Why Spring Is About to Be NYC Homebuyers’ Favorite Season
And it's not just the warmer weather.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 9:46 PM
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Okay, city dwellers: So, you’re done dealing with tricky landlords, inconvenient sublets, and the general stress that comes along with renting. Now, you’ve decided you’re ready to buckle down and buy a home in the Big Apple. Or maybe you already own a home and are ready to upgrade, move neighborhoods, or try something new. Either way, according to a new report by StreetEasy, right now is the perfect time of year to go house shopping in NYC.
Besides the fact that springtime brings New Yorkers some much needed warmer weather, it turns out that the next few months also provide ample inventory for the New York City housing market. According to the report, potential buyers will have access to the most selection from April through June. But they’ll also find more competition in the marketplace.
Alhough this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually the opposite. Unlike renting, which results in low prices when inventory is low in order to move stale properties off the market, the sales market is more likely to drop prices when inventory is higher (like now) to garner attention from more buyers. Per the report, homes are 10 to 20 percent more likely to receive price cuts between these months.
You may have to sharpen up those decision-making skills, though—since these conditions often make homes move fast, and apartments are likely to stay on the market for 15 days fewer this time of year versus the rest, to be exact.
StreetEasy’s economic data analyst Nancy Wu tells Domino that specifically, first-time home buyers will face the most competition—the less expensive end of the market actually sees the most competition at this time.
“These trends are broadly true for all housing budgets; however, buyers who are searching with a lower budget need to be even more strategic,” she says. “A recent study found that homes in the bottom half of the sales market spent an average of 25 fewer days on StreetEasy than homes in the top half of the market, and were 30 percent less likely to have their prices cut while on StreetEasy. This means buyers at lower prices tend to have less negotiating power, and will also face heightened competition—making it even more important for them to get to know the market, and be prepared for the home buying process, no matter what season they’re looking during.”
StreetEasy’s report paints an interesting picture of the city that never sleeps, since the peak home buying season for most other places is usually the summer. This is an ideal time for families to make the move, since kids are on a break from school and the weather is generally better. Nationally, spring seems to have a high inventory of houses being listed, but the summer may bring out better prices.
One Zillow report said, “The fierce competition that bites buyers in spring comes full circle and begins to squeeze sellers in the summer. Sellers, wary of the impending return of cold weather, school, and all the other factors that annually signal the end of the spring/summer home shopping season begin to worry about selling their home this season, instead of having to re-list and try again next year.”
For New Yorkers, peak home buying season means getting the selection and deals that don’t come around too often in this city.
As Wu says, “New York City’s housing market is unlike any other in the country, so helping buyers understand and use every seasonal element of the market to their advantage could be the difference between buying their dream home or staying a renter in this fast moving and highly competitive market.”
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