Most likely, you are familiar with the fact that spring and summer are the busiest time of year for residential real estate. During these seasons, the housing market can be extremely competitive and lately sellers have been able to get top asking prices for homes.
However, wintertime is a different story. If you’re in the market for a new home and willing to take some extra time to look, then winter is a great buying opportunity due to decreased competition and lower prices.
In the following post, I will outline three reasons why the winter months are good for buyers as well as three things to watch out for if you are buying during the winter.
Colder weather tends to keep people indoors and motivation for house hunting drops. In fact, 40% of the annual sales volume occurs from May through August. Conversely, January and February account for less than 6% of annual sales volume. This is great news for patient buyers.
This is also great news if you are an Atlanta buyer. As you can see from the chart below days on the market of homes for sale go up significantly in January (indicated red circles). Days on the market is a good indicator of competition, so when it increases, that oftentimes means a smaller buyer pool and less competition.
When competition goes down, seller motivation goes up. Increased seller motivation can make winter a buyers market, even if it’s temporary. Additionally, sellers putting their homes for sale in the winter months oftentimes do so for a reason. Generally, they want to move the property. This can mean that buyers will be more willing to work with you on various aspects during the negotiation process, including price.
Less competition and motivated sellers lead to lower prices. It’s been an obvious seller’s market over the past five years and dropping prices have not been easy to come by. Therefore, If you are looking to get the best price, winter is the time to do it.
If we take a look at the Atlanta market, the most significant dips in median sales prices came in January during the past five years. This is indicated in the chart below, January dips are noted with red circles.
3 Items to Watch Out For
However, if you are looking for a home during the winter in Atlanta make sure you get a thorough inspection.
- Ensure the air conditional is ran and working correctly.
- If there are icy conditions on the roof, make sure the inspector comes to check when conditions are favorable for getting on the roof.
- Lastly, check for large dead trees, they can be more difficult to spot in the winter months and could be costly to remove once discovered.
And of course, as your agent, I will help you cover all of these items.
As you can see winter can be an opportune time for buyers looking for the most favorable prices and lower competition.
If you or someone you know is in the market for a new home this winter, I am ready and happy to help with your buying and selling needs in the Atlanta market. Please contact me here if I can be of assistance.