Most of us would say "Bah humbug!" to the prospect of purchasing this time of year—but for those who are willing, the gift is a Santa sack of savings.
According to an analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, buyers who closed on December 26 saved $2,500, or 1.3 percent below full market value—by many measures, enough to finance get-togethers and gift-giving over the holidays, if not appliances or a remodeling project.
December in general is ideal for savings; in fact, including the day after Christmas, seven of ATTOM's 10 "Best Days to Buy a Home" are in the 12th month of the year. January and February are prime for savings, too, aligning with the housing market's seasonal slowdown, typically, in winter.
Ohio has the best outlook for savings by state, according to the analysis. In January, homes in the Buckeye State were found to be 8.8 percent below full market value. There are also deals to be had in Michigan and Nebraska, where homes were 7.9 percent and 7.3 percent below the market rate, respectively.
As with holiday shopping, the key is to start sooner.
"People closing on a home purchase December 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," says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "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."