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Home Mortgages Thought Leader

Fall Still Good Time to Buy But Don’t Expect Lower Prices

At Southeast Mortgage, we often talk about real estate cycles and the benefits of paying attention to the cyclical nature of mortgage rates, the economy and even the seasons. Next to spring, fall can be the most advantageous time to purchase a home due to a variety of financial and psychological motivations. We still believe that to be the case, although this fall you can expect a dramatically different pattern for home prices from years past.

J.D. Crowe, Senior Vice President of Southeast Mortgage

J.D. Crowe, Senior Vice President of Southeast Mortgage

In the past few years, there was little demand for housing and a large supply of homes available. With a large inventory of homes and fewer buyers, home prices would decrease in the fall as sellers would try to sell their home before the dark days of winter set in, the worst time for a house to be on the market.

However, this fall brings a different kind of change with pretty much the reverse being the case. This season, the Atlanta market is currently experiencing a housing shortage with very low inventories being reported. According to the Atlanta Real Estate Summit for 2013, Atlanta is experiencing the worst housing shortage, especially for homes under $500,000, since 1993. Homes in Atlanta are on the market for a median of only 60 days, compared to the national median of 98 days.

Though the selection of Atlanta homes has decreased compared to years past, the combination of tax breaks on the horizon and an ideal moving season can still make fall a great time to contact a Realtor and begin looking for your new dream home.

“A lot of people see Labor Day as the beginning of a new year, when the summer holidays are over and everyone goes back to school and back to work,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate in Parsippany, N.J.

After traveling and enjoying the summer holidays, many people now turn their attention to the purchasing of a new home.

Year-end tax breaks for closing a loan

As the fall approaches, people are already daydreaming about possible year-end tax breaks.  ERA Real Estate, a global real estate franchisor, attributes 10 percent of fall home sales to people seeking tax benefits of homeownership. Furthermore, if you close your loan before the end of the year and prepay some interest, that amount will be deductable.

Optimal moving season

When people visualize moving, they may imagine hauling boxes in the blistering summer heat or slipping on ice in the driveway. Moving in autumn avoids the sweltering summer sun as well as chilly icy roads.  Moving becomes less of a chore and more about enjoying your new space.

For families, moving at the beginning of the school year in September, rather than in the middle of a school year, is a huge stress-relief for children and parents.

Fall is still a good time to move. You just won’t see the major decreases in home prices as in the past years.  And of course, with the low inventories we’ve been seeing, it’s a wonderful time to sell a home.


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