Summer is traditionally the high season for real estate transactions. Extended sunlight hours, vacation days can be negotiated, children are out of school, these all add to the peak in real estate transactions. You will see report after report of housing activity based on summer months because usually the numbers are positive.
But what happens when those sun-lit hours start to wane? The calendar is counting more days past than future for the year, and that affects seller mentality. The holidays are rapidly approaching, the kids are back in school, and vacation time on the beach is over. Yikes. That could be a tough position for homes on the market, but conversely a great time for buyers.
Buying a Las Vegas Home in the Fall
RealtyTrac analysts have determined October is the best month for buyers to close the deal on a home. October buyers get an average 2.6% discount below estimated market value.
Why is this? I’ve compiled my list of conspiracy theories for why fall is the best season to buy Las Vegas real estate:
1: Less Competition
In my observations over the years, buyers tend to come into the market hard in the early spring. It might be spring fever, or possibly a desire to get a jump-start on open houses, but for whatever reason they are like worker bees in a field of flowers. This notable trend continues throughout the summer months.
When kids return to school, buyer competition gets on the bus with the students. Even for buyers sans school-aged offspring, the fall months seem to send them into hibernation. This void in buyer traffic opens the housing door to the hearty real estate hunters. Less foot traffic in listed domiciles sends sellers a message that it’s time to do what it takes to get their property sold.
Another fun bit of trivia for the fall months is that sports season is in full-court-press mode. Professional sports teams are back on the fields, or courts, or ice, and that means a plethora of sports programming on television. It’s challenging to find a day where some sporting event, golf even, fails to appear on televisions across the country in the fall.
Sports season also relates to youngsters back on the field or court. College football games kick off on most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the Autumn months. Then you have high schools sports and activities revolving around those obligations. Add all of these events together and you’ll see how buyers can be distracted during the latter part of the year.
2: Tax Credits
Those beginning mortgage payments are primarily interest payments, with a small percentage applied to the principle portion of the loan. While this is painful to read, the good news is that you get to deduct that interest from your tax bill. If you buy a house in October, you have three months of interest payments to apply to your tax returns the following April.
3: Motivated Sellers
For the same reasons buyers want in, the sellers want out. They have kids in school, year-end work deadlines, a basic human need to watch sports on their own couch, or they want to be finished packing before the holiday rush. Whatever the reason, sellers tend to be more motivated to negotiate after the summer high season has expired. A motivated seller means a good deal for a buyer.
Lately, I’ve noticed talk of an interest-rate increase by the federal government. Nothing motivates both buyers and sellers like fluctuations in the interest rates. Anyone with a mortgage has an eye on that needle. Rising interest rates are like burners on the real estate stove, turn up the heat and watch the market water boil faster.
I certainly cannot predict what the federal government will do, but I can say that if you’re in the market to buy, now is the time. Get to the bank, get your paperwork in order and lock in a good-for-you interest rate.
It was fun to put together this list. The real estate market, in general, has a lot of moving parts, so it’s difficult sometimes to isolate the “what” and “why” of trends. When I thought about the sports angle for this post, it made sense as to why buyers drop off with the temperatures.
Take Advantage of this Fall Season!
Let me know how I can help you with your real estate goals.