Our clients often ask us “when is the best time to buy an intown Atlanta home?”.
In other words, when does the market slow down, when are the most homes on the market, and when can I get the best price?
Let’s take a look at price first
We have been in a bull market since 2012, and with the Fed recently promising not to raise the prime lending rate, it is hard to see when it will end, though it did slow down last year. From 2014 to 2017, the intown Atlanta home sales prices rose about 11% annually, and in 2018 the rate of increase was 6%. Of course looking at the below figures, the best time to buy an intown Atlanta home would have been 2014. But alas that’s now just wishful thinking.
Is there a time of year when prices are down?
You might expect median sale prices to be down in January or February. That’s true in some years and not in others. Since buyers have better things to do during the holidays there are fewer of you, however the same goes for sellers too. Reduced demand and supply does not mean you will find a deal. Winter is not always the best time to buy an Intown Atlanta home at a low price.
The best time to buy an intown Atlanta home – other factors
So let’s look at two other factors that might influence when you want to buy; inventory, and days on the market (DOM).
The number of homes on the market at any one time is called inventory. And it can increase by 35% or more from January to a peak in July. As you’ll see in the chart below, over the last five years inventory typically rises sharply through about May, and drops dramatically after October to a low point in January.
Days on market (DOM)
In response to an established trend of low inventory, DOM quickens ahead of inventory.
In January homes took a median over the past 5 years of 40-55 days to go under contract with recent years being at about 40 days. That is about half the national average. By March, DOM can drop below 20. Interestingly, in May through July of 2018 homes were being snapped up a median of about 15 days, the fastest pace in the last 5 years. Through October, the median pace slows to about 20 days before slowing to a relative snail’s pace of 45 days again in January.
What does all this mean?
- Don’t bother trying to time the market in Atlanta to find a good price.
- When you see a house that is great for you, don’t wait to make an offer. Especially if it’s May – July. Someone else is probably thinking the same thing, and they have already learned that lesson.
- If you want to avoid the most competitive time of year and you are flexible, go house hunting in December. Inventory is low, homes are selling at a slower pace.
- If you want a good selection of homes but want a little more time to decide, go house hunting in August.
- Most importantly, the best time to buy an intown Atlanta home is really when you feel the time is right for you and your family.
Thanks for reading! To learn more, talk with Dave.