When is the best time to buy a house?
The Simple Answer
The best time to buy a house is when demand is low.
Seasonality of housing demand:
From a seasonal perspective, housing demand is lowest during the Fall and Winter months.
For families looking to buy a house, it is logistically and emotionally difficult to coordinate a move during the school year. This is why demand for single family houses spikes in the Spring and Summer so children can be settled into their new house in time to start fresh at a new school.
During the holiday season, spending on gifts takes priority for many would-be homebuyers. Shortened work weeks, and holiday activities also limit the time homebuyers have to go house hunting.
Weather & Daylight Hours
Finally, cold weather and shortened daylight hours tends to keep people indoors makes house hunting less appealing.
Going Against The Trend
During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we saw record low interest rates and a demand for more space concentrate demand on larger suburban houses. Accordingly, house prices rose significantly in many markets:
During such times, the contrarian homebuyer would look for houses to buy in markets that were negatively impacted by this phenomenon. Therefore, instead of buying a detached single family house in the suburbs, you would buy an attached single family townhome in the city.
Or have the discipline to hold off on buying until the market cools down -- per our earlier commentary this would mean waiting until the winter months.
As famed investor Warren Buffett said: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful".