January isn’t just a good time to buy a home – it’s one of the best times to buy a home.
On average, homes sold in January go for almost ten percent less than they do in the summer months. In fact, closing prices in January average about $255,000, and $308,000 in June.
Assuming that’s enough to convince you start – or keep – on your home search, here are some tips and thoughts on buying a new home in January.
Why the low prices?
A big reason the prices are so low in January is because, in most cases, the homes have been on the market for longer than what’s typical. The average in January is 104 days, compared to only 68 days in May.
More time on the market means more willingness for sellers to lower their price expectations. In January, you simply have a better chance at starting the negotiation with an upper hand. And in most cases, buyers end up with a better deal.
More than low demand
Although January is prime time for lower demand and thus lower prices, it also happens to be a slow month for supply.
So while you might find a better deal on the homes available in January, keep in mind that more homes will enter the market in later months.
This is simply a trade off you need to be aware of. In January, there are fewer home buyers, lower prices, but fewer homes to choose from. In Summer, there are more buyers, higher prices, but more homes to choose from.
Best case scenario is finding a home for sale in January that you truly love. But don’t let low prices urge you into settling for a home that doesn’t fit your needs.
Research your area
Every home buying market is unique, and some markets are exceptions to national averages. Many factors can play a role here. Some areas are more popular in Winter than Summer, and follow an opposite trend. Some places have such a moderate year-round climate, that changes rarely take place at all. And some markets could be in the middle of a larger economic up or downturn.
So although January in your area is likely similar to national averages, there’s a chance it isn’t. Our advice is to ask realtors in your area for their experiences with price fluctuations.