The best time to buy a home in 2019 is the week of September 22, during which shoppers will find less competition, more price reductions and more inventory to choose from, according to new data released Thursday by realtor.com®. Of the 53 measured markets in the U.S., 41 reported the week September 22-28 as the best time to buy.
According to metro level data analyzed from 2016 to 2018, there is a sweet spot in September when U.S. buyers face 26% less competition and there tends to be 6.1% more homes on the market, compared to the average week of the year. Nearly 6% of homes on the market go through price reductions and tend to be 2.4% cheaper than their peak, making this the "Black Friday" of home buyers.
"As summer winds down and kids return to school, many families hit pause on their home search and wait until the next season to start again. With dramatically less competition, persistent buyers will feel the scales tip in their favor as eager sellers begin to cut their prices in an effort to entice a sale," said George Ratiu, senior economist of realtor.com®. "As seasonal inventory builds up and restores itself to more buyer-friendly levels, fall buyers will be in a better position to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates and increased purchasing power."
Regionally, these effects are most noticeable in the West where buyers will have nearly 30% less competition than the average week. Listing prices are down 4% versus their peak and nearly 9% of homes will have their prices reduced. Additionally, there will be 22% more active listings available to buyers and homes will stay on the market nearly 38% longer than their peak week.
On a market by market basis, Seattle leads the nation with a 41.3% drop in competition compared to the average week. It is followed by Portland, Ore. (-35.5%); Buffalo, N.Y. (-34.6%); Milwaukee (-32.8%), and Minneapolis (-32.6%).
This week also sees a large influx of price cuts. Nationally, nearly 6% of actively listed homes see their prices reduced in an attempt to sway buyers. This trend is most prevalent in Denver where 11% of listings have their prices reduced. Denver is followed by Salt Lake City (10.8%), Seattle (10.2%), Austin, Texas (9.9%) and Portland, Ore., (9.9%).
More fresh listings entering the market also contribute to making this the best week to buy a home. With 116,000 new listings added to the national inventory, this week has 6.1% more listings than the average week and 76% more than the start of the year. Seattle leads the nation with 41% more listings than the average week. It is followed by Portland, Ore. (30.9%), San Jose, Calif. (28.6%), Denver (27.2%), and San Francisco (25.7%).