November 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm EST | by Sue Goodhart
The case against waiting for spring
spring, flowers, gay news, Washington Blade

Why wait for the flowers to come up? Fall and winter are a good time to buy a new home. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Week in and week out at our open houses, we hear buyers say they are just scoping out the market and waiting to buy until spring. It’s true, spring is the busiest time of year in the real estate world so there are more listings on the market, but there are also more buyers. More buyers means more competition, making other times of year ripe for a good deal on a house.

While each year is different, spring tends to be more of a seller’s market with multiple bids and escalations for properties in popular areas that are priced right. Summer, fall and winter are typically buyer’s markets where you are rarely in competition with other buyers.

To illustrate the shift in advantage, we took a look at the average absorption rates in our area so far this year. An absorption rate is the percentage of properties on the market each month that go under contract. An even market is typically around 25-30 percent.  Above 30 percent is typically a seller’s market and below 25 percent is typically a buyer’s market.


January 2014: 24.5% — even market



February 2014: 33.4% — seller’s market



March 2014: 33.8% — seller’s market



April 2014: 36.4% — seller’s market



May 2014: 34.9% — seller’s market



June 2014: 31.2% — seller’s market



July 2014: 27.3% — even market



August 2014: 23.3% — buyer’s market



September 2014:21.6% — buyer’s market



October 2014: 19.8% — buyer’s market


With rates as low as they have been in a while, now really is a great time to buy. Let us know if you would like to chat about preparing to buy a property now, or how to position yourself to beat the competition in the spring.

Sue Goodhart is the top-producing agent at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria and is licensed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She can be reached at 202-507-7800 or

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