Sep 13, 2023
Buyers who are feeling stopped in their home shopping tracks by
high mortgage rates, towering home prices that won’t budge, and a dearth of homes available for sale might be getting a respite from these challenges next month. Realtor.com® has crunched the data and determined that the best week to buy a home in 2023 will be Oct. 1–7. During this seven-day period, shoppers can expect to save more than $15,000 when compared with the summer peak for a median-priced home of $445,000. Hello, bargains! “Ideally, this week will offer buyers more options at lower-than-peak prices, as well as less competition from other buyers and slightly more time to deliberate,” says Hannah Jones, senior economic research analyst for Realtor.com.
In addition to potentially saving a wad of cash, buyers who’ve faced months of stale listings will likely be rewarded: 18.9% in fresh listings could come on the market this week compared with the start of the year, according to a Realtor.com analysis of historical trends.
That should give a 17% boost to the total number of homes for sale (new listings and homes that have been on the market for a while).
To determine the best week to buy, Realtor.com looked at a variety of housing metrics, including list prices, inventory levels, new listings, days on the market, homebuyer demand, and price reductions in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. (The year 2020 was excluded due to the COVID-19 pandemic anomalies.) Realtor.com also analyzed weekly housing data in 2023.
Mortgage rates keep the housing market sluggish
The one hurdle the best week to buy can’t clear is stubbornly high mortgage rates.
Two years ago, mortgage rates were a buyer’s key ally, hovering at about 3%. Today? Rates have recently reached a 22-year high of 7.23%, bringing the once red-hot housing market to a near freeze. (For the week ending Sept. 7, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 7.12%, according to Freddie Mac.)
That unfriendly mortgage rate might make the data behind the best week to buy all that more valuable.
“Buyers cannot control rates, but can set their budget based on current rates and future rate expectations,” says Jones. “Purchasing a lower-priced home or putting down a larger down payment can help buyers minimize their loan, and therefore minimize the impact of elevated mortgage rates.”
October offers less competition, too
Determined buyers who’ve been understandably waylaid by the onslaught of housing affordability hurdles might want to consider a critical real estate fact: High interest rates discourage competition from other buyers, especially homeowners who would like to trade up into a larger home or downsize into a smaller one.
“Would-be buyers who have a sub-4% loan on their current home are out of the market,” says Bruce Ailion, lawyer and real estate agent at Re/Max Town and Country in Atlanta. Almost no one wants to trade a great rate for a high one, so many potential buyers are simply staying put.
Another big group of buyers that’s mostly out of the real estate game this fall are families with children in school.
“Moving is no longer convenient for this larger market sector,” adds Ailion. “And in general, we are no longer seeing huge numbers of multiple offers and those dramatically over-asking price offers. This October is a great time to buy.”
To buy or not to buy a home
No data points can change the fact that making an offer on a home is a life-changing decision. So if a great property comes along during this optimal week, how can home shoppers feel confident they’re making the right decision?
They can start by nailing down their priorities before they start scouring listings. Once buyers know what’s on the top of their list, and what they can live without, they can move ahead and potentially make an offer.
“Purchasing a home is a very personal decision, but buyers who are ready to move and have found a desirable home in their price range should feel confident in taking this big step,” says Jones. “Ultimately, the best time to buy a home is when you are looking to move and find the right home for you within your budget.”
Margaret Heidenry is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Boston Magazine.
#LuxuryRealEstate #homebuyers #homesellers #luxuryhome #modernluxury #DFWrealestate #dallascounty #prestonhollow #Dallas #DFWrealtor #luxuryhomebuyer #dallasrealestate #dfwhousehunt #dfwhousehunters #dallashomes #fortworthhomes #dfw #dallastx #fortworthtx #luxuryhomes #homebuying