Seasons change, but do they change the market, too?

Whether it’s the end of a lease or the start of a new job, there are often deadlines driving the home search. But regardless of what’s on the calendar, buyers almost always want to know about seasonality and whether it’s the “right” time of the year to buy. 

We typically see activity drop slightly this time of year with summer winding down and school back in session. But the relative influence of seasons on the market has shifted in this post-pandemic market: More buyers are now prioritizing affordability, focusing on how they can best access the market instead of seasonal factors.  

Seasonality may always play into buyer activity. But whether or not it’s the right time of year to buy depends more on factors like your location, or the need to consider school schedules. Today’s reader question takes a closer look at how to reason with the seasons. 

– Robert Heck, Vice President of Mortgage @ Morty

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Reader question of the week

“I’ve heard that late spring and summer are considered the ‘busy season’ for buying and selling homes. I want to buy a bigger house for my family of five, but am I too late to get in on ‘purchase season?’ Is inventory too limited now?” – Lucy J., Evanston, IL

It’s fair to be concerned about inventory and how it’ll affect your options, but it really shouldn’t be the single factor that dictates your homebuying journey. Inventory remains relatively low across the country, but it doesn’t have to be a blocker – especially since you’re only buying one home. 

Seasonality also isn’t the primary driver of inventory. While historically, the fall can be a slower season for homebuying, there are several reasons why this fall may actually be a smart time to shop

  1. The rush of families looking to purchase homes before the start of the school year has died down. That means fewer competing offers and less pressure to move quickly. 
  2. Sellers who listed their homes during the spring and early summer and still haven’t sold may be more inclined to negotiate.
  3. If you’re buying in an area like Chicago with extreme winter conditions, there’s a definite advantage to getting into a new home before the sub-zero temperatures hit.

But instead of trying to time the market, ask yourself why you’re buying, and build a timeline that makes sense for your individual situation. With a schedule built around your specific needs, you’ll be set up for success – no matter the weather!

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