I get asked a lot when is the best time to buy or sell a house. My answer is that in my opinion, there really isn’t a best time. Of course the market is seasonal as shown in the chart which graphs monthly averages since 1990. The largest number of sales occur in the summer months as families try to minimize the impact of changing schools. And prices also tend to vary with the seasons.
If you’re a buyer you may think that the best time to buy is in the summer, when there are more choices, but there are also more buyers and therefore more competition. Same for sellers, more potential buyers, but more homes competing for their attention. In the ‘off’ months there may be fewer options, but sellers may be more willing to make a deal.
And most people can’t take advantage of price variations since they have to buy and sell at the same time. If you sell in a down market you buy low. Sell high, buy high. The only way to take advantage of seasonality in prices is to either own multiple homes or sometimes own none.
One thing that is apparent from the chart, prices tend to go up over the long haul on average.
Bottom line, I don’t think that there is a best time of year to buy or sell, so you can make your decision based on other factors.
Want to know more about price trends in your neighborhood? Give me a call and I can send you a chart customized to your location.