Best Time to Buy a House

Putting your house on the market? Buying a house? Here's advice from RealtyTrac about the best time to buy a house and the answer may surprise you.

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Best Time to Buy a House

Putting your house on the market? Buying a house? Here's advice from RealtyTrac about the best time to buy a house and the answer may surprise you.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Best Time to Buy a House

When is the best time of year to buy a home? RealtyTrac took a big data approach to this question, analyzing 32 million single family home and condo sales over the past 15 years. The real estate information company and online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted U. S. properties, compared average sale prices to average estimated market value at the time of sale to determine whether buyers paid a premium or bought at a discount.

Based on the closing date of the sale, they broke down the data by month, weekday and day of the year to identify when buyers historically have realized the biggest discounts. Below are high-level details. The best month to close on a purchase of a home is October. Out of 2.7 million single family home and condo sales over the last 15 years that closed in October, buyers realized an average discount of 2.6 percent below full estimated market value at the time of sale.

Following October as best months to buy were February, July, December and January - all fall or winter months except for July, which was a surprise given that conventional wisdom would suggest that is a good time to sell but not necessarily to buy at a bargain price.

The worst month of the year to close on the purchase of a home is April, when buyers over the last 15 years have purchased at an average premium of 1.2 percent above estimated market value at the time of sale.

The best day of the year to close on a purchase was Oct. 8 when buyers realized the biggest average discount - 10.8 percent below estimated market value at time of sale - among any of the remaining 356 days in the year. Following Oct 8 was Nov. 26 (10.1 percent discount), Dec. 31 (9.7 percent discount), Oct. 22 (9.6 percent discount), and Oct. 15 (9.1 percent discount).

And the worst day of the year to close on a purchase of a home was Jan. 19, when buyers paid an average 9.6 percent premium above estimated market value at time of sale, followed by Feb. 16 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 20 (9.5 percent premium), Apr. 6 (8.4 percent premium), and Apr. 27 (8.2 percent premium).

For more information go to www.realtytrac.com.

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