Worth the Wait: Homebuyers Save Thousands in the Off-Season

Posted on Oct 5 2016 - 4:40pm by Suzanne De Vita

Beige and Stone House in the FallTiming is everything, even in real estate.

Homebuyers in the nation’s densest metro areas could save thousands by purchasing a home in the off-season, according to a new analysis by NerdWallet. Sale prices fall an average of approximately 3 percent, or by $8,300 on a median-priced home, September through November, the analysis found.

Sale prices, as well, tend to keep tracking downward through January and February. NerdWallet’s analysis, which dug into housing activity from the last two years as reported by realtor.com®, recognized an overall average declining trend of 8.45 percent, identifying January as the month with the most metros experiencing the lowest sale prices.

The most considerable drop-offs from summer (June through August) to fall were in three distinct markets: Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, and Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., according to the analysis. Sale prices in each fell around 8 percent, or by $20,417, $11,450 and $13,386, respectively.

Related: The Perks of Buying a Home in the Fall 

In context, the median listing price in September is projected to be $250,000, a new high for the month, realtor.com recently reported. Listing price, however, often differs from sale price—of the 50 metro areas NerdWallet analyzed, the difference between the median listing price and median sale price averaged roughly $17,000 from September to November. Given these findings, homebuyers this fall and winter can expect to have an advantage over sellers, even with record list prices.

Buyers in fall may also have leverage in terms of selection. Realtor.com forecasted the median age of listings in September at 77 days, five days more than in August. With listings longer on the market (and less buyers to compete with), those purchasing past the peak summer season could have the upper hand in negotiations.

Mortgage interest rates, additionally, remain low—though the Federal Reserve hinted at a benchmark rate hike this December. Homebuyers, for now, still have the opportunity to secure a low rate.

Overall, these signs—and now, significant savings—point to an off-season in favor of homebuyers.

Learn more from NerdWallet’s analysis here.

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Krishna Dobroslav October 27, 2018 at 4:31 am -

    There are property that has a less price than the other. When buying or selling a house you need to get a realtor that helps you to decide how much and what are things to improved. Also make sure you will save on transfers the data.

  2. Edween Joy August 9, 2019 at 7:25 am -

    Obviously, you can save a lot if you are buying a home in offseason. Because there are so many home sellers who wnt the or home to be sold.