What is the Best Season to Buy a Home?

Cary, NC — When contemplating buying a home, it’s fair to wonder if Cary’s housing market stays “hot and spicy” year-round.

The sensible answer is that it depends on your timeline and what you most want to accomplish. There are a number of personal factors that might influence your decision, such as:

  • When does my lease expire?
  • Do I have enough cash for the needed down payment and associated costs to purchase?
  • Are there homes available in my desired neighborhood, zip code, or school district?

The Real Estate Theory of Seasonality

You’ll hear proponents talk of “scooping up a deal” at specific times of the year. This might best be referred to as “seasonality” in the housing market and is the idea that homes only come on the market at certain times of the year.

The theory of seasonality I see expressed online and in other forums is a narrative that isn’t based in reality in the Cary area, at least not in today’s market.

While some areas of the country have very distinct selling seasons, the Cary market does not go through this cycle.

In our current market, houses are selling every month of the year and prices continue to increase.

Many hiring managers are utilizing annual budgets before they expire, or as soon as they have access to them in a new year, fueling 4th and 1st quarter surges in Cary. For that reason, and because of its superb amenities and central location, the demand for housing in Cary by buyers relocating for work continues to drive home prices up, regardless of the season. 

Though we do experience increased inventory at certain times of the year, this is much different from seasonality. As mentioned, homes sell all 12 months of the year, so it can be counter-intuitive to expect prices to dip in the winter months, as many expect to happen. Although we see more inventory on the market in the spring and summer months, the number of buyers increases dramatically at these times, as well, offsetting any real potential of seasonality.

Prepare and Plan, Don’t Wait to “Time It”

Rather than trying to “time the market”, home buyers are more likely to experience success in the housing market by preparing a strategy and working their plan. The more in touch you are with the local market and what’s important to you, the more likely you are to successfully purchase a house. So, get prepared.

Unless you are making a cash purchase, getting preapproved for a home loan will drive your timeline and much of your strategy. Loan preapproval is one of the first things you should do, as it may inform your down payment plans and how you cover other associated costs that you will need easily accessible funds for. 

Impacts of Supply Chain, Inflation & Interest

How one’s personal plan coincides with the current economy and availability of housing is also important. If you’ve been following the impact inflation is having on our broader economy, you’ll know we are currently experiencing inflation at about 7% annually. This is pushing the cost of housing higher as we have more money chasing fewer goods.

The continued impact of supply chain interruptions is also affecting availability and home prices. New home completions are being delayed by consumer demand and shortages in the availability of building supplies. As new home completions are delayed, the number of homes for sale, or resales, on the market diminishes as most sellers are unwilling to bring their house to market prior to getting a firm completion date on a house they are building.

And lastly, you’ll want to consider the importance of rising interest rates on seasonality and demand. With rates set to rise this year, according to recent statements by the Federal Reserve, many more buyers are fast-tracking their plans to purchase, and jumping in now, rather than waiting until housing becomes more expensive in the months ahead. 

So ultimately, Cary is a hot and spicy market year-round, not very affected by seasonality.

Todd Harrison, a Broker at Todd Harrison Realty and local real estate columnist.

Story by Todd Harrison, Broker at Todd Harrison Realty.

All the Cary news for the informed Cary citizen. 

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