When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Arizona?

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If you’re planning a home purchase in The Grand Canyon State, you may be wondering, “What’s the best time to buy a house in Arizona?” and “Does the timing make a difference in how much I will need to spend or how long it will take?”

We dug into our database and spoke with a veteran real estate agent in the state to help answer these questions.

When is the best time of year to buy a house in Arizona?

Nationwide, summer is often cited as the most expensive time to buy a house. For this reason, many industry publications will advise that you buy in January or February for a better price.

Arizona doesn’t quite fit that mold, however. Much of the state is made up of low deserts that are extremely hot in the summer, but pleasantly temperate in the winter. This is a major draw for many people looking to escape colder climates, and makes shopping for and moving into a home much more appealing during the winter months.

Therefore, if you can put up with the heat, the dead of summer is an ideal time to buy a home in most of the state if you are looking for a deal. This is when many local markets tend to slow down a bit and homes are more likely to be offered at a slight discount.

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That said, there are beautiful high-altitude areas of the state, such as Prescott and Flagstaff, that can get quite frigid during the winter, resulting in a somewhat more traditional real estate season.

Keep in mind, however, your dream home won’t necessarily be selling during an area’s “off-season” when there is typically a smaller inventory of homes to choose from; so if you’re looking for a particular product, timing the market may not be an option.

“The best time to buy is when you find the house,” said Valerie Caro, a top real estate agent with 37 years of experience selling property in Flagstaff. “If you see something that you love, and you can afford it, buy it. Don’t wait for interest rates to come down a quarter of a percentage, because that house is going to be gone.”

In this unique market, the best time to buy a house ultimately depends on your move timeline and goals. To pick the best time for you, the first step is to partner with an experienced agent in your selected Arizona market.

What is the best month to buy a house in Arizona?

Arizona has a diverse landscape, with low deserts and high forested mountains only a couple hours away from one another.

If you’re looking at the deserts, then July is the best month to purchase a home for a discounted price, according to HomeLight’s housing transaction data. In the Phoenix area, for example, we estimate homes sell for almost 3% less that month than the yearly average. That can mean saving around $12,000 on a $400,000 home.

Conversely, the best time to go deal hunting in the high-altitude region of Flagstaff is in January, when homes tend to sell for around 9% less than the yearly average. On a $600,000 Flagstaff home, you could save up to $54,000.

Are there ‘best days’ to buy a house in Arizona?

Unlike shopping for a television on Black Friday, there aren’t really any specific days of the year that are best for capturing a good price on an Arizona property.

Rather, it’s more important to know how to identify a deal when you see it, and to jump at the opportunity before someone else does.

For instance, if a property is clearly priced to sell quickly, then the best day to put in an offer is the first day it hits the market, Caro says.

Are there ‘worst times’ to buy a house in Arizona?

Once again, this depends on where in the state you are looking to purchase.

For example, in Tucson — Arizona’s second largest city located near the southern border — homes tend to be most expensive in March. For the central Arizona city of Prescott, on the other hand, homes are priciest in December.

“Each community is going to have an ebb and flow,” Caro says. “You can wait for more properties to come on the market or try timing it to maybe get a deal, but when you see the home you want, buy it. That’s the key.”

What’s unique about the Arizona housing market?

Since Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., the inventory of homes for sale tends to be relatively tight compared to many other parts of the country.

“Everyone wants to buy here and not everyone wants to sell here,” Caro says.

Many people find the state attractive due to its surprisingly diverse climate, she says.

“No matter what a buyer is looking for, whether it’s high-altitude living or the warm desert, Arizona can cover the whole gamut,” Caro explains. “I think that’s what brings a lot of people here.”

Is it a good time to buy an Arizona house in the current market?

Though average mortgage rates have significantly increased since the peak of the pandemic housing boom, median sales prices have been dropping and the number of active listings has been increasing. This has resulted in what many consider a relatively balanced market.

Caro says not to be scared off by interest rates, for purchasing a home is typically a long-term commitment.

“Marry the house and date the rate,” she says. “You can always refinance later.”

Sit down and do an interview with the agents you’re considering. Answer a lot of questions. Let them know exactly what you’re looking for. For someone who is experienced in the market, they’re going to help narrow that search down, especially in a huge market like the Phoenix area.
  • Valerie Caro
    Valerie Caro Real Estate Agent
    Valerie Caro
    Valerie Caro Real Estate Agent at Flagstaff Top Producers Real Estate
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    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 38
    • Transactions 244
    • Average Price Point $501k
    • Single Family Homes 148

What’s the best way to get started buying a house in Arizona?

Once you have a clear idea of what sort of home you want and what you can afford, then it’s time to find a real estate agent you can trust. One way to do this is by using HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform. We analyze millions of home sales to find the best-performing agents for your personalized needs.

“Sit down and do an interview with the agents you’re considering,” Caro says. “Answer a lot of questions. Let them know exactly what you’re looking for. For someone who is experienced in that market, they’re going to help narrow that search down, especially in a huge market like the Phoenix area.”

Caro also suggests having all your funds available before you go shopping. For instance, if the money you intend to use is tied up in stocks or other investments, make sure to liquidate what you need ahead of touring any homes.

“If you find you step foot into the first home and are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love this house, and I want to buy it,’ you want to be in a strategic position to move quickly,” Caro says.

Planning tip: Try HomeLight’s Home Affordability Calculator

What are the best cities to buy a house in Arizona?

Taking into account such things as home values, taxes, crime rates, the quality of local schools, and reviews from residents, Niche.com lists the following cities as the best to buy a house in Arizona:

  1. Mesa

A large suburb of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Mesa stands out as a diverse, family-friendly community that falls within that sweet spot of relative affordability and reasonable proximity to entertainment and job opportunities.

“Mesa is a good value right now,” Caro says. “You can still definitely get a property that’s reasonably priced, so that’s an area that is good for either purchasing your primary residence or maybe even an income property as well.”

  1. Scottsdale

Considered one of the best places to retire in the U.S. by some sources, Scottsdale is an attractive city just north of Phoenix. The area offers a suburban feel with many forms of casual entertainment, such as bars, restaurants, and parks. Its home prices and the general cost of living are quite high, however, compared to much of the state.

  1. Tucson

Tucson provides a balanced feeling of urban and suburban. At its center is the University of Arizona, the state’s oldest and second-largest university. Compared to other areas in the state, the city has some of the more affordable housing, with an average home value of around $330,000.

Caro says Tucson can be especially appealing for people looking for a nice mix of what Arizona can offer. “It has some mountains, a lot of outdoor activities, and it’s warm.”

  1. Phoenix

As Arizona’s capital, Phoenix sits at the center of an expansive metropolitan area with ample opportunities for work and entertainment. Being home to more than 1.6 million people, the city is by far the most populated and diverse in the state.

  1. Tempe

Home to Arizona State University’s main campus, Tempe is a hotbed of youthful energy. Many of the businesses cater to college-age individuals, and about 60% of the residents rent as opposed to owning their home.

How else might I get a better deal on a home in Arizona?

Similar to any market, there are a few things to look for when shopping for a home in Arizona that might land you a sweet discount on the upfront purchase. These include the following:

  1. Track ‘days on market’ and price history

People want what is wanted, so when they see that a home has been sitting on the market for months, they often assume there is something wrong with it. That’s not always the case, however. It may be that the home was simply overpriced and poorly marketed for too long. This can be an opportune time to swoop in and negotiate a deal without worrying about getting into a bidding war with other buyers.

The same can be said if you see a home come back on the market after being temporarily delisted for either the above reasons or a contract falling through.

“That timing is a great opportunity to snag a deal for a buyer,” Caro says.

  1. Look for homes being sold ‘as is’

These are homes priced based on their current conditions, and where the seller doesn’t wish to make any repairs or updates as part of the sales agreement. Some such as-is homes can require significant work, but others may only need some moderate TLC. Taking the time to inspect the property and the seller’s circumstances can pay off. In some cases, for instance, these can be inherited estates where the sellers don’t have the time or money to make significant upgrades prior to listing, so they’re willing to take a hit on the price in order to liquidate quickly.

  1. Seek concessions when negotiating the deal

Seller concessions were unheard of during the pandemic housing boom, but they’ve started making a comeback as the market has rebalanced.

“We’re starting to see closing cost concessions, so that’s a way to build value into an offer,” Caro says.

Some examples of concessions buyers can ask for are origination fees, appraisal fees, inspection fees, property taxes, title insurance, recording fees, and attorney fees.

A few final tips for Arizona homebuyers

Caro says the most important thing to keep in mind as a buyer in Arizona is to maintain clear communication with your agent and to consider it a true partnership.

“It’s not a one-way street, and the more information that the buyer can share, the more the agent is going to be able to help them.”

Depending on the area, it may also be advantageous to use a local lender, she says.

“Somebody that the other agent or the seller is familiar with. That helps in offers sometimes. And sometimes you can get your offer accepted, whereas somebody going through a [online-only mortgage company] is not going to be as beneficial and doesn’t have as much value or weight in a multiple-offer situation.”

Bottom line: When Is the best time to buy a house in Arizona?

Weather is one of the greatest influencers when it comes to real estate activity in any given area of The Grand Canyon State.

Therefore, if you’re wanting to purchase a home in Arizona for a good price, go shopping when the particular area you’re interested in is at its most inhospitable temperature. There may be less inventory to choose from during the off-season, but there will be fewer buyers to compete with and you’ll find that those who are selling are typically more eager to negotiate a deal.

“When the weather’s either really hot or really cold in Arizona, you know they either have to buy or have to sell if they’re doing it during those times,” Caro says. “Everybody’s serious.”

An experienced local real estate agent will know the best time to buy a house in your selected Arizona city. For help locating one, try HomeLight’s Agent Match platform. The free tool takes just two minutes to connect you with top agents anywhere in the U.S.

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