Why The First Week In October Is The Best Time To Buy A House

via Wealth Gang

Forget pumpkin spiced lattes and Halloween costumes, if you’re in the market for a new home, October’s real treat might be the chance to buy your dream property.

According to a Realator.com analysis of historical trends, the best time to buy a house this year is October 1-7. If you’re in the market for a a median priced home of $445,000, the company estimates buyers can save up to $15,000 during this week compared to the summer peak. 

Here’s why the week of October 1-7 is the most wonderful time of the year for homebuyers.

1. “It’s Raining Homes, Hallelujah!”

While we aren’t exactly witnessing a real estate monsoon, the first week of October historically promises up to 17% more active listings than the year’s beginning, according to the Realator.com data. Put in layman’s terms? More options for you, the discerning buyer. And the cherry on top? You stand to save a whopping $15,000 on a median priced home compared to the sizzling summer months.

2. No More Musical Chairs.

Remember the frustration from the pandemic-era market, where homes were snagged faster than front row concert tickets? Well, homes are lounging a tad longer on the list now, giving you more time to play the field without feeling FOMO. Sellers, noticing their homes enjoying extended vacations on the market, might just be more receptive to negotiations. So, while you might not snag that Beyoncé ticket, you might just get a house with a discount.

3. Economic Ebb and Flow.

Here’s a little nostalgia trip: pre-pandemic, the early fall meant a near-peak inventory, calming prices, fresh listings, and homes getting multiple price cuts. It seems 2023 is embracing the “throwback” trend. While the year started with less buyer demand and a drop in new listings, summer saw a sudden shift with a reduction in available homes. Yet, as summer says its goodbyes, buyers are in a more strategic position to capitalize on these changes.

4. Is October’s Charm Just a National Thing?

While “early October” may sound like a real estate mantra chanted nationwide, local markets have their unique quirks. Affordability challenges have rejigged buyer demand across various areas. But, if you’re thumbing through options in those zip codes that have been the year’s hotspots, you’ll find prices rose by a spicy 7.2% in the first half of the year, according to the Realator.com analysis.

5. October’s Alchemy – The Perfect Blend?

What makes the first week of October the Cinderella moment for homebuyers? Think of it as the perfect concoction of factors: high inventory, prices taking a little nap below their peak, reduced demand, and a more leisurely pace to the entire house-hunting dance. Plus, with families settling in for the new school year and weather patterns changing, house showings might just have a touch more magic to them.

6. It’s Not Just About the Benjamins.

Certainly, price matters. But, there’s a lot more bubbling beneath the surface. Realtor.com, playing the role of real estate’s Sherlock Holmes, considers a mix of factors when determining the best time to buy. From listing prices, inventory levels, fresh listings on the block, the time homes stay on the market, to homebuyer demand and price reductions. It’s a fine art, and early October seems to be the masterpiece.

7. Patience is a virtue when looking for a good deal.

For those who prize affordability, waiting until the fall edges closer to the holidays might be wise, as home prices often drop. But be wary of mortgage rates; ensure your patience isn’t rewarded with even higher rates. 

On the other hand, if variety is your goal, an earlier purchase might be more fruitful. Typically, new listings peak slightly earlier in fall, offering early-bird buyers a wider selection, albeit potentially at a slightly higher price.

Understanding Local Market Nuances

While many of the USA’s largest metros coincide with the national best week to buy a house, some deviate, according to Relator.com’s data. A breakdown:

Metro Best Time vs. National Best Week:

  • The week spanning September 10-16 is the prime time for cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Milwaukee, and Oklahoma City.
  • Denver and Sacramento peak the subsequent week.
  • Memphis, Hartford, and Rochester have their best week prior to the national one, at the end of September.
  • Cities like Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit, and Pittsburgh find their sweet spot right after the national best week.

Zooming out, Realator.com found that 36 of the 50 major metros have their best week within three weeks of the national prime time, underscoring the favorable conditions nationwide in September and October.

In the world of real estate, the first week of October 2023 is akin to that mystical alignment of the planets. It’s the sweet spot where market conditions seem to nod approvingly at prospective buyers. While no one can predict the future, the present suggests that those looking to snag their dream home might want to mark their calendars for this auspicious window.

B. Carlisle

Contributing editor at Wealth Gang. An entrepreneur at heart, he's passionate about meaningful ways to leverage technology and social media for business opportunities and side hustles.