While Spring is traditionally the best time of year to buy a home, I think we can all agree that “tradition” is not our new normal. The last two years have been devastating times for many. The future holds few certainties. The talk now is about the great resignation as record numbers of Americas leave their jobs in search of new horizons. As the evolution continues, the housing market seems to going through its own shift. The Fall real estate market may turn out to be quite busy as more and more homes are ready to sell. It’s a great time for buyers to take advantage and shop around. Here are some facts to keep in mind if you need to buy a home this fall.
Unlike the summer, there are now more homes on the market. According to Market Stats by Showing Time, there are now 3% more homes on the market in Northern Virginia than there was in the previous month. This is good news for buyers wanting more options or having more requirements in their new home.
Crunch time has arrived
According to Real Simple, Spring is considered the best time to buy. Still, times are changing. Many realtors are reporting seeing an uptick in activity of home sellers. This is good news for buyers.
There are some homeowners whose properties are still on the market after summer. These sellers are likely to be nervous. The holidays are fast approaching and they have not received a satisfactory offer yet. Many will want to sell their home before the end of the year.
They are more motivated to negotiate, sell, and settle before the new year. For buyers, it means the ability to settle on mutually beneficial terms. This is a big turnaround from this spring and summer that saw multiple offers with home inspections and appraisals waived.
Looking for a home in peak buying seasons, like Spring, can be challenging. There seemed to be a mad rush to submit high priced offers only to be turned away. The Fall offers less competitive stress and a more enjoyable experience for buyers. “The market in Northern Virginia has slowed significantly during the past month, with fewer offers and longer days on market,” says Ryan McLaughlin, CEO at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR). This is especially important to know if you need to buy a home this Fall. It’s a great time to enjoy cooler weather, grab coffee, and tour some open houses. It will be a much nicer experience.
Research has shown that home prices often drop in Autumn due to the lower number of buyers in the market. “I think it’s absolutely likely that price growth will slow throughout the end of the year, as they’re already slowing from their peak in June,” Ralph B. McLaughlin, chief economist and senior vice president of analytics at Haus, Inc., says. “We expect price growth to moderate to the mid-high single digits by December.” A Trulia study also determined that fall is advantageous for first-time home buyers because the availability of starter homes peaks in Autumn. This is even more good news.
Mortgage Rates Still Low
For now, mortgage interest rates remain low. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, says “Mortgage rates are rock-bottom and record low, but they’ll not stay like that forever. Over the course of 2022, we’ll see a gradual rise, probably about half a percentage point higher than in 2021. On the margin, that’ll moderate demand.” So before the rates start to go up, buyers have a great opportunity this fall to take advantage and lock in a low rate for the next 15 or 30 years.
The facts are clear if you need to buy a home this fall. It appears that home sales appear to be more similar to before the COVID 19 pandemic. While it has cooled compared to the summer, it also offers buyers opportunities they didn’t have before. There are more homes to look at, more deals to be had, amazing interest rates, and wonderful weather to enjoy. It’s time to think about how YOU want to end this year.