Should you buy or sell a house in December? In this post we will explain the pros and cons of the December Housing Market.
The warmer months are when most people enter the housing market but there are some unique qualities to the December/Winter Housing Market that both buyers and sellers can take advantage of. From competitive list prices to quicker sales here are some factors you should consider if you are buying or selling a home in December.
Do House Prices Drop in December?
In general house prices are lower in December with some of the best deals for a few reasons.
The winter market in general tends to be slower and sellers who list their properties now are very motivated to sell, which means they will be more willing to enter negotiations. To take advantage of this buyer you should find a realtor who is an expert negotiator.
The holidays are also approaching, which is a hectic time of year. Since there is less inventory in December this can lead to quicker sales if a seller has a competitive list price. Sellers are also more likely to receive offers closer to their list price. These facts along with less landscaping responsibilities, makes the December housing season less stressful for sellers.
Are There Less People Buying/Selling in December?
Yes, there is less inventory and less buyers this time of year. This can be both good and bad for both buyers and sellers.
Buyers are much less likely to find themselves in a bidding war since there is a smaller number of buyers this time of year. This time of year does mean buyers have less choice because of the limited inventory but winter sellers are generally willing to enter into negotiations.
For sellers in the December housing market there is limited competition, since most people wait to list their properties until the spring. This is because many sellers don’t want to list right before the holidays and others don’t want to deal with people tracking snow and dirt into their homes during each showing. Winter buyers are generally serious about buying and aren’t “just looking” like some spring and summer buyers. Winter buyers are looking for homes because they genuinely want or need a new home, or perhaps they are deal hunters. Sellers may meet with fewer buyers but there is a good chance you will have a successful sale.
Average Price of Listings and Inventory in December vs Other Months
On average December has lower prices compared to other months of the year. Here are some housing statistics for different months of the year.
Total Residential Price
- Dec. 2020 – $422,300
- April 2021 – $451,400
- Aug. 2021 – $459,600
- Nov. 2021 – $461,000
- Dec. 2020 – $280,500
- April 2021 – $293,400
- Aug. 2021 – $300,600
- Nov. 2021 – $299,100
These show how over the course of a year the prices fluctuate and tend to decrease during the colder months and start growing as the weather becomes warmer. The following graph shows this change for Rowhouse prices in Calgary from January 2016 to November 2021.
To answer the initial question of “Should You Be in the Real Estate Market in December?”, the answer is YES. The December real estate market has many opportunities for both buyers and sellers which you won’t find during other times of the year. Now that Winter has arrived, keep an eye on the market to see if there are any great deals you may want to take advantage of.