Who in their right mind would buy a home in December?
With holidays in full swing and a smaller market of homes to choose from, many homebuyers wait for spring to jump into househunting mode.
However, if you’re looking to buy in the near future, you may want to start right away, as December buying has its perks.
The homes that are on the market in December are from two main groups: homes that didn’t sell in the fall and homes that need to be sold due to changing life events.
The first can be good or bad. With an oversaturated market in the fall, some homes go overlooked, so finding an unnoticed gem is entirely possible. Now, you could find that some of the homes are still on the market for a reason, so be sure to do your due diligence when searching.
The latter is your gold mine. New listings that pop up could be a result of an inconvenient circumstance by the seller—anything that forces the current owner to list unexpectedly or immediately. These can happen at any time of year and the lucky few who are searching in December are the ones who will reap the reward. Some fantastic homes come available in the down months, like around the holidays, (and we’ll be sure to show you plenty in our Knockout Listings of the Week!).
Priced to sell
Because spring and fall tend to be the seasons with the most listings and the most buyers searching, it makes sense that the prices will be highest in peak seasons and lowest in slower months, like December.
December 2014, for example, had an average home sale of $405,233 across the country, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Compare this to the following April, which had an average price of $448,862. Some years, December has the lowest monthly price of the entire year.
Now think of the benefits as a buyer. Homes that are listed a second time will likely be listed at a lower price. And homes that have just popped up will be priced to sell. Your best homebuying opportunities could easily be in the same month that you’re frantically buying last-minute holiday gifts.
Things to watch for
While I’m clearly advocating for you to keep hunting and possibly buying into the holidays, there are a few points of interest to keep in mind.
First of all, many agents take time off around the holidays. Be sure to have an open conversation with your agent to find out their plans and ensure you’re not left hanging. Normally agents will bend over backwards to help you out, but they’re only human and need some eggnog time too.
Also, if you live in a region with heavy snowfall, some blemishes can be hidden from sight under a mound of snow. Ask the right questions to be sure you don’t have an unlucky surprise in the spring thaw.
Lastly, as a bonus, movers and other needed professionals are less busy in December, so you may be able to move quicker than usual in different parts of the process.
Flickr: Robert Couse-Baker