In Southern California, determining the best time to buy a home can be a little complicated. With constant high demand for housing and consistently rising home values, the real estate market in Santa Monica, the Westside, and across Los Angeles has always been hot, with less home buying and selling fluctuations compared to most other areas in the US.
However, with the right timing, you can still find great opportunities for savings. Here are some of the things to consider in deciding when to buy a home in L.A.
With pleasant weather all year round, the season does not factor as much into real estate market trends in Greater LA as in other parts of the country.
The traditional home buying season in the US is spring to summer, but Southern California has a longer window — typically February to October. During this period, there’s a rise in new listings, giving you better chances of finding a property that matches your budget and preferences. But there’s also greater competition, so it’s important to work closely with your Realtor to find the right home fast and close the best deal.
Fewer sellers list their homes toward the end of the year, but those who do are often highly motivated to sell and may be more open to negotiations. In addition, properties that have not sold during the selling season are often discounted by November and December.
The sheer size of Greater Los Angeles, as well as its subcultures and microclimates, means widely varying home prices and market trends throughout the area. They may differ greatly from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, and even from block to block.
Once you’ve narrowed your scope of areas for consideration, get advice from your Realtor about home pricing trends in these different neighborhoods. Factors that can affect these trends include economic developments in the area, available inventory, and new developments that can make a community more desirable.
Mortgage interest rates
Mortgage interest rates can be highly fluid and change from month to month. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, average mortgage interest rates have dipped to all-time lows. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage interest rate as of June 11, 2020 was 3.21% for a 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage, just a little over the record low of 3.15% posted the week before.
Low mortgage interest rates can mean great savings for homebuyers, especially in the long term. This is why the current average rates have stirred many into buying a home in traditionally expensive markets.
However, the pandemic has also disrupted normal real estate activities. If you want to take advantage of the currently low interest rates, you may also have to adapt to new challenges in the market today, including restricted home showings and limited inventory.
Another factor that may prove beneficial to home buying during the pandemic is the opportunity for reduced pricing. Home sellers who can’t wait for a better time to sell their homes may be willing to negotiate a lower price, given the slowdown in real estate activities today. This is most prevalent in the luxury market — homes priced at $3 million and above. If you’re looking for upscale homes for sale in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and the Westside, now may be a great time to find bargains.
Is it a good time to buy a home in Southern California?