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Housing market: What is the best week to buy a house in the US in 2023 according to experts?

The first week of October is one of the best weeks to buy a house. How did experts identify these dates?

Update:
The first week of October is one of the best weeks to buy a house. How did experts identify these dates?
Carlos OsorioREUTERS

As interest rates for 15-and-30-year fixed mortgages sit at the highest level in over two decades, housing market experts Realtor.com report that the first week of October could be the best week 2023 to buy a home. Critically, the week identified (1-7 October) is not particularly good because of the current market conditions. Rather, this week was identified by looking at housing market data over the last decade.

After the summer months, more houses are often put on the market, giving buyers more options and fewer competitors when making an offer. Realtor.com estimates that those purchasing a house during the first week of October can save around $15,000 relative to the week when buyers pay the highest prices.

Current market conditions could undermine this recent trend

Analysts at Realtor.com also pointed to decreases in rents as evidence that the market is shifting towards buyers. “The median US home price fell 0.9% year-over-year in June and July, and rental prices also fell year-over-year, offering buyers and renters a chance to take a breath,” wrote Hannah Jones and Danielle Hale. Rent prices for smaller homes, studios, and one-and-two bedrooms, have fallen, but overall rental prices, as tracked by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), have never been higher. Rents increased 0.5 percent from July to August and have increased on average 7.8 percent nationally over the last year. Additionally, the CPI’s measure of an “owners’ equivalent rent of residences” is up 7.3 percent compared to those paid in August 2022, which in part has been driven by higher interest rates. The price of a home is only one aspect of how much a buyer will pay; the other critical component is the cost of their mortgage.

Who should wait to buy?

Buyers whose “chief priority” is ensuring that they pay the lowest possible price because they plan to take out a mortgage, perhaps with a small down payment, should wait “until a bit later into the fall,” according to Jones and Hale.

This advice stems from the fact that while prices may be lower in early October, mortgage rates may begin to fall later this year, which would bring one’s overall monthly payment down.