Real Estate News

Buying a home in January: Not as strange as you might think

Published: 25 Jan 2017

To most people, the early months of the year might seem like a slow time. It could certainly appear as an odd period to buy a home in, given the weather and possible sluggishness that comes with it. However, January might be the ideal month for the new buyer, and not just because it gives them time to parse out the effects of the purchase throughout the rest of the year.

In a look at data from Realtor.com, Nerd Wallet explained the way home prices tend to shift lower after the summer, with sales prices shedding value during the fall months. This sets up winter to be the perfect time for bargain hunters, as homes in January and February cost 8.45 percent less in the first two months of the year on average than through the summer.

The source examined data from the 50 metro areas with the highest population across the country, and found the regions where the differences in prices ranged the most. The place with the highest price drop at this time of year, Hartford, Connecticut, witnessed an 8.2 percent gap.

It can help to approach the January season as just the less busy part of the overall cycle of housing prices from year to year. Though it could have real benefits for the buyer, it's not the only time of year when favorable costs might appear.

And it should also be separate from buying a home in December, during the height of the holiday season, although there are possible shared advantages. These can include better prices and less competition. In addition, January home buyers avoid the possible hazards of realtors and agents being unavailable because of time off, or at least reduce the possibility.