When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Texas?
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It’s said that everything’s bigger in Texas, but if you don’t want that to include the purchase price of your new house, you may ask, “What’s the best time to buy a house in Texas?”
Are you looking for a quick sale, extended inventory, or a low price? With insights provided by top agent Kristee Leonard, who works with 68% more single-family homes than the average Austin agent, we’ll examine some of the factors that could influence the timing of your Texas home purchase.
When is the best time of year to buy a house in Texas?
Overall, home sales in Texas set a record in 2021, topping 417,000. Then, “Nearly 30% of total home sales vanished from December 2021 to December 2022,” according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center. This decrease in demand, coupled with higher inventory, can give buyers an advantage. But when is the best time to buy a house in Texas?
1. Summer (best selection)
Summer provides home shoppers with the highest selection of properties for sale. In Texas, specifically, June and July typically see the most home sales. However, that can mean more competition amongst buyers — and prices potentially as much as 10% higher.
From May through August, 40% of annual home sales occur, with an average of 2.1 million purchase transactions nationwide. But, along with the likelihood of higher prices comes the best selection and the fact that — with more homes on the market — it can sometimes be easier to negotiate your offer price. The days are long, the weather is good, and families want to get settled before school starts.
2. Spring (good selection)
Spring is second only to summer in inventory and price for the housing market, although, in Texas, early to mid-autumn can also be a busy time for real estate. Even during the early stages of the pandemic, September was becoming a busy month for housing sales in Texas.
But Spring carries with it a sense of new beginnings. The season blossoms with property selections and open house events that can enhance the excitement of the house-hunting experience.
3. Fall (fewer options, better price)
According to Time magazine, early fall can be a good time to buy a home because inventory is still plentiful, and many sellers are eager to sell before the winter season begins. In Texas, third-quarter 2022 listings were up 61% over the same period the previous year, with September and October sales only slightly off August sales.
Late fall to winter – specifically, through the holidays – can be a great time for homebuyers to get a good deal, with Texas data indicating sales remain somewhat strong in November and December. But as fall wanes, the housing market begins to cool, providing fewer buying options.
4. Winter (best price)
Data from the National Association of Realtors indicate that winter typically has the least sales activity — with January and February being the slowest. But prices tend to be lower and buyers can often get eager sellers to offer concessions, such as covering closing costs. In addition, Leonard points out that builders can be incentivized to negotiate to clear new construction inventory at the end of the year, offering deals in December that are no longer available in January.
However, listings tend to plummet in January and February in Texas, with Q1 2022 indicating a three-month decline in new listings, compared with the previous year. It’s important to point out that days on market in 2022 were fewer in Q1, so, while inventory is down, buyers are still hungry.
Ultimately, the best time of year to buy a house in Texas depends on your goals. Are you budget-minded, or do you want a larger pool of properties to choose from? If the home is an investment, Leonard says the best time to buy is when everyone else isn’t.
To pick the best time for you to buy a house in Texas, the first step is to partner with an experienced agent in your selected market.
Are there ‘best days’ to buy a house in Texas?
According to our Q2 2020 Top Agent Insight survey, nearly 40% of agents identified Thursday as the best day to list homes, followed by Wednesday. That could be due to the findings of a USA Today report indicating that homes listed on Thursdays sold for more money and in less time: an average of $3,015 more than homes listed on Mondays and five days faster than homes listed on Sundays.
The difference could be due to Thursday listings getting more weekend showings, which results in more competition. So, Monday may be the best day if you’re looking for a deal.
“Most people look at houses on the weekend,” Leonard acknowledges. Putting in an offer on a Monday could mean less competition and more negotiating power.
Are there ‘worst days’ or ‘worst times’ to buy a house in Texas?
Homes tend to sell above listing price during the spring and summer, with May being the worst time to buy a house if you want a good price — specifically, May 23, May 27, and May 29.
According to research from ATTOM, October is the month buyers can expect to find the best deals, although the best individual days are Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 19, Dec. 26, and Jan 9.
“There’s really no bad time,” Leonard states, although she says prices are more negotiable in the fall and winter.
What’s unique about the Texas housing market?
Texas attracts buyers from California, although Leonard says most Austin buyers are from other parts of the Lone Star state. They come for tech jobs and good weather, she says, with the local music scene serving as a further enticement.
While Texas is the second-largest and fastest-growing state, its housing market is more affordable in comparison with California, Florida, and Arizona, and demand is outpacing supply.
Is it a good time to buy a Texas house in the current market?
Although prices in hot markets are expected to come down a little, the housing market is not anticipated to take a hit as it did after the financial crisis in 2008. Because supply still lags behind demand, it’s still a bit of a seller’s market, but today’s buyers have a little more leverage.
“It’s a great time for an investor to buy,” Leonard says. “You want to buy when others aren’t; that’s the prime time to buy. Who cares about the interest rate? They can always refinance later.”
If a buyer is looking to own a home, she says, “You can’t time the market. Buy when the right property is available.”
What’s the best way to get started buying a house in Texas?
If you’re ready to buy a house in Texas, there are a few steps to follow.
- It’s a good idea to check your credit score. This can influence the mortgage rate you might qualify for.
- Next, you’ll need to examine your finances. Determine how much you can afford to spend. Next, use our down payment calculator to determine how much you should put down on the house you want.
- Select a mortgage company to work with. Use our calculator to compare rates. Get pre-approved to save time once you find the house you want.
- Find a trusted agent. HomeLight can connect you with the most knowledgeable, top agents in your selected market. We analyze over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs.
How does weather affect house prices or sales in Texas?
Extreme weather has a more significant impact than seasonal fluctuations on both house prices and sales in Texas.
Hurricanes hurt sales. Not only do they often delay closings, but they can also force fresh evaluations and appraisals looking for storm damage. They can cause a significant drop in sales for a long time and even kill deals.
On the other hand, as Leonard points out, it’s not like selling a home in the north during a cold, snowy winter that inhibits access. She feels that normal Texas weather has little impact on sales or prices.
What are the best cities to buy a house in Texas?
Moves are sometimes dictated by jobs or family circumstances. When choice allows, it can be wise to apply the 90/10 rule by selecting a location that will impact 90% of your life.
With more than 1,220 municipalities in the Lone Star state, there are many options. Some of the best Texas cities to buy a home in include:
- Austin: Consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in, it can be tough to find available housing in this popular, laid-back tech town.
- Dallas/Fort Worth: Enjoy the excitement of big-city life or quiet suburban living in this cosmopolitan cowboy town, where housing demand equals supply.
- Houston: With jobs aplenty, sports, shopping, live music, and an excess of home inventory, Houston has lots to offer.
- San Antonio: Remember the Alamo … and its relaxed cultural mix of Spanish and the old west in San Antonio, where housing prices are slightly down, but the competition is fierce.
- Post: For affordable, small-town living in a subtropical climate, Post is a good choice for raising a family.
- Bowie: Offering a racially diverse demographic, humid, subtropical weather, a good school system, and affordable homes in a competitive market, Bowie is a great small town for families.
- Primera: This Brownsville suburb offers a rural feel, a diverse population, good education system, low crime rate, low cost of living, and affordable homes.
- Oak Point: This upscale Dallas suburb has a top-rated school system and a diverse demographic heavily populated by young professionals.
How else might I get a better deal on a home in Texas?
It can be difficult to get a bargain in a more active housing market, but there are a few to be found.
Look for homes that have been on the market for 45 days or more if you hope to knock down the price or seek better terms – such as the seller paying closing costs.
Leonard likes to search the remarks and seller’s disclosures. She’s looking for terms like estate sale, outstanding taxes, divorce, or vacant.
Cash is king in the competitive Texas housing market, but Leonard says some sellers will still take the risk on contingencies and financing to hold out for the highest price.
A few final tips for Texas homebuyers
People are attracted by the absence of personal state income tax in Texas, but when you’re calculating costs, keep in mind that property tax rates can vary widely, depending on where you live in the Jumbo State.
Texas does not permit dual agency, but Leonard explains that agents can serve as intermediaries. “I can represent the buyer, provide comps — but I can’t give advice or my opinion.”
When representing a buyer, she likes to get a list of “wants” so she can screen properties. “Is it in a flood plain? Is there aluminum wiring? Has there been a foundation repair? Does the property back onto a railroad, commercial property, or busy road? What’s the tax rate? Is there an HOA?”
Bottom line: When is the best time to buy a house in Texas?
The best time to buy a house in Texas depends on whether you’re looking for a wide selection or a bargain price. You’ll most likely encounter more listings in spring and summer, although early autumn is also a good time to find a house in Texas. But if you’re looking for a rock-bottom price, winter is the optimal season for deal-making.
The Texas housing market remains highly competitive. To help you navigate your options, consult an agent. Finding an experienced agent is easy with HomeLight’s free Agent Match platform.
Once you find the right home, take the appropriate steps to buy your Texas home when the time is right for you.
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