December marks the best month for consumers to buy a house
While it's normally a time the market slows down for mortgage lenders relative to the rest of the year, this winter shouldn't be used to hibernate, according to Attom Data Solutions.
Home buying perennially decelerates in the winter, as spring and summer represent the busiest seasons for purchasing a house. Partly because of this, the biggest discounts in home prices all occur on days between October and February, with seven of the top 10 taking place in December, based on sales data of single-family homes and condos from 2013 to 2017.
"People closing on a home purchase Dec. 26 were submitting offers around Thanksgiving and starting their home search around Halloween — likely not a common path to home purchase for most buyers and exactly why it's the best time to buy," Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with Attom Data Solutions, said in a press release.
Consumers can save up to 1.3% on average off the sales price by striking at the right time. With affordability still an issue, savvy homebuyers will find and use whatever advantages they can. However, as the inventory finally shows signs of life for the first time in a decade, the coming months could have an unseasonable bump in home buying.
"Buyers and investors willing to start their home search right about when stores are setting up Christmas decorations will face less competition and likely be dealing with more motivated sellers, giving them the upper hand in price negotiations," Blomquist said.
Especially with mortgage rates expected to keep rising next year, buyers could be making a push this holiday season before the forecasted Fed hikes hit.