Want to know the hottest time of the year to buy a home?
Spring, you say? That’s obvious, right? It’s when inventory starts to increase, with families looking to sell so they can get their kids all settled before the new school year starts.
No, it’s got to be summer, when homes on the market hit their peak and anyone who hasn’t already made their move is typically looking to.
Actually, this year, it’s all about the next three months, according to realtor.com.
“Low mortgage rates, declining home prices, and homes that are lingering on the market longer are three main reasons why the next three months could be the best time to buy so far this year,” said Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist.
Smoke went on to say that buyers who were unable to make a move in spring or summer this year “with increasing prices and limited supply…should find some relief with lower prices and less competition from other buyers” this fall and winter.
What’s interesting about realtor.com’s prediction is that they consider “the biggest challenge buyers will likely face buying in the next three months” to be limited inventory. Traditionally, quality inventory has also been an issue—conventional wisdom being that any home worth buying was snatched up before the season premier of Scandal. That may be true in certain markets across the country—especially in those where buyers face the reality of potentially having to move in snow if they wait much beyond summer.
But this is as foreign a concept as possible for those of us who own real estate in the San Fernando Valley—who, in October, still feel like we’re living on the south face of the sun and for whom a drop into the 60s constitutes parka and UGG weather. Move when it’s snowing?
We. Can’t. Quite. Compute.
Thankfully, we don’t need to worry about that. And if the three new listings I just took are any indication, we’re in for a hot buying season. Hot as in great. And also hot. You know, because as it’s 194 degrees outside, give or take 100. Not that I care. Year-round sunshine is a blessing. When those poor souls in the Midwest and on the East Coast are piled under 27 layers of flannel and fleece, I’ll still be driving to showings with my windows down, singing California Dreaming orCalifornia Love or Going Back to Cali or We Love L.A.
And that’s at least a small part of why the L.A. real estate market is so different from the rest of the country. Do I think the next three months are a great time to buy a home? Oh yeah. Mortgage rates are still low and dropping, and while inventory may be down from its mid-summer peak, there are plenty of goodSanta Clarita homes for sale and San Fernando Valley listings out there, with more coming on the market all the time. This is no Bargain Bin real estate market. There just is no off-season here anymore.
It may still be true that there are fewer buyers between October and the end of the year, but those buyers tend to be high quality. The combination of great listings and less competition makes this an excellent time to buy a house in L.A.
You ready to buy? Let’s go! I’ll wear my flip-flops if you wear yours.
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Tripp Jones is a leading Los Angeles real estate agent with years of experience working with buyers, sellers and investors. For more information, click here.