Looking to buy a new house this fall? You’re in luck.
A new analysis from home listings website Realtor.com finds that the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 is the best time to purchase. That’s thanks to an ideal combination of housing market conditions that give buyers the upper hand, including lower prices, more inventory, reduced competition and more time to make decisions.
Realtor.com estimates that the last week in September could see nearly 50% more active listings compared to the average for the rest of 2022. The company also expects that people who buy that week will save more than $20,000 on a median-priced home compared to those who bought during the peak of the market this summer, when a median-priced home cost $450,000.
In addition, potential buyers can look forward to demand that’s generally about 8.5% lower than an average week as well as homes that stay on the market about a week longer than is typical. More price cuts than usual are on deck, too.
Realtor.com’s experts attribute these changes in the market to seasonal factors. Not only do kids return to school in the fall, but the weather also cools off, making showings and inspections harder to conduct. (Plus, the cold reduces curb appeal.) As a result, demand drops.
Rising mortgage rates make it more expensive to buy
Of course, it’s only a good time to buy a home if you can afford to do so. Many families are facing affordability challenges thanks to rising mortgage rates, and the issue is only likely to get worse if the Federal Reserve continues to push rates higher — something that many experts agree is likely next week as the central banking system keeps trying to bring down inflation.
“The housing market always cools down this time of year, but this year, I expect fall and winter to be especially frigid as sales dry up more than usual,” Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at real estate brokerage Redfin, said in a blog post last week.
If your budget has some wiggle room and you can stomach borrowing at higher rates, though, this could be an opportunity to jump into the market.