While holiday shoppers are obsessing over finding the ultimate gift deals, tenacious house hunters who buy a home in December compared with other times of the year will save the most money, according to a new study.
In fact, buying a home on Dec. 26 can save you as much as $2,500 on the sales price, according to an analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions. Nationwide, December held seven of the top 10 days where buyers snagged the best price discounts on a home purchase, making it the best month to buy a home, ATTOM found.
“Right around Thanksgiving, in particular, is a great time to (put in an offer) given that Dec. 26, 29 and 21 are all in the top 10 of best times to buy,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of communications with ATTOM. He notes that it can take about 30 days from the time an offer is submitted to close a home sale. “It’s the housing market’s version of a Black Friday sale.”
The study looked at more than 18 million single-family home and condo sales from 2013 to 2017. To calculate the premium or discount paid on a given day, ATTOM compared the median sales price for home purchases closing on that day with the median automated valuation model, or AVM, price on the same homes at the time of sale. Here’s a look at the best days of the year to buy a home.
|Rank||Date||Median sales price||Discount|
|Source: ATTOM Data Solutions|
The saying all real estate is local still applies when timing your home purchase. Buyers in warmer climates may not see as much of a price break during the holidays as those farther north where weather is more of a factor in keeping buyers on the sidelines, Blomquist says.
Negotiating a lower price isn’t the only good reason to buy a home during the holidays, real estate experts say. December is a month before the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes resume, says Leonard Steinberg, a real estate broker with Compass Real Estate in New York City. Mortgage rate spikes can add to your borrowing costs and put some homes out of reach.
“While everyone else is out celebrating and shopping — reducing buyer volume — those who shop (for a home) will be met by sellers willing to make a deal,” he says.
Danielle Hale, chief economist with Realtor.com, says that sellers may be more flexible about negotiating the closing date and paying for a home warranty to give buyers more piece of mind. You might also have more luck submitting a smaller earnest money deposit — something that’s less likely to fly when sellers are fielding multiple offers during busier times of year, Hale says.
If you find a house that meets your must-haves — especially when inventory in many markets is so limited — don’t let the holidays deter you from making an offer.
“With rate hikes and home-price increases on the horizon, there’s a lot to be gained by locking in your monthly payment now versus waiting until later.”