With America still recovering from a turkey and stuffing hangover, now is the time to analyze the state of the local and national housing market.
For home and condominium buying novices, here are a few well-known historical home-shopping facts:
• Realtors and builders say the home-buying market typically shuts down between Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday.
• Nearly every seller wants to list their home for sale during the magical “spring market,” when the weather is good, thousands of fresh home listings hit the market, and flocks of starry-eyed potential buyers line up.
• Families with school-age children are eager to buy and close no later than June or July because they want to have the kids enrolled for the fall term.
So, when is the best time to buy a home and get the best deal on price?
According to “10 Best Days to Buy a Home,” a new study by ATTOM Data Solutions, buyers willing to close on a home purchase on the day after Christmas realize the biggest discounts below full market of any day in the year.
The study, which involved analysis of 18 million single-family home and condominium sales over the past five years, found 10 days of the year that allow buyers to pocket price discounts below estimated market value.
In addition to December 26th, when a buyer nationwide can expect a price 1.3% discount on the average home, six other best-buyer days also are in December. Those discounts range from 0.5% on December 1st to 1% on December 4th and 7th.
The other three best-price discount days are 0.5% on October 12th, 0.3% on November 9th, and 0.3% on February 9th.
December also is the best month to buy a home or condo in Chicago, ATTOM Data Solutions reported. Buyers here can expect a 6.2% price discount in the Windy City. Other good months for a hefty price discount in Chicago are January (5.6% price reduction), February (4.8% discount), and October (4.8% price mark down).
The worst month to buy is June, when sellers markup average prices 2.6%, the study found.
“Despite the survey findings, I believe August is the best time for a Realtor to negotiate the best price of a home for a buyer,” said veteran buyer broker Sara Benson, president of Chicago-based Benson Stanley Realty.
“August is the worst time of the year for a home seller,” Benson said. “It’s the hottest month of the year. There are fewer buyers shopping, everyone—Realtors, loan officers, and would-be purchasers—are on vacation. Families with children have already made their purchase decisions based on the school year. The pool of buyers shrinks in August.”
October housing rebound
Existing home sales in the Chicago-area housing market rebounded in October after a noticeable slump in September, reported the Illinois Realtors.
In the nine-county Chicago metropolitan area, single-family home and condominiums sales in October totaled 9,038 units, down 1.7% from October of 2017 when 9,191 units were sold. The median price in October was $230,000 in the Chicago metro area, an increase of 3.6% from $222,000 in October of 2017.
The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home and condo transactions decrease 2.5% with 2,056 units sold in October, compared with 2,109 units in the same month a year ago. The median price of a Chicago home in October was $272,500 up 4.8% compared with $260,000 in October of 2017. Sales data is collected by Realtor multiple listings and Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the regional multiple listing service.
“A stabilization is taking place in many areas of the market—demand and prices are fairly steady, inventory continues to decline, and buyers are regaining some power,” said Tommy Choi, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.
“Overall, this October is better than any October we’ve seen since 2006 at the peak of the housing boom when there were 9,044 sales, a median price of $244,900 and an average market time of 94 days,” noted Jeff LaGrange, vice president of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois Region.
“Interest rates have been rising, and the buyers most impacted by that and by rising home prices are first-timers purchasing at the low end of the price spectrum,” LaGrange said.
Benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates eased slightly to 4.81% on November 21st after hitting 4.94% a week earlier, reported Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, the 30-year loan average was 3.92%.
On November 21st Chicago-area lenders were charging a range of 4.57% to 4.863% for 30-year fixed rate home loans, according to rateSeeker.com.
For more housing news, visit www.dondebat.biz. Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit www.escapingcondojail.com.