Is there a best time of year to buy a house?
Are you house hunting and want to know when the best time of year to buy a house is? Timing your purchase can be critical, as depending on the season, you could be bidding against innumerable hordes, attending scores of listings or be scraping the barrel, with hardly any homes to view.
Buying a home: Understanding selling seasons
There are distinct selling seasons in which the volume of homes for sale and clearance rates vary significantly. Tradition dictates that spring is when people put their homes on the market, and there is also a well-documented uptick in listings in summer, but the reality of buying a home is a little more complicated.
Firstly you need to understand that every state, property market and suburb is unique, and has its own set of conditions. If you are looking at buying in an area with high investor activity – like a mining town or an area experiencing a tourism boom – there may be no clear selling season at all. Individual sellers also have different motivations as to why they choose a particular season or time of year to transact.
“If you are looking at buying in an area with high investor activity – like a mining town or an area experiencing a tourism boom – there may be no clear selling season at all.”
So when is the best time to buy a house? If you are buying your first home you may be surprised to know that the seasons play a part.
Buying a house in Spring
Conventional wisdom says if you put your home on the market in spring it will sell at a higher price. So, evidently, this is what people tend to do – even though the data doesn’t necessarily show it is the optimal time to sell a house.
From a buyer’s perspective, there is a clear spike in listings in spring as people emerge from winter and spruce up their homes for market. This is great as you have a ton of properties to view, but the flip side of the coin is you will have more competition for properties – which drives up the final sale price. As a result, buyers need to be prepared to pay more in spring.
Buying a house in Summer
You can also make a case for buying in summer – especially the window before Christmas. This is when sellers are keen to offload their properties before the New Year, so they can get on with their lives. Sellers with children could also want to sell before the school holidays end – in late January, so you could strike a deal then.
Like spring, there are more properties for sale – meaning, there is a better chance you’ll find your perfect home during summer. However, you’re also more likely to be paying a little more. You need be careful not to get too seduced by the warm weather, sparkling pool and idyllic garden – and pay over the odds.
Buying a house in Autumn
Based on the market data (via Open Agent), autumn is actually the most popular time to buy and sell a property. Why? People tend to make decisions during the Christmas period, and the time lag of a property sale ends up in autumn.
“Based on market data, autumn is actually the most popular time to buy and sell a property.”
As a buyer, there tend to be fewer houses for sale in autumn, but there will also be less active buyers – so competition at auctions will not be as intense, and prices may be a little softer during this time of year.
Buying a house in Winter
Ok, now time for winter. People tend to hibernate over the colder months, so not many houses are listed for sale. But – and this is a big but – there are also significantly fewer buyers out there. Be prepared though, because the buyers you’re competing against are likely to be as savvy and determined as you.
During winter, you’ll get to see properties without any of the distractions – pristine garden and flowers – that come with viewing in the warmer months. This gives you a good opportunity to see what the home feels like in the dead of winter – if there are icicles inside, maybe think twice?
Is now a good time to buy property?
Ultimately the best time of year or season to buy a house is when it works best for you, though as we have discovered here, you need to keep local market factors and seasonal trends in mind.
Get in touch if you are interested in selling or buying. We would love to help offer some advice.
Original article found here written by Craig Gibson.