Why January is the Best Month to Buy a House
Ask any travel agent what time of year you can get the best bargain on travel tickets and hotels: They’d tell you January. Why? Most people hardly travel in January due to colder weather and the holiday season being over — and low demand means way lower rates.
Buying a house in January is no different. Although, spring and summer are historically the most popular times to buy a home (think warm weather and high inventory), buyers unperturbed by the cold can look forward to a host of benefits.
Here Are 3 Great Reasons to Buy a House in January
- Home prices are most likely going to go up
- Far less competition
- Mortgage rates typically go up
The prices of homes typically experience a dip in January compared to the rest of the year, particularly the summer months of June to August. This means home prices are likely to go up as we progress into the year.
Want some hard facts? Well, NerdWallet analyzed two years of Realtor.com data for the 50 most populous U.S. metro areas and discovered that in January and February, home sales prices were 8.45% lower on average than in June through August.
The ratio of inventory to sales in January (aka the number of homes on the market compared to the number of people buying) is usually low.
What this means is that far fewer people are looking for homes in January than in the summer months, translating to fewer bids and lower home prices. And because fewer homes will have multiple bidders, there’s more room for negotiation and getting deals below the listing price.
Mortgage rates are also likely to be the lowest they will be all year, in January.
So, as we progress into the year, analysts expect an increase in rates — translating to higher monthly payments for future homeowners that buy at that time.
When you tie in the lower interest rates and reduced competition to the fact that home prices are likely only going upwards as we progress into the year, January is indeed an ideal time to buy a house.