Posted in: Buying a home, First time buyers

Four things to keep in mind when buying a home this fall

buying a home in fall

Key insights

  • Prices are still rising overall.
  • Days on market continue to fall, which means fast sales and closings.
  • Interest rates remain low.
  • Luxury properties priced $500,000 and above tell a different story about the market.

Fall homebuyers, take note

If you didn’t meet your homebuying goals this summer, don’t fret—there’s still time to get into your dream home before the snow flies (sorry to use the “s” word), especially since the average home under $500,000 is on the market for just 44 days. Here are four insights you can use as you look to buy your home this fall.

Prices are still rising overall

It’s no secret that the real estate market has been hot in 2017, especially in price points below $500,000. High demand and low inventory have left buyers competing over the same homes—and driving up sales prices as a result.

While activity has moderated a bit in the past couple of weeks, buyers who set their sights on in-demand homes at attractive price points will likely continue to see significant competition—and climbing prices—which makes waiting more expensive.

Time on market continues to drop

When buyers compete over the same properties, sellers reap faster sales. That leads to an overall decline in the time a property stays on the market before it sells, leaving the average seller just 44 days from their listing date to acceptance of an offer.

This means buyers should be prepared to make quick decisions about homes they’re interested in, and they should have a clear plan for what they’re looking for, in what area, at what budget and in what timeline. The bottom line? Be prepared to close fast.

Rates are (still) low

Despite years of rumors that rates may go up, buyers have had the good fortune of low interest rates on mortgage loans for several years, with the average rates hovering around 4 percent. This helps keep home costs down over time, because when interest rates increase by even 1 percent, your buying power can be greatly affected.

Luxury market is an outlier

Luxury homeowners have experienced a different set of market circumstances compared to the rest of the market. Homes priced at $500,000 and above favor buyers by offering a greater selection of homes for sale and longer times on the market (seven months on average compared with 44 days at lower price points). This leaves buyers enjoying less competition and able to take more time to make decisions and ultimately close on their new home.

The bottom line

As a buyer of a home priced below $500,000, you should be prepared to move quickly and expect a fast closing. If you’re a buyer in the luxury home market, you’ll have more time to make a decision, but you’ll want to take advantage of low interest rates and a competitive advantage while they last.

Ready to start your home search and get settled before the holidays? Reach out to our customer care team to get matched with a local REALTOR® and follow #BuyerInsights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to get more expert advice and insights.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings