Winter Can Be The Best Time For Househunting In Nashville

Dated: 12/17/2018

Views: 270

by TJ Anderson

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Typically, and understandably, the pace of selling and buying homes in Nashville slows down once we get deep into December. Part of it is that we’re all getting wrapped up in the holiday season, but another part is long-held assumptions: Winter isn’t the time of year to buy or sell a home, they say.

It’s an assumption I always feel inclined to rebut. The right time of year to buy or sell a home in Nashville depends, ultimately — we all have a million different moving pieces in our lives that need to line up in some way before we start househunting, or before we put home on the market. But the general feeling, to most people in Nashville and elsewhere, that spring is the right time to tackle a move.

Sure, spring’s great — the weather makes it a pleasant time to wander around the city if you’re looking to buy a home, and having everything in bloom tends to put your curb appeal at its best if your selling. Plus, for buyers, that general timing belief leads to some of the widest selections on the Middle Tennessee MLS.

But the busiest home-buying times have their drawbacks, too. Busy means peak competition, both for buyers and for sellers. And waiting just for waiting’s sake lends a certain amount of unpredictability, on a lot of fronts. As we roll into 2019, predictions seem to point to housing prices continuing to rise (though likely at a slower pace), and mortgage rates likely doing the same, potentially rising as high as 5.5 percent by the end of next year.

My overall feeling: If things aren’t quite lining up in your life to buy a new home in Nashville, or sell your existing home in Nashville, I wouldn’t advocate rushing it. But if you just feel like you’re supposed to wait until the spring, there are some solid arguments against that sensibility. Here are just a few:

Competition is less frenzied

A significant plus for homebuyers in Nashville: The chance of that perfect listing getting snapped up in the first six hours of listing is lower than in the peak season, which makes for less hectic decision-making and a higher likelihood of happy results. Some real estate sites say that listing views are as much as 21 percent lower in December. That doesn’t thrill home sellers, necessarily, but if you’ve been frustratedly househunting in Nashville, this could be your time.

Home prices tend to be lower in the winter months

You can dig up a dozen different studies that try to explain why trends move this way — supply and demand, different types of properties that tend to be listed in the winter, different types of buyers who look for homes in the winter — but it’s a longstanding truth. Studies have shown that summer price shifts can average between around 1 percent to almost 4 percent higher in summer than winter. When you’re talking about home prices, that percentage can mean a decent few bucks.

Winter buyers and sellers tend to be motivated

In general, folks who embark on a home shift in the winter months are ready to get it done. Whether it’s a desire to start the New Year in a new home, or maybe their year-end bonus from work took them over the top on their down-payment savings, strong motivations abound with winter buyers and sellers that I’ve certainly noticed over my 15 years in Nashville real estate, and that plenty of other real estate professionals have picked up on too.

Mortgage rates are still comparatively low now

This isn’t an evergreen point, but it’s true now: We’re still looking at low average mortgage rates, in comparison to what homebuyers were dealing with, say, 10 or 15 years ago. Early in December, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were still averaging 4.75 percent, which is nothing to turn your nose up at, comparatively. We can’t know in any concrete way what this time next year will look like, and there’s bird-in-hand value to low mortgage rates.

Have questions or concerns about whether it’s the right time for you to buy a home in Nashville, or list your Nashville home for sale? I’m always happy to talk, and share my expertise. Just call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.

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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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