December 19th, 2014
With the snowy and icy weather that takes over much of the country during winter, many consumers put off their house hunting endeavor until spring. However, doing so could cause home shoppers to miss out on some deals, according to The Atlantic.
In fact, it’s cheaper to buy in winter compared to summer. When looking at home price differences between these seasons from 1991 to 2012, the source found prices were noticeably more affordable during the colder months of the year.
Why are homes more affordable during winter?
The Atlantic cited research by London School of Economics professors L. Rachel Ngai and Silvana Tenreyro to explain the home price discounts that can be found when the temperatures drop. One cause is house hunting is a more enjoyable experience when the weather is better. Driving to view several houses is less of a harrowing task when the roads aren’t covered with ice and snow.
Additionally, many parents like to house hunt in summer before their kids start school again. Consequently, they can move without interrupting their children’s education.
Given these factors, many sellers adjust their prices to meet slower winter demand. This is particularly true of sellers who are anxious to close, especially if they are trying to get their homes off the market before the holidays. Not only can this garner lower sale prices for homebuyers, but it can also give buyers more leverage during the price negotiations.
What are the benefits of buying in winter?
Throughout the housing recovery, it has been difficult for many first-time homebuyers to land a home due to intense competition and bidding wars. With fewer buyers on the market, those who willing to brave the weather can find many affordable options where the low price won’t be offset by many bids.
Additionally, winter is a good time for buyers to see whether a home is properly insulated. If they see a home has a lot of melted snow on the roof or feels drafty, the property may be losing heat, a factor that could lower the sale price.
Buyers who decide to take on a winter house hunt should keep in mind that while there are discounts to be found, it can be difficult to move during winter. They should watch the weather and prepare to take it slow with all the heavy lifting if they find a house they love.