I get this question in various forms.
“Should I wait to buy in the spring?”
“I heard the winter is dead.”
“I heard in the summer no one is around.”
“I heard August is the quietest month.”
“I heard before the holidays is quiet.”
Let’s bust some myths over here.
In Brooklyn, where I work, the market is not cyclical. In my professional opinion, I do not see more homes on the market at certain times of the year.
General Market Patterns?
These are the patterns I do see: if the sellers are moving to Lakewood with school-aged kids, they generally put their homes on the market somewhere between November to January. There are certainly late-bloomers who put their homes up Purim-Pesach time, which is a busy and hectic time in general. Then they are pressured to close before Shavuot. It is very tight then and it’s difficult to get top dollar. There’s a lot of needless pressure.
But in general, it’s always a good time to sell.
Those of you who want to sell or buy by June should get your act together now. It is the beginning of spring and it takes time to find or sell your home. So, start the process now, before it’s too late.
I do see buyers come out after winter break or any major holiday. I think this is because those are times when you have just spent time with family. And you’ve gone to your aunt for lunch and a cousin for another seuda and you have gone to a Hanukah party at a sister’s. During winter break, everyone is talking about who bought a home, who closed, who’s doing construction. People start getting in the mood and thinking, “Hmm… maybe I can do it too.”
Also, that’s a time when people bring up the topic to their parents or in-laws and ask if they would be able to help out a bit.
But there are always buyers looking. Don’t judge so much on these patterns.
Putting a home on the market within a week of a holiday is kind of tough. I try not to launch any new listings within 10 days of a holiday because people are tied up and busy with the holiday prep. Not many people have the time to browse through new listings, and if they do see a listing that look like it might be right for them, they do not necessarily have the headspace to follow up on it.
What About Covid?
Another question that comes up a lot is, is it a good time to buy because of Covid?
If you asked me last March I would have answered, “No one knows what tomorrow will bring.” And that is still my answer. We’re dealing with an unknown entity and the effect on the market is still unclear.
But as of now, interest rates have been extremely low, which has been driving new people to buy. Renters who have been paying enormous amounts to their landlords start thinking that perhaps instead of paying their landlord’s mortgage they should pay their own.
As of the writing of this article the average interest rates are 2.625 percent according to Freddie Mac. Not long ago, in March of 2018, interest rates were 4.44 percent.
I do see a lot of vacant rentals on the market. Another reason why they are vacant is because landlords are wary of taking on new tenants now. Some people cannot pay their rent and many courts are still closed, so it is very difficult to evict a tenant now. Therefore, many landlords prefer to leave their properties vacant.
In addition, many young couples have been moving to Deal, even just to try it out for a year. And there goes a whole chunk of potential renters in Brooklyn.
And there you have it! That’s the market in 700 words. But keep in mind, the market in Brooklyn is not cyclical, the trends I see may not always be there, and things are constantly changing. Definitely don’t take myths at face value and speak to a broker who knows the neighborhood.