A common question I'm frequently asked is 'When is the best time to buy'?There are many factors to consider, including when are there the most listings to choose from. The chart above shows the seasonal variation when the most listings come on the market, but does that mean it is the best time to buy?
If you are looking for the greatest selection of condos to choose from, then your best bet is in the Spring. April and May are when the most new listings come on the market. However, that is when you are likely to face the most competition. Multiple offer situations happen more frequently in the Spring than any other season. Not surprising, December is when the least number of new listings come on the market. Not only are potential buyers busy with the holidays, but sellers don't want the hassle and/or people coming through their house during the holidays.
If the most listings come on the market in April and May, it is only natural that the most closed sales happen in May and June. The typical period from contract to closing is 30 to 45 days.
What if your primary goal is to get the best deal? Then, your best option is December.
One way to measure how to get the best deal is to look at the Sales Price to the Original List Price ratio. In other words, how much is the seller getting compared to their asking price. In the busy Spring market, Sellers are getting close to 100% of their asking price.
When are sellers getting the least? January. If you back up 30-45 days, that means the contract was written in December. If a seller has had their place on the market for any length of time and the end of the year is approaching, they are more likely to cut a deal and get it under contract before the holidays and winter sets in.
So when is the Best time for you? The best time is when the timing is right for you. Don't buy a place in December just because you are getting a good deal if the place isn't right for you. And don't get caught up in a multiple offer situation in the Spring if don't know what you want. Do your homework. Know what you want. Buy when the right place comes along for you and move fast when you do.