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Report: Best Time to Buy a House in the Bay Area Is Early Fall

According to a recent report, the best time to buy a home in the San Francisco Bay Area could be right around the corner. The report, published yesterday by Realtor.com, stated that the best time to buy a house is during the week of September 25 to October 1. In other words, the start of the fall season.

Below, we’ll explain the reasoning behind this report, along with some other Bay Area real estate market trends that could make it a good time to buy.

Best Time to Buy a Home Is in Early Fall

This week, housing market analysts from Realtor.com published a report identifying the best time to buy a house nationwide. By their analysis, the best time to purchase a home in the Bay Area and nationwide is during the week of September 25 through October 1.

The researchers determined that buyers who make a purchase around that time tend to have more listings to choose from. They can also enjoy a lower level of competition from other buyers, as well as lower asking prices from sellers.

To put it differently: early fall is a good time to buy a home because it increases your chance for success.

According to Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com:

If you’re flexible on your timing and can budget for higher rates, early fall can be a great time to secure a home, with a number of factors aligning to make it the best time of the year both in terms of price and competition. This is especially true for first-time buyers and others who are not trying to sell a home at the same time as their purchase.

While the first week of fall might be the best time to buy a home in the Bay Area, buyer-friendly real estate market conditions could extend through the fall and winter of 2022. Our market has changed a lot in recent months, and that could give buyers more negotiating leverage and more properties to choose from.

So let’s pivot from this national real estate market report to focus on the San Francisco Bay Area in particular.

A More ‘Buyer-Friendly’ Bay Area Housing Market

Statistically speaking, the first week of fall might be a good time to buy. But we could also see buyer-friendly real estate conditions stretching well into 2023. A number of ongoing developments have made it easier to buy a house in the Bay Area, following two years of challenging conditions.

For one thing, there are more homes listed for sale today than there were a year ago. Buyers also tend to have more negotiating leverage these days, compared to those who made a purchase last year.

Here are some recent developments that could benefit buyers:

  • More inventory. A recent report showed that the total number of real estate listings in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan area increased by 40% over the past year or so. As a result, home buyers in the Bay Area could have an easier time finding and purchasing a house these days. Inventory growth could continue through the end of 2022 and into 2023. If it does, the market will continue to shift in a buyer-friendly direction.
  • Motivated sellers. During the second half of 2020 and all throughout 2021, home sellers in the Bay Area had all of the bargaining power. Back then, buyers were competing fiercely with one another due to record-low inventory levels. But this too has changed. As of late summer 2022, we’re seeing a higher percentage of price reductions in the real estate market. That means more and more sellers are starting to lower their asking prices to attract offers.
  • Slower pace. Over the past 18 months or so, Bay Area buyers have had to scramble to keep up with a red-hot real estate market. Newly listed homes would often receive multiple offers within a day of being listed. As a result, buyers had very little time to consider their options or negotiate with sellers. But going forward, we could see a slower pace within the Bay Area real estate market.

So, while the Realtor.com report shows that the first week of fall is a good time to buy a house in the San Francisco Bay Area, buyers should also feel pretty good about where the market is headed.

Granted, we have a ways to go before we reach anything resembling a “balanced” real estate market. But it seems that we’re moving steadily in the direction. It will interesting to see how all of this plays out through the fall and winter months, and also into 2023.

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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