
Since the holidays are a time of year when homes are in low demand, sellers are more likely to agree to a slightly lower offer (as long as it is an appropriate offer). According to a study done by ATTOM Data Solutions
, purchasing a home in December will save you the most amount of money. In fact, December held 7 of the top 10 days of the year when buyers got the best discounts on their home purchase.
ATTOM looked at 18 million single-family home and condo sales from 2013-2017 and compared the median sale price for homes on the day of closing with the median automated valuation model (AVM) price on the same homes at the time of sale. These were the best days in the year to buy a home:
|– 10 best days of the year to buy a home
||MEDIAN SALES PRICE
|Source: ATTOM Data Solutions
The above chart, however, is an overall look at home buying trends nationwide. To determine the best times to buy in your region, ask your agent or broker to provide you with the market metrics. Compare different months and years to identify significant peaks and lows. There will always be fluctuations, but patterns are patterns. You aren’t going to be able to narrow it down to the best day to make an offer, but you will be able to see the best few days or weeks to hunt for homes.
LOCK IN A LOWER MORTGAGE RATE
December being the last month of the year, it’s a great time to lock in a lower mortgage rate before the Federal Reserve possibly hikes up interest rates at the start of the new year. A possible new year hike in mortgage rates will add to your borrowing costs. Suddenly, some homes at the higher end of your budget are now out of reach.
When it comes to making such a large purchase, any money saved is great. It is a gamble, however. Next year’s rate may go down slightly, but better to bet on the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t. After all, if you can lock in a lower mortgage rate, and possibly negotiate a lower price for the home, you can move in with a better equity position. Merry Christmas to you, savvy home buyer!
MORE DOWN TIME DURING THE HOLIDAYS
It may not save you money or offer you a wider selection of homes but having more free time during the winter makes home buying more convenient. Yes, people are busy during the holidays, but the down time from school and possibly work, gives you flexibility in scheduling. Most home buyers look at homes after work hours and on the weekends. The month of December, however, offers plenty of opportunity to tour a home in the middle of a weekday. Furthermore, all that down time gives you ample opportunity to search for homes online.
If you don’t believe December offers buyers more free time to home shop, consider a study done by Redfin
that determined the chance of selling a home in the winter held steady at 65%–higher than any other time of year. This is do in part to the changing demographics of home buyers. More and more home buyers are unmarried or without children. Scheduling around a kid’s school schedule isn’t an issue for this demographic.
If you’re ready to begin your search for a new home for the holiday, contact Home Clicks Realty
. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect home, whether it’s December or any other time of the year!