When is the best time to buy a house?

Many ask this question when they decide to buy a new home. What is the ideal month of the year to buy the apartment or house of your dreams? Which for many also means, when is the best time to buy the house you idealize, for the lowest price?

Buying a property is too expensive a transaction to be left at the mercy of an impulse. There are those who do good business, and there are those who later regret it, either because he was inattentive and missed a good opportunity, or because he waited too long and prices went up. Here are some tips to help you choose the best time of year to buy the property of your dreams.


Can the seasons influence the purchase of a home?

Yes, and the studies only confirm what an experienced real estate consultant already knew.Depending on the time of year and the season, the chances of buying a house increase or decrease. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Spring is the best time of the year to buy your home. During this period the offer of real estate is usually higher, as it coincides with the moment when most of the owners decide to put their house up for sale. Another positive fact about spring is that the houses are more inviting thanks to the gardens and the flowering outdoor environment . In addition, the period of sun exposure increases , benefiting the interior light of the houses and increases the number of working hours to schedule a visit. Finally, for those who have children of school age this is the ideal time to buy a house, before the summer, because if they have to change their children's school they will not do it after the beginning of the school year.

Spring is the right time to make plans and move house

  • Summer has never been the best time to buy a home. Many owners choose this period to enjoy their vacation and decide to put it on sale before, or a little later, or if they still live in the house, they may not be present to facilitate visits.
  • Autumn may or may not be a good time to buy a home. The climate also facilitates visits. However, as in the autumn the number of houses for sale tends to be lower , thanks to the high productivity of the 1st semester, those that are for sale in this period may present sales prices above the average market prices. On the other hand, some owners who were unable to sell their property before the summer, may be in a hurry, or even despair in finalizing the deal at discounted prices.
  • Winter can be the most difficult time to buy, especially before Christmas.If you are not ready to put your home on the market before December, it will probably be worth waiting until January , when people are more receptive to planning what to do during the new year.

What the studies say about the best time of the year to buy a house

What is the best time of the year to sell a house? This is a question that many owners and brokers have already asked themselves and, of course, everyone has their own hunch. But this issue is dealt with more rigorously when it comes to companies linked to the real estate ads market, such as the Zillow Group (the largest online real estate ads company).

Zillow Group Study on Offering House Sale Ads in the U.S. For Zillow and after a study on the properties published on the websites of the group (which operates mainly in the USA), it is in the first half of May that the pressure of the offer increases the most , with a positive impact on sales volume. Those who advertise in this magical period manage to sell their home 18.5 days faster than outside this time window. In any case, the period that covers the months of March to June is the most appropriate to be able to sell your house, that is, during the Spring .

Regarding the day of the week, the study says that Saturday is the best day to start promoting and placing sale ads . Statistics from the Zillow portal point to a 20% higher volume of visitors that day, than to other houses announced during the beginning of the week.

According to the all-powerful HomeOwners Alliance, based in Great Britain and representing 17 million homeowners and 5 million aspirants to that status, the seasons have a different impact on property sales, having confirmed that spring it is effectively the best season to put your property up for sale.

In Portugal, this pattern is repeated and we can see through data from Google that, the demand for the 3 largest real estate portals starts strong at the beginning of the year, preceding the period of greater real estate activity in Spring and decreases throughout the rest of the year:

Search for the 3 main portals for real estate ads in Portugal, according to Google

Regional factors that influence the purchase of a home

However, in each country or region there are local factors that influence and even contradict the trends described. E.g. in Portugal:

  • Summer is the season of the year when the number of emigrants visiting our country grows the most. However, the market for investors and buyers belonging to this segment has been increasing in recent years. In 2016 and in Portugal, for every 5 people who sought a home, one lived outside the country.
  • The purchase of a house under the Gold Visas and special tax plans for non-resident citizens has been a success, contributing significantly to attracting investors, even outside the aforementioned magical period of Spring.However, with the recent changes in the scope of OE 2020, this market is expected to decrease in importance in Lisbon and Porto, and may stimulate other regions within Portugal.
  • The Local Rental market has been one of the main drivers in the dynamism of the real estate market in Portugal in recent years. Lisbon and Porto at the top, but also all over the country, AL licenses are here to stay and have contributed to recover degraded or abandoned properties and are responsible for a substantial share of the sales volume in the residential market. But with the recent containment measures that many municipalities and certain parishes have been implementing in order to limit the number of properties to a maximum rate of 20% the purchase or sale of your property should take this reality into account.
  • Finally, the number of houses available for sale, in the neighborhood or parish where your house is located, is a very important factor to take into account, especially for apartments or houses with the same typology, age and characteristics.Many homeowners wait first for a given property in the neighborhood to be sold, before putting theirs up for sale. This is if the price is a comparative disadvantage. The law of demand and supply, tells us that when there is a shortage of product, prices go up, otherwise they will stagnate or even go down .

Wait for a price drop, or buy now?

Time is not always the most important factor, at least for all owners. There are those who prefer to sell the house at the highest price, privileging the value of the sale over the speed of sale.

For what these studies also suggest is that, as the year progresses, after the period of the greatest offer of advertisements for the sale of houses, the offer tends to become scarce, making the properties for sale more attractive and susceptible to competing purchase proposals. This can contribute to making good sales in terms of the final price.

Will 2020 be a good year to buy a house?

When we talk about the ideal year to sell or buy your property, there is a condition that comes to mind: what is the state of the housing credit market ? In 2020, as in 2019, interest rates and bank spread have remained at exceptionally low levels and it is not predictable that they will rise in the coming years, not least because the economic crisis associated with the Corona virus epidemic is just around the corner. door. However, cheaper financing, associated with a rental market with scarcity of properties and at reasonable prices, are factors that stimulate the acquisition of a house for own housing.

On the other hand, if you need to resort to home loans, you should take into account that the restrictions on banks imposed by the ECB may be an obstacle for you. At this time, banks lend up to a maximum of 90% of the value of the property valuation (VPN) and the maximum percentage of the monthly installment of the loan (Effort Rate) cannot exceed 40% to 50% of the buyer's net income.

On the other hand, the foreseeable economic crisis associated with the Covid-19 pandemic could create interesting opportunities for those who want to buy a house , either from the point of view of prices, or from the point of view of the predisposition of the owners to negotiate the final price.

Another factor that shapes the dynamics of the real estate market is the relationship between demand and supply. As long as the supply of real estate is below demand, prices will remain high, which is less good for those who want to buy a home . But with the foreseeable increase in supply thanks to the growth in the sector of construction of new housing, during 2020 this scarcity will tend to decrease and will contribute to some correction in more speculative prices, a trend that has been manifesting during the year of 2019.

Other factors with impact when buying a home

In the end, what these studies reveal is that demand and supply , in this as in other commercial areas, have a very strong effect on the success of the sale . The moment when you decide to announce the sale of your home is important but not decisive, you should also take into account other issues, such as:

  • It is important to choose the appropriate selling price because the interested customer, when confronted with the price of other properties for sale in the neighborhood, may neglect his.
  • Advertise on as many specialized sites as possible, increasing your property's visibility window.This issue is very important, however you should not fall into the error of "trivializing your property", since "selling without an exclusive contract " is often halfway to your home suffering from this devaluation.
  • Publishing advertisements for the sale of your home using quality photos / videos and good descriptions that focus in detail on the characteristics and advantages of your home (describing the services, schools, transport, etc. that exist nearby) is also very important.
  • Without wanting to " pull the coals to my sardine " using a top furniture consultant is a smart option.A good professional will help you choose the right price using your experience and knowledge of market prices, will advise you to value your property:
    • producing a good advertising campaign for your home;
    • investing in professional tools such as Digital Marketing, advertising, paid highlights, etc.
    • advising improvements to your property that may constitute an obstacle to the sale of your home;
    • help you choose the best selling price and the best time to put your house up for sale.

My name is Ana Mação and I am a top consultant at KW Portugal, if you are interested in getting my help you can fill out this form, send me a message to: ana.macao@kwportugal.pt or contact me by phone: (351) 934 200 400 .

Updated on: 
15. September 2019
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