BAM Key Details:
- Realtor.com® just released its fifth annual Best Time to Buy Report, identifying the week of October 1–7 as the best window of opportunity for buyers in 2023.
- The first week of October is expected to bring an increase in home listings, less competition, more time to decide on a purchase, and lower home prices.
We’re coming up on the best window of opportunity for buyers in 2023.
Despite higher mortgage rates, housing economists at Realtor.com expect an optimal alignment of these three key factors in the first week of October, making this early-fall period the best time of the year for buyers to make their move.
Besides, at this point, most families with school-age children have already begun the school year. On the one hand, this helps reduce competition as some families will bow out due to busy school schedules. Motivated buyers can take advantage of the opportunity to secure a deal as buyer demand cools by a forecasted 18.7%.
As days on market increase by seven days (compared to this year’s peak buying period) homebuyers can expect up to 17% more active listings to choose from during this week.
Mortgage rates have been more than 6% since September 2022 and could continue this trend for another year. Even as prices fell this summer, the monthly payment to finance a median-priced home was still more than 20% higher than last year. Mortgage rates continue to be a big wild card for Americans hoping to buy a home. Our analysis shows that buying in the fall does give buyers some more predictable advantages that could potentially ease the pain of higher rates and other stressful aspects of the home buying process, including making fast decisions and bidding wars.
For buyers trying to close this fall, saving a search on Realtor.com® can help them stay up to date on homes in their price range without the work of having to refresh or recreate their search.
Buyer advantages from October 1–7, 2023
Here are the highlights to share with your buyer clients as we head into the middle of September.
If postponing a home purchase for the foreseeable future is not an option, here’s why the first week of October may be the best time for them to double down on their home search:
- Savings on home prices—Historically, during the Best Time to Buy period, about 5.5% of homes see prices drop, typically by 3.3%, compared to the typical season high. That price drop translates into a savings of $15,000. In some of the largest housing markets, home prices can drop more than 10% below peak price during the best week, potentially saving your buyer clients tens of thousands of dollars.
- More homes to choose from—While inventory this year will be lower than in years past, seasonal trends are still expected to boost active listings by 11.7% for October 1–7, compared to the average week, and by 17.2% compared to the start of the year.
- Less buyer competition—While this isn’t great news for sellers, home buyers shopping during the first seven days of October can expect competition to drop by 18.7%, compared to peak 2023 buying periods, and by 13.5% compared to the average week.
- More time to consider their options—With homes expected to spend an extra week on the market—compared to the peak average of 43 days in June 2023—buyers have 29% more time to weigh their options, making the whole process less rushed and reducing the odds of buyer remorse.
- More new listings—Historically, the best week for buyers has brought an 18.9% increase in new listings compared to the start of the year. This year’s best week is poised to offer the biggest influx of fresh listings compared to the remainder of 2023.
Read the full report for more details, including methodology.
Takeaways for real estate agents
This is definitely a report worth sharing with your buyer clients—specifically those who need to buy sooner rather than later.
Show them the numbers and encourage them to weigh their options, given the likelihood that the next few months, and especially that first week of October, offer advantages they won’t have when mortgage rates finally do come down and buyer competition ramps up.