As a whole, summer is known as the prime time for sellers—a time when demand is high, and buyers are willing to pay more to secure a house before school starts. But according to a new analysis by Zillow, summer’s not all about sellers. In fact, buyers who wait until late summer may actually pay less than if they’d bought during other times of the year.
According to the analysis, housing inventory is up significantly by the end of summer, causing many sellers to reduce their listing price. Zillow’s data shows that 15 percent of listings are reduced in price during the month of August.
Historically, Zillow reported, August has more listings than any other month. Last year, Los Angeles saw about 8,000 more homes on the market in August than in April, while Seattle saw a difference of around 5,000.
According to Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist at Zillow, this new data can be encouraging to buyers who are getting frustrated by the fast-moving spring market. Zillow data shows that homes listed in spring sell faster—and for about $1,500 more—than in other times of the year, meaning a more expensive, overwhelming market for most buyers.
“In such a competitive housing market, it's easy for buyers to get frustrated when they are putting in multiple offers without success," Gudell said. "Buyers who start their home search in the spring may still be looking months later—but for those who can wait it out, the end of summer will bring more favorable conditions. Homes that may have been overpriced earlier in the year are more likely to have a price reduction, and those listings passed over in earlier months may look better with a fresh perspective."
August aside, the next best months to buy in are July and September, when about 14 percent of listings see a price cut.
On a market level, Detroit is the single best place to buy a home in August. Nearly 21 percent of listings see a price cut during that month, compared to just 13 percent of listings in April. Chicago is a close second, with 19.7 percent of listings decreasing in price for the month.
Read the full data set at Zillow.com.