Buyers who are willing to close on a home purchase during the off-peak seasons – like fall and winter – tend to have the upper-hand, according to Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®'s chief economist. September, in particular, is the best month of this year to sign a contract to purchase a home, according to his analysis.
For one thing, supply is rising, providing home buyers with more choices of homes for sale than they've had in the past 10 months. In the third week of August, inventory was at 1.91 million units, an increase from 21 percent since January, according to realtor.com®.
"Normally inventory peaks in August and begins to slow as the nights grow longer," Smoke says. "But this year the typical seasonal decline will start a bit later. There will be more choices in September than any other month in 2015."
Also, he says that overall demand is down now that the school year has started so buyers will provide less competition this month too.
"And, of course, with less competition for the most listings all year, pricing power weakens as inventory takes longer to sell," Smoke says.
As an added incentive to home buyers, mortgage rates are remaining low, for now. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ended the week under 4 percent due to recent stock market turbulence. In June, 30-year rates were averaging 4.2 percent, but have since fallen.
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