You are currently viewing When should I buy a house?

When should I buy a house?

You’ve probably heard about “seasonality” in real estate. Generally, it’s the idea that the housing market is slower in the winter compared to the summer months. It makes sense, because who in Boston really wants to go to open houses or tour homes when it’s 10 degrees outside?

We’re here to tell you that it IS worth throwing on the Bean boots and getting out there, because winter is actually by far the best time to buy in the Boston area.

Why is fall/winter the best time to buy a home in the Boston area?

If you don’t believe us, check out this chart of sale prices by the month that people closed on their home purchases:

Prices over the past 4 years within 15 miles of Boston

If you were buying a home in the Boston area in February over the past four years, you would have expected to pay a median price of $505,000. If you instead waited until the spring, you would have paid $569,000 in June for the same house. (That’s a savings of $64,000!)

(Sidenote: The median number of days to get a mortgage hovers around 43 days, so if you’re going to actually buy sometime in December through February, it means that you’re putting in your offer sometime in October through January.)

An extra (maybe even more enticing) side benefit: you’ll face less competition in the chillier months. Just by buying at the right time, you can avoid others offering on the same home and can buy BELOW list price vs. above. (Buyers in the summer months tend to pay an average of about $10,000 over the list price, where buyers in January and February tend to pay on average about $5,000 UNDER the list price.

February is the lowest at $5,050 below list price. June is $9,673 above list price.

If you want to know more about a specific town/city in the Boston area, you can find that info in our Monthly Market report – or just ask us!