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I am often asked asked this question by Buyers seeking to gain whatever pricing advantage possible. Certainly one factor effecting this is the amount of activity at the time, or the competition for the existing inventory.
To shed light on this question, I pulled sales of non-condo residential properties by month for five years: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. This spread will account for the general rise and fall in the market.
The results indicated that the three months that appeared to have the lowest number of properties sold in each year was fairly consistent: December, January and February. However, to determine the best months to buy, you have to consider the escrow periods. It is fair to use 45 days for that, bringing the estimated months of contracts for these three months of sales to mid-late October through January.
While the past is not always the predictor of the future, theses data do coincide with my experience. One thing to bear in mind is that Sellers often look to that period to take a rest, so the inventory may not be as robust as it is in other months.
While timing can make a difference, the best time to buy a property is when you find the one that steals your heart and is within your budget. Please let me know if I can help you with your property search. As always, you can call or text me at 805 588-3616, or email me at [email protected]