Home sales prices in the nation’s largest metros typically peak during the summer but drop in the fall and are lowest in the winter, according to a new study from NerdWallet, in which researchers analyzed sales and listings over the past two years in the 50 largest metros using realtor.com® data.
Home sale prices tend to peak in June and July, according to the analysis. Buyers will find the most inventory or home choices during those months but there is also more competition from other buyers that they will have to contend with.
The market tends to slow in the fall and sales prices start to dip. Sales prices drop nearly 3 percent, on average – a fall of $8,300 on the median home – from summer (June through August) to fall (September through November).
Home sale prices tend to be cheapest in the winter. In January or February, for example, homes could potentially cost 8.45 percent less on average than in June through August.
January had the lowest sales prices in 29 of the 50 metro areas analyzed; February had the cheapest in 19 areas.
“If your circumstances give you the freedom to be able to choose the best time to look to sign a contract on a new home, there’s no question that the market dynamics favor you the most to do that in the dead of winter, ideally in January or February, right before the activity starts to heat up,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist.