When is the best season to purchase a home?

by Anna Sobrevinas10 May 2017
Home sellers reportedly have no problem selling in the spring, but for home buyers, the best season to purchase is in the late summer.

New data from Zillow showed that more homes were for sale at the end of the summer than any other time of the year, and the season provides the most options and frequent price cuts.

August is the month to bet money on purchasing a home, as it had the most for-sale listings – and last year, 15% of listings reduced their selling prices.

Nationwide, only 12.6% of active listings in March 2016 cut their prices, compared with August’s record 15.1%. In September, 14.3% of active listings featured price reductions.

April last year had more new listings – 509,600 – than any other month. There were just 448,100 new listings in August – but then again, August saw the biggest percentage of price cuts.

"In such a competitive housing market, it's easy for buyers to get frustrated when they are putting in multiple offers without success," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "Buyers who start their home search in the spring may still be looking months later – but for those who can wait it out, the end of summer will bring more favorable conditions. Homes that may have been overpriced earlier in the year are more likely to have a price reduction, and those listings passed over in earlier months may look better with a fresh perspective."

Here are 10 metro areas and the percentages of active listings with price cuts from March to October last year from Zillow:

Metropolitan Area

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

New York/Northern New Jersey

11.5%

12.2%

12.3%

13.2%

12.3%

11.9%

12.5%

11.2%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

10.8%

10.3%

10.7%

12.6%

13.2%

14.3%

13.5%

11.9%

Chicago, IL

13.2%

15.9%

16.2%

18.6%

18.6%

19.7%

19.9%

18.2%

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

10.6%

11.2%

11.6%

13.7%

15.2%

16.4%

15.4%

14.5%

Philadelphia, PA

17.5%

18.5%

18.1%

20.1%

19.3%

19.0%

21.0%

19.7%

Houston, TX

17.1%

16.5%

14.7%

17.2%

19.1%

18.2%

18.2%

17.2%

Washington, DC

13.4%

15.4%

16.3%

17.8%

17.7%

17.1%

17.2%

16.8%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

14.1%

13.1%

12.1%

12.4%

11.8%

12.1%

11.8%

10.8%

Atlanta, GA

11.6%

12.1%

12.0%

13.3%

14.1%

14.6%

14.0%

13.6%

Boston, MA

10.8%

11.4%

12.5%

14.3%

13.4%

14.2%

14.6%

16.4%


Related stories:
Home-selling confidence high in spring
Freddie predicts tightening inventory this spring

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