Thursday, June 13, 2024

Best time to list a home? With high mortgage rates, it’s tough to tell

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The peak of the spring homebuying season may have shifted to later in the year, at least in some markets, according to new analysis by Zillow.

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As mortgage rates continue to affect consumer behavior, new data from Zillow suggests that the peak of the spring homebuying season may have shifted to later in the year.

A Zillow analysis of 2023 home sales released Thursday found that homes listed in June sold for $7,700 more — 2.3 percent more than those listed at various other times of the year. The most profitable time of year to list a home was a full month later than it had been in 2019, a trend Zillow’s experts pinned on the rise of mortgage rates.

“The old logic was that sellers could earn a premium by listing in late spring when their home would be on the top of the pile of listings when search activity was at its peak. Now, with persistently low inventory, mortgage rate fluctuations make their own seasonality,” said Zillow Chief Economist Skylar Olsen. “First-time homebuyers who are on the edge of qualifying for a home loan may dip in and out of the market, depending on what’s happening with rates.

The best time of year varied widely depending on location and climate, Zillow found. In San Francisco, the best time to list in 2023 was as early as February, while in New York, it was as late as July. Thirty out of the top 35 biggest cities in the United States saw for-sale listings command the highest sale prices between May and early July last year, according to Zillow.

The price difference at various times of year also ranged widely from city to city, Zillow found. While homes in San Jose sold for 5.5 percent more during the warmest time of year — an $88,000 premium — homes in San Antonio only had a difference of 1.9 percent during the same time period.

“Most sellers don’t have the luxury of timing the market. The best time to list is when it makes the most sense for their lives,” said Olsen. “Regardless of the month, sellers who list their home for sale this spring can expect plenty of interest if their home is marketed and priced right.”

Email Ben Verde

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